DC Buyer: Working Couple Looking for a Unit With a Home Office

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. If you are a prospective buyer and would like to be featured in DC Buyer, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). See all of our past DC Buyer articles here.

Today we’re working with Nicole, 31, and Eric, 36. Nicole works for a Congressman from her home state and Eric works for HUD. They married last year, and have been living in the one-bedroom condo that Nicole already owned. They would like more space, including some room for a home office and have been thinking about adopting a dog from the Washington Animal Rescue League for a while, but Nicole’s building has a firm no-pets policy.

410 11th Street NE

Nicole makes about $55,000 per year, and has a FICO score of 722. Eric makes $46,000 a year, but is on track for a GS increase at his next performance review, so he’s comfortable maxing out his current salary for the right home. With about $110,000 in positive equity from Nicole’s condo, they are looking for something in the $350,000 to $400,000 range.

Eric and Nicole are looking for a one bedroom plus den or a two-bedroom unit, so they have a place to work and hopefully also host an occasional overnight guest. They don’t want to be responsible for yard maintenance, although a deck or patio that didn’t require any work would be nice. They also don’t want to renovate anything, or even have to paint, so something in turn-key condition is important. Lastly, even though they haven’t officially decided to adopt a dog, they aren’t willing to consider anything that doesn’t allow pets. Even if they don’t decide to adopt right away, they want to keep that option open.

The first option we have for Nicole and Eric is 410 11th Street, NE, Unit #9. This 900 square-foot two-bedroom condo has a good open floorplan with exposed brick, a living room fireplace, and a recently renovated kitchen. This condo lacks easy Metro access, but bus lines make up the difference to Union Station or the Hill, and the H Street streetcar line is just a couple blocks albeit a few years away. This pet-friendly unit has a condo fee of $330 per month.

1201 Q Street NW

The second choice is 1201 Q Street NW, Unit #103. Listed for $399,000, this dog-friendly, two-bedroom property is the most expensive home we are featuring, but that is because it is the most centrally located in Logan Circle. Logan Circle offers an abundance of neighborhood options for a young couple, including ample restaurants, grocery options (only two blocks to Whole Foods), Metro access via U Street, and plenty of open spaces to walk the puppy they hope to adopt. The unit itself is large, but fairly vanilla, however it does have the most closet space of any of the featured properties.

1350 Randolph Street NW

Our last option for the couple is 1350 Randolph Street NW, Unit #3. This two-bedroom, two-bath/loft measures out at almost 1,000 square feet and is located in a converted rowhouse in Columbia Heights. Available for the relative bargain of $359,900, this dog-friendly unit is an architectural stunner with modern finishes, an open design and a great loft addition. With garage parking offered for an additional fee, this may be the best deal of the three. 

Given these three choices, where do you think they should call home?


See other articles related to: dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_buyer_working_couple_looking_for_a_unit_with_a_home_office/1950


  1. Bean said at 8:47 am on Wednesday April 7, 2010:

    The 11th Street property. I am a little bit conflicted as this one escaped my radar and I am looking for a two-bedroom. Still, putting my interests aside, this is the one I would go with.

  1. Jie said at 9:16 am on Wednesday April 7, 2010:

    The Logan Circle condo is definitely the best location, but the Randolph condo location has the potential for the most growth.  Also, I love how open and fresh the Randolph one seems (big green yard space, fresh air).

  1. PetworthRes said at 9:57 am on Wednesday April 7, 2010:

    The Randolph St condos were featured as a Good Deal or Not on the Prince of Petworth website. I commented there as well about the horrible cheap kitchen. The kitchen cabinets are pre-fab units from IKEA you just push up against the wall. IKEA kitchens can be great, but you need to stick with the higher-end models and they are very durable. But these are the absolute cheapest cabinets they sell. I doubt they spent more than $750 on cabinetry for the whole kitchen. I wouldn’t get anywhere near that condo…makes me wonder what else they cheaped out on…

  1. wdc said at 10:42 am on Wednesday April 7, 2010:

    410 11th St.  That’s a nice building on a nice block.  Proximity to H Street is a plus, especially when the streetcars are running in a year or two.  In the meantime, that’s a pretty easy commute to the Capitol for her.  H Street is getting a nice grocery store at 4th & H soon too and so that seems like the best spot in terms of investment.

  1. Annie said at 11:06 am on Wednesday April 7, 2010:

    I went to see the 11th Street property last weekend and I wasn’t impressed.  It’s very dark, and while the new kitchen appliances were nice, the cabinets were cheap.  I wouldn’t pay $389,000 for it.

  1. ColumbiaHeightsTownie said at 1:10 pm on Wednesday April 7, 2010:

    The Randolph Street condo has a very sleek, clean and modern feel; also I was told the floors are from reclaimed wood from old wood joists [they look pretty cool]. I think for the value this is the one to get.

  1. SimonF said at 9:02 am on Thursday April 8, 2010:

    11th Street. Given where they work, this looks like the best choice.

  1. Citi said at 12:10 pm on Thursday April 8, 2010:

    I love the 11th St. property.  You really can’t go wrong with this one.  Solid, quality finishes, architectue, location.  The Randolph St location would have been great had they not went cheap with the kitchen - that is the dealbreaker for me.  It would be very hard to live with that kitchen.

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