A Visit to the Firehouse #25 Penthouse
Everyone I bump into someone looking for a condo on Capitol Hill I tell them to check out unit #12 at 1406 Harvard Ave, also known as Firehouse #25. The reason I’m so quick to recommend it is its screaming value, 2,307 square feet for $425k. Down nearly $200k; it first hit the market for $612k this April. And of course, I have a weakness for exposed brick, tall ceilings and vintage buildings in the Pike-Pine corridor.
Now there must be some sort of catch right? This is the same place that was on the market for $1.2 million back in spring of 2007. And while the market has dipped since 2007, it has not dipped that much!
The catch is that this unit has seen much better days. To get a sense of the before and after, check out these listing photos from 3 years ago and compare them to the listing photos today. And here are the photos I took when I finally visited the place in August with an agent who shares my fascination with condos.
Gone are the fancy light fixtures, stainless steel appliances (including wine fridge), the vintage belt fans, the fancy shower, the 1,200 bottle wine cellar racks…
What’s left is the very outdated kitchen style, worn floors and lots of wear and tear.
Even after visiting the place I still think this is a very unique space and a steal at the current price. What makes it special?
- Trap door in the main floor bathroom leading to what the previous owner used as a 1,200 bottle wine cellar
- Two bedrooms
- Balcony, but unfortunately it is off one of the upstairs bedrooms and it is small.
- There’s a second room across the hall from the unit that’s about 100 square feet that you could use as a detached office or storage space
- Two parking spots
- Decent amount of closet space but they’re not exactly walk-in-closets.
- Skylight in the bathroom
But you’ll need to do some work:
- The kitchen is really outdated. You’ll need a new one.
- The bathrooms need updating too.
- The floors do not look good.
- The window sills are granite.
- Weird glass partitions in the bedrooms.
Actually if I bought it, I’d just gut the whole place and start from scratch. I guess that’s why it is $425k and there haven’t been any takers yet. Or maybe its the what looks like water damage in the common areas.