Real Estate

These Are Some of Our Favorite Real Estate Stories From 2022

This house—with its exterior of patinated bronze and mahogany—could have been yours for a cool $11 million. Photograph by Paul Warchol.

Office buildings being turned into apartments, a fraud allegation surrounding two prominent and expensive Foxhall Road homes, an $800,000 house for sale with someone living in the basement—these are our favorite Washingtonian real estate stories of the past year.

New DC developments

A rendering of one of the City Ridge intersections. Image courtesy of City Ridge.

What’s open and what’s coming to City Ridge

The $715 million mixed-use development along Wisconsin Avenue is nearing completion, with an Equinox, King Street Oyster Bar, and Taco Bamba opening this spring.

A view of some of phase two’s office spaces (the two left buildings), the Pendry Hotel (middle right), and The Tides apartments (far right). Rendering via Pendry Hotel, Washington DC – The Wharf.

The Wharf’s phase two opens with over 20 new spots

The $3.6 billion development officially wrapped construction in October, welcoming in 20 new tenants like DC’s first Pendry Hotel, the luxury condo building Amaris, The Tides apartment complex, two Gordon Ramsay restaurants, a Blank Street Coffee, DC’s first location of the New York-based Mediterranean restaurant Limani, and another Lucky Buns outpost.

Insane DC homes

Looks like Betsy DeVos listed her $4 million DC penthouse

It seems the former Secretary of Education under President Trump listed her DC condo earlier this year. Located in the Washington Harbour building, the 4,200-square-foot unit has two bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, travertine floors across the unit, a high-end kitchen with a wine fridge, and what appears to be two huge walk-in closets.

An aerial view of Zimmerman’s previous home in Great Falls. Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Media.

Ryan Zimmerman drops the price on his Great Falls estate

The former Nationals player dropped the price on his 13,232-square-foot home by $400,000, making it an affordable…$7.5 million.

Image via BrightMLS.

Colin Powell’s McLean mansion sells for $2.8 million

The home of the former national security advisor under President Ronald Reagan, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H. W. Bush, and former secretary of state under President George W. Bush sold in October. The 5,929-square-foot Colonial sits on almost an acre of land, and has six bedrooms, seven baths, an indoor hot tub and sauna, and a pool on the grounds.

This house—with its exterior of patinated bronze and mahogany—could have been yours for a cool $11 million. Photograph by Paul Warchol.

Look inside 12 of the coolest homes around Washington

Tour the winners of Washingtonian’s 2022 Residential Design Awards.

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Corder.

Check out a pirate ship houseboat on the Northern Neck

The 44-foot-long vessel, which was listed in the Pirate, Mermaids, & Scallywags Facebook group for pirate fanatics, has a fully equipped kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. It’s now available to rent as an Airbnb.

Where will the new members of Congress live around DC?

Okay, so these aren’t actual homes yet, but we took guesses as to where John Fetterman, Maxwell Frost, and J.D. Vance might live in DC.

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

A real estate nightmare on Foxhall Road

Two houses in DC’s Palisades were “built to perfection,” according to their developer: Steve Salis, owner of Ted’s Bulletin and Kramers. But the homeowners allege they were defrauded into buying $1.8 million lemons.

Photo courtesy Zinta K. Rodgers-Rickert.

This $800K house in Fairfax came with…a person in the basement

The five-bedroom house on Prado Place in Fairfax’s Mantua area was in a great location—a Trader Joe’s and a Home Depot are close by—and listed at a tempting price, especially for someone with a healthy budget for reno: Only $800,000 in an area where many sales top the $1 million mark. There’s just one thing: It came with someone living in the basement.

Image via BrightMLS.

This DC house sold for $800,000 over asking price

At the height of pandemic real estate craziness in January, an American University Park brick Colonial got 16 offers and ended up closing for $2.7 million. It was originally listed for $1.9 million.

Real estate trends

Foulger-Pratt plans to turn the former Justice Department building into 255 apartments. Rendering courtesy of Foulger-Pratt.

Should DC’s empty office buildings get turned into apartments?

Even before Covid, more efficient office layouts, the rise of coworking, and a growing supply of new trophy space were making older DC office buildings an ever-harder sell. Then the pandemic shot Washington’s already high vacancy rates out of the stratosphere. So some developers are converting office spaces into residential units.

office building conversions
Downtown in April 2020. Photograph by Elan Irving/iStock.

DC area leads the way in office-to-apartment conversions

It turns out the DC region is paving the way when it comes to the above-mentioned trend of turning now-empty older office buildings into residential units: Of the top 10 cities that saw the highest number of office-to-apartment unit conversions between 2020 and 2021, four are located in the DC region, according to data from real estate analysis group Yardi Matrix.

Photo via Getty Images.

How DC bosses are luring workers back to the office

Many of the DC-area companies that asked people to come back in person this year tried to make the transition as smooth as possible via employee perks or beefing up their offices to make them more appealing—think free lunches and happy hours, homier offices, and relaxed dress codes.

Photo-illustration by Justin Metz.

The hottest neighborhoods of Washington’s real estate boom

A look at some of the places where prices and sales soared the most during the pandemic—and why.

Ali Kamal and Tahmineh Mousavi bought in 20878 during the pandemic. Photograph by April Greer.

Tons of homes are now selling in these 10 Washington zip codes

Sales volume—the number of houses selling—went the craziest in these places during Covid.

Brian and Kristen Frazier step outside with their 16 month old daughter, Olivia, and embrace in front of their new home in Great Falls, VA.
Brian and Kristen Frazier step outside with their 16 month old daughter, Olivia, and embrace in front of their new home in Great Falls, VA.

These are the 10 most expensive places to buy a home in Washington

Already-pricey neighborhoods that became even more outrageous during the pandemic.

(L-R) Raquel Poindexter and sister De'Ja Irvin with her children: Cassiah Irvin (in yellow) , Cassidy Irvin (in pink), and R'eighn Irvin (train) gather for a family photo outside their new residence in highly sought-after community in Brandywine, Maryland.
Sisters Raquel Poindexter (left) and De’Ja Irvin, with Irvin’s kids, moved to Brandywine’s 20613 Zip code last June. Photograph by April Greer.

The 10 places in Washington where home prices have risen the most

The (sometime surprising) spots where values soared during Covid.

Downtown DC buildings. Photograph by amedved via iStock/Getty Images Plus.

New study: DC is one of the worst cities for decent-size, affordable apartments

The analysis by apartment-finder site RentCafe found that, on average, $1,500 a month rents a 500-square-foot unit in DC.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.