GDoN? “stylish studio” edition (reader request)

1801 Clydesdale Place Northwest

This house is located at 1801 Clydesdale Place, Northwest. The listing says:

“NEW LISTING! Situated on a quiet street in the heart of Adams Morgan, this stylish studio offers the best of city living. Freshly painted and move in ready, this home features a great floor plan and is flooded with light from large, west-facing windows. Wood floors, updated kitchen, fresh bath, cleverly designed custom murphy bed with bookshelves and a large closet/dressing room. Kitties yes!”

You can see more photos here.

This studio is going for $149,000 ($338 monthly fee.)

31 Comment

  • Fantastic deal, assuming no major issues with the building’s financials.
    With a 1% downpayment, the PITI + coop fee would only be ~$1100 per month. You could easily rent this for $1200 today.

    • Given that it’s a coop, their restrictions on renting a unit out are likely to be more stringent than those of most condos. It’s highly possible that the owner is not allowed to rent out the unit the first X years, or is allowed to rent it out a maximum of Y consecutive years at a time.
      This does sound like a good price, but I think it’s better suited to an owner-occupant situation.

    • You meant 10%, right?

      • Nope, run the numbers through a mortgage calculator (assuming 4% rate @ 30 years). The coop fee should include your property tax. PMI on this thing is dirt cheap.

        • 1% downpayment is still not making sense to me….

          • What’s not making sense? Say you could only afford 5% down on this place, but would like to replace those ugly kitchen cabinets. I’d put down less money and keep my cash to make some cosmetic renovations. You could do 0% down, but there’s a higher rate to reflect the risk of such a loan. It’s better to put 1 or 2% down and get a lower rate.

          • OP Anon is assuming that someone can actually get a loan with only 1% down. While I’m sure this is possible, I’d wager that it’s harder than OP imagines.

          • Problem you are going to run into with co-op financing is that its slightly different than condos or detached homes. You’re financing the purchase of stock in the co-op. Now, its better than it used to be, and most lenders can work with that, but traditionally you’re going to have to put down 20%. The co-op itself may even require it to make sure that buyers are financially sound.

          • Ah ok, I did not realize the coop would have more stringent downpayment requirements than a lender. Makes sense.
            PS – zero down products are flooding the market once again. It’s much easier to get them than even a year or two ago. Check out Navy Fed.

          • The 20% down was true for a short time about 5 years ago–the minimum is probably higher than for a condo but unlikely to be 20%. Coops in DC generally do not micromanage the loan–may be they do that in NYC or elsewhere. Not all lenders do coops–but a wider range do them than in the past. You generally pay less for a coop than a comparable condo, but the interest rate is sometimes a little higher.

            You should ask about whether there is an underlying mortgage (I believe they didn’t do a new one when the old one was paid off). that’s how coops payoff capital projects rather than doing assessments (although assessments sometimes occur in coops, they are less frequent than with condos). If there is a mortgage-that part of your monthly payment will decline over time as the principal becomes a larger proportion of the payment.

            I’ve lived in this building and the rules probably still limit the number of years you can rent out a unit (it used to be 2 consecutive years–then you had to live in it at least 2 years before you could rent it out). The building has parking–there’s a waiting list. There’s enough turnover that you could get a place within a 18-24 months.

            The building has a lot of studios and efficiencies (one is smaller than the other, I forget which), plus good sized one bedrooms.

            The price is actually a bit low for the building perhaps reflecting the kitchen needing a renovation. Putting money into a studio/efficiency gets you less payoff than in 1 bedroom, which is why regardless of building, these tend to be a bit more dated.

          • Rich- what is the noise like in the building? Especially with upstairs neighbors? Any insights?

          • The building is surprisingly quiet – like to the point that the 24-hour front desk staff make jokes about it. But that all may be due to the fact that the walls are quite thin and people know that. Thin walls is the biggest negative to the building.

            It’s a good building, though. Perfectly positioned overlooking a huge urban National Park on one side, among quiet tree-lined streets off the grid in Lanier Heights, and all Adams Morgan has to offer on the other. About 10 minute walk to both green and red lines, in between the two, little closer to red on a nice walk over the Duke Ellington Bridge.

            Given Adams Morgan’s rep, you often have to explain to people that living in this removed part isn’t loud; you just hear zoo animals and crickets; pretty cool to wake up to lions.

            There’s a healthy mix of races, ages, and backgrounds, including kids. There’s a beautiful roof deck view over Rock Creek Park (this unit is on the same side so probably has a nice park view, too) and the Zoo with the National Cathedral in the background, which all makes for gorgeous sunsets (the Cathedral always looks much further away in pics than it really is for some reason and these winter pics don’t do the roofdeck view justice; they should have posted a leafed-out pic from the website.

            There’s also the recently upgraded Walter Pierce Park a block away, with soccer, basketball, dog run, playground, kid birthday party central, and what used to be a hill of urban gardens but is now known to be a Civil War era African American graveyard.

            The greenery amid the city life is what makes this place work well.

    • 1.) The building accepts FHA loans, which would require more than 1% down payment. That’s why they have a 2-year rental restriction so that they can maintain a healthy owner/renter ratio. Rental restrictions are not uncommon – in fact, a lot of other condo buildings institute similar rental policies so that prospective homeowners can secure a mortgage.

      2.) The coop and their list of mortgage lenders require at least 10 to 20% down payment.

      3.) Wells Fargo is an approved lender, but I haven’t heard great things about them.

      Here’s a list of approved lenders:

  • “[C]leverly designed custom murphy bed with bookshelves” — Doesn’t the fact that it’s a Murphy bed mean you’ll never be able to put anything ON the bookshelves?

    • Aglets

      i was thinking it’s behind the book shelves which move aside- i was sad to not see it in action in the photos

    • I think the shelves are hinged so they swing outward via the entire vertical length, similar to a set of French doors. Hence you can still keep stuff on them.

    • Most Murphy beds I’ve seen have shelves that slide to the side opening up the space for the bed to fold down. Hardwood Artisan makes them – think they’d be great for a guest room. And make a lot of sense for a studio.

    • Thanks for schooling me, y’all. I agree with Colhi — if they’re going to tout the Murphy bed as a feature, there really ought to be a photo showing it “in action.”

  • where do you sleep?

  • I used to rent in this building. It may have the best rooftop view in the city.

  • Don’t let your agent or anyone else scare you out of a coop. Unless you’re hellbent on renting your place, or if something else in the bylaws puts you off, coops work in a very similar way to condos. I’m happy with my coop unit and building, overall. But you’ll probably have to put down 10% and probably be restricted to a loan from Wells Fargo or an affiliate of theirs.

    • I’ve lived in both kinds of buildings. Coops require a commitment for the foreseeable future because of rental restrictions, although some condos also have rental restrictions. Maintaining eligibility for FHA load requires that the majority of owners occupy their units and condos with a lot of renters usually start putting limits on rentals.

      There are some important differences, but a brokers’ ignorance or the usual poorly informed info in places like this should not deter a buyer from a coop.

      • Yeah, and a studio is not something people tend to commit to (even if they think they will at the time). As soon as you acquire a partner, or a pet, or a hobby requiring equipment, that small space becomes very challenging.

        • There are people in this building who’ve had studios for years. Esp. in a high cost city like DC, you may have a studio for much longer than you anticipate.

          Coops in DC tend to be at the upper and lower ends of the market and those at the upper end often sell quickly–buildings like the Ontario are in high demand, because you get a really unique place with grounds, etc. for a little less than a condo with similar square footage and I think buyers know more about coops. It’s different at the lower end, esp. during periods when higher down payments have been expected.

      • Yeah, coops are a steal compared to condos here in DC (unlike NYC, where the price premium for a condo is very slight over a coop) because DC has so many condos to buy – the ratio of condos/coops is here is about opposite that of NYC. I predict that as DC keeps growing, the desirability of coops will rise here – a good think, like a great neighborhood, always catches on eventually.

        Problem in DC is, because they aren’t so popular here, they seem to take a lot longer to sell than condos do. So, while they are a great investment, if you want to move and sell because you want more space than a small coop has, you want to live with a partner in bigger space, you want to move away for a job or more schooling or any other reason, you need to plan a longer time to get it sold, even if you offer it at an attractive price. Or, if like many, you want to move up and keep your old condo as an investment property, that’s hard to do longer term with most coops.

  • I’m going to say GOOD DEAL. But will it last though the weekend?

  • HaileUnlikely

    I can’t speak for this building at all, but I once tried to buy a coop for less than $100K, with 20% down and credit score over 800, but I was unable to get the loan due to the high percentage of owners (somewhere else, not this building) who were delinquent on their coop fees.

    • Was it a limited-income, restricted equity coop? Those are the only ones I’ve seen around here under 100K. A shame that people aren’t able to keep up with their fees and manage the building properly. The bank did you a favor, there, as that would make it a terrible investment.

    • This is nonsense. You probably had a lender and an agent who were clueless about coops. A coop with good fundamentals–like good reserves should be no more difficult to finance than a condo. Buyers have not had problems buying at the Saxony.

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