Explore neighborhoods in and around DC that offer residents the best bang for their buck
Many factors contribute to the decision to buy a home: price, location, amenities, resale potential, nearby schools—the list goes on and on. In a market like DC, where real estate inventory is relatively limited and homes vary drastically from neighborhood to neighborhood, this is especially true and can make the home search that much trickier. To help simplify it, we are breaking down the communities in and around DC that offer the best value, combining both affordability and potential.
Up-and-coming communities tend to offer excellent value, and Brookland is a perfect example. With a rich religious and educational history (Brookland is home to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as well as Catholic University of America), this quaint Northwest DC neighborhood is home to students, artists, and families who all share a close-knit community bond. While Brookland’s charming bungalows, rowhouses, and detached single-family homes were far more affordable a decade ago than they are now, this city neighborhood with a small-town feel remains one of the greatest-value areas within DC’s city limits.
The median home value in Brookland is $634,100, and the median list price per square foot comes in at $499--10% lower than the DC average of $550. Slightly removed from Downtown, homes in Brookland also offer more space for growing families. Brookland offers its residents a number of desirable amenities, from a rich small business community of coffee shops, art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques to tree-lined streets and easy access to parks and green spaces in neighboring communities.
Capitol Hill is without a doubt DC’s most iconic district. The cornerstone of American politics, Capitol Hill contains attractions like the Senate, Library of Congress, and--of course--the Capitol Building. In addition to its historic architecture, it is also home to some of the hottest new eateries and beautiful outdoor green spaces. The neighborhood was at the core of architect Pierre L’Enfant’s city masterplan and is primarily comprised of iconic rowhomes along with an array of modern condos and townhouses.
The median home value in Capitol Hill is $799,000, and the median list price per square foot is $662. Although slightly higher than the DC average, considering Capitol Hill’s close proximity to a plethora of highly sought-after amenities and landmarks, the accessibility and convenience it provides makes it a good value.
Flanked by the Potomac River to the west and the Anacostia River to the east, DC is a true waterfront destination that remained largely underdeveloped until 2017 when The Wharf opened in Southwest, a huge undertaking by renowned real estate developer PN Hoffman. To The Wharf’s immediate south, you’ll find the neighborhood dubbed Southwest Waterfront, an oasis for locals and visitors alike and home to the nation’s longest continuously operating open-air fish market.
Slightly removed from the bustle of the revitalized mile-long stretch along the Potomac, Southwest Waterfront is a hub for art and culture lovers that offers a small community feel without compromising access to big-city amenities. The opening of The Wharf, its luxury condo buildings, and rich dining and entertainment offerings have helped boost home values in the area, but it’s not too late to invest in Southwest Waterfront real estate. These values will continue to rise for years to come.
The median home value in Southwest Waterfront is $414,100, and the median list price per square foot is $483.