What kind of house can you get for a half million bucks in Petworth?

Take a look at this link about a guy who’s thinking about buying a house in Petworth. It is a pretty funny post where you can click on a link where he gives a video tour of the house. It looks like a nice house. Half a million bucks though that is wild. It got me thinking, which I know can be a dangerous thing. But as I’ve been interviewing prospective ward 4 councilmembers, many of them have brought up the affordable housing issue. I have to admit I haven’t given it too much thought as I already live here. So I’m just wondering: number one is there still affordable housing left in Petworth and number two aren’t we supposed to be happy when property values increase?

12 Comment

  • im looking to buy in the petworth area and im not sure what theyre talking about when they mention affordable housing….condos are going for 300k and above. houses are going for mid 300’s and above. the only thing ive found less than 300k are basement condos and houses that need to be completely gutted. how is 300k and above affordable housing when you’re looking at a mortgage payment of 2000 and above? scary.

  • As the buyer in question, I found that if you have dual incomes, $400,000 is indeed “affordable” in Washington DC. $500K was a little too much though.

    Still, at either price you get a three bedroom + basement house in Petworth. PLENTY of space for a couple.

    Those that moan most about the lack of affordable housing are thinking in terms of wants, not needs. One person doesn’t “need” a house. One person can live nicely in, and easily afford a $200K condo, of which there are a few in the neighbourhood.

    Price is always relative. So are wants.

  • Thanks Wayan. Good luck in your search. If others are looking for homes in Petworth as well, please let me know how your searches are going.

  • I have to agree with Wayan. Most people want to move into a ready made home in a highly desirable area and not pay a great deal money similar to what their parents currently have. Unfortunately, those are desired by many people and supply and demand drives the price up. What people seem to forget is that their parents started somewhere else in a starter home and then laddered up to their current home.

    Don’t get me wrong that some can’t afford buying a home but renting is certainly an option and fills the need of housing not the want of a home owner.

  • I have to agree. Though I lived just south of Petworth several years ago, the house my wife and I moved into was less than 1 BR condos in “high demand” areas, however it needed significant work. But we were willing to do it, and we did a lot. So you either pay a lot up front to do less when you move in, or pay less up front and do more afterwards.

    Regardless, a home is a lot of work, regardless of whether it’s “move in ready” or a fixer-uper.

    And besides, you can’t compare a mortgage payment one-for-one with a rent payment. You can’t deduct a rent payment, but you can deduct a the interest you pay within your mortgage payment. Just another thing to keep in mind when comparing rents and mortgages.

  • Good points anonymous. Prince of Petworth blog has decided to adopt the area south of the metro as well. The area between Petworth and Columbia Heights that is. There are lots of cool houses there. So if any of you have news or topics you’d like to see covered please shoot me an email. Thanks.

  • ummm folks… this all seems pretty complacent here. There are lots of families in DC with one income earner and kids–single parent households.

    If you work a decent but not professional job in DC–say as a receptionist, any retail job, like Macy’s or a Verizon store, or any of the jobs that service the professional class here–receptionist, hair salon, nail salon–anything like that–you are going to be pulling in anywhere from 28,000 to 65,000 a year. Less after taxes.

    Imagine trying to raise two kids on an income like that in Washington. That’s the affordable housing problem. And those are the “working poor” or “working class”–or even “middle class” (which is how they often see themselves) that we want to help and encourage…

  • completely agree with the last post…not everyone in this city makes such high wages, even dual-income folks….horrible to generalize that with 2 incomes, 400k is affordable. where are the homes for those people that can’t afford such high mortgages upfront, even with the tax break the following year? they have to move to really shady areas or just deal with crappy homes? everyone that works hard deserves a decent place to live….no one is asking for their “parent’s house”, but a decent neighborhood with decent home prices….it’s frustrating for those people that are so close, but cant seem to purchase anything in a decent area. everyone is in different financial situations…great for those that can afford the 400k and above homes, but what about the rest of the people that just cant right now. do they have to deal with it and move to the middle of nowhere?

  • what’s the area called between the south of the petworth metro and columbia heights? lots of homes/condos for sale around those parts…..

  • It is called Park View but realtors often try to call it Columbia Heights.

  • The last Anonymous person,

    You are confusing a place to live with purchasing and owning a home. I don’t begrudge someone that works hard to have a nice place to live but there isn’t much that can be done. The D.C. council can’t institute a policy forcing individual home owners to sell below market. The only way they can act is on large condo or development projects but these tend to actually work against affordable housing by moving those purchasers that would of bought condos/homes but for the quota set on affordable homes out into the individual resale homes those driving up those homes.

    In the end the market will dictate pricing. In fact, prices have stabilized over the region with 2-3% dip in some locations. If the prices stay in constant over the next 2 years it will allow salaries to catch-up.

  • Affordable housing doesn’t mean that you get to buy a 400K home. There are still condos in the 200K range. According to mortgage calculators even people earning 65K can afford that.

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