GDoN “Two level condo with townhouse feel” edition

1812 Bryant Street Northeast

This unit is located at 1812 Bryant Street, Northeast. The listing says:

“Charming Channing Court! Woodridge near New York Ave. Moments to down town, Brookland and Rhode Island Ave. 1.2 miles to Rhode Island Ave metro. Two level condo with townhouse feel. Wood burning Fireplace, HWF, Granite, Stainless, large finished attic, two master bedrooms with baths, ample closet space, washer/dryer, fenced back yard. Pet Friendly. Parking space included. OPEN SUNDAY 12-3”

GDoN

You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/2.5 bath is going for $325,000 ($162 monthly fee.)

20 Comment

  • HaileUnlikely

    I can’t say I love it, but for somebody who want’s to be an owner and wants something move-in ready at this price point, it ain’t bad.
    .
    I don’t have even a wild guess what the going rate is for a comparable property in this neighborhood. I haven’t been out there by NY Ave & Montana Ave in a long time. My recollection is that it was’t a particularly pedestrian-friendly environment to say the least. I suspect the area will become more hospitable at some point…by which time stuff like this will cost a lot more…so without comment as to whether it is a “good deal,” it might be a good opportunity.
    .
    The location of the stairs is awkward as heck – I suspect they put them there to minimize the extent to which they eat up otherwise-usable space on the first floor. I’d probably still want to move them, but no big deal.

    • This particular block and points north up to Rhode Island Ave. would be pretty pedestrian-friendly. There’s also a bike lane right there on 18th, which will likely connect pretty nicely to the upcoming NY Ave. bike trail. This is also quite close to the Hecht Warehouse development and all of the amenities that will likely spring up around it.
      .
      The big issue for the car-averse would be the circle at NY/Montana/WV Aves. That thing is terrible for all modes of transit (I’m usually uneasy even while driving). This would get in the way of walking to Ivy City, but isn’t insurmountable if someone exercises patience and doesn’t try to cross against the walk signals (people PLOW through the mishmash of intersections here; just don’t bother to jump the gun).
      .
      I agree otherwise with everything you said. Great chance for move-in ready ownership. Lots of imminent improvements that should add to the equity. Close enough to metro and and bus lines (the E2 will take them up to three lines at Fort Totten, and now the new G9 would take them straight downtown after a half-mile walk to Rhode Island/18th. I think it’s a very good deal.

      • Oh, and it’s a quarter-mile from a sprawling park. And a brand new library being built to border it.

    • I feel like this is a good deal for a first-time buyer. It’s plenty big (for me at least) that the owner could live in it for a good 5 years or so and sell for a decent profit.

  • Lots of short sales and foreclosures in this association pop up in my “you might like.” Hard pass on paying full-price considering that.

    • Is 325k full price? Is going through the foreclosure process many times to get that deal worth it? I think all the foreclosures make me think it’s a better deal; it means it’s likely to be surrounded by flips and moneyed folks that flips bring pretty soon.

      • I don’t mean in the neighborhood, I mean IN this condo association. If people aren’t/can’t continue paying their mortgage, what are the odds they’re paying their condo fee? And then the association is either short of cash or raises everyone else’s fee to compensate. Buying a short sale is hell on earth, but foreclosures aren’t that much different from a standard sale (yes, a little harder, but not that bad).
        .
        Yes, this is “full price.” In the last year only 1-bedrooms have come up foreclosed, but sell for around or below $100K.

        • All good points. Sounds like a buyer here would have a lot of potential to take control of the HOA if owners are really checking out to that degree. I think a 100k foreclosure purchase (plus the cost of fixing up the place) and ending up with a place looking like this one in this neighborhood would be an even better deal than buying this place for 325k if you’re up for that challenge, definitely.

    • HaileUnlikely

      If a large number of units are behind on their condo fees, that may make it more difficult to obtain a mortgage to buy here. I personally wouldn’t worry about it, though, as in this sort of place, the HOA doesn’t really need to do anything (I mean yes, they technically have certain obligations, but it’s not as if you’re tethered to all of your fellow owners for repair of large common spaces, elevators, and other stuff such that if they come up short you are truly f*ed).

      • Fair point. Might be good for a buyer with HOA administration aspirations who’d be really good at just delaying things for some future time. May even be good to raise the fee a little while people aren’t paying attention to easily grab a small amount more from the wealthy people coming in who won’t think much of it. $162 is pretty low, though I don’t know if that covers water or anything.

        • HaileUnlikely

          In a place like this (where what each owner owns is is, structurally, basically just like any other rowhouse), it typically covers things like trash removal, lawn-mowing, maybe snow removal, maybe exterior maintenance (e.g., brick repointing, roof replacement, etc). It would usually not cover any utilities. There is a community that looks a whole lot like this, built around the same time, near me (in Takoma off of Blair). Their fees are a whole lot higher (like $400+/mo) and I can’t understand why. They repave their parking lot much more often than I would consider necessary, and would regard that as a big ol’ waste of everyone’s money, which is one of the main reasons I did not buy there (that along with the CSX freight train tracks being 50 feet away…)

          • Sounds about right. Seems like a lot of space between $162 and $400 to work this fee into then, while delaying repaving the parking lot for as along as possible.

      • I’m not sure you realize how condos work. The condo association fees are usually responsible for a lot of maintenance, repairs, and fixing any problems resulting from deferred maintenance – expensive projects like roof replacement, exterior facades including bricks, gutters and downspouts, fixing leaks, landscaping (which looks to be nicely kept up from the photos), insurance on the property, capital improvements to upgrade things like the amount of electricity coming into the condo, sometimes windows and fences. And it really does matter if people aren’t paying their condo fees. A condo that looks like a townhouse is a very different thing from a standalone townhouse.
        .
        That said, this is a lot of sq. ft, bedrooms and bathrooms, in good condition, for this price in DC, with low condo fees (though I’d want to know if they financed projects with assessments) and real estate taxes.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I do understand, and I recognize that all of that is literally true (unless the condo docs say otherwise). However, in a big building, it would be next to impossible to take care of something like the roof or electrical on your own if the HOA couldn’t or wouldn’t. In a townhouse, it isn’t physically or financially infeasible for an owner to fix their own roof or hire an electrician, though yes, I recognize that the HOA would likely frown upon it. What I mean is that, formalities of condo docs aside, the extent to which you are really truly dependent upon HOA fees paid by others to accomplish really important things that you really honest to goodness can’t do on your own is much much less in a townhouse that is called a condo than in a 50 unit building that is called a condo.

          • Well, I’ve seen what you are saying in a friend’s condo, which is a side by side duplex house, condo sort of in name only, where they replace their own roofs, and have, (but then, they look just like other side by side duplexes that are fee simple homes, so that makes sense there. Replacing your own roof in a place like this with many units is, I bet, completely not feasible.

  • It’s very Reston-esque, but I’m sure that a lot of people are looking for that.

    • Maybe the home itself. Certainly not the neighborhood if you move south at all or too far north.

    • I was thinking it looked more like the townhouses in North Arlington, which I kind of like for some reason. They’re not new/ugly/cheaply constructed enough to be indicative of Reston.

      • I think it looks like something built in the 80s. Things were built in all of these places in the 80s, and this resembles those places. But not the things in those places that weren’t built in the 80s, which would include the new things one may or may not associate with any particular jurisdiction if they are only familiar with the new things in them.

        • Ahh, the 80s. Back when they still built houses with brick, but the energy crisis was far enough in the past they that could put in normal-sized windows. Truly not the worst era for home construction.

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