Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Odyssey vs Clarendon 1021 in 22201 Arlington VA

(Bias alert: I live in and own a unit at 1021 in Clarendon, or see blog post & video and I love it.)

But the Odyssey Rocks.

Construction Material
I’m not a builder, but since 1021 was built initially as a rental apartment, Odyssey was built more solidly. Also the upgrades are all a level nicer from flooring to appliances.

Green Building
I don’t know if the building has an official “Green” status, but the sellers we have helped have shown us their utility bills and they were as low as $35 a month total. About ½ of 1021. Sorry if this post doesn’t add new information. I’m just telling you what I know and not Bsing what I don’t.

The View
If you think 1021 has a great view, the Odyssey’s roof top will blow your mind. Couple that with an amazing rooftop party room (1021 had one, but it got sold off as a unit) and rooftop gym and it puts 1021 to shame. (no hot tub in the Odyssey though)
This is where 1021 skyrockets back on top. 1021 is located in the more expensive Clarendon vs Courthouse. It is just 2 blocks from wholefoods, shops, restaurants, and night life. Meanwhile people that I know in Courthouse (1 metro to stop away) head to Clarendon 80% of the time. But not so fast, the nextdoor Dr Dremos and Taco Bell are being replaced with a retail area similar to Clarendon.

They are both about the same distance to their respective metro, with courthouse being one stop closer to DC, but also one stop more full of people.

The best thing to do when in these buildings is to talk to the neighbors. Recently I was working with a client and my 1021 bias was apparent so I thought I’d strike up a conversation with a resident.

“Excuse me, we are considering the Odyssey Condominiums and 1021 Condos. When you bought did you look at both?”

He went off on 1021 and how much he loved the Odyssey. On top of that, the 2 br run about $30-40K less for a similar sized 2 bedroom on a similar floor level. For him it was a no brainer, The Odyssey won him over.

When showing places I try to keep my opinions to myself.

It doesn’t matter if I like brown or rooms that can hold a projection TV. Or a condo that is 20% larger. Who am I to say how much room you need to live or how much you might not mind walking a few extra blocks.

Bottom line is the Odyssey is worth looking at. Here is a link to Odyssey Condos for sale today. Here are 40 photos from 3 units we sold here.

Do watch out since some units are wildly overpriced there. As in over $100,000 overpriced. Also email me if you want to see a spreadsheet that my agent Megan (our agent) did. She analyzed 30 past sales and it runs a ratio of the average profit and loss by the initial purchases (don't just go by the tax records, the seller subsidy matters!).

Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker FranklyRealty.com

Monday, June 16, 2008

Review: Williamsburg Condos in Arlington's Courthouse

Williamsburg Condos on 1276 N Wayne St Arlington, VA 22201

I have 3 friends that live in the Williamsburg Condos in Courthouse. They love it!

The 1st thing that stands out is the huge floorplans versus the newer buildings in the area. This building was built in 1982 1993-1994 and to a certain degree it shows in the common areas and the lack of a rooftop social area.

I didn’t know if rooftop pools are much more expensive, but it seems like a waste that the Williamsburg condos doesn’t use their rooftop at all. No pools, no party room, no nothing.
Since the units were built in 1982 some will have renovations and some will be original.

A renovation can alter the price by $50,000 so make sure you compare apples to apples.

Also each floor can be about $4,000 in value.

The building does have a pool tucked in the back corner.

This building is about twice as far from the metro vs Odyssey and 1021.

PARKING: I love the 5 short term 30 minute spots in the front. I wish everyone had that. I rarely see even half of them taken. Also street parking is plentiful (I think it is all metered, can somebody verify that?). Spots tend to go for only $10k-$15k (vs $40k elsewhere)

Also the parking inside the building is plentiful. I understand you can rent a spot for as little as $50/mo and buy for as little as $10,000, but now more like $20,000.

So the building is less expensive than Clarendon 1021, since it is older, but also Courthouse is about $40,000 less than Clarendon.

A list of all Actives for sale in: Williamsburg Condos.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this condo, wanna see more photos, or if you would like to contact my friends and ask them specific questions. We have bought and sold several units in this building (see 60 photos of 3 sold units) .

-Written by Frank Borges LLosa- Broker FranklyRealty.com
ps. Here is the official site for this condo.