So you are new to DC. Welcome. Now where are you going to live? DC has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country but we all know finding the right place is going to make DC home or just a pit stop on the way to somewhere else. So where should you live? We asked two pros: Lindsay Dreyer from City Chic Real Estate and Chad Dudley from Re/Max.
Just the Facts
According to the census, 21% of the population of the city is between the ages of 20-29. That’s the highest percentage group. And more young people are moving to dc than any other city. Making for… a crowded market.
Chad says he sees what we all know, millennials are renting because we have not saved enough money to cover a down payment, and have those school loans we all talk about.
BUT- he points out buying actually is not a bad idea. Most of us don’t realize that there are loan programs that can get us into a house with down payment of just 3-3.5%, instead of 20%. And mortgage rates are low meaning owning could actually be cheaper than renting.
But if you are going to rent: Lindsay says it is all about location.
We all know the options; studio, one bedroom, roomies. The obvious.
But DC now has a few wrinkles:
Boutique condo conversions are the new row houses. They may be small but they’re affordable and in the hottest areas (see below).
SO WHAT IS A BOUTIQUE CONDO CONVERSION AND WHERE CAN YOU FIND ONE?
Chad broke it down. They’re “boutique,” because they’re small. Think dorm room. Each building can have anywhere from 2-10 units.
BUT for what they lack in square feet, they make up for with company.
These micro apartments are communities complete with common areas. Gone are the days of unresponsive landlords.
Best part: Most of them are brand new and pretty cheap. To rent, you’re looking at about $1,400 for a one bedroom in an area like Eckington or Columbia Heights.
Plus, residents by-pass those high priced monthly condo fees, the average in condo conversions is about $200-250
Range wise think $1,400-2,400 depending on the obvious: number of bedrooms, amenities, unit size etc. In simple terms, quality and price go hand in hand.
If you’re looking to buy, which let’s be real most people our age aren’t, it’s pricy. Chad sold a two bedroom, 2.5 bath two level condo in a four unit building for $664k in Columbia Heights.
14th Street Corridor, Columbia Heights, Shaw, NOMA, H Street Corridor, Capitol Hill and Navy Yard.
They’re growing and transitioning everyday.
A place this age group isn’t flocking to? The Southeast Quadrant.WHY?
Because we’re looking for convenience. These neighborhoods boast accessibility.
We all know DC isn’t a driving town, access to public transportation and walkability are necessities. Plus, neighborhood hotspots are just a short block away.
So that’s the rundown. It’s not so much about the type of living space but where it’s located. A word of advice from the spinoff, the DC housing market is competitive. Hire an experienced realtor like Lindsay or Chad who work with millennials.