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Good Deal or Not? “Most affordable housing in NW DC!” edition

by Prince Of Petworth January 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm 60 Comments

1457 Park Road Northwest

This unit is located at 1457 Park Road, Northwest:

columbia_heights_99_thousand_For_sale

The listing says:

“One of five units available, prices ranging from $99,000 – $325,000. Most affordable housing in NW DC! Ideally located one block from the Columbia Heights Metro and all of the shops and restaurants in Columbia Heights. Ask agent about financing options, high investor ratio. Owner occupants ONLY! OPEN HOUSE 1/19 2-4PM”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This efficiency is going for $99,000 ($143 monthly fee.)

  • Anonymous

    The catch is the “kitchen”. Still, a wonderful deal for someone who doesn’t cook much.

    • Anonymous

      Also, does anyone know where you can get one of those teeny sink/stove units? That would be nice for the bachelor efficiency I’m creating in my basement.

      • textdoc

        Not sure where you can get one new, but my plumbing company had a guy who was offering to sell me one he had when I was putting in a basement kitchen. I ended up opting for full-size or close-to-full-size components (regular-sized stove, 10.7-cu.-ft. fridge, 17″ x 22″ sink installed in cabinet), but I can look for his info if you’re interested in buying his (if he still has it).

      • 17thSter

        Check out M and M appliance on 6201 Blair Rd NW, Washington, DC 20011
        They have a lot of those “apartment” sized appliances. I’ve used them before for my studio.

    • Wobble

      People have made snarky comments about the compact kitchen. I actually think that we need smaller options in this country. Europe and Latin America (I was just in Ecuador, don’t insist that all kitchen appliances be large.

      For a small apartment, you don’t have to have huge appliances to cook a good meal. America seems to have this “bigger is better” complex, rather that going for appropriate-size, quality homes.

      • Anonymous

        I agree to a point, I have a 2/3 size fridge and stove and my counter is 18 inches x 18 inches, and I cook and entertain all of the time without problem. But here you have a kitchen with no place to even store a cup or plate, or to put table so you have a surface for a cutting board (well, OK, maybe one that lays across the sink). There’s not even a place to put a microwave!! And that is a teeny fridge that likely has no freezer (or no freezer you can keep more than 6 ice cubes in).

      • Caroline

        I agree. I do a ton of cooking and baking so I appreciate my normal-sized (by DC standards) kitchen. But I could certainly get by with less. It’s pretty unusual for me to have all four burners going at once, and most prep work can be done on a table or small area of counter. People think they need lots of counter space for their appliances, but unless it’s a big/heavy appliance or one that gets used everyday it can be stored elsewhere.

      • Anonymous

        Those people must eat most of their food out of cans, because a big kitchen most certainly makes it easier to cook anything elaborate.

        • I cooked professionally – and pretty elaborately – on charter yachts in a galley kitchen maybe 4×8 feet. It takes some planning, but really is not that hard.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever you save on housing you’ll spend eating out. That is the saddest “kitchen” I’ve ever seen.

    • Alan

      But I do that anyway…

      • Anonymous

        Where’s Justin?

    • Caroline

      I know a lot of people that never or rarely cook a meal at home. They might as well have a scaled-down kitchen. Lots of people in DC are hardly ever home and just need a decent place to sleep and store their belongings, and this looks perfect for them.

      • Anonymous

        Except for the storage part….

        • Caroline

          You just get a shelving unit or drawers or whatever. My pots and pans are stored on something that’s technically a bookshelf.

          • Anonymous

            The main room is pretty small – you’ve already got to add a wardrobe and now a shelving unit b/c there are no cabinets or drawers?

  • Anonymous

    #crockpot

  • The kitchen can be improved. For $99k, that seems worth it.

    • textdoc

      +1. I’m wondering what the dimensions of the kitchen actually are; it looks like it might fit a smallish fridge, a regular or maybe narrower-than-regular stove, and a smallish sink.
      .
      I also wonder if there’s a 240V supply nearby. If there is, that would make putting in a proper stove feasible; if it’s not, that might explain why the owner has one of those compact units that requires only a regular 120V supply.

    • ShawGuy

      Take a close look – the “kitchen” seems to also be the only closet in the unit.

  • spartanindc

    For the enterprising philanderer who wants all of the comforts of a hotel room, but not the credit card paper trail.

    • Anonymous

      I could never have sex in this place. Your bed is practically next to the front door and EVERYONE will hear your business. There’s simply no privacy in this place – you’re essentially living in the hallway.

      • Anonymous

        I wouldn’t have any problem doing it in this place. In case anybody was wondering.

        And that big wire dangling down in the kitchen can’t possibly be to code.

  • Anonymous

    This is perfect for a commuter. Someone who lives elsewhere but works 2 days a week in DC, like a senior professor. I know a couple people who have this kind of place in New York, and even make a buck via Air B&B on weekends. Good deal (provided the building isn’t a rat infested hellhole with flickering lights and a methlab next door).

    • Anonymous

      This would be a great buy for a Mount Pleasant family who wants to have a nearby full time foreign nanny, but doesn’t have the space for her to live in the house. I’m sure the nanny would also appreciate the privacy.

    • Anonymous

      Says owner occupant only. I wonder if that’s in the condo regs.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, this would work for someone who is in town only Monday-Thursday and just needs a place to sleep, keep a toothbrush, hang some shirts, and maybe make some coffee in the morning.

    • Anonymous

      This would be perfectly normal in most of the world. Even in wealthy developed countries it’s common to live in a tiny studio with a tiny kitchen and no closets. Maybe this unit will appeal to a European expat.

  • Anonymous

    “Housing” or jail cell? Even by studio standards, that’s extremely small (278 sq feet). $358/foot.

  • Alan

    I saw that an almost went in and then was decided I didnt want to deal with whatever the bullshit ended up being.

  • Mike

    What’s the condo fee on this? I’ve noticed a lot of listings lately that don’t show the fee…

    • It says it right on the line with the price – ($143 monthly fee.)

      • Mike

        Thanks PoP! I think I was looking on both the PoP page for it and the longandfoster listing and couldn’t find it at either – just the post here…

        • No problem, unfortunately the real estate page itself pulls directly from MRIS and it often gets missed which is why I always make sure to include here :)

  • Anonymous

    Is there really no closet, or did I miss something?

    • 17thSter

      I thought I saw a bar for a “closet” in the “kitchen”.

    • emilysquirrely

      Yeah, that was my thought. There is literally no storage space as it currently exists.

      • Anonymous

        There are entire rowhouses in DC that have this “problem”. You can just use a wardrobe like the Victorians did. That’s what we do.

        • Anonymous

          A small wardrobe takes up 5% of this apartment!

  • BikeGIRL

    What do people think of the 1 and 2 bdrms also listed? GDoN?

    • Anonymous

      The 1BR seems to be the best deal – really nice layout and open floor plan – for $190K.
      .
      Though the ads have this caveat: “HIGH investor ratio, OWNER occupants only, FHA and Cash Welcome.”
      It seems that you won’t be able to rent the place out, if you need to move from the area. Buyer beware.

  • halfsmoke

    I used to have an apartment like this. My father saw it and commented, “hey, you can shit, fry eggs and answer the door at the same time!”

    • ash

      Ha! Wait, do we have the same father?…

  • I looked at renting in this building a couple years ago… the elevator and hallways were pretty scary… dark, dirty, etc… and the unit (I think it was this same floorplan but renovated with almost a full kitchen) was very nicely done but tiny tiny tiny… and I would have never lived there with the way the rest of it looked. Hopefully they’ve fixed it up. I remember thinking it was so funny seeing the door, brand new, bright white with new numbers, next to all the other doors about to fall off their hinges.

  • stcohi

    I think we’re forgetting the fact that you have to live on the 1400 block of Park Road. I’d be more worried about idling car exhaust fumes choking that little place up.

  • smartrenter

    What a joke. Who in their right mind would pay a hundred grand to live in a closet? Just another example of over-inflated housing prices in this town. What does it take to get you to realize that the DC real estate market isn’t a healthy and sustainable way to attract long-term residents who actually want to invest in a community, not just their own wallets.

    • Anonymous

      People that can’t afford or don’t want to pay more than a hundred grand to have something slightly bigger than a closet? I wish DC had more small cheap units on the market. There are plenty of cities in the world where tiny studios are the norm, so why not here?

    • Anonymous

      Get rid of the government distortions – guarantees on mortgage-backed securities, QE, and the mortgage interest deduction – and you’d see more realistic home prices that are actually in line with what people can afford.
      .
      People are buying homes with ever escalating amounts of borrowed government money. It’s a completely distorted market that has no basis in rational supply/demand.

    • Alan

      Eh mortgage tax and condo fees work out to $600 a month. Assuming they have decent credit ( a big if) this is actually within reach for a low income person/young couple.

  • ShawGuy

    I don’t know that this is a great deal all by itself, but it’s a pretty awesome deal for whoever lives in 303, 307, 205 or 405 who wants to expand. Buy this little guy, bust out a wall (or build a staircase up or down), and either combine it with a neighboring studio to make a real apartment or combine with a neighboring larger apartment to make a bigger apartment.

    • Anonymous

      +1
      I spend a lot of time thinking about what my apartment will look like when I add the one below it!! I live in a rental-only building and I wouldn’t be able to afford even one unit if it went condo so it will never happen, sadly.

  • Janie4

    OK, did anyone else see a bathroom sink in that bathroom? Based on the photos, I couldn’t see one. If there’s one, it’s not bad for a single person with a minimalist lifestyle – get a nice murphy bed, and it should be ok. However, the location is awful.

    • Anonymous

      You could just use the kitchen sink, it’s not like you’ll be using it for cooking!

    • Anonymous

      Really? 1400 block of Park Rd, a short walk to the metro, restaurants, etc is a bad location?

  • kyle-w

    This is insane. This is a studio that would be perfect for a fresh out of college guy who has no interest in cooking, and is going to wind up going to the bar all the time anyways. This is a condo where he can build a bit of equity, and save some money well having a place to call his own. This is nicer than the dorms we all managed to live in for a year or more, so I don’t see the issue.

    I think it is a TREMENDOUS deal, and if there were not rental restrictions, I would buy it tomorrow.

    You would have a line out the door of people willing to pay $1000-1200/month to rent this place.

    • overonhst

      Totally agree. Once you get rid of the white walls and IKEA this place up, you’d probably get even more.

  • overonhst

    This place is ok, but check out #507 at the same address. It’s only $125k, has 100 more sq ft than this one and actually has a galley kitchen and a normal bathroom with another sink. Looks like it has a decent storage/closet area too. Wish I could jump all over this one.

  • bruno

    All that glitters is not gold.

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