Mon. Afternoon Rental Option – Owner Request

by Prince Of Petworth February 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm 29 Comments


This apartment is located at 14th and Irving Streets, NW:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“Now available APRIL 1 – This huge, (800+ sq. ft.) Bright (You won’t believe it’s a basement ) 1 bedroom apt. only 1/2 block from Columbia Heights Metro (Green/yellow line) and Target-DCUSA. 2 blocks to Wonderland! No boring white walls!

Rent is $1,500.00 – or $1,600.00 with private, off street PARKING. All new appliances, all mod cons, AC, WD, cable TV. (You pay electric) Wood & ceramic floors – no icky carpet. Use of patio, grill and raised-bed organic garden. Cats OK – Dogs with individual approval.”

Does $1500 or $1600 with parking sound reasonable?

  • Columbia Heights Boy

    That’s probably about right. Maybe $1400 would make it rent quicker though since it is a basement.

  • Caro

    Interesting advertising approach in the craigslist ad — I’ve never seen “there is also a homeless shelter two blocks away” or “you may still see drunks passed out by the metro station” in a apartment listing before. The honesty is actually sort of refreshing, but still a strange choice…

    • grumpy

      They’re probably just trying to preemptively weed out the people who hear that Columbia Heights is a “hip” place to live and then freak out when they see that not everyone in the neighborhood looks like they can afford a $1600 basement apartment.

  • RD

    Seems like a lot for a basement, but off street parking spot is key.

    did craigslist switch to a new model where you have to pay per letter? why would anyone write like this “All new appliances, all mod cons, AC, WD, cable TV. (You pay electric)?”

  • FoxyBrown

    You will “believe it is a basement” when you hear your neighbors stomping on the hardwood floors and love making over your head every night : )

    • Owner

      Actually, since it was built new with all the latest tech for extreme soundproofing, this isn’t a problem, but thanks for raising the issue, I’ll remember to add that to the next posting.

  • me

    If it were an above ground apartment, I’d say more than reasonable for the 800+ square feet. Since its a basement, it’s still reasonable — considering the availability off street parking, proximity to metro, and the use of the back yard and some utilities included. (Utilities being key — if they weren’t, then I’d say $1400 would be the better range)

  • b

    Not a good deal at all. Do people really rent $1500 basement apartments??

    • grumpy

      Believe me, I was thinking the same thing but the premium a landlord can get for a 1BR apt in this city is amazing and it kills me. That said, this looks really nice for being a basement.

      • grumpy

        oh, and it’s pet-friendly which can be hard to find around here

    • YES they do… we have finished our basement and 1,200 to 1,500 is the range but we intend to include utilities.

  • Me

    $1500 is that 1/2 the mortgage or 2/3? sounds like a rip off to me.

    • Why would the mortgage matter?
      What someone owes on a house or car or anything else requiring payments have little relation to what the market rate is, and market rate is what someone is willing to pay.
      For the area, plus parking, it seems around about right.

  • nonesuch

    I wouldn’t call it a “good deal” but I think it’s priced just about right. Being that close to everything you’ll probably rent it in a week or two.

  • I think this is actually very reasonable. It’s very close to the metro/all 14th street has to offer. And it’s big. It is a basement, but when I was looking on U street over the spring I saw basement 1 bedrooms for rent in the 1600/month range and that didn’t include utilities and they weren’t that big. Now – is it really a 1 bedroom? I’ve seen a lot of basements called 1 bedrooms but the bedroom didn’t have a door – it was just the layout made it feel like one… having a real bedroom makes a difference for me.

  • rocketnerd

    @Me4:50 – Does it really matter if it’s 1/2, 2/3, or all of the mortgage? The question is whether or not it’s a decent deal for the location, size, and condition.

    I’d say that for the metro access and off-street parking in this neighborhood, it seems fairly reasonable, though there’s some competition on craigslist…

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. It’s stupid when landlords set rent based on an arbitrary % of their mortgage, and it’s equally stupid when would-be tenants complain that they’re paying some ungodly % of the landlord’s mortgage. The market is what it is.

      Personally, my sense is that this place is priced about right, depending on which side of Irving it actually is. With utilities and a $100 parking space, plus backyard privileges (though try sorting out that one on Labor Day weekend), I imagine it will be rented out in 2-3 weeks, tops.

    • I’m confused as to why someone wouldn’t expect the rent to cover 100% of the mortgage? Personally, I wouldn’t rent out a condo unless it could cover my mortgage.

      • It’s the basement apartment in their house, not a condo, so “owner” lives upstairs.

  • Anon

    I like this ad. The owner has a sense of humor and sounds fun.

  • $1000….anything else is way over the top

  • Anonymous

    I checked this place out last year. Wish I had taken it.

  • Owner

    I appreciate all the comments – always interesting, sometimes amusing. (The bedroom does have a door! The photo only shows about 2/3 of the room.)

    When I rented this last year I asked $1,500 including parking. I held one open house and had 7, mostly couples, wanting it. Two begged, one bribed (computer upgrates and service as long as he lived here)and two offered more rent. So I thought I would charge extra for the parking. We’ll see what happens. People have different ideas of value and the market usually sorts it out.

  • mitchell_pgh

    OFF STREET PARKING… enough said.

    Off street parking is worth a minimum $150+ for good off street parking. Well worth the price for someone that will only be in the city for a year or so. You wouldn’t even need to get a DC plate.

  • T

    I pay $1825 for 850sf a block away (but aboveground), with W/D and a dog. This seems about right to me.

  • Matvey

    The basement bit is meh, but smaller places without off-street parking go for about the same in less-desirable places. A tad much for a singleton, but for a couple, even with moderate incomes (i.e. a teacher and a non-profitter), I’d bet it works out pretty well, especially with all that space.

  • LC

    I don’t think this is a good deal. I just moved out of a renovated 2 bedroom basement apartment on 11th and Eulid with two off street parking spaces washer dryer, plenty of storage etc. My rent was only $1650. Maybe I just got an awesome deal.

  • Me

    You can rent a whole house in this city for $2,600 and split the rent with 1+ other person(s) and come out ahead.

    Well informed people don’t let the “market” abuse them.

  • Davetser

    Oh pray tell where you can rent a house in the Columbia Heights / U Street corridor for $2,600/month? The point is if you rent in a desirable neighborhood close to Metro and other conveniences where everybody wants to live you will get more money. We have rented our basement unit which also does not look like or feel like a basement unit over the last 7 years and have never had a problem renting it. It currently rents for more than this ones asking price and we had numerous people interested as well. It always comes down to location and condition of the property. If you don’t want to pay the price that is your decision but there are numerous others that will.


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