Are you getting ready to buy in Washington DC? Then, you already know: it’s all about the neighborhood.
The best places to live in Washington, DC, are incredibly competitive. Many of the cities hottest neighborhoods are undergoing an urban revival, and the result has been as three percent growth in property prices in the past year with a further two percent growth expected next year.
But if you’re looking for the perfect house for your family, you want square footage, a yard, and value for money. Those are three things you won’t find in the city.
Some of the best places to live in Washington DC aren’t in DC at all. For families, they’re in the suburbs.
Whether you want to stick to the city or move further afield to stretch your legs, here are seven places to live in the DC area.
1. Glover Park
Median Sales Price: $595,000 ($553 per square foot)
Public Schools: 4
Glover Park offers a great mix of single residents and families for a diverse neighborhood that’s great for kids but also offers a bit of fun for adults. Its status as a must-live neighborhood for families is fairly new, and the 25 percent increase in the number of kiddos living here between 2000 and 2010 explains it.
The area offers what many families want from other upper Northwest neighborhoods. It boasts quiet streets with commercial opportunities, but there’s enough of the D.C. preppy types (see lawyers, government employees, and academics) around to support a few up and coming restaurants.
One thing to note: there’s no metro stop in the neighborhood, so a car (or a love of walking) is a must for commuters.
2. The Palisades
Median Sales Price: $996,500 ($578 per square foot)
Public Schools: 5
The Palisades is one of DC’s toniest city neighborhoods, with houses selling for around $1 million. It runs along the Potomac River and meets Georgetown’s southwest border.
Homes here tend to be smaller and historical, but they are expensive in part because homes here don’t go up for sale often. Residents of the Palisades tend to come here to raise their kids and stay long enough for their grandkids to visit.
It’s the kind of neighborhood that is a tight-knit community with easy access to the city. The only traffic through here tends to be local, and the place feels small and safe.
Why are new parents attracted? Living here means your kids get to go to Francis Scott Key Elementary School, one of the best public schools in the city. There are also several private schools nearby, and residents have easy access to Georgetown Day School.
3. Potomac, MD
Median Sales Price: $875,000 ($328 per square foot)
Potomac, MD was formerly a distant suburb of DC, but thanks to urban sprawl, it’s now nestled right up to the city’s borders. Its suburban status and size mean it offers more amenities than DC neighborhoods, including 40 public schools.
Everyone out here tends to own their home, and the homes are huge thanks to the glut of new builds. If you’re looking for plenty of bedrooms and lots of outside space to play, then Potomac is your best bet in the Washington D.C. area.
Median Sales Price: $785,000 ($824 per square foot)
Do you want to live in the center of things? Georgetown is one of DC’s best neighborhoods for families just outside the heart of the city. Sales prices reflect its location. Houses here sell for around $100k less on average compared to Potomac, but the cost per square foot is around 2.5 times the price.
Georgetown is best for families with one or two children and young couples new to parenthood. About half of people own their homes, and half the area is single. It’s a great way to ease into parenthood while still having access to your previous child-free life.
5. Chevy Chase, MD
Median Sales Price: $1.082 million ($517 per square foot)
Thought about a property in Chevy Chase? Take a look at the zip code: is it Chevy Chase, MD or the Chevy Chase neighborhood in D.C.?
Chevy Chase, MD is one of Maryland’s best places to live with a population of just under 10,000. It offers a good mix of families and empty nesters with a focus on homeowners. Because it’s self-contained, you’ll find plenty of parks, restaurants, and cafes.
House prices in this popular suburb are on the rise, but with other DC suburbs, you get far more per square foot than you do in the city itself.
6. Friendship Heights
Median Sales Price: $1,130,000 ($654 per square foot)
Friendship Heights is suburban-esque. It’s quiet and offers spacious homes, but it also offers a commercial center with plenty of places to shop, eat, and great access to public transportation.
People in Friendship Heights commute by car and public transport, which means you can ditch the car on some days. It’s the perfect neighborhood for people who actively want to live in DC rather than escape to Maryland or Virginia, but who don’t want to live in the heart of the city.
7. Spring Valley
Median Sales Price: $1,999,000 ($483 per square foot)
Spring Valley is the most “northwest” out of all DC’s northwest neighborhoods. Living here offers the best of both worlds: you get a DC zip code in what is effectively a suburb.
The median sales price means that only top earners can live here, but if you can make the mortgage, your neighbors will include diplomats, famous journalists, and D.C.-style celebrities.
The colonial style thrives here, and it does so for a reason. Most of the residential properties in the neighborhood were built by the same company – the Miller Development Company – between 1929 and 1959.
Best Places to Live in Washington DC
Washington, DC has no shortage of up-and-coming and well-established neighborhoods that are perfect for families.
Remember that the best places to live in Washington DC are also the most competitive. You’ll typically buy for list price (or around two percent more), and the best homes hit pending in just over two weeks.
Are you ready to make your move? You’ll need a realtor who knows this hot market inside and out. Get in touch today to learn how we can secure your dream home.