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Washington, D.C.: A National Treasure in a Metropolitan Setting

In addition to being a national treasure, Washington, DC is home to some of the nation’s most spectacular homes. Founded on July 16, 1790, Washington, DC is indeed a unique city in terms of historical significance, layout of the city, and its powerful architecture. Divided by four quadrants—Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, and Northwest–Washington, DC’s housing market offers a diverse selection of home styles from residences built at the turn of the century to new contemporary homes built in recent years. Moreover, each quadrant features neighborhoods with their own distinct style giving homebuyers a broad range of options. The following overviews provide a glance into Washington, DC’s diverse neighborhoods and the unique home styles they feature.

Southeast DC

Capitol Hill. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Washington, DC, Capitol Hill extends across two quadrants—southeast and northeast.  This richly historic neighborhood houses the nation’s legislative office buildings, including the U. S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and, of course, the U.S. Capitol. In addition, other national treasures line the streets of Capitol Hill, including the Library of Congress and the Congressional Cemetery. Despite the presence of these massive legislative offices, Capitol Hill is largely a residential neighborhood that showcases an array of 19th century press brick rowhouses reflecting breathtaking architectural styles.  Specifically, Capitol Hill’s housing inventory includes distinct features of 19th century manor houses, federal style townhomes, and ornate Italianate bracketed houses.  New home constructions on Capitol Hill mostly reflect a decorative modernist style.

Anacostia.  The focus of tremendous redevelopment efforts, Anacostia has fast become a sought-after neighborhood for homebuyers, particularly investors.  Located east of Capitol Hill, Anacostia has some of Washington DC’s best investment opportunities. It is also home to great historical treasures, such as Cedar Hill, the home of Frederick Douglas; and the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum.  Although redevelopment projects have brought a number of new modern housing options to the area such as mid-rise condominiums and townhomes, unique two-story cottages, Italianate-style architecture and Queen Anne-style homes remain the staple in this neighborhood.

Southwest DC.

Although it is the smallest of the four quadrants, southwest DC has undergone one of the biggest transformations in the District of Columbia. Located south of the National Mall (the Smithsonian museums), southwest is known for major DC landmarks such as the Southwest Federal Center, Southwest Waterfront, Bellevue, Arena Stage, and Fort McNair. Perhaps the most notable transformation in Southwest is the redevelopment of the Maine Avenue Fish Market, or the Wharf, as it is known. Situated along the Potomac River, the Wharf is a premier waterfront attraction.  Situated along the Potomac River, this neighborhood features more than 3.2 million square feet of residential buildings, including condos, townhouses and apartments. For homebuyers looking for a unique metropolitan experience, southwest offers an enjoyable blend of retail shops, high-end restaurants, cultural and historic attractions, and easy access to DC’s public transit system.

Northwest DC

Georgetown.  A highly commercial and entertainment section of DC, Georgetown is encased by parkland and green space—Rock Creek Park and the pristine Oak Hill Cemetery—which makes this urban neighborhood a feasible option for nature lovers. This section of DC has a great selection of upscale neighborhoods like Glover Park that feature pricey homes for high-end wage earners.

Columbia Heights.  Columbia Heights is noted for its spectacular view of downtown Washington, DC.  This diverse and mixed-income community offers a variety of home styles at price points that meet almost any homebuyer’s budget. Its diverse population is a reflection of the neighborhoods diverse housing inventory which includes high-priced condominiums and townhouses, middle-income housing as well as multi-million-dollar homes. Transformed by a vast revitalization effort along with the opening of the Columbia Heights Metro rail station, this area has become a neighborhood in demand. Moreover, the influx of major box stores such as Best Buy, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond and others have made Columbia Heights a highly desirable option for seekers of the metropolitan lifestyle.

Adams Morgan. Primarily a residential and entertainment neighborhood, Adams Morgan features classic DC-style rowhouses and mid-rise apartment buildings, many of which are co-ops and condos. Located north of the White House, Adams Morgan is known for its exciting entertainment strip, 18th Street, which features numerous restaurants, bars and quaint boutiques. Despite the neighborhood’s vibrant nightlife, the residential section of Adams Morgan maintains a calm and secure environment making it a walkable neighborhood for residents, during the day or at night.

Northeast DC

The northeast quadrant of Washington, DC is comprised of highly-diverse neighborhoods both in terms of income and racial ethnicity.  Housing options in northeast are equally diverse.  In this section of DC there are home styles that meet every preference from rowhouses to mid-rise condo buildings to single-family homes.  Like many parts of DC, sections of northeast have been the target of revitalization efforts and redevelopment projects, which has increased the quadrant’s stock of modern and contemporary style homes.  Some of the more popular neighborhoods in northeast include:  NoMa-Gallaudet U, Queens Chapel, Brookland, and Fort Totten.

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