GDoN? “Charles Goodman-designed barrel-roof townhouse” edition

DC8553655 - 1344 4th St SW

This unit is located at 1344 4th Street, Southwest. The listing says:

“1344 4th St SW: Renovated and Move-in Ready Charles Goodman-designed barrel-roof townhouse at River Park. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, full basement with part living and part utility, HWF, private back garden designed for entertaining, central air & heat, pet friendly. Coop amenities: pool, gym, rental parking. Close to Waterfront Metro, shopping, theatre, Nationals Park and more!”

You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/2 bath is going for $539,000 ($989 monthly fee.)

30 Comment

  • I’ve yet to see anything designed by Goodman that I like. The River Park complex is probably my least favorite. Hard to stomach a townhouse with a $1K coop fee.

    • At face value, that fee is a gut punch, but it sounds like some nice amenities are included. If the waterfront really comes around as planned, this may look like a steal in just a few years.

      • Remember that coop fees also include property taxes and at least some utilities, exterior maintenance, and general community upkeep.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t most co-op fees include property taxes? That would account for almost half of the monthly fee for a home at that price.

      • Hardly half of the taxes, but even if it was half, I get it for a high-rise building with 24 hr concierge, elevators, etc., but for a townhouse with access to a pool from the 60s; no thanks.

        • Taxes would be maybe $410 a month. That means 580 in fees. 580 a month is an extra 120,000 in mortgage debt. Add it together and that equates to a $660k rowhouse a 5 minute walk to a metro. Plus you get gym, pool, and rental parking available. Not to mention the community should pay for repointing and roof repairs, etc.
          I am always astonished that these are so cheap. If I worked on this side of the Mall I would yearn for this.

          • What if you considered the downsides of coop ownership in your equation, such as restrictions for pets, renting out the unit, income; requirement of needing to be approved by the coop board to purchase the unit; difficulty in obtaining financing for a coop (most banks won’t give you financing); and the fact that all these shenanigans prevent your house from appreciating as fast as other places (hence the seemingly “astonishing” low price)?

          • Agreed. All good points. I guess I am older and have a lower risk tolerance. I see these shenanigans as positives. No renters are a good thing (lowers the value, but a nicer neighborhood). And tougher financing means sizable downpayments and no foreclosures for when the market dips again. I wasn’t really looking at it from an investment appreciation perspective.

          • You honestly think that’s cheap? Not long ago, you could buy these for about half this asking price. I think this neighborhood has recently been “discovered,” mostly because of the coming Wharf development. But this house is still in a part of town where you’ll routinely hear shots ring out from just a couple blocks away.

          • HaileUnlikely

            There are a few go-to banks for coops. Thus, if the coop’s finances are in order and your finances are in order, you should be able to get financing. It will limit one’s ability to shop around for a mortgage, though. Agreed on all else here. In any event, I think the “pretend it’s a house for $660K” reframing is useful. If that seems like a good deal to you, then carefully consider these other factors as well. If pretending it’s a house that’s being sold for $660K doesn’t make it sound like a good deal, ask yourself if a house for $660K whose exterior maintenance is somehow magically free makes it sound like a good deal. If so, then again, think about that other stuff. If not, then it’s probably not a good deal.

          • I know what you mean. I have been following these for years and this is the highest i have ever seen one. But this is still cheap in comparison to Kingman Park or Petworth.

          • Yep, people who complain about how high coop fees (and condo fees, for that matter) are assume that they will never, ever, nope never, spend a dollar on exterior repair and improvements, (nor anything on interior repairs, many of which are covered by coops.) They don’t pay their property taxes, either, apparently.

      • As usual there is a lot of misinformation about co-ops here. Co-ops are no more or less likely to restrict pets. Not all lenders do co-ops, but it’s not difficult to find one who will. On thing that may bump up a co-op fee is if there is an underlying mortgage–which is how capital improvements are paid off over time. Retiring the mortgage leads to more equity over time for the buyer whereas buying a condo may lead to having future, unexpected assessments.

        Co-ops are for people who are in it for the long run. They sometimes have restrictions or fees for renting to discourage the practice, but some condos do this as well.

  • binpetworth

    What a mishmash of design choices! I have a hard time grasping the complete layout–like where the bathrooms are in relation to the other rooms. Also, there’s no way in hell I could sleep in that loft space without some seriously specially designed blackout curtains.

  • maxwell smart

    “Renovated and Move-in Ready…” Really? In what decade? The interiors need major updating – the kitchen looks dark, dated and depressing. The blue bathroom… look I’m all for color but that is overkill.

    • The kitchen does look updated though it looks like IKEA cabinetry. I will say that it may be that the bathroom was updated (it looks like the same cabinetry as the kitchen) and the mishmash of decor choices definitely gives the impression it is dated.

  • $1000 HOA fee, and is that… Parquet flooring? Ha, that’s crazy.

  • I really like the style and layout on these units, but that price is high. A few of these units sold this summer for 425-475 range and most were as nice or nicer. That range seems much more reasonable to me given the very high condo fees and the fact that it’s a Co-op (not a condo) from what I understand.

  • I Dont Get It

    I couldn’t get past that floral bespread.

  • I live in this development. The co-op fee covers all your property taxes and all utilities except for some of your electric bill (basically you pay a separate electric for your home plug-ins).

    • HaileUnlikely

      Thanks for the note. Just out of curiosity, is there an underlying mortgage? If so, do you happen to know about how much that would be? The reason I ask is because, as you know if there is one, that has a non-obvious impact on what the stated sale price means.

    • Heating, cooling, and cooking are electric, so by “all utilities” are you just talking about water being included in the fee?

      • MJ- your heating and cooling are supplied by a central plant under the towers that is pumped to all the townhomes. So the electric bills per unit are typically very low. (I also live in the community.)
        Haile-There is currently no underlying mortgage on the property.

  • If you search Redfin 1336 4th street SW (in the same row) is pending for $520K and has much nicer interiors so I’m going to say this one is over priced by about $40K. All of the homes in this development have the same floors so if you hate parquet flooring its not the place for you.

  • I *LOVE* the barrel roof homes. They are pretty large inside and have 4 bedrooms upstairs. We would have loved to purchase one, but only a couple of the non-barrel variety were on the market when we were shopping in 2013. I think the pictures & decor probably hurt this listing but do go check it out if you’re curious. Such a great space that would be easy to update as needed.

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