News & Politics  |  Real Estate

Kevin McCarthy Claims He Pays Fair Market Value for a Room in a Penn Quarter Penthouse. What Will $1,500 Rent Actually Get You in DC?

Expect to share a bathroom with roommates.

Photograph via iStock.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy revealed this week that during the pandemic he rented a room from Republican pollster Frank Luntz—in the corporate adviser’s lavish 7,000-square-foot Penn Quarter apartment. An anonymous McCarthy spokesperson told the Daily Wire that the room is around 400 square feet and cost the congressman $1,500 a month to rent—supposedly similar to the going rates of nearby apartments. Worth noting: McCarthy’s room is in a condo that is actually the melding of four penthouse units. The building boasts amenities like a rooftop pool, private movie theater, and fitness center.

But what can $1,500 actually get you in DC? While some digs are nice, we’d certainly like to connect with McCarthy’s real estate agent stat. Here’s a look at what’s on the Craiglist market:

4BR Group House in Mount Pleasant 

How much: $1,400 plus $130 for utilities.
The row house comes with two roommates and a shared bathroom. The bedroom is only about 165 square feet, but the house boasts a back patio with a fire pit—still a hot commodity.

3BR Group House in Kalorama

How much: $1,495
McCarthy seems to be cool with sharing a space with his landlord, so lodging with the owner shouldn’t be a problem in this house. Built in the 1920s, the residence has three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, which the tenant would share with a third roommate.

2BR Shared Condo in Mount Vernon Triangle

How much: $1,400
Dropping around $100 off of McCarthy’s price tag will get you a spot in this cozy condo in Mount Vernon Triangle. The space is certainly more snug than McCarthy’s current digs—and includes a shared bathroom—but there’s still access to a rooftop pool.

4BR Group House in Bloomingdale 

How much: $1,450 plus $195 for utilities
Forget a condo fitness center: this house has a Peloton! The furnished shared abode also boasts a solo bathroom with a Jacuzzi-jet tub. Plus, there’s the added bonus of a puppy roommate named Bogey.

Studio in Adams Morgan

How much: $1,421
If McCarthy is looking for a space sans roommates, this entire apartment clocks in at 402-square-feet—around the same size as his current room. It lacks many amenities, but laundry is available on-site and utilities are included.


Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.