UrbanTurf Reader Poll: Small Building or Big Building?

by Mark Wellborn


After visiting 1617 Swann on Wednesday, we got to thinking about whether it is better to live in a small boutique condo building or a large new development. There are obviously pros and cons to both, but we’re interested in which you would prefer. Email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and let us know if you prefer the bigger new developments (e.g. The Flats at Union Row, CityVista) or smaller buildings (e.g. Cromley Lofts, Abingdon Row).

See other articles related to: dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/urbanturf_reader_poll_small_building_or_big_building/781


  1. aj said at 10:36 am on Monday April 13, 2009:

    I think the smaller more unique buildings are a lot better in terms of character, but there may be some inherent efficiencies and economies of scale in a larger development. Also, larger condo projects may be more affordable to buy into. on the other hand, projects like Cromley Lofts are built with a lot more care and precision whereas something like the project at 9th and Florida are probably built with less than exemplary quality standards. If I could afford a Cromley-Loft-esque building it would be my first choice every time.

  1. Will Smith said at 11:00 am on Monday April 13, 2009:

    For me the big drawback for small buildings is the risk of building maintenance and management suffering if owners don’t or can’t pay their fees. In a building with six or seven units, if one single owner doesn’t pay, there goes more than 10% of the building’s budget! In a building with 200 units, that risk is spread much more thinly.

    Taking this to the extreme, consider the many rowhouse condo conversions throughout DC. In many cases those are only two- or three-unit condos. What if one owner stops paying the fees? Or what if one owner is simply dishonest or unfair or otherwise problematic. You’re stuck with dealing them! After all, the condo association is just you and them. Doesn’t this concern people?

  1. Pat Harrison said at 1:48 pm on Monday April 13, 2009:

    I just wanted to warn people about purchasing in smaller buildings and I could also use some advice.

    I live in a small condo building with four units which I purchased in 2006.  Three of the units are owner occupied and one is a rental.  The seller could not sell the last unit because the market had already collapsed by then and so he chose to rent it out.

    Since the seller could not sell all of the units, he is considered the condo president and let me tell you it’s been a nightmare.  Mice, damaged hardwood floors in 2nd bedroom from leaky siding, common areas always filthy dirty, holes in the building and recently, broken front door because one of the units have several hundred people including their two children living there that run in out 24 hours a day, they have no furniture so everything they say and do I can hear, they never shut up and they have not paid one penny of condo fees since they moved in two years ago.

    Last summer I had to pay out of my own pocket to have the main air conditioning unit on the roof repaired and I still have not been reimbursed.

    My neighbor across the hall and I pay our condo fees and can hardly get a return phone call from this guy or he thinks we complain too much and says there’s nothing he can do.

    There are more cons but I don’t think there’s enough time to tell it all.

    The pros of the building are that each unit has a private parking space in the back and it’s super close to metro, the grocery store, shopping and a major street; but tucked far enough back with row houses on tree lined street and for the most part, it’s very quiet.  I would say low condo fees but you see how that’s working out for me.

    Based on my current situation, I would say purchase in a larger building.

  1. Jeremy said at 8:38 pm on Friday April 17, 2009:

    Smaller is a better option for me.  I think there is more character is a smaller building and have more control of things to improve the space and make it current without tons of opionions and hurdles to overcome.  I think an attorney should get involved if things are not getting done with comments above.

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