Home Buying in Washington>Question Details

Joan, Home Buyer in Maryland

purchasing a house right now in DC is still pretty expensive, is it worth it?

Asked by Joan, Maryland Thu Sep 27, 2007

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It depends on where you want to be. DC has many niches and neighborhoods and they are all different. On average - since the 2005 highs - the average and median DC prices for single family homes has NOT gone down. In 2005 the average was $628,170 and now in 2007 it is $689,677. Average condo and coop sales prices are currently at $408,436 and fighting their way back up to the 2005 highs of $426,576. (All stats from gcaar.com.) Those again are averages. Depending on your price range and areas of interest (both in and outside of DC) the story is different and prices have come down. In some areas significantly. Inventory in both condos and single family homes increased again in September. There is more to chose from as buyers. Think of what areas interest you and then investigate how that niche market is doing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2007
It depends on how type of house you are trying to buy - Ex:Condo,townhouse,single family etc. And also,how much are you willing to spend on a house. Yes,some prices of homes in Washington,DC are expensive. But you can still find something reasonable. Real Estate is still the best sound investment that you will ever make. There is and will always be a demand for real estate no matter what the state of the real estate market is. Real Estate is the only investment that can live in and at the same time produce money for you at the same time. Just make sure before you begin the home buying process,please prequalify yourself BEFORE YOU GET PREAPPROVE BY A LOAN OFFICER. You can prequalify yourself calculating how much money you are spending on your bills. For example,if you are paying $700 a month on rent,expect to pay at least 40% in addition to your rent when you are paying a mortgage. That 40% will cover expenses such as gas,water,electricity,home insurance and property tax ( Percentage of property taxes are different in each state ). It is still a great time to buy right now inspite of the all the homes that are already and will go into foreclosure which are scaring a lot of buyers. But if you do your homework and don't buy beyond your means,you should be fine.

Even though it is not great for a lot of homesellers because a lot of homesellers are losing equity in their homes,this is great for buyers because you are going to be buying a home at a price lower than market value. Also,interest rates are still historically low. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 17, 2008
Also, don't buy the NAR hype about prices holding steady. They're down nearly 8% in DC the last 12 months alone, see the link below. Income levels in DC simply don't support these prices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
I personally think its too early to buy in DC right now. Prices went through the roof after 2003 and there is an option ARM crisis (another kind of exotic financing more common in this area than subprime) brewing for 2009. It's a useful exercise to look up the paid-for prices on Truila for many of the listings in NE...many are bank-owned and have dropped 40% or more from 2006. The last wave of flippers have been wiped out. There's also a lot of new building coming online, especially in SE and Arlington. The deals right now are large homes in Manassas and Prince William County-- the outer edge of VA development...and a long commute. But hey, if you need a house, you need a house, and if I could accurately predict the DC bottom I'd be a very rich person.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
Actually, the I think you need to rephrase that question. May I suggest, "is this the right time for me/my family to purchase a home?"

You may want to follow up with "Can we afford the monthly payments? Have we paid off other debts? Do we have a 15% down payment saved?"

From my vantage point, a home is a roof over your head, a street where your kids can play, and a community unto which you can serve. Yes, a home is an investment in that one day you should out-right own it completely (no more mortgage payments). Now that is financial freedom!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
I've been reading that the house value will continue going downhill until 2009. If you like a house and believe it's overrated/valued then just wait. There might be ANOTHER house coming ahead that fits your needs even better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2007
Hi Joan,

Trulia currently shows 606 single family homes in Washington DC. I've included a link below so you can review those homes and hope this information helps you.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Customer Service Representative
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2007
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