Co-ops in DC? Welcome to Capitol Hill Tower

by Mark Wellborn

Before there were really any residential developments in the Capitol Riverfront, there was Capitol Hill Tower. The 344-unit development started selling a few years ago, and is one of the only new construction co-op buildings that you will find in the city. With 80 percent of the homes sold, the building is proving to be one of the popular residential developments in DC’s newest neighborhood.

The development is located about a block from the Navy Yard Metro, and we headed down to the area earlier this week to take a tour.


We were impressed. Capitol Hill Tower offers a lot of space, services and amenities at very low prices. One-bedrooms start at $267,000 and two-bedrooms at $390,000, so even without a pool, fitness center or courtyard, those would be competitive prices in the city. However, Capitol Hill Tower has all those amenities, as well as billiard and party rooms and a 24-hour front desk and concierge services. Underground parking is also available, but not included in a unit’s list price.

Living Room in Two-Bedroom Unit

However, the main draw of the development for many prospective buyers is that the units are co-ops, not condos. There are a number of advantages to owning a co-op rather than a condo in DC:

  1. You do not have to pay transfer tax at closing, meaning lower closing costs.
  2. Real estate taxes are included in the monthly building fees.
  3. You actually finance considerably less than the purchase price. There is an underlying mortgage on most co-op buildings, including Capitol Hill Towers. That means that a portion of the purchase price for your unit is your home’s share of the overall building loan. This underlying mortgage is paid down through your monthly fees, and translates to you financing considerably less than the purchase price and putting down less equity when buying. For example, if you are buying a $300,000 unit, and $130,000 of the price is the underlying mortgage then the down payment you make would be a percentage of the remaining amount of the purchase price to finance. So, in this case that would be $170,000 meaning that you would only need to pony up $17,000 if you were putting up 10 percent.

That was somewhat long-winded, so to show you with numbers, here are the financing figures for a 700 square-foot co-op that we saw which was listed for $267,400.

Price: $267,400
Underlying Mortgage: $118,863
Net Price: $148,357
10% Down Payment: $14,835
Amount to Finance: $133,521
Estimated monthly payments (including property taxes, monthly building fees, and underlying mortgage): Approx. $1,800

Unlike most co-ops, Capitol Hill Tower does not require co-op board approval to buy, sell or rent your home.

If you would like more info about the Capitol Riverfront development, click here.

See other articles related to: dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/coops_in_dc_welcome_to_capitol_hill_tower/959


  1. Rob Burlingham said at 11:51 am on Thursday May 28, 2009:

    My wife and I just moved to Capitol Hill Tower and love the neighborhood. Great press! We both work on the Hill and it’s close to work and really convenient. We love the new beer garden across from National Stadium and can’t wait for all the rest that’s planned to come. Cheers!

  1. csm said at 12:19 pm on Thursday May 28, 2009:

    I viewed this property and was a bit confused by the variations in the units.  For example, one unit would have stainless steel appliances while another your standard black appliances.  In another unit, the bathroom cabinets were this cheesy white color.  I truly didn’t understand the discrepancies.  I thought that the building must have been a conversion.  I don’t expect every unit to look the same but let’s keep them consistent in regards to quality and presentation.

  1. rp said at 12:33 pm on Thursday May 28, 2009:

    csm—It’s not actually that confusing, units on the 10th floor and above have dark floors and cabinets, stainless steel appliances, wood cabinets in the bathrooms, and higher ceilings. The 9th floor and below have light wood flooring and cabinets, black appliances, white bathroom cabinets, and high (but not as high as upper floors) ceilings. The sales office should have told you that.

  1. csm said at 12:49 pm on Thursday May 28, 2009:

    RP- thanks.  The sales office didn’t.  The guy gave me a sheet and said that it was a self-guided tour.  He then pointed me to the door to the lobby.

  1. AM said at 1:14 pm on Thursday May 28, 2009:

    I really liked the building and the price was great, but am now getting transferred out of state. I was there during a weekend open house, and the sales office was busy, so they were allowing people to view a few homes as a typical open house. When I finished, the agent was able to answer my questions and then went back up with me to view and discuss a couple homes I liked the most. Such a shame I’m moving.

  1. betsy o. said at 1:29 pm on Thursday May 28, 2009:

    The sales guys seemed very informative and are hot too!

  1. mmh said at 5:00 pm on Saturday May 30, 2009:

    GREAT building and a really great price. This neighborhood will only go up in value, buying now would be smart.
    The advantage of this co-op is there are no sale restrictions unlike most condos in the city.

  1. Hannah said at 4:13 pm on Sunday May 31, 2009:

    I heard they had really high condo fees. Does anyone know anything about that?

  1. kl said at 10:26 am on Tuesday June 2, 2009:

    Actually, the coop fees are fairly low if viewed properly.  My coop fee of $781 includes property tax, condo fee and 1/3 of the mortgage.  Most condos require that you pay each of those separately.  My total monthly cost on a one bedroom, with parking, is under $2000.  Local one bedrooms rentals with parking are $1800-$1900 a month. 

    Here’s an estimated breakdown for mine:

    Condo Fee: $205
    Property Tax: $200
    Underlying Mortgage: $376

    Does that make sense?

  1. danielle d said at 12:21 pm on Tuesday June 2, 2009:

    I moved into the building when it first opened in July 2006.  I have nothing but positive things to say about the building, the great amenities, and my neighbors.  It is a very social building with lots of families and pet owners.  The layout of my studio is the best in the city!  If you come visit the neighborhood be sure to talk to the residents.

  1. DVS said at 10:22 am on Wednesday June 3, 2009:

    I lived in the building from July 2007 - May of last year. Overall I really enjoyed my stay there but I was quite unhappy with the parking situation. On many occasions I couldn’t find a space - even though I paid for it - and the parking attendants were less than attentive. Sometimes I would have to leave my keys with them and when I went to retrieve my car, the attendant would be on break or missing, leaving me waiting for 10 minutes or longer.

    The building is great but the parking was horrible. Has this changed?  Anyone else?

  1. CHT Apartment said at 10:44 am on Wednesday June 3, 2009:

    Sadly, I have to move, but I’ve loved living in CHT.  There are great neighbors, good amenities, and fabulous access to Capitol Hill and the ballpark.


  1. SAK said at 10:54 am on Wednesday June 3, 2009:

    To Kl, I am looking to purchase a one bedroom unit in this building. How much do you pay per month for a other bills such as electric, cable etc.

  1. Sarah said at 3:22 pm on Friday June 5, 2009:

    I found a listing for a one-bedroom in this building. The listing price seemed low but the monthly fee seemed abnormally high ($1239). Any idea what’s going on here?

  1. Will Johnston said at 7:57 pm on Wednesday June 17, 2009:

    Hey Sarah, I think the fee goes to help pay the underlying mortgage on the whole building.  The listing price might actually not represent what you need to take out a mortgage for.  For a better explanation, see the end of the post above.

  1. Nathalie said at 9:48 pm on Thursday June 18, 2009:

    I will be moving to the DC area very soon and has been looking for some condos until I found this one. Unfortunately, living 5 hours away does not give me the luxury to go in the vicinity to visit. The company advertises a unit with balcony, the largest one it seems. Does it really have a balcony? It is mentioned on the floor plan but no actual picture to show the layout. Also, is the parking included in the purchasing price or is that something to be considered on the side as well. Thank you for any answer.


  1. decider2 said at 4:25 pm on Sunday March 21, 2010:

    .....My coop fee of $781 includes property tax, condo fee and 1/3 of the mortgage. 
    Here’s an estimated breakdown for mine:

    Condo Fee: $205
    Property Tax: $200
    Underlying Mortgage: $376

    So, are any of these fees tax-deductable?

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾