- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2009

First-time homebuyers often long to live in the city, where they can enjoy the ease of walking to work (and to play), but often those buyers are frustrated by the expense of urban homes. This frustration is especially prevalent near sought-after neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, Georgetown and Logan Circle. The hipper the community, the higher the price.

To live in the city, homebuyers often compromise on space, storage and the number of bedrooms and baths - recognizing that they are more likely to spend time away from home when the city’s shops, museums, theaters, art galleries, jazz clubs, concert venues and restaurants are steps away.

Unit 5 at 1706 S St. NW offers two bedrooms, two baths and 1,202 finished square feet in a charming Victorian-style mansion-turned-condominium-building. It is on the market for $479,000. Condominium association fees are $250 per month.

Known as the Jason, this 114-year-old building sits on a tiny block between New Hampshire Avenue and 17th Street, facing a newly landscaped dog park.

The all-brick Jason building features stone front steps, wrought-iron railings and a gate, and mahogany front doors with glass panels. Inside the first set of double-doors is a vestibule with mailboxes and an intercom system for secured entrance to the building’s five homes. Unit 5, located on the lower level, has a private front entrance on the ground level with a covered vestibule.

All of the residents may enjoy the rooftop deck for a bird’s-eye view of the city skyline and nearby rooftops. Unit 5 also has a private backyard.

Inside, this home has sleek contemporary-style architectural touches. An exposed-brick wall lends warmth to the interiors. The home features restored hardwood floors and recessed lighting.

The open living area provides plenty of space for an art collection and oversized furniture. The dining area is at one end of the open space near the kitchen, and a nook at one end of the living-dining area provides space for a cozy home office.

The renovated kitchen includes new stainless steel appliances, granite counters, wood cabinets and hardwood floors. Track and recessed lighting keep the kitchen bright.

The bedrooms and baths also have been renovated. One bath has a glass-enclosed shower. The master bedroom has a double-door closet. The second bedroom has an unusual triangle-shaped window set in a nook.

Residents of the Jason building live in a prime neighborhood for walking and easy access to public transportation. Nearby are countless shops, restaurants, theaters and music venues in Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Adams Morgan neighborhoods. The Dupont Circle Metro station is less than half a mile from the building, and bus stops are on nearly every corner.

The Jason’s “Walkscore” (found at www.walkscore.com) is 100 out of 100 possible points, which means that residents enjoy living in one of the nation’s “most walkable” neighborhoods.

The new owners of this home will enjoy the renovated indoor spaces, the rooftop deck and the private backyard. They also may find that they have more living area than they initially thought.

Comparing price and square footage does not always provide an accurate idea of how large a space may feel because that largely depends on the layout of a home.

Trulia.com states that the average price per square foot in the Dupont Circle area was $523 in the third quarter of 2009. This home of about 1,202 square feet in the Jason is priced at $399 per square foot - a considerable value compared with other properties in its neighborhood.

Address: 1706 S St. NW, Unit 5, Washington, DC 20009

Community: Dupont Circle

Age: Built in 1895

Price: $479,000

Size: About 1,202 finished square feet

Taxes: $4,943 in 2008

Condominium association fee: $250 per month

Exterior features: Victorian-style mansion converted to a self-managed five-unit condominium building of solid brick with stone front steps, wrought-iron railings and a gate; mahogany front doors with glass panels; private front entrance with a covered vestibule; private backyard; rooftop deck shared with other building residents; secured entrance with intercom system

Interior features: Two bedrooms and two full baths; renovated interiors with exposed-brick wall; recessed and track lighting; restored hardwood floors; open living and dining room; updated kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, granite counters and wood cabinets; renovated baths with a glass-enclosed shower in one bath; master bedroom has a double-door closet; second bedroom has an unusual triangle-shaped window; washer and dryer; gas heat and water heater; central air conditioning

Close by: Walk to countless shops, restaurants, theaters and music venues in Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Adams Morgan neighborhoods; Dupont Circle Metro station within walking distance, as are offices in downtown Washington; new dog park directly across the street

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Cindi Williams at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 202/333-6100

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