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Good Deal or Not? “Great building with Roof Deck” edition

by Prince Of Petworth February 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm 19 Comments

3220 17th Street Northwest

This unit is located at 3220 17th Street, Northwest:


The listing says:

“Wonderful 2 BR 2 BA with granite/gas/stainless kitchen open to living area! Great building with Roof Deck, Storage, and low $281 fee!!Easy to get to Columbia Hgts and Adams Morgan too, and walk to Metro.”

You can see more photos here.

This 2 bed/2 bath is going for $496,500 ($281 monthly fee.)

  • Anonymous

    Seems a little small for a 2br/2ba. Not terrible, but not great. Also, you’re selling your place for almost half a million dollars and you can’t get some decent pictures?

  • Saying “granite & stainless steel” in your listing anymore just reminds me of when used car ads used to put “power windows” in bold letters in the 90s.

    • Paul


      Anti-lock brakes! Power steering!

  • Angry Parakeet

    I was in this building for a proposed construction project – saw some scary maintenance items such as replacing all the sandstone trim, and basic utilities are out of date…but it had some charming features and was cheery. Still, that price is way too high – maybe $410K is more realistic.

    • Wobble

      Other units in this building have gone for 550K+. They were almost 1000 sqft, which is not tiny for a condo in the area. That is just what units are going for in this neighborhood. I am not sure what the size of this unit is. There are some units in that building that are only 900 sqft

      A note on sqft: Older buildings list net sqft, which does not include walls, and (I think) even closets. A lot of new condos list gross footage, so you need to be careful just judging prices on square footage.

      Regarding maintenance in an old building — it can get expensive. I live in a 1926, small condo building (7 units), and we owners have consistently try to keep our reserves high to avoid surprise assessments. That is important in case there is an expensive item that needs to be fixed quickly. Our reserves are about 13,000 per unit. Anybody buying in a building like this needs to review the balance sheet to see that reserves are adequate to avoid nasty surprises.

      • Duponter

        For starters, the listing provides the square footage and the law dictates what that can and cannot include in a listing. If a 1,000 square foot apartment is going for $550K, then this sounds incredibly overpriced for 787 square feet.

        • anon

          That doesn’t mean you don’t find agents trying to get away with counting below-grade (basement) square footage toward total square footage.

        • Wobble

          Wow! $630 per sqft. A 2 BR, 2 Bath at 787 would feel cramped.

          As I used to tell my ex-wife, though –“You can place your home on the market at any price you want. That doesn’t mean it will sell.”

  • ams

    Yeah… no. My place was way cheaper, accessible to the Red, Yellow/Green lines and way more spacious. That place is tiny!

    • Anonymous

      where, Fort Totten?

      • kyle-w

        Well, either Ft Totten or Chinatown. If Chinatown, and is place was cheaper, and larger, sign me up!

  • Who is the real estate agent for this? They should be fired! Terrible pictures plus just putting black images in the virtual tour? What?

  • neighbor

    This is what it costs to own in Mt Pleasant. The apt looks kind of small, but generally not a shithole. And the location is great. I live very near here and love this neighborhood. If I were shopping for a place, I would have the same sticker shock expressed in some of the other comments, but, the truth is, this is far from outrageous for a 2 bdrm in Mt Pleasant. I’d try to talk them down a bit, but I bet this will go for not too much less than asking.

    • Loganite

      Most 2 bedrooms/2 bath apartments are larger than 787 square feet. There’s probably a reason there aren’t very many decent photos. I have a one bedroom/one bath that is nearly 900 square feet. I can’t imagine trying to get another bedroom/bath out of that.

      Whether something is or is not a good deal has more to do with square footage than simply saying, it’s a 2 bedroom/2 bath so should cost X.

  • This building has a really great roof deck!

  • Anonymous

    I live 2 blocks from this location, and people in my building paid $450k+ for 1 bedrooms.

    For this neighborhood, this is a great price for a 2bd/2ba, especially considering how low that condo fee is. That being said, at less than 800 square feet, I’d be surprised if the 2nd bedroom fit more than a twin bed, really making it a 1bd + den. Even for that, the price seems pretty right.

    • Wobble

      Wow! $630 per sqft. A 2 BR, 2 Bath at 787 would feel cramped.

      As I used to tell my ex-wife, though –“You can place your home on the market at any price you want. That doesn’t mean it will sell.”

    • CPT_Doom

      The picture of the second bedroom shows it is tiny and the master bedroom doesn’t look that big, which likely explains the relatively low price. Factor in the relative darkness of the unit – those are some small windows in the living room – and I don’t think it’s a good deal at all.

  • Anonymous

    I use to live in this building in one of the “second bedrooms” Although someone may not think that this is worth the money, these units sell fast. This area has become very expensive these days and the neighborhood is great. The Farmers market is right outside, a lot of movie nights in the park, block parties, and good school zoning from what I hear. I actually enjoyed the building a lot- storage units down stairs, bike room, great roof deck, fireplace in the unit I was in. The owner seems to be a good guy and owns the building diagonal across the street. You could do better, you could do a lot worse.


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