People moving to Washington often start off with a wish list that includes a modest home in one of DC's upper NW neighborhoods, like Chevy Chase, American University Park, Forest Hills, Spring Valley and a bunch of other neighborhoods that are west of Rock Creek Park. And the typical price range of up to $1million was usually doable, until lately.
Checking availability for today, there were exactly 2 houses under $1million available in the entire area. They are both new to the market, listed late last week. Both were held open over the weekend, and typically, offers will be collected and reviewed on Tuesday or Wednesday. Both of these have great photos and appear to be well-staged and looking their best. And both are likely to end up in a rather gorey bidding war, selling at over $1 million.
But hey, you can't get a whole lot of house for $1million anymore!
So, lets say you are willing to up the ante, going up to $1.5million. You'll have a little more choice, with an additional 10 listings currently active. And of those 6 are new listings and the others have not attracted a buyer in over four months. Two of them are almost tiny houses, and others are not particularly high end, although most have been well-prepared for the market. So it could be possible to find something that has been on the market for a while, and you could possibly do some negotiating and avoid the bidding war. Still, you may be disappointed when you discover that you can't get a lot of house in Upper Northwest Washington for $1.5 million.
If you have the means to increase your range to $2million, you add another 13 houses to the mix, and these don't normally fly off the shelf. There are some in Cleveland Park that are possible and there are some in other highly desirable neighborhoods. Many have been on the market for months, and many of the sellers are quite willing to negotiate on the price and terms to get their homes sold.
After looking for the slim pickings of marginally affordable homes in Upper Northwest DC, many buyers expand the neighborhoods they will consider, looking at the 16th Street corridor, for example - Crestwood, Shepherd Park and Colonial Village. There are also possibilities in some close-in Maryland and Virginia neighborhoods.
If you are moving to the DC area, it's a good idea to find an agent who (like me) is licensed in all three local jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland. It's not unusual to investigate some of the great neighborhoods throughout the DC Metro area.