Time actually is accelerating, not just in the quantum physics sense of the universe expanding faster and faster, but also in the only sense that matters, which is in our minds. You see, when we’re 20 years old, a year is 1/20th of our lives, and more or less feels like it. When we’re 40, that same 365 days is now 1/40th of our lives, which feels half as long as it did just a couple decades before. The whole point of that is to say that paying rent gets more and more annoying as you get older, because the months really do seem to get shorter and shorter. I swear the ink isn’t even dry on my last rent check when it’s time to write another one. So owning a place, especially a place as cheap as this, starts to look more appealing.
The listing for this surprisingly nice unit – fun fact: it just might be the cheapest place on the market right now – starts with the line, “$45,432 cash to purchase!” Which sounds vaguely scammy, doesn’t it? The weirdly specific number, the insistence on cash – do we wire the money to a Nigerian prince? Put the cash in a briefcase and leave it in a trashcan at Union Station? I don’t know, I’d probably take the chance. You could have this nice one bedroom in Logan Circle for a little over $200K. There are parking spaces in Logan Circle that cost more than $200K. You enter into a legitimate foyer; yes, a foyer! These “cheapest listing on the market” places are almost always just single room studios, but this is a real living space. Stroll down the foyer and you come to the living room. What can I say, it’s a room. It’s nice-sized, with several large windows, and enough space for one of those huge sectional sofas that are more comfortable to sleep on than an actual bed. What else? There’s a little shelf on the wall. You can stack all the cash you’re not paying towards rent anymore on the shelf. Your friends will come over and be like, “why is there $75,000 in stacked hundreds on that bookshelf?” (“That’s all the money I’m not paying on rent anymore, since I bought this place. I’m stacking it on that shelf because my aunt forwarded me an e-mail about the Federal Reserve and now I don’t trust banks.”) It’s a nice living room.
The kitchen is cozy and oblong. There isn’t much counter space; if I’m being honest, there’s no counter space. But you can put some long tables against the wall that’s opposite the stove and have about eight feet of counter space, though let’s be real, no one ever uses counter space for anything except empty styrofoam takeout containers and stacks of unopened junk mail and student loan bills. Counter space is basically a euphemism for the homeowner demographic to use to subtly one-up each other. “You should see how much counter space we have in the new kitchen!” “Oh yeah? We just bought an SUV with 19 cup holders.” But you aren’t chopping up nine kinds of vegetable simultaneously any more than people are driving around with 19 Slurpees in their car. (I can’t decide if “counter space is overrated” is the hottest take ever, or the coldest.)
The bedroom is surprisingly large, with oversized windows and a legit walk-in closet. The master bath has a shower/tub and a single basin, and it’s bright and aesthetically pleasing. This master bedroom suite is as nice as the master suites in many places that cost two or three times as much; if you have a friend who bought a similar place for way way more money, you should definitely invite them over and rub it in. “The down payment was as much as a Kia hatchback, and it’s gonna be all paid off in about eighteen months. After that, I’ll probably go down to part-time at my job and buy a fleet of Jet-Skis or something.” If that doesn’t reduce them to tears, just show them your cash shelf.
1417 N Street NW #311
1 Bedroom, 1 Bath
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Coldwell Banker, 202-387-6180