The Search For DC’s Elusive $500,000 House Continues

Three years ago, UrbanTurf highlighted three DC neighborhoods where a home buyer could purchase a move-in ready single-family house. Since then, constrained housing supply, rising prices and increased neighborhood popularity means that the neighborhoods where a $500,000 budget is viable have changed. Today, UrbanTurf discusses three neighborhoods in DC where $500,000 homes are still readily available.


Riggs Park

While Michigan Park and North Michigan Park were the more affordable alternative to Brookland a few years ago, now its northern neighbor Riggs Park is providing an entry-point to the Northeast DC market for single-family home buyers.

The 82 houses sold in Riggs Park this year went for a median price of $460,000, with detached single-family homes averaging closer to $517,000. The vast majority of two- and three-bedroom single-family homes and townhouses in the neighborhood sold for less than $500,000. Most of the homes in Riggs Park are well-maintained or restored brick semi-detached homes built in pairs in the early- to mid-20th century.

Fully move-in ready homes in Riggs Park average listing and sales prices just above $500,000; many of the houses priced below the half-million mark are not in disrepair, but could use some cosmetic updates. Even pricier houses can still be had for less than $550,000, such as the three-bedroom, three-bath house on Crittenden Street NE pictured above that sold for $519,900 last month.



When we wrote this article three years ago, Hill East offered petite two- and three-bedroom rowhouses for around $500,000. Today, those same homes are fewer and farther between at that price point; however, a couple miles away across the Anacostia River, Hillcrest has plenty of move-in ready homes that are twice as large and not nearly as expensive.

Eighty-eight homes have sold in Hillcrest this year at a median price of $347,500; of those, eight rowhouses sold for an average of $146,310 and the 48 detached single-family homes sold for an average of $491,534.

Two-bedroom townhomes here (and the odd two-bedroom detached home) can easily be had for less than $500,000, and even homes with four or more bedrooms don’t frequently fetch more than $600,000. With all of the development headed to this zip code, however, prices have been trending upward and some listings are going for high prices. For now, though, options for buyers with a $500,000 budget still abound, like the renovated three-bedroom Cape Cod on 33rd Street SE pictured above, which listed for $549,900 just days ago.



Takoma doesn’t have the same abundance of houses priced around $500,000 as seen in the other neighborhoods highlighted today, but there are still some homes to be had for less than $500,000, particularly if buyers look for attached townhomes. Thus far this year, the median sales price for the 28 homes that sold was $475,000.

While Takoma is primarily known for detached houses, the housing stock is relatively balanced between rowhomes and detached homes. The townhouses, of which several were built in the 1980s, tend to sell at a more affordable average price of $443,507 compared to the average of $552,335 for detached homes.

Detached, single-family homes for around $500,000 are increasingly hard to find in Takoma and often need significant cosmetic work. Inventory fluctuations are the determining factor here, as the median price in 2017 has been as high as $736,000 in July and as low as the $300,000s during the winter and early spring when only one or two homes sold in a month’s time.



As featured in Urban Turf

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