DC Buyer: The Non-Profit Worker Looking to Upgrade From a Studio to a One-Bedroom

by Martin Smith

DC Buyer is a series on UrbanTurf where we look at buyers from various demographics and provide available housing options for them in the current DC market. After presenting some choices, we will ask readers to help them make their choice.

2627 Adams Mill Road, #405

This week, we’re looking for properties for David, a single, 29-year-old who works for a downtown non-profit. Even though his income is fairly modest at $49,000 per year, David is fortunate enough to have considerable equity from a studio apartment that he purchased in 2003. He does not own a car, has no student loan debt, and only carries an occasional balance on his credit cards. As a result, his FICO score is an impressive 755.

David has lived in the Adams Morgan area since he purchased his studio unit six years ago. He likes the neighborhood, and enjoys being able to walk to brunch with his friends as well as the 16th Street bus lines. He wants to upgrade to a one-bedroom unit for under $350,000, and at this point, he’s pretty much exclusively looking in the Adams Morgan/Kalorama area.

The first property that we found for David is a two-level, one-bedroom unit at 2627 Adams Mill Road. At $350,000, it is towards the high end of his price point, but it is in the exact part of the neighborhood David likes, and it has a beautiful new kitchen and a washer/dryer in the unit. The building has the added bonus of a large rooftop deck and a low $224 condo fee.

2100 19th Street NW

The second property is a two-bedroom, one-bath coop at 2100 19th Street, NW. It is rare to come across a two-bedroom unit in this area in this price point, and this one does have the drawback of a less-than-impressive kitchen and bathroom. Still, it is far more space for the money and David could use the second bedroom as a home office.

The last property is a newly renovated one-bedroom unit at 1701 16th Street, NW. This property is further south than David wanted, but the finishes are just as nice as the first property, and the price tag is substantially better at $326,900. This unit also has a new kitchen, a washer/dryer and access to the roof deck.

Given these three choices, where should David submit an offer?

See other articles related to: kalorama, dclofts, dc buyer, adams morgan

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_buyer_the_non-profit_worker_looking_to_upgrade_to_adams_morgan_one-bedro/1743


  1. Sally said at 9:03 am on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    The Adams Mill Road property looks like the most move-in ready, but the two-bedroom on 19th Street sounds like a deal. The lack of photos with the listing make it hard to tell, though.

  1. LookingtoBuy said at 10:20 am on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    The one on 19th Street seems too good to be true, but that is the one I would choose.

  1. stephanie said at 10:43 am on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    I would go with the 2 bedroom so long as the bathroom and kitchen are functional.  Those can be renovated somewhere down the line, but space and location can’t be changed.

  1. annon said at 11:00 am on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    you can always upgrade a kitchen and bathroom but not square footage…go with more space…you will never be able to get an addition to your condo!

  1. Liz said at 12:16 pm on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    Both the second and third units are coops.  I’m not a fan of the upkeep in the third building.  I think the first one is the best of the bunch, but honestly, I’m not sure that any of them are worth the money given his income.

  1. LookingtoBuy said at 12:23 pm on Wednesday February 3, 2010:


    His income is fine for any of these if can sell his studio for a decent price. If he can put that equity from the sale towards the down payment, he’ll be fine.

  1. Michael said at 2:45 pm on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    Agree with annon.  Though a 2-br DOES sound too good to be true.  And there’s nothing wrong with living in a co-op…

    “you can always upgrade a kitchen and bathroom but not square footage…go with more space…you will never be able to get an addition to your condo!”

  1. Michael said at 7:56 pm on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    I am listing a 1BR/BA with brand new granite & stainless kitchen and bathroom with marble tile surround, refinished hardwood floor in LR w/ berber carpet in BR.  It is approximately 650SF and will be priced at $279,500.  Let me know if you have any interest.

  1. Michael said at 7:57 pm on Wednesday February 3, 2010:

    Property is at 18th & Belmont.

  1. Monica said at 11:15 am on Thursday February 4, 2010:

    Michael:  I’m interested in the property you mentioned on 18th and Belmont.  Is it listed yet?

  1. jonny said at 11:42 am on Thursday February 4, 2010:

    I have visited the 19th St building and it is not very well kept. They have a nice rooftop but the common areas are very shabby. Also, the coop has virtually no reserves, so I’d be very cautious about moving in there—if they have a capital expense, you can be sure there’ll be assessments up to wazoo. Plus there is a building coming up next door that will block views for many residents.

  1. Branka said at 3:00 pm on Thursday February 4, 2010:

    I have listing 1br/1ba, 645 sg f, totally remodeled kitchen with granite,Bosch SS apl. W/D in unit,marble bath, extra storage unit,FB Metro next block - for 329K
    3 Washington Cr #502

  1. Michael said at 6:30 pm on Thursday February 4, 2010:

    I just listed it today and added photos.  It is still under construction/ missing the appliances which will be installed in the next week.  1831 Belmont #303.

  1. Felicity said at 2:27 pm on Friday February 5, 2010:

    I live behind the 19th Street property, and there were 2 late night fires there within a span of a few weeks last year (or was it the year before?) I would try to talk to current residents about the building before I considered moving in; is there something faulty with the building? Accidents?  Great location but dark street, and, yes, the new building next door may block existing views. Come to think of it, isn’t 2627 Adams Mill Road the site of that terrible fire a few Octobers ago?  Strange.

  1. Zofie said at 4:02 pm on Friday February 5, 2010:

    It’s always hard to tell by pictures, but as jonny said this is in a very shabby building. I looked at a two-bed unit there myself and the layout was horrible and dark, the $450 condo fee is ridiculous for what you get. I’m also with those of you who warn of coops in general, though I’ll admit they’re not all bad, there’s always that risk. I recommend #1, for sure. PS: When something sounds to good to be true, it usually is.

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