Sundays With Strangers

DC9673238 - Efficiency unit in SW DCI was at the bar the other night with a group of friends, and somehow we started playing the “would you rather?” game.  Eventually someone asked, “Would you rather … live with roommates again, or live in a van?”  (These were all people who’d once lived in group houses or with significant others but now lived solo.)  After a surprisingly short period of clarification (you would have to be able to customize the van by tearing all the seats out, there would have to be a cheap 24-hour gym within five miles where you could shower), everyone agreed that they’d rather live in the van.  Even when I upped the ante – “would you rather live with roommates again, or live in a shipping container/under a bridge/in a tent in Rock Creek Park?” – everyone immediately chose the non-roommates option.  I couldn’t believe everyone was so anti-roommate, until I remembered that time one of my roommates invited a stranger who’d just been released from a mental hospital (where they’d been confined for attacking their mother with a knife) to sleep on our sofa for several weeks, or the time another roommate spent several months discarding half-eaten packages of cookies and candy on the floor of his room, until one day he his feet itched so much that he cleaned up all the detritus to discover that the floor was covered in a living carpet of ants.  So yeah, I guess roommates are pretty horrible.

The reason I bring this up is because you – yes, you with your Sociology degree and your three figure savings account – could own this place, and live alone, for more or less the same money as you’d pay to live with a bunch of irritating people in a group house with discount marble counters and a wobbly toilet.  Not only that, it’s a great investment.  (It’s right by the Wharf mega-development, which is going to do for Southwest what the MCI Center did for Chinatown.)  This Southwest efficiency is, well, a room.  It’s one room.  Usually for these inexpensive write-ups, I at least opt for a one bedroom, but I really do like this place.  What do I like about it?  Well, for starters, the price.  It’s pretty cheap.  Sure, $150K sounds like a lot of money – it is a lot of money – but in real estate terms it’s the equivalent of three monthly payments of $19.99.  I mean, the other open house I went to was at a $12 million mansion in Upper Northwest, and literally two mortgage payments for that house – two! – would pay for this place in its entirety.  Clearly, the takeaway is this: befriend a very wealthy person and try to get your hands on a couple of their mortgage payment checks.  It’ll be worth your while.

But back to this place.  It’s bright, with aged wood floors, and it’s much longer than it is wide;  push the furniture to the side and you could bowl a regulation game in here.  It has a cozy sunroom that you could use as a bedroom or an office or whatever;  I’m not exactly sure what you’re *supposed* to use a sunroom for, technically.  Napping?  Plants?  Meditation?  It seems meditation-y to me.  Also, like most of the of units in this building, it has a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that are partially screened-over with a stylish kind of late Sixties/early Seventies metal apparatus.  I could make an Austin Powers-themed joke here, but I won’t, because I respect you as a person.

There’s a small kitchen here in the corner; my very strong recommendation is to get rid of this hulking monolithic refrigerator and get a sleeker one – maybe even a dorm-style half-fridge.  While you’re at it, tear out the space-hogging countertop and massive range.  Google “tiny house appliances” and you’ll find that this seemingly small kitchen can seem two or three times bigger with some better design choices.  There are closets in the short hallway, so you won’t have to completely shed all of your earthly belongings to live here (only like 90%), and through there is the bathroom.  There’s a sink, a tub, et cetera.  It’s actually much larger than I would’ve expected;  I feel like most efficiencies have one of those bathrooms where your knees touch the door when you sit on the toilet, and the shower is one of those triangular camping-style showers that’s barely big enough for one person.  (Why would you want to have more than one person in the shower anyway, you pervert?)

The building has a great lobby to, I don’t know, hang out in?  Do people hang out in the lobbies of their buildings?  I’d like to have a lobby to hang out in, though I suspect the desk guy would yell at me a lot for taking my shoes off, snoring, etc.  There’s also an outdoor pool, which is a nice perk to have in your pocket if you live in an efficiency; when people at parties ask you where you live, you can be like, “in a building with an outdoor pool.”  They’ll be so jealous, they won’t bother with any follow-up questions.

1311 Delaware Avenue NW #S636
1 Bedroom, 1 Bath

DC9673238 - Balcony overlooking Stadium


Living area - Huge sliding glass doors lead to private balcony.

Towards kitchen and front door - Newly painted walls throughout.

Kitchen - Fully functioning kitchen

Bath - Full bathtub, tile throughout and another closet.

Mid Century Modern Lobby - River Park is kept very clean and organized by a wonderful staff and managament

Outdoor Swimming Pool - Pool is open May through September and is meticulously maintained.

All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy of Christopher Heller, Coldwell Banker, 202-333-6600

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