Home Buying in 20007>Question Details

Patti, Home Buyer in 20007

I work in D.C. every other week but live in New Hampshire (where I own a large house). I would like to buy a one bedroom as I am tired of renting a

Asked by Patti, 20007 Sat May 22, 2010

room from a friend and would sometimes like to take my kids there for weekends or holidays. I am thinking the East Village of Georgetown or West End and do not want to spend much over $300K. Would it be best to wait another 6 months or more? Seems like the market is too high still from what I have seen on Trullia.

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Dear Patti:
There is no good reason not to start your search now. Interest rates are incredibly low and there is better inventory in May through mid-July than there will be in Aug.... and if you decide to wait after you have looked around, you can resume your search in the fall. You may find just the right place that could later be used as a rental investment.
DC is attractive for many reasons but the area tends to weather economic storms better than most places as the federal govt. tends to create jobs in leaner times (think post 9/11 especially).
My blog has more on this. Please contact me if I can be of assistance. It would be my pleasure to help you in your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 27, 2010
Hi Patti,

I agree with the other agents who have suggested that you buy now.

Prices inside the DC beltway are already increasing (about 3% in the past year). Real estate prices are based in part on a strong local economy, the job market and interest rates. DC has a strong economy and a strong job market. As of yesterday, interest rates are the lowest they have been in 50 years. (Interest rates are being effected in part by what is happening to Greece and other European countries as well as China.) Interest are projected to increase over the next 6 months.

As mentioned by one of the other agents who answered you, condo inventories are low. Low real estate inventory also contributes to higher sale prices.

I will be happy to interview with you to represent you as a buyer agent. I can set you up with an account on listingbook.com where you can see everything pertaining to listings that I see, including pending sells.

Feel free to email me at deb@deborahdepolo.com

Deborah DePolo, GRI
Licensed in DC, MD, & VA
Keller Williams Capital Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 26, 2010
The biggest impact on house prices in that area will be interest rates increasing. As rates increase buying power decreases. going from 5% to 7% buying power drops 23.9%. That means a $200k house suddenly becomes a $152k house with the same monthly payment.

D.C. is one of the few areas that has jobs. The government is creating them. I would not expect much price drop there unless congress actually cuts government jobs, wages, or the interest rates rise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 23, 2010
I agree with Deborah that you're not likely to see prices drop in that area much (if at all) in the next 6 months or so. That area is relatively recession-resistant. Nor are you likely to see interest rates improve. So, really, if you want to buy, it makes sense to buy now.

I used to live in that area a long time ago--at 2500 Que St. It's a good area for location, entertainment, etc. And you've got Rock Creek Park right there, with things like the National Zoo just up Connecticut Avenue and the Kennedy Center really within walking distance in the other direction. I also lived in the general West End area when I was a student at GW. The lack of a Metro stop wasn't that big of a deal even in the eastern part of Georgetown--the Dupont Metro is only about a 6 block walk. And it certainly sounds like you're already familiar with the area.

So, while I'm not one of these "Now is a great time to buy!" Realtors, if you do plan on buying in that area, I don't see any valid reason for waiting.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 23, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Hi Patti...
Congratulations on making the decision to invest in Washington real estate.
Did you select the East Village and West End because they are close to your work? Do you get by with out a car when you are in DC? How much "guest space" do your need for your children? Do you mind being on the terrace level (DC code for lower level or partially below grade)? Could you live with a well designed studio condo?
The entry level condo market in Washington is quite strong and it is not uncommon for a well located, well priced unit to get multiple offers. That means you have a lot of competition for the best units. I do not expect prices for condos in popular and well established neighborhoods, like the ones you prefer, to go down in price in the next 6 months. Therefore I think you should start looking at properties over the summer and plan to be settled by October or November.

I suggest that you interview a few agents and choose a nice knowledgeable one to work with. Because your price range is a competitive one you need an active advocate working for you. Searching on the internet is great for selecting neighborhoods or getting a general idea of how much one-bedroom condos in DC cost...but when you're looking for a specific unit to purchase, so often by the time you discover it online, it it's gone...

I wish you the best of luck in finding a great property in Washington. I hope you will enjoy the process of buying real estate...I always do.

Kind regards,
Deborah Hrouda
Long & Foster Realtors
202.363.1800 ext 3727
Web Reference: http://metroDCmaison.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 22, 2010
Hi Patti,

You picked the right time to buy with rates dropping again last week. And, you will be making a substantial future investment due to the fact that Washington, D.C. has the highest appreciation rate. The housing crisis is more national than regional, and the heart of the U.S. Government is located in D.C. and is a very transient area, as you know. If you currently live in the 20007 zip code, you may want to move closer to a Metro stop. If I can help you in your search, just let me know. I have lived in the area for 50+ years, so I know the neighborhoods. Please feel free to google my name as well.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 22, 2010
To Patti:

I would say a one bedroom condo would be the logical choice; for a house it's usually 2 bedrooms. There would be numerous choices depending on your price range. I work actively with DC rowhouses; please e-mail for more information: goodluck500@gmail.com.

Linda Funabashi/Realty Pros
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 22, 2010
Hi Patty,

Prices in DC are on their way up. Even though they did go up signifcantly a few years ago when real estate madness was happening, the prices never really dropped back down that much. I contribute it to the fact that the economy in DC hasn't been nearly as bad as the rest of the country, being the seat of the Federal Gov't and all, so prices have remained somewhat more steady.

Waiting 6 months won't really make a difference and, inventory in DC is dropping, so that will start to push prices higher.

I'd be happy to talk with you about what's available in your price range. There are options just outside of DC in MD and VA as well. I'm licensed in all three, so I can show you anything, anywhere you'd like to look.

Kelly Putz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 22, 2010
Hello, I just looked in the E. Vill. of G'town and found only one property under $300,000
(DC7171547). The next one is $336,500. As for the West End, that is more feasible overall in your price-range.

Mortgage rates are the very best we've seen and we are anticipating increases in the next few months. Personally, I think now is the time to buy. Besides, it makes me tired thinking of your renting from a friend as often as you do. Wouldn't you just like to settle somewhere and stay put?
Please do give me a call if I can help you further.

Bette Land, W.C. & A.N. Miller Realtors, a Long and Foster Co. - 202-680-4365
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 22, 2010

The market is actually moving up and it has been since late last fall. Prices are probably going to continue to creep up rather then fall back. The biggest benefit for buyers at the moment is that interest rates are very low. The best advice I can give you is to get set up on an automated search engine (I can do this for you) and get to know the inventory that is out there. If you get into a few places to take a look it will give you a better understanding of the pricing for the area and what is available.

If I can be of assistance please contact me at:


I will be more the happy to assist in any way that I can.


M. Joseph Reef
Coldwell Banker
"The Reef Team"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 22, 2010
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