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Wed. Afternoon Rental Option – Columbia Heights

by Prince Of Petworth — January 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm 38 Comments

This rental is located at 1107 Clifton Street, NW:

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The listing says:

“Brand new luxury renovation. Never lived in! Open kit w/ granite & stainless appliances. Exposed brick in living rm & bedrm. Recessed lights. Huge spa bath w/ rainfall shower & multiple heads. Tons of closet space. Rent includes monitored alarm & water/sewer. Perfect location close to Columbia Heights & U Street Metros, Target, restaurants and more. Easy access to downtown. Pets case by case.”

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $2,150/Mo.

  • I think this is absolutely overpriced. I realize that the market in Columbia Heights is hot for rental units, and this is a nice renovation – but it’s still a basement apartment with low ceilings and little light. There are units out there that are about the same price or slightly less that are above ground and comparable quality.

    Saw something on another blog mentioning how rental prices are starting to fall due to the glut of new buildings becoming available now – next year. Hope that is true…

    • P&L

      Hi Inave and Popville,

      My wife and I are the owners of this unit and I seem to have won the bet that the grumbling would come out early on the pricing (I read PoP often). In summary: It’s about average for pricing these days but for this quality we think it’s a great deal. Please read below.

      The fact of the matter is that this is indeed as someone put not “10 years ago” and rent has gone up tremendously over the past few years. This is our first DC rental unit and we thought long and hard on how much to charge for it. In the end we used an aggregate system of rental listings from search engines such as hotpads, truilia/redfin etc (MLS listings).

      For example I encourage you to run a comparable search in hotpads
      According to their database the median price for 1BR in the Columbia Heights area is 2750$ and this is 22.1% below that. Granted this takes into account all rental 1BR listings (so above ground also). Also please note that some go for cheaper (1500-1800) but are NOT renovated to this quality. Please compare apples to apples 🙂
      With that in mind we went out of our way to build it in a way that it does not feel like a basement unit (as much as that is possible). We widened all windows and you also get a patio area with a fountain. There are so many other features I would not do it justice here (such as the massive custom closets throughout and the multi head spa shower with a rain tile). Combine that with the view of greenspace in front of the house (we are looking out onto the Cardozo peace garden) and you have a lovely unit.
      I encourage you to swing by and check it out then give a review 🙂

      P.S: Crime has gotten a LOT better; yes still some incidents here and there.. but that’s DC. Keep in mind this unit comes with ADT Pulse and Outside Video Surveillance (both smart device interface-able) included in the rent.

      • RP

        I agree with others – I could see this priced for $1900, but not $2000+ and definitely not $2100+. You say we must compare apples to apples, but then post median rents for 1BR apartments in the neighborhood, many of which are luxury units in buildings with amenities, not basements – that’s not apples to apples.

        I think you might find a taker at this price eventually – desperate people will overpay out of desperation. But who do you see as your target audience for this unit? For $1800-$1900 you’d probably get a lot more applications and more potential tenants to select from. If you live in this house and it’s your primary asset, I’d think finding great long-term tenants would be more important than an extra couple of bucks per month, but that’s just me.

      • jeff

        As @nesta32 mentioned earlier, this is as expensive as a 1 bedroom fetches in the highland park complex in the dead center of Columbia heights and literally on top of the metro entrance. That includes 24 hr concierge, full gym/work out studio, rooftop, business center, party room and onsite maintenance. There are bars to choose from on either side of the main entrance and numerous other retail/ restaurants within a block.

        Clearly is is an example of a “comp” with far better amenities/location/value with this exact price range, its hard to justify why one would pick this instead (if this is their budget range).

        The owner cant just use comps but actually see what the tenants will be comparing to for options. Most of them are class A luxury apartments in prime locations/ amenities that stretch beyond mere interior renovation quality. If they had done individual searches instead of finding the median price and deducting X%, they might have uncovered this.

        floorplan B3- $2105

  • Anononymous

    Around the corner (13th and Clifton) you can get a 2BR for ~$300 less. While this unit is beautiful and the location is pretty good (if you don’t mind being mugged once in awhile), it’s priced waaaaay too high. $1500-1800 would be more reasonable.

  • $2150? For a one bedroom in Columbia Heights? That must be a typo.

    • Anonymous

      … but it has stainless steel, granite, and exposed bricks

  • This is STUPID how overpriced this is.

    Nice finishes, but it is still a basement. Street crime, while not an everyday occurrence, is still an issue here.

    You’re directly across from Cardoza, so you get to listen to construction noise for next few years.

    Your also a stones throw from Garfield Terrace and all the lovely kids with their rocks. So enjoy that.

  • Way overpriced. I live in Highland Park above the metro and I think that is about what you would pay there. Has a gym too.

  • These appliances look nice, but I’d really love it if these builders would put some thought into the planning of the equipment in the kitchen. That kitchen looks like a nightmare to cook in. I wonder if there is an exhaust fan anywhere?

    • Joe and Angie

      ^that’s a great point, you’re basically cooking in your living room with this layout and paying a S*** ton of money to do so. $2,150 to live in Columbia Heights in a basement…LULZ

      Can you even imagine hearing something like this 10 to 15 years ago when this neighborhood was one of the largest open air drug markets in the city.

    • RyanD
      • warderdc

        Hah! I think you are right and that is hilarious.

        • anon

          Hilarious and completely against code. Kitchen vents have to be designed to handle grease that will get sucked up into them. For anybody who cooks regularly that vent will have a useful life likely shorter than their lease. If it doesn’t catch on fire first.

          If the renovators made a common sense mistake like that, what else did they skimp on?

          • jajajuliane

            I didn’t think there was a residential code mandating kitchen exhaust/recirculating fans? Either way.. this fan is useless, as are most recirculating fans…

          • P&L

            Hello! The owner here.

            I specified the CFM to the contractor and they put this in as a “viable unit”. We used it to cook something and it seemed fine, but very good point on the grease issue. I will be talking with the contractor to see if we can switch it out prior to someone moving in.

            Also we had a bazillion inspectors come through from the city to get our CofO and none of them said it was an issue or we would have fixed.. but now I am curious as well if this is in the code and will check.

    • TG

      I had that same question. I have never seen a stove in a location like that with no exhaust. I thought maybe it was a self venting stove.

  • UStreeter

    If you’re saying overpriced…you haven’t looked for an apartment lately. Maybe 100 bucks less…but this hasn’t gone for $1,500 in 10 years.

    • Anonymous

      There are openings in the same neighborhood with more space for less money that aren’t basements. I pay 1850 for a slightly less modern 2BR a few blocks away, and I know quite a few others in the neighborhood paying similar rents. 1BRs in the buildings I’ve looked at in the past year were ranging from 14-17, so I added a bit more for the reno, as it does look like a nice basement. No way anyone should spend 2k for it, though.

    • As someone who was apartment searching hardcore in Columbia Heights 3 years ago, I’d say umm no, you’re wrong. Places like this were around $1800 then max. 10 years ago the area around Columba Heights metro (which had only recently been completed) was very barren. I doubt there were any basement apartments like this then.

      As for now, I don’t know. Seems a little steep considering it is a basement apartment. If it were above ground, seems about right or even a good deal.

  • Also, I think that the units in that large building at the corner of 13th and Clifton are about $600 – $700 dollars less, and they are above ground.

  • anon

    I live in a similar apartment one block from here. It costs $1350 a month.

  • Anonymous

    It seems we have crossed the Rubicon. Gross.

  • Links to all these much cheaper places? I have a friend who’s looking.

  • One word… Redonkulous!

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. I bet you could find something comparable (ie, a basement unit) in dupont for that amount.

    • monkeyrotica

      Sure, but you’re a block from Euclid. When’s the last time you got mugged in Dupont? You can’t buy convenience like that.

      • Caleb

        Friends were mugged in Dupont just before the holidays and others back in the summer, both by gunpoint. Careful out there folks, a walk five blocks south doesn’t make you less susceptible to falling victim to criminals.

        • monkeyrotica

          I know three people who’ve been mugged on that block of Euclid/Clifton in the past year. All of them were messing with their iPhones at the time they got jacked.

  • jajajuliane

    Love that window in the bathroom… looking out into a garage filled with cardboard boxes..?

  • bcde

    I guess you can’t blame a new landlord for trying but this is laughable. $1600 max for a basement like this.

  • Alan

    It’s still probably not quite close enough to the metro either. Probably still looking at a 10 minute walk so you don’t get an accessibility premium. But you are right on U St and 11 is really evolving. Hmm if it wasnt a basement it might fly. I feel like you have to knock off a couple of hundred because of that.

  • Emily

    Waaaaay overpriced. Also, I would never rent a place without a bathtub, I just don’t consider it a full bathroom without one. Trendy or not. Nice tiling though.


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