Comp and Circumstance: 1BR in Dupont Vs. 3BR in LeDroit Park

by Rebecca Ortega

Comp and Circumstance presents two for-sale homes of roughly similar prices in DC and compares the pros and cons of each. This week, we pit a one-bedroom in Dupont against a much roomier three-bedroom in LeDroit Park. The price point for each is $480,000. Please tell us in the comments which of the two you feel is the better buy.

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One-Bedroom in Dupont Circle

The first thing that jumps out from the virtual tour of 1728 New Hampshire Ave NW #401 is how beautifully decorated it is. The property has hardwood flooring, a fireplace flanked by built-in shelving and a bathroom that showcases black and white tiles and even a chandelier. At 850 square feet, the condo is as big as many two-bedrooms in the neighborhood. The property also offers parking, which as you likely know, is a precious commodity in the Dupont area.

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The downside to this seemingly perfect oasis in the city is that it is not very much square footage for almost $500,000. Also, on close inspection you’ll notice that the bedroom has only a small closet (it’s listed as a walk-in, which is a bit of a stretch) and the washer/dryer is in the galley kitchen. Additionally, it doesn’t look like the building has an elevator (the listing doesn’t specify), which means a four-flight hike each day.

  • 1728 New Hampshire Avenue NW, #401 (map)
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Square Footage: 850
  • Amenities: Penthouse unit, parking
  • Price: $479,555
  • Neighborhood: Dupont Circle
  • See the full listing

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Three-Bedroom in LeDroit Park

If you’re looking to house a family or rent out rooms to some of your friends at this price point, 121 T St NW #1 is a great option. The home has three bedrooms, three baths and parking. It has hardwood floors throughout, crown molding and a chair rail in the main living area (always attractive), as well as an updated kitchen.

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The downsides: The eventual buyer will be one of two owners in this townhouse conversion, so it will be important that he/she sees eye-to-eye with the other owner on critical issues like property maintenance. This is also the basement unit, which may turn some buyers off, and LeDroit Park is a ways from the action that Dupont Circle offers. There may also be investment potential here, though it’s not likely to materialize immediately.

While not as picture-perfect as the New Hampshire Avenue condo, 121 T Street NW offers vastly more space than what you’ll get for your money in Dupont, so if you need more than two rooms in order to achieve comfortable living, this is the property to consider.

  • 121 T Street NW #1 (map)
  • Bedrooms: Three
  • Bathrooms: Three
  • Square Footage: Approximately 2,000
  • Amenities: Space, parking
  • Price: $485,000
  • Neighborhood: LeDroit Park
  • See the full listing

So, what do you think? Is Dupont worth the price? Or do you feel LeDroit Park is the better investment? Would you prefer square footage to location or vice versa?

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/comp_and_circumstance_1br_in_dupont_vs._3br_in_ledroit_park/2168

17 Comments

  1. AP said at 11:44 am on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    Almost $500k for a 1BR/1BA and a $550/month condo fee?!  I think I’d sacrifice a bit on location on this one and take the 2,000 sf condo in Bloomingdale (not technically LeDroit Park).  Also, it looks like the larger unit is actually on two levels, no?  So I wouldn’t exactly call this a “basement” unit, considering the living areas are above-grade and 2 out of 3 bedrooms are below-grade.  The Bloomingdale unit is also very close to the up-and-coming commercial area at 1st & Rhode Island.

  1. SimonF said at 11:49 am on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    This is an interesting comparison and illustrates the premium that you have to pay for location in DC. While some might think that the obvious choice is Bloomingdale/LeDroit because of the home’s size, it is important to keep in mind the convenience that the Dupont condo offers. Size versus location…the constant debate in this city.

  1. former Georgetowner said at 12:01 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    that Dupont place is totally not worth it for me. especially with that $550 condo fee. the ledroit place listing does not say what the condo fee is, but I’m guessing it would be around $200.  so that means that the effective price of that dupont place is another $30K on top of the list price.

  1. Peter said at 12:22 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    Very nice comparison. I’m surprised to say that I would go with the Dupont condo. While the LeDroit place wins on size, and the Dupont place wins on location (at least for now), the clincher for me is the differences in the quality of the interiors. The Dupont condo looks thoughtfully renovated with a number of unique details (including the chandelier and fireplace) while the LeDroit condo looks like a cookie-cutter McMansion. That’s just my take.

  1. Larcombe Teichgraeber said at 12:35 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    These are lovely.  Wish I didn’t live in a studio with a mini-fridge.

  1. Pilavin said at 1:03 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    The Dupont condo strikes me as a fun place to live for a few years and then resell (which presumably would not be difficult, given its location).  However, I think LeDroit Park will appreciate, and the property there is a more practical living space long-term, thus I vote LeDroit.

  1. John said at 1:16 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    I live right by this place and walk by the house every day. Isn’t it technically Bloomingdale and not Ledroit Park?

  1. Tito said at 2:57 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    I vote for Dupont. I care more about location and convenience than size.

  1. Janson said at 3:51 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    It’s weird that the tax condo size for the dupont unit is 726 sqft but the listing size is 850 sqft.  The ledroit/bloomy one is tax listed at 1500 but claims “almost 2000.”

    The Dupont one is gas while Bloomingdale is electric (heat and cooking). Bloomingdale’s tax assessment is $1400 more per year which might neutralize any difference in fees.

    If I had to live in one of these, I wouldn’t hesitate to live in the Dupont unit. I wouldn’t even think about it. It’s got a walk score of 100 (78 for ledroit/bloomy and that seems high) so you can rent out the parking spot. The building is beautifully maintained (I walk by it often) and it’s a very generous amount of space. But if your plan is to live in a place and have roommates and drive your car into the parking spot every day (but why not live in MD then?) it might work.

  1. Janson said at 4:28 pm on Tuesday June 15, 2010:

    Following up on the walk score: The walk score site claims that in major cities they researched one point of walk score is worth UP TO $3000. Using that metric, if the dupont place was next to the ledroit place it would be on the market for $384,000. Or, in other words, the locations is worth $96,000.

  1. Moving Back said at 8:42 am on Wednesday June 16, 2010:

    A couple of notes - the Dupont listing has an elevator. Also, the discrepancy in the agent listing versus the tax listing has to do with the fact that certain areas are not considered taxable living space - such as basements and attics. I’m not sure exactly how that applies to these properties, but I’m pretty sure that improved basements are still considered basements.

    This is such a tough one. I think the Dupont condo is over priced. For $100,000 less it would win hands down. The LeDroit condo looks like it has been inexpensively renovated. Which means if you can buy a small rowhouse nearby for less money and do the renovations yourself, you could have a nicer house all to yourself. Condo boards are always a nightmare in my experience, but a two person board could be a catastrophe or a dream.

  1. Moving Back said at 8:54 am on Wednesday June 16, 2010:

    Look at these less than two blocks away! 234 Rhode Island Avenue, NW and 38 T Street, NW. Already renovated and no condo fee!

  1. to Janson said at 9:19 am on Wednesday June 16, 2010:

    re: walk score and metric.  sooo using that walk score metric, where 1 walk score point is worth UP TO $3000, that means that the location premium of the Dupont place is $66K, not $96k.  (100-78)*$3000

    That would mean that (with all other things equal) if we are comparing a 1 bedroom unit in Dupont vs a 1 bedroom unit in Ledroit, then the 1 bedroom unit in Dupont should command a $66K premium…

  1. LJSM said at 11:40 am on Wednesday June 16, 2010:

    I hate to move and so I’d definitely pick the bigger place. Before I knew it, I’d be out growing the 1 bedroom and wanting to sell.  But I think as an investment property, the dupont place would be much easier to rent b/c of location.

  1. paul said at 5:21 pm on Wednesday June 16, 2010:

    are you kidding? I wouldn’t live in Ledroit ( or Bloomingdale) if you Gave me the house! Dupont wins hands=down…..it would also win if the Dupont space were a studio!!!

  1. clark said at 7:17 pm on Wednesday June 16, 2010:

    Ledroit park hands down. Other than a bunch of 20 year olds, I see no reason anyone with any normal sense would pay so much to be in such crowded, noisy place. Appeciation? You are kidding if you are still expecting appeciation in Dupont.

  1. Greg said at 1:57 am on Friday June 18, 2010:

    Dupont hands down. Like Paul, you couldn’t pay me to live in LeDroit.

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