GDoN “Chapin Row” edition

This unit is located at 1412 Chapin Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“Chapin Row offers 30 exceptional condo homes in the heart of the booming 14th and U St district! These stunning residences feature marble counters, wide plank hardwood floors, high ceilings and in unit washer/dryer all within a smart, open floor plan and many w/ private outdoor space. Unbeatable location w/ 94 walk score with easy access to 2 metros. Parking & storage available.”

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $399,900 ($105 monthly fee.)

38 Comment

  • This seems like an extraordinary deal? One bedrooms in the immediate area are $2,200+ a month, this is like a ~$1,600/month mortgage plus the $105 fee.

    • Agreed. Granted, it doesn’t have a gym or pool, but I’d be content using my gym for that, as the additional cost for those amenities is usually way out of line. This is probably one of the very few situations in DC’s ridiculous housing market that a buyer making 75-100k with a smallish downpayment could buy and not be living paycheck to paycheck.

  • When you go to Redfin, the images are the same for all of the units, and they don’t specify the square footage for the 1br/1bth. My guess is that the unit is really small and probably more of a Jr. 1Br at this price.

    • Isn’t a Jr. 1b if there isn’t a door between the bedroom and the rest of the unit? I agree that it’s suspicious that the square footage isn’t listed, but it does seem pretty well laid-out regardless of the size. And this price in that location is pretty hard to beat. (It’s still ridiculous for a 1b no matter what, but relative to what’s going on around it, this is a pretty amazing deal.)

      • The building has quite a few one bedrooms. Although the square footage isn’t listed they do have floor plans. Some definitely seem pretty small while others are a decent size. All in all though, given the location, finishes and low HOAs, this seems like a good deal.
        Also, I think this is quite a handsome looking building. The builder did a nice job.

    • You can view the floor plans for the building here:

      No square footage on that flyer, but there’s only one unit that lists for $399,900

      • Thanks for sharing the link. It looks like the $399,999 unit # is 005, while the rest are 101, 201, etc. This must be a basement/ground level unit. That would explain the pricing.

  • Wow — that’s almost a steal — in terms of sale price and condo fees! The finishes look great and appears to be a decent layout. The area around it has a lot of construction, but you can live with that if its gonna increase your property value. If you can get it for that price, congrats, but I have a feeling its just a hook to get you in the door.

    • The taxes are almost $13k. Is that normal? I assume that’s for the year. Seems extremely high based on other previous listings, but I’ve not been through the process, so I don’t know if that’s in line with what should be expected for a 1bdrm condo in the area or not.

      • I owe a 1 bd and I pay about $1400/year in taxes (not counting the portion in my condo fees and I have a homestead deduction), so yes $13k is a LOT of tax!

      • $13k is very high. Taxes in DC 0.85% of assessed value, minus the $75,400 homestead deduction if you qualify for it (owner occupied). So a $400k assessed value, minus $75,400 = $324,600 x 0.0o85 = $2,759.10 in taxes annually. Of course, the assessed value could be more or less.
        I suspect the $13k is the taxes the developer currently pays on the assessed for the entire building. Chances are the assessed value currently doesn’t take into account the improvements made by the developer.

        • “I suspect the $13k is the taxes the developer currently pays on the assessed for the entire building. Chances are the assessed value currently doesn’t take into account the improvements made by the developer.”
          Ah okay, gotcha. Thanks, that makes a bit more sense.

        • It might be getting taxed at the rate for vacant buildings, which is a good bit higher.

  • I agree these photos may not be for this unit. The photos seem to make it a 2 bedroom (notice the different bedrooms on either side of the common space).

    I’d be interested to know what the actual layout/sq ft is for this price.

    • **update, I looked at the condo’s website, and unit 005 is indeed a true (not jr) 1 bedroom. so, great!

  • And to think how sketchy this block was ~13 years ago, when I went to a house party there. (I remember being really glad that the house where the party was located was only a few doors east of 15th, because I really didn’t want to walk any further into the block.) My, how times have changed!

    • It’s still sketchy. It’s one layer on top of another — not a sea change.

      • Fair enough. (Although weren’t there multiple vacant buildings along that street that were redone and/or vacant lots that were built on? For those particular buildings/lots, it would be a sea change… but I can see how it might not be for the block overall.)

  • MG Residential is very excited to partner on this project! Thank you PopVille. The building is open every Sunday from 2-4 and every Thursday from 5-7pm so come take a peek! The website has floor plans Just give us a call or email and we can give you a list of the latest available units or set up a private tour anytime. 202-243-7777

  • The condo fee is a bait and switch to help sell the units. That level will barely cover operating expenses and won’t build reserves. Also, new construction almost always has problems and some may need to be fixed while the condo association negotiates/sues the developer.

    Parking is “available” (extra cost–200+ in this area and storage is “available” = extra cost. The unit seems very limited in the storage department. A small unit (probably 600 sf or less) w/o parking and probably w/o a roofdeck (one more thing that will increase the condo fee).

    Pair the price with a more realistic condo fee and consider the limited amenities and probably over priced given that it’s on the cheaper side of U.

    • The buyers of these units will be getting a builders contract so the builder will be on the warrant their units/building for two years or so. Obviously issues can come up and new builds always have them. Just a case of whether the builder/developer are above board and honor their obligations. Some do, some don’t.
      The condo fee is low, but I’m curious about the total fees across all units. A $105 fee is probably one of the smaller fees, with the larger units paying more. With thirty units, $4500+/month income is plausible. I can see the fees going up but not massively. There’s no amenities in the building so other than CAM and Master Insurance, they’re mostly building reserves..

    • Lower condo fee allows the buyer to borrow more to pay the builder and get through the underwriting process (i.e. lowers the borrower’s DTI ratio).
      This fee will definitely be raised in a year or two, but the lender won’t care by then.

      • That’s the bait and switch. beyond that, most people underestimate the cost of property ownership aside form this anyhow.

        I know buildings that have been in litigation for years after the units were sold. In the current sellers market, I would be particularly cautious about new construction/renovation.

        • I would say almost exactly the opposite, at least on popville. I think the commenters on real-estate listings here tend to over-estimate costs of owning vs. renting. Of course, the people who have sat down and done the math are already owners who aren’t debating it any more or looking at rental/starter condo listings.

          • Talk to first time buyers…..I’m on the Board of my condo and have been involved in 2 other buildings, and used to be a homeowner in a neighborhood of first time homeowners. It’s pretty universal that people underestimate costs.

  • What very cheap-looking balconies on what otherwise appears to be an historic building.

  • I looked at these apartments. The photos are from a model 2 bedroom unit and the cheapest 1 bedrooms are in the basement facing a concrete wall. Nice design but no thank you.

    • Agreed. I took a look at these apartments as well, and all of the non-basement units are a LOT more expensive. The bedrooms seemed very small to me and most of the units didn’t have tons of closet space (which seemed odd for a new building). While the new construction/fixtures are very nice and modern, I don’t really think this is *that* great of a deal for this area.

      • I looked at these units as well. The 1BR I saw was VERY small, 2 BR was a nice size but I believe it was listed at close to half a mil! Nice finishes but too small for me for the price.

      • Not odd at all. Moreover small 2nd bedrooms a re very common in newer buildings and many of them seem to be defacto walk in closets–at best home offices that often windup being used for storage, too.

        • alissaaa

          I thought it was crazy that the 1br on the 4th floor (which is almost identical to the one that is in the basement) was listed for $449,500. For that price you can get a much larger 1br in Dupont or a super nice place maybe with a 2nd br in Columbia Heights. Also with 1 small closet in the bedroom for the only storage, and it looks over the giant sandpit behind the building.

  • alissaaa

    I saw this unit last week–it’s pretty small–I would say maybe 600 square feet and there is only 1 closet in the entire apartment–in the bedroom–and it’s also small. They have storage and parking available for an additional fee, and the outdoor spaces I think were at least $25K.

    Personally, I thought it was overpriced for a basement apartment (albeit above grade) that looks out at concrete/the wall of the building next door. The outdoor space is nice, but the way it is done it felt a little claustrophobic.

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