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(Was it a) Good Deal or Not? “private roofdeck w/amazing city views & wetbar” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth April 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm 70 Comments

This condo is located at 1300 Euclid St, NW:

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The listing says:

“BRAND NEW & fabulous Penthouse w/2BR+den/2BA in a gorgeous converted c.1900 boutique 6 unit Victorian mansion. Garage pking for $35k. High-end finishes incl,gourmet kit w/white Italian marble counters, Maple HWD floors, spa styled BAs, private roofdeck w/amazing city views & wetbar, perfect location near metro. Columbia Hts & U St.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

The 2 bed/2 bath penthouse was listed at $789,000 but has already gone under contract since the reader sent the request last week. You can see the other units available here. We last took a look at the outside of the house back in Jan. 2012.

  • Tim
  • Anonymous

    This is an apartment that I would kill for. Love everything about it. Although the first bedroom is little weird. With the round bay windows I would turn it into an office, library or crafts room. All the sunlight makes it perfect.

    • Anonymous

      I think that might be a den..maybe? The doors don’t really scream “i’m a bedroom” to me.

  • monkeyrotica

    Too bad it’s on Euclid.

    • cbr


  • Anonymous

    Wow, this is so incredible.

  • The sanity of anyone spending nearly 800K for a 2 bedroom condo on Euclid aside, this just goes to show that there is a ton of money to be made in this town on RE. Cap City does an ok job, generally better quality than most of the quick flip stuff on the market and this corner house had amazing presence to begin with.

    Spend 950K on the house, put 600-700K into it on the build out (~1.6 million total), and list all the condos for a grand total of 2.7 million.

    Even if they discount all the remaining condos 10% to sell them, these folks made a quick ~1 million dollars profit in 7 months.

    Good for them.

  • Anonymous

    Why would you put a wetbar [sic] on a roofdeck [sic]? It would freeze up in the winter and make a huge mess.

    • I am sure there is a water shut off valve. Whether or not the owner remembers to turn it off is another matter.

      For the record, I didn’t intend on sounding harsh earlier. I am a huge fan of gentrification in DC, especially in places like Columbia Heights as frankly…it is the only solution to the local problems.

      And this is exactly how it happens…old rundown house with a 3K a year property tax bill, split into 6 residences to be occupied by upwardly mobile and well earning professionals with the disposible incomes to match who collectively now pay the city ~24K a year in property tax.

      Block by block…this is progress.

      • Jes

        I went to the open house, I live on the block and had been dying to see the results. The wet bar is in the vestibule on the roof. There’s a galley wet bar parallel to the stairs, then what is a small seating area inside, then the outdoor space. The plumbing is interior.

    • Look at the photos–the wetbar is inside the house in the bulkhead. The roofdeck is accessed through sliding doors on the bulkhead. Freezing pipes are not an issue.

    • anon2

      You are super douchey for the [sic]s. Honestly. Even actual journalists use those with extreme care.

      • professional editor

        Word. Save the “[sic]”s for “dinning room,” “renown architect,” and the like.

      • Anonymous

        And calling someone out for defending proper spelling is extra super douchey. I hope you’re not an actual journalist.

  • anonnn

    i really just can’t afford this city anymore

    • Anonymous

      I always find these comments amusing. I’m sure you could find a baller place in Detroit that costs $800k, but you probably wouldn’t say the entire city is unaffordable.

      • anony

        It’s a valid comment. This is a street with, statistically speaking, a higher concentration of gun violence, and it a condo that still went for damn near $800k. Granted, it’s near a lot of good stuff and is sweet as hell, but that is a rather off putting price for the 99% :)

      • PJYinCapRiverFront

        You could absolutely find a baller place in Detroit for 800k.

        But the fact that THIS 2 bedroom in THIS location is going for 800k is a little ridiculous. There’s no harm in pointing that out.

        You’re not suggesting that people in Detroit actually could get 800k for a 2 bedroom unit, are you? Because I just perused the MLS and while there is a 29th floor penthouse available in Detroit for 1.2 million, it is 3500 Sq feet and has 3 beds and 4 baths. It is significantly less per sq.ft — and it is STILL a “by appointment only” listing where you need to show a pre-approval before touring the property.

        Any other place in Detroit for 800k is going to have 9 beds.

        If you want to minimize the ridiculousness of the DC housing market, you’re going to need to pick a better control sample than Detroit.

        • Anonymous

          My point was you can find really really really nice places that cost more than the comps, anywhere. That doesn’t mean that’s a normal price for a normal property of the same size in the same location.

          • Anonymous

            Also, I agree that this price is ridiculous. But it’s silly to moan aobut not being able to afford anything because of one ridiculously priced condo.

        • classic_six

          on point.

      • Grand Funk

        Heck, for $583k you could’ve gotten the Pontiac Silverdome (a 70k seat arena which was once the home of the Detroit Lions). That’s one big loft!


  • Anonymous

    That is NOT a good area to be in….particularly in the summer months. Way overpriced – sketchy area in Columbia Heights. No.

    • Anonymous

      13th & Euclid is far from dangerous. I’ve lived on this block for a year and never once have I felt in any sort of danger. If you’ve got a head on your shoulders there’s nothing to worry about.

    • Anonymous

      That must be a troll post. Dude has no clue about the area.

  • eli
  • Anon

    Wow – 800K for 2BR in Columbia Heights? Probably not a good deal, though it is a beautiful property. How long do we think it will take for the new owners to make a profit on it? Could you ever (realistically) sell it for more when there are other (perhaps mroe desirable) neighborhoods with similar price ranges?

    • To make a profit on it?

      Well, having seen some of the larger condos at Kenyon Sq (right above the metro on 14th) that originally sold in 2008 being resold for at most, the previous purchase price, I think it will be 7 years before someone can sell this and walk away from settlement without having paid anything.

      Just the selling costs for a seller alone total a minimum of 7% (6% for realtors and another 1-2% in transaction costs) meaning they would have to sell it for ~856K just to break even. Making a profit it another matter.

  • Anonymous

    I have to wonder whether any of the commenters who assert that 13th and Euclid is a bad area have actually lived in that area. I lived on that block for two years and never had any problems. Yes, there is gun crime, but that is found everywhere and generally the crime is that area is gang on gang. Euclid is perfectly situated between U street and Columbia Heights and about a mile to Dupont and Adams Morgan. You are close to several grocery stores, bus lines, and metro stops. That said, I can’t imagine paying almost 800k for a piece of a house, especially in an area where you can get a whole house for that price. But that’s just me and I realize that some people like the convenience of a condo. Looking at the area comps, the price per square foot is in line with other listings and recent sales. So good deal? No. Fair deal? Yes.

    • PJYinCapRiverFront

      I’d bet that the comps work out assuming that you’re counting the outdoor space as part of the unit’s livable space. I think this is where some comparisons can break down. A backyard on a SFH is a bonus, you don’t factor it in to the $/sf of the unit to make it seem like a cheaper place. And yet I feel like this is done with condos’ roofdecks/balconies all the time. Am I wrong in that? I might be, just asking.

      Regarding your statement on crime… your statement reassuring people that most of the gun violence on the block of this 800k 2 BR unit is “gang-on-gang” actually just underscores how far down the rabbit hole we’ve come on CoHi real estate. That statement would make heads spin in 99% of America, including the vast majority of urban environs.

    • “Yes, there is gun crime, but that is found everywhere and generally the crime is that area is gang on gang.”

      No, there’s not gun crimes in similar numbers everywhere. According to MPD, there’s been 2 homicides, 72 robberies (excluding guns), 12 robberies (with guns), 24 ADW’s (excluding guns), 7 ADW’s (with guns), and 5 sex abuse crimes in the last 365 days. That’s many more than in other parts of the city and certainly not all gang-on-gang. And that’s not counting the 357 property crimes. So, the fact that someone paid $800,000 to live on that neighborhood shows that markets are not rational and that the poor buyer overpaid. Until people stop buying homes for some future speculative profit and buy them because the neighborhood warrants the sales price, foolish decisions like this will continue to be made.

      • Anonymous

        Why do you assume that this person is buying the condo for some future speculative profit? Perhaps the buyer likes the area of the city, likes the finishes, wanted something brand spanking new, and plans to live there for years. Perhaps the buyer doesn’t have children/doesn’t plan on having children, so schools are not a factor. Perhaps the buyer doesn’t want the hassle of owning and maintaining a house. Perhaps the buyer doesn’t care to live in a supposedly safer, yet less convenient, area of the city. The comp that someone suggested was a better deal sold for $479/square foot. This condo is certainly not the most expensive listing in the area if you look at price per square foot. Sure, maybe the roof deck area is included in total area, but even excluding the deck space, the price is still inline with other listings/recently sold units in that area (and indeed, is a better deal than other units in the same building!). Note this listing . . . at $568 a square foot on arguably a less desirable corner (both in terms of crime, availability of parking, and metro proximity).


        I think you are too quick to judge the intelligence of the buyer and the supposed foolishness of their decision in purchasing this property. While you may not be able to afford the unit or be willing to purchase the unit, it doesn’t make the purchase a bad deal.

        • The irony is that the only way this purchase would make sense is if it was sitting on an oil well or if some super-special development that was going to send house prices soaring was being built nearby. Since neither of those things have been mentioned, I’ll assume they don’t exist. What’s left behind is paying more than three-quarters of a million dollars for a condo, nice as it may be, in a crime-ridden area that probably will not be changing as quickly as many would hope. That does not equate to a good decision for most people. But if the buyer is happy, good for him or her. Hopefully he or she has a full understanding of what they’re trading for a few shiny upgrades.

      • well said “theheights”

    • Also not understanding the hate by some people on this area of the city. I have lived on the same block as this condo for the last 3 years and have never really felt like its a bad neighborhood or unsafe.

      I do think the condo a little pricey for the area but not excessively so. Especially with how convenient it is to U St, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan.

  • PJYinCapRiverFront

    This contract feels like a shark jumping moment for CoHi real estate.

    The hype of CoHi has so overwhelmed the facts of the neighborhood (crime, schools, etc) that 2 bedroom units on Euclid are going for Manhattan prices. 800k? Really? on Euclid? And parking doesn’t even convey with that 800k?

    It’s a great neighborhood, and I’m not knocking it for anyone that chooses to live there. But it isn’t THIS great.

    • H Street Landlord


      Manhattan price per sq ft is usually at least twice as much as this unit. Try again.

  • DEEE-luxe apartment in the sky on 13th and Euclid. Damn, long way from the 80s/90s.

  • Josh

    Am I wrong to think this is crazy overpriced for this area? You can still buy entire townhouses for that much in Columbia Heights. Pretty sure there was a townhouse just over a block from here on Fairmont, three floors including English basement, part/all of it newly renovated, that sold for $750 recently.

    • And that large row house on Park at 13th for 730K with rentable english basement etc.

      I like that this is happeneing in the neighborhood but I agree with the folks above in that it is highly ridiculous and seems to be a popular neighborhood for people with more money than brains.

    • It’s not overpriced because someone bought it.

      • Josh

        Well, um, people overpay for things all the time. The fact that a transaction occurred doesn’t make it a good deal. People do a really bad job spending their money some times and this is a perfect example, given comps in this neighborhood.

      • PJYinCapRiverFront

        Ha! Someone took econ 101! Unfortunately, there’s a reason why the rest of the economics curriculum exists — mainly to caveat all the reasons why this simple theory of markets does not actually explain or predict anything worthwhile.

        To put it bluntly, tens of millions of Americans are now underwater or near underwater on home mortgages because “the market” at a particular time told them that a house was fairly priced, and because their willingness to pay for that house given that market value made sense.

        Now, ask those Americans that bought homes in 2006 when all the market experts said that real estate was going through the roof whether their homes were overvalued and/or overpriced. A contract price is a snapshot of market conditions at the time of purchase. It is not always going to be an indicator of the home’s real value.

        • classic_six

          Econ 101 predicts theories, not real life. I think there are a few other reasons why so many homeowners are/were underwater or near underwater on their mortgages. As for the “real” value of a property, so many factors (real and not real) play a part of affecting the value of something, of which some are constantly moving factors.

          • classic_six

            My brain is in too many places – it should be effecting.

          • You were right the first time!

          • classic_six


            thank you, thank you, and thank you for watching out for all of my errors and typos. I had to get back to my program that was beating me at the time. It was/is new for me and I thought I had lost what I had worked on, it disappeared on me. I found my stuff, though. Anyway, you are right – it is the first.

            I don’t want to make assumptions but do you proofread/copyedit? (You don’t have to answer, of course, if you’re not comfortable doing so.)

          • I do (as part of my job), but I try not to do so with regard to fellow PoP commenters — it would be bad manners, IMO.

            I was pointing this out only because you were correct before you second-guessed yourself. :)

          • classic_six

            I knew it was right the first time after I already pressed “send” on the second so there wasn’t much I could do about it. Anyway, I didn’t mind your comment; I’m sure it can be annoying to have someone “correct” you or “point out mistakes” but it depends upon how it is done.

  • no way I would ever call this a good deal. CH and almost $800k for a CONDO??? or $825K if you want parking too. I would love to know what the monthly fees will be.

  • lars

    This one is quite interesting to me. I just don’t quite get how people decide which places to buy and which not to.

    My little house in the neighborhood has all the stuff this one does (2 bed 2 bath). It’s not a brand new renovation, but it’s fine. No penthouse view, but it also has a back yard and a garage. And yes mine is further from U Street.

    Mine would not appraise at anywhere NEAR this level, not even half, and yet they are very similar.

    People with that kind of money are smart. And so I would expect them to buy a house more like mine and put the other $500K in the bank. So who is buying this???

    And how the heck did the bank get it to appraise at $800K? Or maybe it won’t…

    • Hmmm. No, I don’t see how these are “very similar.” An “it’s fine” house cannot compete with a brand new renovation with views of the city. Nothing against your beautiful home (no sarcasm here) but what many fail to see is that some buyers don’t buy t make money, many don’t are to e bothered with updating a house and at those price levels the buyers are looking for comfort and lifestyle. Long live the 1%!

    • classic_six

      Why are you grouping people together: “…people with that kind of money are smart…”!? There are all sorts of people at all income levels.

  • Joe C

    If you were to pay list for this property + parking, the mortgage and taxes (assuming 10% down) would be $4,000/month not including PMI. It is quite a nice unit, but I don’t see how the numbers work out. For that kind of money, you could get a similar unit on top of the Metro at Highland Park.

    Also, what type of person would spring for a 2br + Den condo at $800k? A young family? Wouldn’t they prefer a townhouse? A childless couple? Retirees? Is there an elevator?

    I don’t get the appeal. Reminds me of a 2br basement apartment around 18th and U that sold for > $700k.

    • Anonymous

      When I first moved to the area I lived in a luxury condo building– the units were very tiny but very expensive, with the 3-bedrooms selling for over a million. It was mostly elderly retirees that lived there. This was in Alexandria, though– I’m not sure if that demographic would be interested in Columbia Heights.

  • TJ

    Euclid between 14th and 11th is really beautiful. Fair deal.

    Bet the views from the roof deck are fantastic being right at the top of the hill on 13th.

    • Anonymous

      +1 – I have spent Fourth of July on a roof deck on that street. Amazing view of the city and especially the fireworks on the 4th.

  • L

    I agree this seems pricey, but taking into account that the square footage is a massive 1,928 Sq Ft and the condo fee is only 300/month, this doesn’t seem terribly unreasonable. I currently rent a condo a few blocks away and have looked at a lot of rowhouses for sale around 600-800k, and while they are nice, a condo can give you a lot more open space. A lot of the rowhouses all have the same narrow layout and little light.

    • If the condo fee really is only $300/month, the buyer better be ready for some fun surprise assessments down the road. Low condo fees are always celebrated in these real estate postings, but that doesn’t make much sense considering repairs will have to be paid for at some point. If the money isn’t there, the unit owners still will have to pay.

      • L

        Sure, but you have to pay assessments when you buy a house too, it’s just not called that because no one is sharing the cost of the roof with you when it needs repairs. People always say that low condo fees are a bad sign, but if the building only has a few units in it, not as much is going to need to be fixed, the common areas will be smaller, you probably won’t have door staff, etc.

        Of course, I say this only speculatively. But as someone who is currently renting in a relatively large condo building, I know the fees are super high and the assessments are as well. It seems like a smaller building wouldn’t cost as much to fix, run, etc., even considering there are less people to split the cost with.

  • not a careful reader

    what are the condo fees? was it not posted, or did i miss it?

  • NoLongerNew2CH

    Wow. A very similar penthouse unit (developed by the same company) sold on the corner of Park and 13th (which I think is a better location, certainly a lot closer to all the new restaurants and such on 11th Street plus a shorter walk to metro, DCUSA, etc.) sold within the last year for, if memory serves (and I could be wrong) around 100k less. This has a bit more space and better architectural details, but even with a parking space included, I see this unit as worth around 700-720k (so basically, 100k less than it apparently went for). This price just seems crazy high for a two bedroom in that location. And really, beyond the amazing roof deck, it isn’t really particularly pimped out relative to other area condos.

    • Anonymous

      You are correct about the top unit at 13th & Park, because I bought it. At the time, I was concerned that I might be overpaying because it was “just a condo.” But I liked it a lot and I wasn’t primarily buying it for its investment value. Seeing this one go for so much more does make me feel a little better, though.

  • $789K for a condo. I don’t get it. Yes it is a very nice condo but still…

    • +1.

      IMO, fee simple (i.e., house) is the way to go.

      The condo fees (which I’d imagine aren’t low) probably make this $789K condo the equivalent of an $850K-ish fee simple house.

  • eli

    Although I questioned the value of this deal, I must admit that I generally prefer a condo to a row house at this stage of my life (late 20s DINK). I would take a modern-style, well-designed condo with lots of open space over an equally priced row house with smaller rooms in a more traditional style. Most of the modern-style (not to be confused with “contemporary”) row houses I see in hip neighborhoods go for much more than modern-style condos. Of course, if a row house really were equal to a similarly priced condo in terms of features and aesthetics, I’d probably go with the row house. I just rarely find that actually to be the case.

  • I think it’s gorgeous. Would I consider buying it if I had the money. Um, no. $800K for 2 BR/2 BA in CH wouldn’t be worth it to me. Each to their own, though.

  • After reading all this – My brain hurts!!!!

  • JRo64

    Before the former owners sold the house, I got a chance to tour the basement apartment. It was fricking HUGE – lots of light and a working fireplace. And the coolest part was the larger bedroom, which was in the round room. I wanna see what they did to the basement apartment. The other units are like something out HGTV’s Income Property.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think this building have the view of the city. Isn’t clifition terrace in front of it? Probably the best view of downtown is from Highview apartment, clifiton terrace condos/apartments, and maybe Belmont street houses.


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