With its river views and brick sidewalks, Georgetown has long been one of Washington’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Many of the Federal, Victorian, and Colonial rowhouses date to the 18th and 19th centuries, giving the neighborhood a character that draws people in. “The homes are meticulously kept,” says Long & Foster agent Michael Gerrior. “Planter boxes and trees decorate the lawns.”
Wisconsin Avenue and M Street are lined with boutiques and restaurants. Three parks—Rose, Montrose, and Volta—provide a respite from city bustle.
It may be unsurprising that Georgetown is one of the region’s most expensive places to live. Despite the real-estate slowdown, median sales prices in the 20007 Zip code have held steady, even climbing slightly from $710,00 in 2006 to $725,000 in 2009.
Prices for rowhouses usually start around $900,000, says Lucinda Treat, an agent with Evers & Co. Large restored homes and new luxury condos along the waterfront can command millions—in June, a 5,500-square-foot two-bedroom on the Potomac sold for $5.5 million.
Small condos in older buildings along side streets can go for $500,000 or $600,000, says Federico Glucksmann, a Coldwell Banker agent. But bargain-minded buyers often make sacrifices such as forgoing a parking space.
Georgetown and its surrounding neighborhoods also have new condos and townhouses for sale as well as rental apartments.
Buyers at the Victorian-style townhouses of Wormley Row (3325 Prospect St., NW; 202-966-8838) can customize their home’s layout and finishes. Amenities in the four-level houses include white-oak floors, granite countertops, a landscaped private garden, and two underground parking spaces. All six townhouses are still available. Prices range from $3,945,000 to $4,995,000.
Near the border between Georgetown and the West End, the condominiums at 2501 Pennsylvania Avenue (2501 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-713-8105) offer hardwood floors and Italian Poliform walk-in closets. Convenience is a selling point: A Trader Joe’s grocery store is across the street, and each condo comes with two underground parking spaces. Five of the 16 condos are still available. Two- and three-bedrooms start around $2 million, while a two-story penthouse with a library is almost $4 million.
The rooftop terrace of West End 25 (1255 25th St., NW; 202-775-9325)—also just outside Georgetown—features a swimming pool and panoramic views of that neighborhood, Rock Creek Park, and the Washington skyline. The ten-story rental building, completed in August 2009, was built by repurposing two adjacent six-story office buildings. The apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows and stainless-steel appliances, and many have balconies. Twenty-one of the 283 units are still available. Rents range from $2,450 a month for one bedroom to $7,500 for two.
When completed, Residences on the Avenue (2221 I St., NW; 202-747-0081), near Washington Circle, will boast a rooftop pool, fitness center, and landscaped courtyard. Above a new Whole Foods market, the two 12-story towers will hold 335 studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom rental apartments with granite countertops, hardwood floors, and stainless-steel GE appliances. Preleasing starts in March for a May move-in. Rents haven’t been set.
A couple of blocks to the north are the condominiums at 22 West (1177 22nd St., NW; 202-333-3313), which won Residential Architect magazine’s 2009 award for best multifamily design. The sleek condos have floor-to-ceiling windows, Poggenpohl cabinetry, and EcoTimber oak floors. Residents have access to a rooftop pool, underground parking, and a 24-hour concierge and doorman. Twenty-six of the 92 units are still available, ranging from $882,500 for a one-bedroom plus den to $2.7 million for a penthouse with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a den.
This article first appeared in the March 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.