GDoN “trendy Southwest waterfront area” edition

by Prince Of Petworth February 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm 13 Comments

753 Delaware Ave SW #182

This house is located at 753 Delaware Ave, SW. The MRIS listing says:

“Conveniently located, light-filled, split level town home with a separate entrance in-laws quarters in trendy Southwest waterfront area. Potential rental income or great space for home office, or other uses. Convenient to three Metro stations, I-395, government office buildings, shopping, restaurants and Nationals ballpark. Two parking spaces! Friendly tenants, willing to work with new ownership.”


You can see more photos here.

This 3 bed/2.5 bath is going for $599,900 ($683 monthly fee.)

  • HaileUnlikely

    I don’t understand how a condo that appears to be roughly equivalent in physical form to half a rowhouse in a community of rowhouses (i.e., not a single large building with a massive roof, massive boiler, elevators, etc.) and minimal common amenities (unless they just aren’t shown nor listed) can have and can justify such a high monthly fee.

    • SW 20011

      Welcome to Capital Park II!

      Condos are such a scam.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Two parking spaces could be 300+ of that fee.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Didn’t think of that. The only condos I ever looked at had the parking spaces deeded separately. Do condos commonly roll parking into the condo fee (i.e., the HOA essentially rents the parking spaces to individual owners and does not allow them to opt out)?
        Also, the Redfin listing notes that they have a pool, which surely figures into the community’s expenses for both maintenance and insurance.

        • Anon

          $600/mo is entirely reasonable if there’s a pool involved, regardless of parking.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            Agreed that $600 with a pool is pretty normal, but the listing says that “pool membership available,” so I wonder if that is something on top of the usual fee.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Agreed, I had failed to notice the pool mention as of the time of my original post. Thus, I’ll concede that it’s “reasonable,” though that doesn’t make it any better of a deal for a buyer who isn’t interested in using the pool, and the “membership available” thing still makes me wonder if an individual owner gets any value out of this likely-large contribution to the monthly fee. In my opinion DC has enough public pools (and enough gyms with pools available to members) that paying a few hundred dollars a month extra in your condo fee because your condo association has a pool makes it a bad deal to buy in any condo association that has a pool.

          • MinEdgewood

            I used to live in Capitol Park Plaza (apartment buildings adjacent to these condos on ! and G St SW), and I’m 98% sure that the pool available is the Capitol Park Plaza pool. If I remember correctly, condo owners could join and get access for the season (no idea of the price, but I think they paid separately for it.) Unless it’s very cleverly hidden, the Capital Park condos don’t have their own pool.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          I don’t know how common it is, but I seem to remember seeing it when I looked for a place a few years back. If it is the case, I think they can transfer it or whatever, so you can “opt out” as long as someone else wants it, I guess. The listing says 2 “assigned spaces,” so they may not be deeded (usually it would say separately deeded parking). The fee also includes A/C, which is good for probably $50-100 in the summer months.

        • Rich

          The separate deeding is basically formality unless an owner bought them separately from the unit. They are routinely sold with units even with separate deeding and receive a separate tax bill. The District began treating them separately more than 10 years ago.

          Condo fees routinely include parking spaces as part of the fee package. Condo fees usually are based on square footage and the parking space adds to that, although the amount is usually more modest than $300. The value of the parking space vs. what it costs to rent varies a lot, but can be $250 or more/space in high demand areas of NW DC, esp. if it’s garage parking. One question for the buyer would be how easily spots could be rented out if the buyer only has 1 car (or none for that matter).

  • This unit is in Capitol Park IV. The monthly fee includes water, sewer, trash, recycling and bulk pickup (three pickups a week), security (armed, uniformed, off-duty DC police), exterior maintenance (brick and trim painting, roofing), landscaping, CHILLED WATER FOR AIR CONDITIONING!, master building insurance, parking lot maintenance for TWO spaces, pest extermination services (on call), on-site property manger and on-site office, exterior lighting, snow removal, property management, sanitary and storm sewer maintenance, sidewalk maintenance, playground, and much more.

    It’s an incredible deal.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Thanks for the detail. Valuing water/sewer at $83/month to make the math easy and because mine for my house is about that much and estimating the difference between a condo owner’s policy and a house owner’s policy at ~$50/month (about right; close enough) that leaves $6600/year for exterior maintenance, security, parking, stuff otherwise covered by a regular homeowner’s taxes, and stuff that I’m content to do myself and have no need to pay for (e.g., landscaping). For somebody who values security and parking very highly, this could begin to resemble a deal. For somebody who doesn’t care to pay for private security and parking, that fee still looks pretty bloated to me unless you do significant repointing and replace the roof every couple years, in which case you need to hire better workers. For the sake of comparison to a fee-simple property, I’d pretend the fee was about $350/month, add the remaining $333/month to my mortgage payment, and see where that puts the price for an approximately equal-cost fee-simple property (or condo with lower fee).

  • The parking spaces are deeded to the units and cannot by sold separately. The bylaws prevent it.

    There is no pool that belongs to the Association, but the residents have access to the two pools in the adjacent apartment buildings for a very modest yearly fee.


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