Today’s Rental is a “Nice sized 1 BR basement apartment (@ 650SF) filled with light!”


This rental is located at 1852 Columbia Road, Northwest. The listing says:

“Nice sized 1 BR basement apartment (@ 650SF) filled with light! Freshly updated with new carpet in BR, LR and huge WIC. In addition, there are new windows throughout (including a bay window, a good sized kitchen and bath plus separate storage bin, bike room and access to roof deck!. Just steps to shops, restaurants & Kalorama Park & a short walk to Metro. A perfect location!”

You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $1,600/Mo.

15 Comment

  • I’d call twice that square footage “nice sized.”

  • Well, there are new buildings to compete with. But in this case, I think the price is determined by the fact that it is in a basement. Which does bring down a price – a basement was not anything I’d ever consider, and I’ve done some cheap rentals in my youth. And, the condition matters for price. This kitchen and the ugly carpeting need to be fixed up, not to mention paint. I don’t think it is the old v. new building you notice, as much as older buildings can have reached (and often have, if not maintained) a state of decrepitude, whereas newer building with newer kitchens and fixtures haven’t had time to decay as much. Given that this is a condo building, in a great location, the owner is just being shortsighted by not fixing it up a bit.

    • Agree completely. You get what you pay for here.

    • maxwell smart

      “a basement was not anything I’d ever consider, and I’ve done some cheap rentals in my youth” – I’m not going to lie, I had the same feeling when I moved to DC, but I ended up with a basement apartment that is actually pretty fantastic that I have now lived in for 5 years. Not all basements are created equal.

      • Oh, yeah, I’ve seen some nice ones … but I’t still not going to consider living in one.

      • My basement rental was bad because of the landlord refusing to do lots of maintenance/updating (like, I don’t really care if I have top-of-the-line appliances, but could they be newer than *me*?) stuff, but if properly maintained, I would have basically stayed forever. It was huge (by my standards…pushing 800 ft2 in a 1-bedroom with a GREAT layout), including a large kitchen (I like to cook) and excellent closet space. By being 1/2-2/3 below ground, it never got really cold or really hot, so I never ran much heat (I once left on a business trip in a cold November, came back 2 weeks later, and the thermostat was reading 59 with the control set to 55 and an outdoor temp below freezing…basically, over 2 weeks of temps in the 30’s to low 40’s, my heat never ran once set at 55) and NEVER ran the A/C (the VERY old dehumidifier the landlord provided did the trick in the summer – at least they did that right – and the “hottest” I even saw the thermostat read was 74). Plus, it was in a semi-detached house, so every single room had one or more windows, and I could TOTALLY function throughout the house during daylight hours without turning a single lamp/light on (even the bathroom had a window).

        • Gah…failed to note that the maintenance issues were more important than the updating issues. While I was frustrated that my fridge was noisy and *crazy* inefficient and the oven was off by almost 100 degrees, both owing to age (again, older than me at the time I lived there, in my late 20’s), the bigger problem was neglect of basic maintenance. For example, when it rained really hard, water came in THROUGH A WALL THAT HAD NO DOORS OR WINDOWS. The foundation needed repaired and sealed. I brought that to the LL’s attention, and they said “well, the floor is tile, so it won’t hurt it. Just wipe the water up.” I mean, that’s true and all, but those kinds of things are what made me decide to move out. If you are outright ignoring things that anyone can see are a problem, what else is going on in here that I *can’t* see?!?

    • “This kitchen and the ugly carpeting need to be fixed up” — The listing says the carpeting is new.. Is your beef with the mere existence of the carpet rather than with its condition?
      The kitchen cabinets and appliances look pretty innocuous to me. Is your objection to the laminate countertop?
      If this apartment had hardwood floors and an “updated” kitchen (granite countertops, stainless appliances, etc.), I’m sure it would cost a good deal more than $1600/month. And I completely understand why a landlord might be hesitant to put a lot of cosmetic work into the unit when he/she has no way of knowing if renters will subsequently damage it.
      You do indeed get what you pay for. This unit is perfectly livable. Not everyone thinks that hardwood/granite are worth extra hundreds of dollars per month, and not everyone can spend (say) $1800/month — or more — on rent.

      • maxwell smart

        My only concern with the carpeting is that basement’s tend to be a little more humid than the average apartment – my personal experience being that during the summer I collect 4-5 gallons in my dehumidifier daily. So, I imagine that carpet getting pretty dank fairly quickly.

      • Well, some people will live with floor full of mold and filth and dirt and dead insects and dust mites, and some want floors they can clean. I only live with floors I can clean thoroughly. Some obviously don’t care (and then wonder where their sinus and allergy and asthma problems come from.) I hate most granite countertops. As to pricing, market determines that, and pretty efficiently, it isn’t based on how much the owner thinks they want to charge having made updates – I’ve never noticed a difference between prices for places with carpeting and those with hardwoods.

        • “I’ve never noticed a difference between prices for places with carpeting and those with hardwoods.” — Really?? If they were identical in all other respects I could maaaaybe see that being the case — maybe — but in D.C., units that are carpeted are likely to also have kitchens and bathrooms that date from the 1980s/early 1990s, and therefore command lower rents than more recently “updated” units.

        • maxwell smart

          Hardwood does usually cost more… although I generally feel that with carpet, regardless of how well you take care of it, you can kiss your deposit goodbye for “carpet cleaning / replacement” when you move out.

  • maxwell smart

    Looks small and carpet is probably the last thing I would want in a basement, although for this area this is probably a steal.

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