Mon. Afternoon Rental Option – Starting a Group House Follow Up – U St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth September 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm 74 Comments

This rental is located at 11th NW at V St NW:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“The house was built before the Civil War. It is what you’d expect from a pre-air conditioning, pre-Home Depot house: hardwood floors, lots of plaster, remarkably high ceilings, radiator heating, front and back yard, floors are mostly level. But we just finished a major renovation, so the kitchen is entirely new, the floors and walls are pristine, the wiring is certified to not start fires, and the foundation is now structurally sound.

Yes, every ad says this, but we mean it: this is a great location. You can walk a leisurely pace to the U Street Metro entrance in two and a half minutes. If you’re a music buff, we’re on the same block as Bohemian Caverns, and about three blocks from the 9:30 club, Twins Jazz, DC9, Velvet Lounge, and U Street Music Hall, and are five blocks to the Black Cat and Subterranean A. For the restauranteurs and bar-hoppers, this isn’t by the U Street strip—it’s _on_ the strip: the house is zoned Commercial, which is why some of the townhouses on this side of the block are taken up by restaurants (Chix, the Greek Spot, Tap & Parlour).

There will be five people living here, including ourselves. More about us: the 36-year old guy’s job title is statistician, but he swears to you that he is at least vaguely interesting. The 27-year old gal is an analyst for a well-known government bureaucracy; she frequently hosts game nights. Both have been living in the mid-Atlantic long enough to be really used to the humidity.

Room #1, facing 11th street: 215 sq feet, $1200/month

Room #2, North-facing: 150 square feet, $1050/month

Room #3, back-yard facing: 180 sq feet, five and a half windows, $1200/month

In case the numbers don’t give you an image, the rooms (esp. #1) are big enough for you to have your queen-sized bed, a full-sized desk, and still have room to walk around. They’re not just a place to sleep, but a space where you can actually spend time doing whatever it is that you do. Being a group house, everybody has the run of the first floor (~870 square feet).

Some bullet points:

* New washer/dryer right by the newly renovated kitchen.

* The kitchen is meat-free. The successful applicant will think this is awesome and not a constraint.

* About that back yard: if you can successfully garden, please do. I’d estimate it’s maybe 400 sq ft of farmable back yard. It’s fenced in with the yard of the church admin building, so the total space is suburban yard sized.

* If there are N people in the house, you pay 1/N of the utilities, including FiOS Internet, gas, electric, and house cleaning (which is essential if there are five people living here). The house has no phone lines. We’ve installed a high-efficiency boiler and lots of insulation, and the house was designed to stay naturally cool in summer, so the bills shouldn’t be too high.

* Parking: the house doesn’t have off-street parking. For what it’s worth, you can get a zone permit from the city. Did we mention that you can get from the front door to the U St Metro station in two and a half minutes, and that there’s a Capital Bikeshare bay still closer, and that walkscore.com gives the location a rating of “walker’s paradise”?

* We’re next door to a church. So we effectively have no neighbors in the evenings, but you only get to sleep in until about 10:30 Sunday morning. The church is often a-rockin’ Wednesday evenings.

* No pets. Srsly. The guy sneezes, a lot.

This is a follow up to the how to start a group home discussion from last week. $1050 and $1200 sound realistic?


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