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Good Deal or Not? “new condominium with large bright open space” edition

by Prince Of Petworth January 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm 76 Comments

2725 13th Street Northwest

The row house conversion we’ve been keeping an eye on has been completed in Columbia Heights. It’s located at 2725 13th Street, NW:


The listing says:

“Incredible brand new condominium with large bright open space, spa like bathrooms with freestanding tub, wide plank maple floors, chef’s kitchen with gas cooking, high ceilings, built-in speakers, Nest thermostat, key fob entry, common area fire pit and low condo fees. In the heart of Columbia Heights within walking distance to Metro, shopping, restaurants, etc. Parking available for sale.”

You can see a virtual tour here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $674,900 ($238 monthly fee.)

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, thanks realtor for the 5,000 pictures of that seizure-inducing backsplash. The bathroom is pretty nice though. I sure wouldn’t mind having that tub and shower. That said I really can’t imagine spending that much money on a condo, let alone one in Columbia Heights. I know prices are high there, but every time I go up that way it’s beyond me why.

    • JJ

      Agree about the backsplash. I wish that trend would go away forever.

      • +1.

      • Anonymous

        I like it. Adds some visual variety.

      • plus a million- it reminds me of digital camo- UGH. it will age sooooo badly.

      • Horrible pot lights + horrible backsplash = seizures.

  • Anonymous

    Is it crazy friggin expensive? Yes.

    Is it a good deal? Yeah, probably.

  • Honest Abe

    Honestly, it is hard to find “good deals” anymore. That said, I think there are weary house hunters who will find this to be a good deal.

    The bath is pretty spiffy but I think it eats up a lot of square footage in this place – I would rather have a larger master bedroom than that ridiculous tub.

  • Nice master bathroom, rest of it looks adequately done as well. Seems overpriced for a condo though.

  • anonnn

    Did they really put a tub in front of 3 windows at street level?

    • Yes…to me that’s such a waste of a beautiful room. Unless you’re the type who likes to flash your neighbors at all hours.

      • soozles

        +1 and I love bathtubs, but not sure I want one overlooking the intersection of 13th and Harvard.

      • + 100. I never get the whole “spa bathroom” concept anyway – (you pee, wash, shower and leave) but even if you want that, this is a crazy waste of space.

    • Anonymous

      I thought the same things. REALLY?!?!
      Should have built the bedroom into that rounded room. The bedrooms look tiny.

    • Anonymous

      Lol good point. I didn’t notice it was street level till you pointed it out. Looks like the new owner will be investing in some window treatments. It does seem odd to waste that lovely bay window space on a bathroom when you’re going to have it curtained off most of the time.

      • There are window applications you can buy which still allow sun but distort the view to the outside. To some they still look tacky, but it at least somewhat meets both purposes.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t know how well those work when the windows are ON THE STREET. I think you’d still need window coverings, at least when you’re in the tub. And even those treatments don’t let in the same kind of light as regular panes of glass do.

          • Why would their effectiveness be any different on the street level or 10 stories up? If you don’t want people peeking in you don’t want them peeking in.

        • I think there are probably 100+ porn movies with shades that “distort the view.”

  • Anonymous

    Anyone else think it is strange that they put the bath tub and shower in the turret room with all of the street-level windows so that you have to keep all of the windows covered or people can see in? Seems like a strange choice.

  • Anonymous

    Hecks no, way to hood for me. Who cares what I think though, someone will buy at that price, then in a year it will look in retrospect like a good deal.

  • Jay

    Are folks crazy? The bathroom is a disaster and a travesty. They took a gorgeous corner turret with 270 degree views and put a bathroom in it. The master bathroom. Anyone actually living there will have to keep the blinds shut at all times, depriving the unit of actually having those views. You can sit in your tub and look out at the street, but you can’t stand up after the bath. The architects mindlessly slaughtered the best feature of the property. It’s absolute madness.

    • Beth

      I completely agree. I drove by there the other day and saw the shower directly through the windows. There’s no privacy in that room. Whoever ends up buying is going to have to keep their blinds down. What a waste of such a beautiful space.

  • EH

    They could have done a much better job with leveraging the original features of the building. They tore off the entry bay and rebuilt it out of dryvit… there used to be great columns, double doors, relief carvings. Then there is the ugly box of a dryvit addition on the back end. It looks institutional. Too bad for what was one of the neatest looking Victorian row houses in Columbia Heights. Then they named it after the guy who built it. Kind of insult to injury, I think.

    • annonny

      Yeah, this was my reaction too. The curb appeal of this place is about 0, possibly in negative territory. Strange maze of fences and concrete pavement, front yard is a parking lot, and there’s pathetic looking landscaping? No thanks, unless you and your neighbors plan to spend another $40K to $50K to make the exterior look more appealing. And there’s no getting around the monstrosity of an entrance that got slapped onto the facade. Not well designed at all.

      • Anon

        Really a matter of taste. I think it’s significantly improved from the old version.

  • L

    I like it. It’s a pretty good size. Price is okay, definitely not a deal, but not completely off for DC. I was going to say I wish it has some outdoor space, but it looks like the building may a shared rooftop.

  • Anonymous

    What is wrong with people??

    The original house was beautiful. Here are photos, if you missed them:


    • pru

      Wow, the original house was gorgeous, indeed! How sad!!!

    • Anonymous

      HOLY. CRAP.
      That’s like a time machine back to 100 years ago. It was a bit dark, but that wood work and tin ceilings are crazy awesome! WTF.

    • Anon no.5

      Usually I don’t mind people buying unkempt places and renovating them, but the old virtual tour is some of the best original details I’ve seen and the kitchen and baths were new! Le sigh…

    • gawd, what a travesty. it was beautiful!

    • Anonymous

      Fuck thats so sad. It looks like a cheap-anywhere flip now.

    • KenyonDweller

      This gut job was a real crime.

    • Anonymous

      Wow, that house was absolutely gorgeous before. With a little TLC it could have been a stunning transformation and kept original details. What they did is just absolutely horrible.

    • The whole thing sold for just under a million. If #1 sells for as much as #2 is asking they’ll make a pretty penny.

      • Anonymous

        It probably cost another $700K to renovate it? I think this place is 6 units.

        • Oh good lord that big? That’s some serious bank!

        • Anonymous

          It’s four units. I believe the prices are $550K, $650K, $675K and $700K.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for posting the “before” link. There should be laws to convict people who do this to a house.

      • BitterElitist

        Why in the fuck would someone rip up those architectural features? This is depressing.

    • I’d forgotten just how nice the original details were — and the fact that the bathrooms and kitchen were new.
      What a shame indeed.
      And I’d been thinking that the turret would be too small to put a bed in, but one of those photos from the old house proves otherwise.

    • L

      Whoah. The original house didn’t even look like it needed that much work. Developers buy up everything. No one else stands a chance.

    • Anon

      Am I the only one who usually hates what some people call ‘original detail’? The house looked gaudy and nasty to me pre-reno.

      • Anonymous

        There were a lot of features that were not great (like the chandeliers) and maybe some of it could be toned down from what’s in those pictures, and certainly some of the furnishings and wall treatments didn’t help. But it’s nearly impossible to get that sort of detail in a house anymore.
        We all have different tastes and many people prefer a more modern/streamlined/scandinavian/not that look. But there are a ton of houses/condos available now to suit that aesthetic, it was a shame to lose one of the relatively rarer places that appeals to those who like the Victorian features.

        • Anonymous

          You could always paint the woodwork white if it’s making the place feel too dark and crowded.

          • BitterElitist

            ding ding ding ding ding

            Remove the chandeliers, burn the furniture, lighten the paint. The ceiling can be painted/lightened to open up. But to trash that wood… Not everyone wants to live in the CB2 catalog.

    • Ohmigosh. That is so sad – that old house was amazing and this new version is so cookie cutter!!

    • Anonymous

      I want to cry now.

    • Marcus Aurelius

      Agreed that the original house had some nice details but I don’t see this renovation – even with the bathroom in the turret, which I don’t get – as the travesty it’s being made out to be. It’s a nice renovation. Kudos to the developer for going with four large, full floor apartments – as opposed to smaller cut up units. Whether it’s worth the asking price I don’t know. But I wouldn’t compare this with the cost of a single family home. As the owner of a single family home myself, I have come to appreciate that there are ways in which an apartment that costs more than a house can be a better bargain.

    • I think we need a mob with pitchforks!

    • Wow – seeing that makes it extra depressing.

    • Anonymous

      I gasped when I looked through those original house pics. I knew people thought this place was previously beautiful, but had no idea it was to this extent. Completely heartbreaking what they did to this old house.

  • lmfb

    Is it me or are the links to the listing and visual tour not working?

    • ZetteZelle

      The link isn’t working for me, either.

  • MK

    I would have killed to be here when they salvaged the mantles and woodwork from the old house that was redesigned into this gray thing.

    • spookiness

      Probably available at an architectural salvage place. Since most of us don’t have $1m to buy a house, and another $1m to renovate it, at least you can buy a couple of doors or whatever for that “period charm” if you want it.

  • Anonymous

    Where’s the common firepit? I imagine it can’t be on the roof – wouldn’t that be a fire hazard?
    If it’s on the street level, I imagine it will become a toilet for the drunk and homeless.
    This place is an (expensive) hot mess.

    • Anon

      We walk our dog by here every day. It’s right on the corner of the lot.

      That must be why the bathrooms are in the turrets – the added safety of being able to extinguish fires in the pit from inside your condo.

  • Anonymous

    I’m still shocked that they put the bathroom in the turret and wasted all that square footage. WHY?!?!
    It’s the nicest part of the apartment – wouldn’t you want to put the living room or master bedroom there?
    Such a waste of gorgeous light.
    I honestly think it would sell for a higher price if they had reconfigured the apartment so that was a living area.

  • JS

    I think this price is nuts. If you go the same distance from the Metro north instead of south, you can get a whole house for less than this. The house on 11th that sold for $188K over list was basically this price and that had a basement unit!

  • Er, not a good deal. This bathroom is right on the corner, at street level! I drove past this the other day and noticed, even from the car, that I was looking straight into someone’s shower stall. You’d have to keep all those lovely windows covered! Also, I bought a similarly renovated 4br, 4.5ba, including a rental basement, 3 blocks east of here for $650k this past spring. And I know these days those 3 blocks make a difference, but I dont think they make THAT big a difference. I think its a nice place, but not worth more than the cost of a full row house.

  • anongardener

    So yeah, the tub placement is a little exposed, and the kitchen backsplash is bad. But you have to give the developer credit for not cheaping out on finishes. Elfa closet fittings, nicer door handles, thoughtful touches like the outlet cover on the kitchen island that matches the cabinetry. I’ve just finished renovating my house, so I recognize the fixtures and know how much they cost. The quality standard appears to be somewhat better than usual.

    • Anon


      Also, I think the bath placement makes plenty of sense in the upper level units, just not as much on the first floor

    • Elfa on sale – (twice a year at Container Store) is maybe $2,000 for a big closet. Even expensive knobs are not that much.

      • anongardener

        If I’m a contractor, by the time I get to closet shelving, my budget is probably close to gone. Why spend 2K (!!!) on Elfa when i can get perfectly serviceable wire shelving from the big box store for $200? Sure, a nice door knob might be 10 dollars more, but multiply that by the number of doors and that’s serious money. If my need for shelving happens to coincide with the yearly sale, that’s nice, but i can’t afford to wait around for it.

        I agree with a lot of the comments here, I’m just saying the contractor bought nicer things when he/she didn’t have to.

  • To everyone suggesting they should have put the bedroom in the turret where the bathroom is, wouldn’t you still have to get some window coverings for when you do your shagging?

    • WestEgg

      Not if you’re into that sort of thing ;-)
      But seriously — think about it for a second or two. If it was a bedroom, there would still be any number of opportunities to have the blinds wide open to enjoy the view. If it was the living room, that’d be virtually all the time. By contrast, when do you EVER want people looking straight into your bathroom? And how much time do you even spend in there?

      • Right, but the point is you still have to have them. The time argument makes more sense to me, opposed to the exposure one.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get all the hate. Location is excellent — 7 mins to CH metro (per google maps), new Trader Joe’s and the new (organic?) grocery store at the Capitol View apartment building are only a few blocks away, U St is close as well as Target. Seems to have been a quality renovation too with high-end touches. I think the price is right in line with the market. My building in CH has been selling for very similar prices on a $ per square footage basis.

    Also, I think the old building felt like a museum inside.

  • Mad Max

    For a $674K condo I better get some crown molding gdmit.

    • Anon

      Good for you. I personally dislike crown molding. It looks fine in my grandparents’ house, I guess.

    • BitterElitist

      Team molding and trim!

  • anonymouse_dianne

    It looks beautiful in the pictures, but I’d bet up close in person it looks cheap. I mean, what grown-up buys Sharp appliances for the kitchen? I agree about wasting space for not one but two full size baths. When I was looking in 2012 none of the newer condos had tubs. Ridiculously overpriced especially not including parking. If you’re rich enough to afford it you’ll want to park your car.

  • Vered

    Is that…laminate on the floor? See the way it reflects light from the window? I don’t know. Can’t be, right?

    • textdoc

      I was actually wondering the same thing.


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