GDoN? “urban retreat in boutique building” edition

Exterior (Front) -

This unit is located at 310 M Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Centrally-located Mt. Vernon urban retreat in boutique building, offers easy access to downtown, Shaw and Chinatown amenities. Comfortable main living space with eat-in kitchen. Direct access to shared outdoor patio. All the essentials with central A/C and in-home W/D in pet friendly building with low monthly fee. Walk to Convention Center metro.”

Living Room -

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $269,555 ($185 monthly fee.)

23 Comment

  • I’ll take “No” for $662/sq ft, Alex.

  • If you’re gonna pay Logan Circle prices, you might as well buy in Logan.

  • Yeeeesh, that is impossibly small for that price.

  • Makes surprisingly good use of space but .Short on storage space. A studio/efficiency floor plan might be better,. Looks like a basement–would be an ok deal if it were above ground.

  • Ugly basement, tiny, questionable neighborhood… how do they justify this price?

  • Actually not bad for a tiny basement apt. in a so-so neighborhood if you plan on living there for more than 5 years.

    • I’m with Victoria here. This doesn’t seem like a crazy price for this location. It’s a really cute starter condo and the location is really convenient to many, many things. The mortgage would be a lot more affordable than rent for a 1br in this neighborhood. I’m not sure why people think it’s so outlandish.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Assuming you have 20% to put down and are ok with reducing your liquid assets by $54,000 all at once. I have some difficulty imagining that somebody who has $54K lying around is going to want to use it as a down payment for this. Assuming a more realistic 3% down, the mortgage (~1250), PMI (~200), taxes (~120) HOA fees ($185), and homeowners insurance (I don’t know, say $50) works out to $1805. I’m not in the rental market and don’t have the foggiest idea what stuff rents for in this area: would a 400 square foot basement unit really go for $1800 a month?

        • The mortgage price depends so much on the buyer and on the lender, and I’m not sure we can make any of these assumptions and certainly not all of them. Just to give you a counter-example, a friend of mine was “gifted” 100k for her first starter condo. (Before you rush to judge that, I will just say that both of her parents are librarians are state universities and put that money aside for her from her birth by saving like mad.) So if she were the buyer, she would have had zero PMI and her payments would have been a lot less than $1000/month, especially if she had found a lender who could give her an excellent rate. And that’s a lot less than the going rate for tiny basement 1brs.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Fair enough. Still some difficulty imagining one who has that kind of cash electing to use it as downpayment on a tiny basement. Maybe somebody would – that’s cool – hard for me to imagine, though. While acknowledging that such buyers in fact do exist, I still suspect that the universe of prospective buyers for this place is dominated by those without the cash for a 20% down payment.

          • I guess we’ll find out in a month or so what happens 🙂 But I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like my friend, but in his or her 20s, saw this as a way to start building equity. If you have a lot of cash upfront, then you can build equity a lot more quickly in a place like this than if you try to get a more expensive condo and that’s worth it to some budget-conscious buyers.

          • You don’t even need a gift. If you have excellent credit and other strong financials, some banks will write a conventional loan (i.e., non-FHA) with as little as 5% down these days in strong markets like DC. PMI is nowhere near $200/month on conventional loans. My PMI (more than 5 but less than 20% down, because I could, cheap) is well under $100/month on an only slightly smaller loan).

  • Sorry to not be more clear. My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I meant to say that if you didn’t mind living in a tiny basement in a so-so neighborhood for 5 years, you might come out even in the end. But for a total monthly payment of $1800, you can live in lots of nicer apts. in nicer locations.

    “Walk to Convention Center Metro” is technically true. Of course you can walk to anything. But this place is 2 blocks to NY ave. Metro – still a bit skeevy – while 1.1 miles to the advertised Mt. Vernon Square.

    • Huh? Did you misread “NW” as “NE”? This is 0.3 miles/3 blocks from Mt. Vernon Square, and 0.7 miles/5 blocks from NoMa.

      • +1. I used to live about two blocks from here and confirm that it’s a perfectly lovely location. When I lived there, I barely ever had to take the metro to anything, but it was very convenient if I wanted to take it. I would also be very surprised if it actually took 5 years to break even. I’d say three -maybe- and that’s not bad for DC.

      • Oops I did think this was NE.

        • Sorry, but that would be reasonable for the 300 block of M St. NE, too. I put an offer on a (slightly larger, but still 1-bedroom) condo there (not that block specifically, but within a couple of blocks) several years ago, also in a small building, but above ground; close to this price point. Last year, it sold for over $400K. It stands to reason that if you get under 600 square feet on the 2nd floor for $400K (over $690/ft2), you get 400 square feet in a basement for $270K. And, if you get lucky and prices boom in your neighborhood, you make $150K on a property in 5 years…

          • HaileUnlikely

            I’d put it a little differently: it would be consistent with the market. The market here and now is anything but reasonable.

    • This is in the southern part of Shaw, one or two blocks from Sursum Corda. It’s an OK location, can still be super sketchy at night.

      • “It’s an OK location, can still be super sketchy at night.” I think you could probably say this about almost every neighborhood in DC other than some in upper NW. You could also just as easily point to the fact that this is two blocks away from a huge Safeway, Vida fitness, Sweetgreen and Chipotle and easy walking distance to downtown. /rant #notsurewhyIcare

        • I regularly go through this area at night for the Safeway. The feel of the area has changed even in the past 2-3 years. If the 14th &R troll was still around they could remind you that the 14th Street corridor can seem sketchy and all the ColHi complainers could certainly suggest that parts of 14th below the ColHi Metro can be offputting. And 9th Street in Shaw puts people off N of the Metro. Yet plenty of people are blissfully happy quite close to all these places (I go past each of them at least once a week). This location is not on top of a Metro but its walkable to Red as well as Green/Yellow and it’s not a bad walk to much of downtown and parts of the Mall.

  • This condo is in Mt Vernon Square, which is a very hot neighborhood. Safeway is 3 blocks away, Mt Vernon Square is 4 blocks away, and a ton of amenities in the Mt Vernon Triangle area. Don’t know why people think it’s a bad neighborhood

  • Take a look at the front door and see how far away the floor is. It is like 6″. There is even a piece of trim between the door and the floor. Your guests would trip every time they come over. If you dig out the basement, why wouldn’t you spend the money to set the doors properly?

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