Frustrated first-time buyers may be more successful if they opt to look at newly constructed buildings in the tight Washington real estate market.
Becca Russell-Einhorn and her husband, Waseem Abu Rakia, had been outbid by other buyers for two resale homes, but when their real estate agent suggested that they look at a one-bedroom loft at 2920 Georgia Ave. NW in Columbia Heights, their dream of homeownership became a reality.
“We ended up choosing a two-bedroom home because we plan to stay here for five to 10 years at least,” Russell-Einhorn said. “We feel like we got an amazing deal because we had looked at lots of smaller units in other buildings for the same price, plus we were able to get a corner unit with lots of windows.”
Chris Hook, another new resident at 2920 Georgia Ave., had been looking for a home to buy for 18 months and stopped into the building on a whim. “I really like the contemporary finishes in the building but also the fact that it’s a relatively small building without outrageous condo fees,” Hook said. “Plus the price is great for the size of the units. I’ve looked at studios that were priced the same as the one-bedroom homes here. I could live right on U Street for more money and less space, or live here within walking distance of U Street.”
Hook is moving from an English basement, so he’s particularly excited about the big south-facing windows that fill his new home with natural light.
Attention to detail: Linde Development, which built 2920 Georgia Ave., started in the 1920s constructing townhouses in Logan Circle, says Kurt Rieschick, sales manager with McWilliams Ballard.
“About 20 years ago, Art Linde took over Linde Development and has been focusing on apartments and condo development,” Rieschick said. “He pays a lot of attention to details, and even better, he takes constructive criticism really well. He talks to buyers at every one of his buildings and then makes improvements based on their feedback.”
Some of the details Rieschick points to are the sanded-in-place hardwood flooring and pocket doors.
At 2920 Georgia Ave., the floor plans have been designed efficiently so that they seem larger than their square feet. Every unit has at least one floor-to-ceiling window, large closets, a full-size washer and dryer, and hardwood flooring. The baths have porcelain tile flooring, and each kitchen has white quartz countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and European-style cabinets in high-gloss white or “Graffiata Planare,” a darker wood tone.
Views of landmarks: Unit 101, a first-floor apartment with approximately 700 square feet, priced at $394,900, has an open floor plan with a large center island, tall white cabinets, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows in the living and dining area. The bedroom has similar windows, two double-door closets and a laundry closet off the bath, which has gray porcelain floors and a deep combination tub and shower. This unit has a condo fee of $255.
Unit 303, priced at $534,900, is a two-bedroom, two-bath model with approximately 1,000 square feet. This unit has a foyer entrance with the living areas to the left and the bedrooms to the right. The open kitchen includes a large center island and a window, while the living and dining area has a wall of windows, along with a glass door to a balcony with a view of the Washington Monument. The master suite has a walk-in closet, a large bedroom and a large bath, including a large shower with a seat and a window framing a view of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Nearby are a coat closet, a laundry closet and a second full bath with a combination tub and shower. The second bedroom has a double-door closet.
Unit 401, the only remaining floor plan with a loft, has approximately 800 square feet and is priced at $454,900, with a condo fee of $255. This unit has the same layout as Unit 101, but has a loft above the kitchen and views of the basilica.
In addition to the private outdoor space that comes with some units, the building has an enclosed brick courtyard and a rooftop deck, which offers views of the Washington Monument, the National Cathedral, the basilica and city rooftops. The pet-friendly building has an elevator, secure underground parking and bike racks.
Eating and shopping: Residents can walk to restaurants, shops and nightlife in Columbia Heights and the U Street corridor. Next door is Woodland’s Vegan Bistro, and across the street is Bravo Bar.
“It’s close to everything, but we also think it’s got a great opportunity for growth along this stretch of Georgia Avenue,” Russell-Einhorn said. “Plus, there’s a really cute coffee shop right next door.”
Schools: Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View, Cardozo Education Campus.
Transit: The building is less than one mile from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station and the Columbia Heights Metro station, both on the Yellow and Green lines. There also are multiple bus lines — H1, H2, H3, H4, 63, 64, 70 and 79.
Michele Lerner is a freelance writer.
The remaining 11 units are priced from $394,900 to $534,900.
Builder: Designed by AR Meyers and Associates for Linde Development
Features: The condos have sanded-in-place hardwood flooring, 9- to 15-foot ceilings, full-size washers and dryers, European kitchen cabinets, white quartz counters, stainless-steel appliances and porcelain bathroom tiles. A limited number of underground parking spaces are available for $35,000 per space and a monthly fee of $39.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 or 2/1 or 2
Square footage: 500 to 1,000
Condominium association fees: $255 to $333 per month
View models: Open Sundays noon to 3 p.m. and by appointment
Contact: Kurt Rieschick at 202-695-7580 or www.2920georgiaavenue.com