Best Rental Income Generator in the City

by Shilpi Paul

1012 Park Road NW (the yellow house)

In October, UrbanTurf contributor Sarah Godfrey wrote about an intrepid home buyer who flipped the rent-the-row-house-basement paradigm upside down.

Economist Adrian Dungan had been renting a room in a Mount Pleasant group house for about a year when he came to the realization that there was a way for him to live in the same amount of space he was currently living in, maybe even more, for free. He could buy a row house, live in the basement, and fill the bedrooms with renters to offset the monthly mortgage payments.

In November 2010, Dungan and his girlfriend Nicole Aga found a five-bedroom house for sale at 1012 Park Road NW (map). The property needed a lot of work and had a completely unfinished basement, which meant that if the couple bought it, they would need to put in time and money before they were able live there or fill it with renters. Compounding this scenario was the fact that mortgage payments would start within a month of closing and contractors and materials were expensive. Still, after crunching the numbers, Dungan and Aga moved forward, purchasing the home for $585,000 in late January.

An “under construction” shot of the basement.

With the help of a contractor, Dungan spent all his free time for the next several months fixing up the home, and building a livable basement home for himself and Aga.

By June, he had not only finished the basement and the remainder of the work, but also found five friends who could rent out the bedrooms on the upper levels of the home. In the end, Dungan and Aga spent just over $35,000 renovating, and while he wouldn’t disclose any financial details regarding the mortgage and rent, he said that he is now income positive on the house.

More photos of Dungan and his home below.

The upstairs kitchen/sunroom in the rental portion of the house.
A section of the new basement apartment.
Dining area upstairs
Adrian Dungan in front of his home.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/best_income_generator_in_the_city/4820


  1. Emil said at 5:32 pm on Thursday December 22, 2011:

    Looks like most of it was done without permits (just postcard permits) and no BBL for renting it out…You can see from the pictures that electrical was done and obviously plumbing was done.

  1. jr said at 11:07 pm on Thursday December 22, 2011:

    Emil, how can you know any of that from the photos? How do you know he didn’t get a BBL and didn’t pull permits?  I can’t stand speculation without facts..way too much of that in this country.

  1. kevin said at 12:48 am on Friday December 23, 2011:

    The finishing touches look subpar judging from the few photos.

  1. Eddy said at 10:00 am on Friday December 23, 2011:

    Emil, what a load.  In no way can you assume from these photos he didn’t do everything above board.  Keep your conjecture to yourself.

  1. Anon said at 10:03 am on Friday December 23, 2011:
  1. Emil said at 10:11 am on Friday December 23, 2011:

    Yikes, everyone is on the case of the person who actually did the research. Check the DCRA website to find out if permits were pulled (NO). I am not commenting on the finishing touches or how good it is, but just the fact that its almost a rooming house without permits for the work or renting it. His choice of course. Any I made my assumption electrical was done by the fact that the circular saw is plugged into the ceiling and most people would want to change bathroom fixtures when they remodel (requires a permit)  <- that was the only speculation or conjecture. But feel free to research the DC code for information about when permits and a business license are required. Thanks!

  1. BH said at 11:00 am on Friday December 23, 2011:

    I suppose now jr can’t stand himself for speculating that emil speculated and eddy should keep his own conjecture to himself.

  1. dcrowhouse said at 1:11 am on Monday December 26, 2011:

    I just checked the website posted by Anon for permits.  I’m not sure why people think he did this without permits.  Permits were in fact pulled for drywall and electrical.  Also, if you read the full article, it seems the bathroom in the basement was already there.

    Emil, it’s a miter saw not a circular saw.  Also, it doesn’t look plugged into the ceiling. You can see the cord draping along the front left side of the saw.

  1. ILinDC said at 2:59 pm on Tuesday December 27, 2011:

    haters gotta hate

  1. Eddy said at 4:23 pm on Wednesday January 4, 2012:

    As the owner who will live on premises you are allowed to do certain things to your home without permit.  Maybe next time you will be a little slower with the conjecture and a little faster with the holding your fingers off the keyboard.

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