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GDoN “super large spectacular condominium” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth May 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm 36 Comments

7 Grant Cir NW #2

This unit is located at 7 Grant Circle, NW. The MRIS listing says:

“Brand new super large spectacular condominium with top level finishes. 4 bedrooms and 3 baths and bigger than most close single family offerings. Excellent outdoor space and 2 car parking! Open living, dining and kitchen area with huge island for awesome entertaining. Great light and bedroom sizes are more than adequate. These are a must see for any condo or home buyer looking in Petworth!”


You can see more photos here.

This 4 bed/3 bath is going for $949,900 ($359 monthly fee.)

  • JS

    When I was house hunting four years ago, the whole house next door to this place was flipped and sold as a SFH for….$700K. I still kick myself for not buying that place.

  • Nearly a million dollars to then pay a not-insignificant condo fee for no real amenities…nope!

    • Anon

      You don’t seem to have too solid of a grasp of what condo fees cover. That seems like a very reasonable figure. (source: condo board prez)

      • Nathan

        Yeah that will cover your water, the master insurance policy (so your condo insurance policy will be lower than a comparable SFH), and reserves and maintenance that you would otherwise perform on a SFH.

        • Yes, but it’s probably not quite enough to have a management company handle your affairs, which means you are likely negotiating with your downstairs neighbor on mowing the lawn, calling the roof repair guy out, etc.

      • textdoc

        It might be a reasonable figure for a condo in a larger building… but seems like a lot for a condo in a two(?)-unit building.
        On the other hand, I guess they have to build up reserves somehow…

        • Anon Spock

          Less money is coming in, so fees are comparatively higher. I’d much rather my small bldg seemed high at first then tapered off than the teaser rates you keep too long.

      • Oh, I do having once been president of my condo board. My point is, why, if I had a million bucks lying around and wanted a multi-bedroom home, would I invest in a condo with no real amenities when I could likely buy a full house for myself (possibly even at a lower cost) and put that $359/month into something else?

        • textdoc


        • Anon

          “put that $359/month into something else?”
          This line of reasoning isn’t exactly sound – the only thing you’d save is the money going to build-up reserves, which isn’t that much with this payment. If you purchase a SFH you still have to pay/save for the same kind of eventual maintenance/expenses as you would in a boutique condo such as this. Many people don’t quite realize this, and spend this “extra” available cash on other things until they get hit with a major expense for which they didn’t really plan.

          • James W.

            Except that as a condo owner, you don’t get to take your HOA payments with you when you move. Every dime you paid into that reserve fund stays with the unit. I can tell you as a seller of multiple condos, almost nobody will pay you more for your unit based on the balance in the reserve fund. They may walk if it’s too low, but they never pay more.

          • Anon

            Sure, that’s definitely true. The flip side is that you’re only paying for a portion of the major repairs when they need to be done. I’m not trying to make the case that owning part of a house is better than owning the whole thing, just pointing out that people often don’t understand how condo fees – you see people making these 1-to-1 comparisons between condos and SFH’s as if they are completely interchangeable.

          • James W.

            Fair enough. That numbers may be a wash, but I think there’s a long-standing prejudice against condos as the last refuge of buyers who can’t afford a SFH. This certainly is not true in dense urban areas or in buildings with significant amenities. But when you’ve got the coin to buy a SFH but instead buy something approximating a SFH as a condo, people ask questions. Do I really want to plunk down a million bucks and still have to agree with my co-occupant on major improvements or common area considerations? Not really.

          • anon

            Anon – I have gotten tired of making sensible arguments like yours to others – so I have concluded that they just want to have the ability to not bother to fix major, major problems with their homes and instead let them rot (which IS what many people do, if you look at all the termite/leaky plumbing and roofs and foundations/unsafe electrical/etc., and just lack of general upkeep, of many, many houses one sees for sale.

            Having owned a coop, I do agree with James that having to decide on repairs with neighbors is a major pain the ass – but I never could have afforded a house in NYC at that time – I thought about it, but the idea of doing all the major repairs houses needed myself (rather than paying less than 1/4 of them in my multifamily building) was cost prohibitive. (And I had a rosier view of humans and human nature then than I did after owning a coop.)

  • PetworthMom

    Petworth is becoming insane. We bought a completely rehabbed 3b/3.5b house in May of 2015 for $600k, only two blocks from this place.

    • tke98

      Agreed. I purchased an unrehabbed Petworth home before the 2009 crash for wayyyy to much for what I got. But I’m super grateful because as a SINK federal employee, I have been effectively priced out of the neighborhood for a few years now. Also, I think housing stock in a circle always costs a bit more because it is not always available. Similar to the SFHs on Illinois Avenue and some other places

  • NorthPetworth

    I don’t understand why anyone would want most of a house, but not the whole thing?

    • stacksp


  • NH Ave Hiker

    That’s a lot of dough

  • Guillermo Brown

    Hopefully they plan on replacing some of those blue-painted deck boards…and hiring another painter!

  • textdoc

    That price seems crazy for me. And for that amount of money, I’d want hardwood floors that look like hardwood floors — these look like laminate to me.

    • LedroitTigah

      Well, if its laminate, at least they’re pretty nice laminates?

  • west_egg

    Aha! Another one of these “affordable” SFH conversions I keep hearing about!
    (A million bucks to live on Grant Circle?? GTFO.)

    • JohnH

      I just don’t get all of these people coming out of the woodwork to buy these things. My neighbor bought their place 2 years ago, had a kid and is now moving out to get more space. In that much time they will make about $75k on their place (in Logan).
      I can understand the prices in Logan/Shaw – mostly because the location is so close to downtown.

      • Anony

        Agreed. The only reason I would move way up there north of the Petworth Metro is to own an entire house. A condo for $1M. Ha!

      • HaileUnlikely

        Do you just mean sales price minus purchase price, or do you mean they will make $75K after transaction costs and fees? Transaction costs and fees on property that expensive work out to be a lot. If they’re selling now for $75K more than they bought it for, they’ll be lucky to pocket half that much.

        • Q

          Also, you still need to, you know, LIVE somewhere. So while appreciation is awesome–I could sell my place for probably 15% more than I bought it for five years ago–you don’t really get to reap the benefits unless you’re selling to downgrade in size or move to Falls Church or Nebraska or wherever (in which case you’d make BANK).

          • fka Petworth

            Exactly. I see this, and I think of selling my place around the corner (which has appreciated probably 75%)…but I would only want to live in a more desirable location, which would give me less and cost me just as much in monthly payments, if not more. For me, it would only make more sense if I was moving to another city.

  • LosLobos

    Tome me it seems like a good deal that large of a space. May be I should get out of my Dupont/Gtown bubble

  • equidistance

    Did they combine two houses to make this? It seems super wide.

    • textdoc

      IIRC, this was the Grant Circle location where there was a detached SFH on a large lot, and the developers razed it and built 6 condo units in its place.

      • liveongrant

        This is not that development. This is an attached rowhouse on Grant Circle. The houses are just really wide.

      • fka Petworth

        Incorrect. This was a single family house that they renovated. The lot that was razed was at the corner of New Hampshire.

      • JS

        You recall incorrectly – that was 16 Grant Circle. This is an interior row house on the east side of the circle.

      • textdoc

        Oops, the raze situation I was thinking of was with 16 Grant Circle, not this address. (I have another comment that’s pending moderation because it has links.)
        Actually, from looking more closely at Google Maps, I think this house — by virtue of being a mid-block rowhouse on a circle — is actually wider at the back than at the front. Sort of trapezoidal in shape, whereas its neighbors are shaped like rectangles.
        It’s odd that the photo gallery doesn’t have any shots of the front exterior. (Or maybe not so odd, if it’s an ugly pop-up.)


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