How Much Is That House?

Home prices went up fast, then came back down. Here’s a look at what houses cost now.

By: Mary Clare Glover

>> To navigate through the pages in the article, use the links at the *bottom* of each page. 

What $500,000 buys in . . . DC’s Mount Vernon Square

List price: $490,000

Bedrooms: One

Bathrooms:One full, one half

Interior:954 square feet

Date built: 2008

Condo fee: $517

Distance to the White House:2 miles

At Fourth Street and New York Avenue, Northwest, Yale Steam Laundry Condominiums is made up of a restored 1902 commercial laundry facility and an adjoining new high-rise. A two-story loft almost identical to the model shown here (which already sold) is one of 16 units in the historic building. It comes with the laundry’s original glazed brick plus ceilings up to 20 feet high, hardwood floors, and an open kitchen. The building has a fitness center, a billiard room, and a rooftop deck with a pool. A space in the underground garage goes for $37,000.

What $500,000 buys in . . .Leesburg

List price: $499,000

Bedrooms: Four

Bathrooms: Two full, one half

Interior:2,700 square feet

Lot size: 3.2 acres

Date built: 1996

Distance to the White House: 50 miles

This 13-year-old Colonial has been on and off the market since January 2007, when it listed for $765,000. A light-filled sunroom backs onto a wooded lot. There are custom handmade cabinets in the kitchen and a three-car garage. The house is roughly 20 minutes north of Leesburg.

What $500,000 buys in . . .Garrett Park

List price: $549,000

Bedrooms: Five

Bathrooms: Three full, one half

Interior:2,520 square feet

Lot size: 0.23 acre

Date built: 1985

Distance to the White House:11 miles

This Colonial is in Garrett Park, a charming town with its own post office, farmers market, and town hall. It has a finished basement, a dining-room fireplace, and a back-yard deck surrounded by tall trees. It’s about a mile from the Red Line’s Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro. Offered as a short sale, the price is well below the $639,000 tax assessment. The house went under contract shortly before press time.

What $500,000 buys in . . .Federal Hill, Baltimore

List price: $495,000

Bedrooms: Three

Bathrooms: Two full, one half

Interior:2,847 square feet

Lot size: Not available

Date built: 1840

Distance to the White House: 38 miles

The third-floor deck off the back of this three-bedroom rowhouse has views of the Baltimore skyline. Inside are four wood-burning fireplaces, exposed-brick walls, and refinished hardwood floors. The master bedroom has a sitting area, and out back is a fenced brick patio. Part of the Federal Hill National Historic District, the house last sold in 2003 for $510,000.

What $500,000 buys in . . .Dupont Circle/U Street

List price: $499,000

Sale price: $470,000

Bedrooms: Two

Baths: One

Interior: 1,250 square feet

Date built: 1910

Co-op fee: $1,153

Distance to the White House:2 miles

This two-bedroom corner unit is on the sixth floor of the Northumberland Apartments, a prewar co-op on the National Register of Historic Places. The marbleized lobby has made cameos in several movies, including Clear and Present Danger, starring Harrison Ford. On New Hampshire Avenue, Northwest, near U Street, the unit has no central air or washer/dryer but has large windows that provide lots of light. The building’s roof deck has panoramic views of DC.

What $500,000 buys in . . .Falls Church

List price: $489,900

Bedrooms: Three

Bathrooms: Two full, one half

Interior: 2,072 square feet

Lot size: 0.24 acre

Date built: 1954

Distance to the White House:11½ miles

This three-story Dutch Colonial is in Barcroft Hill, near Lake Barcroft and the Baileys Crossroads shopping center. The kitchen was renovated in 2006. Features include a partially finished basement, hardwood floors, and a shaded rear deck. It’s about 20 minutes by car to downtown DC.

What $1 million buys in . . .Potomac

List price:$1.05 million

Bedrooms: Four

Bathrooms: Four full, one half

Interior: 6,000 square feet

Lot size: 2 acres

Date built: 1975

Distance to the White House: 18 miles

Originally listed for $1.3 million in May 2008, this Cape Cod has a landscaped yard with a patio and pool. The family room has a wood-beam ceiling and a fireplace—one of three in the house. The first floor has hardwood floors; the kitchen and bathrooms could use an update. Just off River Road, it’s about five miles northwest of the Potomac Village shopping center.

What $1 million buys in . . .Lorton

List price: $995,000

Bedrooms: Five

Bathrooms:Seven full, one half

Interior: 9,600 square feet

Lot size: 0.84 acre

Date built: 2006

Distance to the White House:23 miles

This custom home is part of Occoquan Overlook, a development of about 40 new houses on one-acre lots. Offered as a short sale, the house sold for $1.48 million in September 2006 and is currently assessed for $1.11 million; it recently went under contract. The stone-front Colonial has a long list of amenities including a three-car garage and marble foyer. It’s two miles from the Occoquan River and Sandy Run Regional Park.

What $1 million buys in . . .Arlington

List price:$1.05 million

Bedrooms: Two

Bathrooms: Two full

Interior: 1,776 square feet

Date built: 2007

Condo fee: $667

Distance to the White House:3 miles

Developer Jim Abdo has earned a reputation for building striking modern condos. This second-floor unit is in Abdo’s Wooster and Mercer Lofts, a pair of concrete-and-brick buildings three blocks from the Rosslyn Metro. It has cherry floors and is surrounded by windows; the open kitchen is fitted with high-end appliances by Wolf and Sub-Zero. Residents have access to the building’s outdoor pool and fitness center.

What $1 million buys in . . .Annapolis

List price:$995,000

Bedrooms: Three

Bathrooms:Two full

Interior:2,100 square feet

Lot size:0.34 acre

Date built: 1965

Distance to the White House:35 miles

This single-story rancher backs onto the South River and has views of the Chesapeake Bay. A recent renovation updated the kitchen and bathrooms and added a sunroom/sun porch, new windows, and a gas fireplace. A waterfront sunroom has hardwood floors and a large bay window. The house is about four miles from downtown Annapolis.

What $1 million buys in . . .Georgetown

List price: $925,000

Bedrooms: One

Bathrooms: Two full

Interior:1,350 square feet

Lot size: 0.03 acre

Date built: Mid- to late 1800s

Distance to the White House: 3 miles

Two blocks west of Wisconsin Avenue, this former carriage house is now a three-story townhouse. Marketed as a “condo alternative,” it has a back-yard patio, a small home office, and windows on three sides. It last sold in June 2008 for $1.02 million and recently went under contract.

What $1 million buys in . . .Capitol Hill

List price: $996,000

Bedrooms: Four

Bathrooms: Three full

Interior: 2,735 square feet

Lot size: 0.02 acre

Date built: 1900

Distance to the White House: 3 miles

This stone Victorian is a block from Eastern Market. Renovated in 2007, the four-bedroom rowhouse has an English basement with its own entrance, two fireplaces, and a roof deck with views of the Capitol. An updated kitchen has stainless appliances and a granite breakfast bar. The house last sold in 2007 for $819,900. It originally listed for $1.07 million when it hit the market in May and recently went under contract.

What $2 million buys in . . .Clifton

List price:$1.95 million

Bedrooms: Five

Bathrooms: Four full, one half

Interior: 7,000 square feet

Lot size: 7 acres

Date built: 1991

Distance to the White House:30 miles

This sprawling property includes two houses, a six-stall barn, a lighted riding ring, and a pool. The main house, a brick Colonial, has a renovated kitchen, four fireplaces, and a wine cellar. The 1,900-square-foot guesthouse, built in 1920, has four bedrooms and two full baths. About five miles north of the center of Clifton, the house is roughly 40 minutes from downtown DC—without traffic.

What $2 million buys in . . .Bethesda

List price:$2 million

Bedrooms: Six

Bathrooms: Five full, one half

Interior: 5,800 square feet

Lot size: 0.17 acre

Date built: 2005

Distance to the White House:8 miles

The close-in location of this Bethesda neighborhood—sandwiched between Wisconsin Avenue and Columbia Country Club, a mile north of the Bethesda Metro—has made it a popular spot for tear-downs. This four-year-old house is within walking distance of the Capital Crescent Trail and the shops and restaurants of downtown Bethesda. It has a wine cellar, an exercise room, and a two-car garage. The house last sold for $1.6 million in 2005 and originally listed for $2.1 million in May.

What $2 million buys in . . .Old Town

List price:$1.9 million

Bedrooms: Five

Bathrooms: Three full, two half

Interior: 3,068 square feet

Lot size: 0.13 acre

Date built: 1780

Distance to the White House:8 miles

A block south of King Street in Old Town Alexandria, this 228-year-old Colonial has restored original hardwood floors and four fireplaces with the original mantels. A 2009 renovation updated the kitchen and all five bathrooms. The price includes a vacant lot next door.

What $2 million buys in . . .DC’s West End

List price:$2.08 million

Bedrooms: Three

Bathrooms:Three full

Interior: 2,232 square feet

Date built: 2008

Condo fee: $2,367

Distance to the White House:1 mile

The latest creation from Anthony Lanier—whose EastBanc firm built the Ritz-Carlton Residences and the Cady’s Alley shopping district in Georgetown—22 West is a glass-and-zinc condo building on the sliver of land where New Hampshire Avenue cuts diagonally through 22nd and M streets, Northwest. The 92-unit building has a fitness center, a rooftop pool, and a doorman. This eighth-floor unit has a balcony, 9½-foot ceilings, marble baths, and gleaming hardwood floors. It comes with two parking spaces. The steep condo fee includes cable, high-speed Internet, and all utilities.

What $2 million buys in . . .Middleburg

List price:$1.8 million

Bedrooms: Five

Bathrooms: Two full, one half

Interior: 3,700 square feet

Lot size: 3 acres

Date built: 1932

Distance to the White House: 40 miles

This stone Colonial is a mile from downtown Middleburg. On three acres in the rolling countryside, the property includes a main house and a 2,400-square-foot guesthouse designed as a bed-and-breakfast, with three additional bedrooms and three full baths. The kitchen and three bathrooms in the main house are being renovated. Last sold in 2005 for$1.5 million, the house listed for $1.85 million in March.