The Best Washington Neighborhoods to Buy a Home in 2015

Taking the plunge into Washington’s real-estate market? Consider these on-the-rise areas where it’s not too late to get a deal.
The Best Washington Neighborhoods to Buy a Home in 2015

DC

Brookland (20017):

It’s not exactly pioneering anymore to move into this increasingly popular Northeast DC neighborhood. But real-estate agents say it’s still early enough to invest before prices get out of control. “If you’re looking for a detached, single-family home with outdoor space, I think it’s one of the best buys in the city,” says Nate Ward of Capital Park Realty. Residents can walk to the Red Line and a growing number of restaurants.

Median sold price: $435,000 (up 10.1% from 2013).

Average sold price: $451,024 (up 12.8%).

$585,000 buys: A four-bedroom, three-bath Arts and Crafts.

$750,000 buys: A three-bedroom, four-bath newly built rowhouse.

Or try Woodridge (20018):

Get more for your money one neighborhood east. “People who find themselves priced out of Brookland will find Woodridge is a good bet,” says Long & Foster’s Wendy Gadson. Though quieter and more suburban-feeling, Woodridge is similarly populated with detached houses on large-for-the-city lots and still offers relatively easy access to downtown DC.

Median sold price: $338,000 (up 9.3%).

Average sold price: $401,499 (up 6.6%).

$315,000 buys: A four-bedroom, three-bath semidetached house that needs work.

$599,000 buys: A fully remodeled three-bedroom, three-bath Colonial.

Maryland

A $339,900 home in Mount Rainier, a Prince George’s neighborhood close to DC. Photograph courtesy of Miguel Ruiz, GRI/RE/MAX All Pro.

Hyattsville (20781):

This Zip code includes Hyattsville’s arts district—with new residences, retail, and restaurants from developer EYA—and the historic district. The result, says Ward, is “that walkable lifestyle and neighborhood feel that I don’t think most buyers picture in the suburbs.” Whole Foods—the ultimate sign that an area has arrived—will land about a mile away in late 2015 as the anchor of a development in nearby Riverdale Park by Calvin Cafritz Enterprises.

Median sold price: $260,000 (up 23.8%).

Average sold price: $265,733 (up 20.4%).

$287,500 buys: A three-bedroom, three-bath Cape Cod in the historic district.

$480,825 buys: A new three-bedroom, four-bath townhouse.

Or try Mount Rainier (20712):

Though closer to the District, this Prince George’s neighborhood is less developed than Hyattsville. “The housing stock is more degraded, but it has lots of Arts and Crafts homes and bungalows,” says agent Kevin Wood of William Sawyer & Co. “And it’s right on the DC border.” In November, Menkiti Group announced plans for a development with Joe Englert as a tenant—he’s the guy whose hip bars helped revitalize Northwest DC’s U Street and Northeast’s H Street.

Median sold price: $260,000 (up 16.9%).

Average sold price: $254,514 (up 8.7%).

$220,000 buys: A two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow that needs work.

$339,900 buys: A renovated five-bedroom, three-bath bungalow.

Virginia

A $600,000 house in Cardinal Forest, a neighborhood in west Springfield. Photograph by Bob Narod for Karen Chipman/TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Cardinal Forest (22152):

For families priced out of, or not attracted to, closer-in suburbs such as Arlington, agents say Springfield has much to offer. This area in west Springfield has desirable public schools and relatively large homes. Another bonus, says agent Susan Metcalf, is that its proximity to Fort Belvoir means owners can rent out their properties for more than their mortgage payments.

Median sold price: $261,500 (up 5%).

Average sold price: $342,842 (up 6.6%).

$500,000 buys: A five-bedroom, three-bath split-level.

$600,000 buys: A six-bedroom, three-bath with a new kitchen.

Or try Kings Park (22151):

This neighborhood in the north Springfield Zip code also comes with well-regarded schools, but you can generally get detached, single-family homes for less than in west Springfield neighborhoods. Agent Dave Ingram points out that easy access to the new I-495 express lanes means commuters can make it to Tysons during rush hour in 15 minutes.

Median sold price: $475,000 (up 1.4%).

Average sold price: $477,315 (up 4%).

(Cardinal Forest prices appear lower because they include condos and townhouses. The average Kings Park detached home sold for $83,000 less than in Cardinal Forest.)

$429,000 buys: A five-bedroom, two-bath Cape Cod.

$499,900 buys: A renovated four-bedroom, three-bath, split-level.

Statistics reflect year-to-date figures as of October 2014 from RealEstate Business Intelligence.

This article appears in the January 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.