Friday Question of the Day – If Money Were No Object, What Neighborhood Would you want to Live in?

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

My wife and I call this the lottery question, not that we all don’t love the neighborhoods that we are currently living in, if you won one of those massive powerball jackpots – which neighborhood in the District would you most want to live in? And out of curiosity – since we’re talking powerball money – where else in the world would you want to try living?

183 Comment

  • Logan Circle. – in the circle!

  • In a big row house in Mt. Pleasant

  • A Victorian on East Capitol. Hands down the best houses in the city.

    • its more debatable than hands down yo.
      the city has a number of neighborhoods with amazing homes.

    • +1000 I go on my weekly runs down East Capitol picking out a new dream mansion each time. I play the “Friday Question” pretty frequently in my mind:)

    • I live a couple blocks away from East Capitol, and can’t think of a neighborhood I’d rather be in (Logan Circle would be a strong runner-up, but less convenient to work). So yeah, I’d think I’d just trade in my standard-sized rowhouse for one of the fabulously large and extravagant ones on East Capitol.

  • I’m gonna get that bug empty mansion on Porter street right next to the park and turn it into my castle for the 6 months of the year that I won’t be living in Naples Italy.

  • Mount Pleasant. Damn, I miss that neighborhood. Best in DC.

  • Takoma
    Del Ray

  • Cleveland Park.

  • Forest Hills

  • Dupont Circle. Hands down.

  • TRINIDAD!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Easy one. Paris!
    In DC, second Logan Circle.

  • Dupont. The location is really excellent and the housing stock amazing.

  • Honestly? Somewhere west of the park where there is no risk of getting stabbed in the neck while walking alone at night.

  • If I won the lottery I would get the hell out!

    New York.
    New Zealand.

    • Amsterdam? Mind if I ask why? I’m curious. I’ve been twice but would never want to live there. Too small and I found the Dutch to be very cold people. But maybe that was just my experience.

      • too small? its larger than dc.

        • The city itself is marginally bigger than DC “proper” but the metropolitan region only has about 1.5 million compared to about 5 million for the Washington metro area. There’s only about 15 million in the entire Netherlands so it’s clearly a much smaller place in general.

          I used to dream about owning a canal-side house on Keizersgracht in the Central Canal Belt. I love Holland and Amsterdam in particular is a special place but I would imagine it could get a bit insular after a few years.

          I have a friend who lived in Venice. For a year or so he was living the dream, but eventually described it as a rather conservative and isolated place that turned into a truly global city for a couple of weeks each year for the film festival.

      • ???
        Been to Amsterdam 8+ times because it is such a fantastic city. The Dutch are warm and friendly, it is very charming, mice mix of people, culture, etc. And good country for cycling.

    • alphatango

      Also… why not live in all of those places.

  • I love living in Mt Pleasant; with a bucket of money I’d want to live in one of the gorgeous houses on Lamont St. Where else in the world is a tougher question – probably one of the countries (or micro-nations) that begins with the letter M.

  • Same block, but in a rowhouse instead of an apartment. Nothing better than my little corner in AdMo/Kalorama/Dupont.

  • Cleveland park, in one of the stand alone renovated houses, close to the metro and the Rock Creek! And then London, without question of the coolest cities I’ve had the chance to live in.

  • Row house with garage in Adams Morgan.

  • I would definitely leave the area, and probably head to Santa Barbara or somewhere on the California central coast.

    If I had to stay here… Cleveland Park or Woodley Park.

  • brookland_rez


  • I really like Shaw to be honest in DC. Since we are on the imagination train I would also instantly buy a retirement home in San Diego. A house on Coronado, on the beach, Ocean Blvd, on the dog beach side away from the tourists (but closer to the jet noise)

  • In Omotesando, Tokyo!

  • National Harbor

  • I wouldn’t mid living Logan Circle- but in a 30 story building- in a Floor-through PH unit, with rooftop to myself with a plunge pool/hotub combo.


    Nice 3 or 4 story row with a beautiful garden and a garage – possibly a carriage house and pool

  • Takoma Park historic district – in one of those beautiful old Victorians or Arts and Crafts homes. Elsewhere in the world: Marrakech if I can have my own little riad to restore.

  • I want to live on the block in Logan pictured above – It is my block, and I am never leaving. Of course, there are so many beautiful houses and neighborhoods in this city, and I feel very lucky to be in just one of them.

  • Large old mansion in Kalorama overlooking the park.

    • The old Textile Museum would suit the bill nicely, actually. Anyone want to donate 20-some million? Pretty please?

  • binpetworth

    I’d probably stay in Petworth and get a cute little bungalow where I could landscape the hell out of my yard. No more party wall for me!

  • I’d buy all the row houses on my block and connect all of them into one long and narrow mansion.

    • That would be fun. May as well buy the other side of the street too and build some walkways or tunnels in between.

    • I love this idea!

    • I’m the anonymous who posted this. I live on a hill so the house at one end of the block is a lot higher than my house at the other end of the block. That’s why I’d have a funicular running the length of the place to get around. I’ve thought about this way more than a grown man should.

  • Cleveland Park, specifically on Macomb Street between Connecticut Ave and 34th Street.

    Big leafy lots, gorgeous homes and a 5 minute walk to the metro. Hands down best place in the city.

    • Boom, this exactly!!

    • Right there with ya.

    • my parents bought their first home on that block. back in the 70s when two young professionals just starting out could afford a home in cleveland park.

    • This gets my vote too! I’d specifically want a house with a big wrap around porch. Wrap around porches are a must for my dream home.

    • Good choice, although I might choose the same block on Newark.

    • jburka

      When my family moved back into the district from the ‘burbs in ’86 it was to this stretch, about a block’s worth above Connecticut. Our house backed on to Tregaron and from the back deck you would never know you were anywhere near a city.

      But I’m a hell of a lot happier in my rowhouse in Logan/U Street, where my husband and I managed to buy 12+ years ago before the prices got crazy. I just wish I had a basement or attic for storage!

  • Probably on Hobart Street in Mt. Pleasant (assumign “money is no object” includes private school tuition).

    • Agree about Hobart St.–I’m lucky enough to live there. Disagree about private school: we have 3 kids, all in public schools, all doing just fine.

  • An old mansion in Kalorama

  • Kalorama.

  • one of the beautiful modern homes in Forest Hills/Rock Creek park.

    • me too. And if I’ve got powerball money, I won’t care about the expense of hiring someone to clean all that glass, and skim the leaves out of the pool twice a day.

  • Forrest Hills

  • I’d likely rent out the condo we own now in Takoma Park, buy a farm house in Leesburg and grow wine grapes, maybe buy a smaller condo in the H Street area and something in Seattle or San Francisco. For a vacation spot, I’d probably look for a beach bungalow somewhere in the Caribbean ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Barbados! I’m moving immediately to Barbados (or St. Lucia) but preferably Barbados. Add a small condo downtown NYC, and trade my H St. row for a Mt. Pleasant row. Dreams are fun.

  • Le Marais, Paris.

  • Kalorama

  • have no desire to move from my current hood Bloomingdale…. but do miss Rock Creek Park in Mt. Pleasant where i lived for 10 years.

    • I agree. I’ve been in Bloomingdale for two years and watching the new amenities pop up during that time has been fun. I think I’d just trade in my condo for a full-sized row house on T or Thomas St between 1st and 2nd.

  • I am thinking I could have a pretty incredible 3 or 4 bedroom apartment in City place. Shucks, make it the penthouse as long as this is fantasy land. I also like Glover Park, Mass Heights and G’Town.

    For my other City, I am going with Roma.

  • janie4

    Petworth – Heck, I wouldn’t really move (never again!). I’d do a new kitchen and main bath, upgrade my fence, and buy the house next to me and renovate it (vacant). Of course, I’d also have my pied-e-terre in Genoa, and my place in Venice, CA as well.

    • janie4

      Meant to say – Petworth is metro accessible, I like the amenities, Fios and good parking. What’s not to like?

      • Litter. (Well, on my block in northern Park View, just south of Petworth — your block may be luckier.)

        • ugh parkview here too. soo much litter. the allies are so nasty lately. ๐Ÿ™

        • It was just occurring to me that if money were no object, I could try buying out the neighbors on my block (and those on the other side of the alley) who don’t pick up litter, mow their grass, etc., and keep in place all the neighbors who do.

        • So take your big bucks and hire someone to pick up all the litter on your block every day. Won’t be much.

          • I’d rather have neighbors who are willing to pick up after themselves/others.
            I made an effort to pick up all the litter on the street once a week for two years. I’ve now limited myself to a much smaller area because I feared I was getting carpal tunnel syndrome and because no matter how well I cleaned the block, the litter just kept coming. I didn’t get the feeling that my example encouraged anyone to do what I was doing.

  • Ledroit Park is the obvious choice

    • why obvious?

    • Agreed! Can’t believe it took so long for Le Droit Park to be mentioned. Love those big houses on T St.

      • yes! That was what I was going to say. Get me a place in Ledroit Park with a huge front porch. I would also like a vacation home in Breckenridge.

    • Agreed! I live there now and love it but would probably want a more updated row with a porch and/or some yard space. So either the big ass mansion at Cooper Circle and T (the one that looks like its haunted) or the one at second and T with the gazebo – I’d probably renovate both to make them one unit.

  • I’d love a big house in Mount Pleasant, with a nice in law suite so friends and family can visit and growing family has space to live etc…love the neighborhood. Elsewhere in the world? If I won the huge megamillions?So that visiting family would be easier: nice places in Paris and Berlin. I’d want vacation homes in Hawaii, Jamaica…It would be nice to have a place in New York too.

  • Huge mansion overlooking the Potomac in McLean, VA. Or perhaps out in Middleburg, VA or Potomac, MD with all the other old money folks, of course. My driver could bring me into the city as needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mr. Pop sir, may we have this as a poll please? There’s lots of Dupont, Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan floating around but the numbers would be great to see. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • not that i don’t love it here, but i’ve got too much baggage here. l’d leave dc.

    brooklyn heights, brooklyn.
    the mission, san francisco

  • Petworth, because when friends visit I’d like them to have the ability to park. I’d like a slightly larger yard though and a deck and maybe a pool. Actually 16th street heights/Crestwood/Beach Drive are also great locations with a lot of nice big houses. I’d retire there if this city had a good beach next to it.

  • In DC – a huge detached house in Cleveland Park with a wrap around porch. Outside of DC – I’d have a house in the red rock desert in Arizona, somewhere like Sedona, and a beach house overlooking the Pacific in San Diego where I can spend the summers.

  • I guess it depends on how much lottery money we are talking about but I would probably either leave DC or just keep the house that I have and rent it out.

    I would renovate an amazing building that I already own (been my dream for years and years) and then use it as a homebase while I travel 9 months out of the year.

  • I’d move to Sydney. But if I stayed here, I’d move to a rowhouse on the Hill or stay on my street in Columbia Heights a block from metro, but get a rowhouse

  • Crestwood: it is right next to the park, very beautiful houses, and quiet, but it is only a short walk to Red Derby and other places in Columbia Heights.

  • Woodland-Normanstone — the little awesome area next to Woodley Park with mansions out the wazoo.

  • Barry Farms!! with a summer home in Lincoln Heights.

  • Cleveland Park, in a large detached house.

  • If I had a different kind of lifestyle (partner, kids), maybe Dupont, Woodley, Cleveland Park, Forest Hills, Chevy Chase. But it’s just me. I would stay downtown and upgrade my abode, plus add a fun vacation home somewhere to share with friends and family. I love the Bay Area but it’s too far from family, as are some appealing foreign destinations. But having an extra place for vacations elsewhere sure would be nice!

  • LeDroit Park… Real awesome community and we have the BEST residental block in DC! IMHO.

  • The White House! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Woodland Normanstone Terrace. If money’s no object, I don’t need a Metro stop

    • YES! I love driving through this neighborhood and gawking and the beautiful houses. The neighborhood has such a beautiful, wooded feel and there is very little cut-through traffic (surprisingly!)

  • Becks

    I would buy a 30 foot Winnebago and spend the next 2-3 years traveling around the US. I would visit every National Park and fishing hole between California and Florida. Then I would Head to Europe and do the same thing. Exploration!

  • Woodland Normanstone. Or somewhere off Foxhall.

    If out of the city, Chevy Chase Village.

  • I really like where we are in Mount Vernon Square. Ten minutes to the ballpark and work, and not much further from anything else that we like to do or need in the city. I’d go crazy living in a mansion in the middle of nowhere and having to drive 20 minutes just to get a loaf of bread.

    I’d spend the lottery winnings on an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, since hubs is a Brazilian and we eventually want to get a place there anyway.

  • Those top-level condos at the Yards Park are amazing looking. Or, I’d just want a gorgeous row house in Shaw. 10th & M perhaps or on 5th St.
    Outside of DC, I agree with Paris, and I definitely need a vacation home in Belize or Mexico.

  • Either DuPont or on the hill just northwest of Barracks Row. Gotta have metro access. But I’d also need a cabin out in the Shenandoah if money is no object.

    I left dc for a ski resort town in the Rockies. While I miss dc, life here doesn’t exactly suck. If I had my money is no object mountain town choice, it would be Jackson WY.

    • Ah, good idea on the vacation home, although I think I’d go for something on the beach with a big porch.

  • 1717 15th St. NW or 1515 S St. NW

  • Definitely Logan Circle for me! I would also love a place or two in New York– Brooklyn Heights and/or out in Old Field on Long Island. If I went international… I would have to go with Ireland, somewhere near Dingle.

  • Eastern Market, Dupont, or Shaw (I live near Shaw/Logan Circle now and love it!)

  • Anywhere in the Norfeast Norfeast

  • Holy cow this is hard!! I am so torn between:

    – Near Eastern Market (on a quiet street though)
    – Georgetown / Glover Park (far enough north to avoid the undergrad crowds)

    If money is no object = I can afford private school for my kids, then:

    – Kalorama
    – Mt Pleasant

    It’s not that the public schools are terrible – I mean, I live in ward 5 and will probably send my kids to public – but if we’re talking about fantasy life, then either top tier publics or private is on my wish list.

  • Zamalek, Cairo

  • Holy cow this is hard!! I am so torn between:

    – Near Eastern Market (on a quiet street though)
    – Georgetown / Glover Park (far enough north to avoid the undergrad crowds)

    If money is no object = I can afford private school for my kids, then:

    – Kalorama
    – Mt Pleasant

    It’s not that the public schools are terrible – I mean, I live in ward 5 and will probably send my kids to public – but if we’re talking about fantasy life, then either top tier publics or private is on my wish list.

    Any of these would be fantastic but I think if forced to choose I would go with Eastern Market. Especially as the Navy Yard and Waterfront neighborhoods develop and there’s a lot more to walk to.

    • You know what, I was answering with my “long term settling down” hat on. The truth is, right NOW I’d want to be in Shaw, maybe around 9th & T or so – close to Shaw stuff, close to U St stuff. But in a couple years I’d want to move to one of the neighborhoods I listed.

      • I didn’t win the lottery but I live on 9th and R. I think I would stay put but do a ton of renovations, I would also have a place in colorado in Vail or Beaver Creek. Maybe a beach place somewhere.

    • Eastern Market’s a great choice; I love having the Riverfront, H Street, Union Station, Capitol, and National Mall all within a 30-minute walk. Plus it’s easy to drive out of the city from here, and there are the buses that take you directly to U Street and Adams Morgan. Not that the neighborhood itself isn’t awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Somewhere on the west side of town with a gi-normous yard adjoining parkland, with a pool and circular driveway. Naval Observatory, Woodend, maybe a converted embassy. Helipad!
    Or maybe a warehouse on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront with it’s own covered dock.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    My friends sold their house on Milvia during the housing boom and bought a lovely house up in the Berkeley Hills with a spectacular view of San Francisco. I told them if I lived there I would never go to sleep at night watching the view. With all the money (and a housekeeper, please) that would be my dream locale.

  • Dupont!!

  • Either where I am in Dupont/Logan or Georgetown.

    Homes would also be located in Manhattan, San Francisco, vineyard estate in Napa or Sonoma counties, Tokyo, beach house in Indonesia at a nice surf break, Rome, renovated farm house in Tuscany, penthouse apartment in Berlin, and place in London. All open year round to friends and family, and a customized Gulfstream with a bed to get around in. Stopping by the liquor store for my powerball ticket after work….

  • Undecided between

    a) Woodley Park. In a nice house with a porch and a yard near the metro (preferably to the west of the metro for an easy walk to the Cathedral).

    b) Southwest (either a big townhouse, or buy several neighboring condos and make a crazy giant penthouse with amazing views)

    either way, my real desire is not so much a particular house or neighborhood but a housekeeper to come by and clean (and who could do home maintenance or hire/supervise others in doing it), a chauffeur that would take me to other parts of town, and guaranteed admission to any public school I wanted kids to attend.

  • I consider myself very lucky. We were able to buy a big row house in Mt Pleasant a few years back that was in dire need of renovation (It was a former halfway house!) It’s taken several years, but now that the renovations are more or less finished, I can honestly say there is nowhere else in DC I’d rather live.

  • jim_ed

    Outside the city: Curacao. Probably in a Landhuis sitting on an oceanside cliff with a private beach below.
    Inside the city: thats tought. I’m not an opulent mansion guy, so I prefer things a little more down to earth. I’ve always loved the street scene on Swann St between Dupont and Logan. For a bit further out, some of the homes in upper 16th St heights and Brightwood are just beautiful as well; the ones on Madison and Kennedy are particularly great.

  • Either that house on the SE corner of 13th and Euclid — one of the most amazing in the city, architecturally. Or in Christopher Hitchens’ old place in Adams Morgan/Kalorama — because Christopher Hitchens lived there.

  • I would want to stay where I am, between Logan and U but I would definitely buy a ofind a larger house. Oh and a weekend home somewhere around Middleburg.

  • -I’d love a loft-style condo facing the river in Navy Yard. That part of town just seems like a total escape for me, and is getting better by the day.
    -Where I am now, Cap Hill/Eastern Mkt, but closer to the metro.
    -Georgetown, maybe. I love the houses, and it’s always been my dream to own a house with a cute gas lamp by the front door, but hate the weekend crowds, undergrads, and horrible drivers.

  • We actually had this option a couple of years ago when we decided to move into DC from the burbs when the last kid left for college. Could have bought anywhere, chose Logan/U Street and love it.

  • I would have to say Brussels. I love, love, love that city. In DC, I would buy one of those large historic homes off of Military after Connecticut, but before Wisconsin- is that considered Friendship Heights?

  • If money were no object… I’d love one of those grand fully detached houses in Cleveland Park close to the Metro. Or maybe a grand Victorian rowhouse in Dupont.
    And if I had Powerball-type money, I’d have a vacation house in the portion of the San Diego suburbs where the high temperatures are in the 70s year-round. And a place in London.

  • CoHi on 15th street next to Merdian Park in a penthouse condo. Best place in the city

  • OK, since we’re dreaming and we can live anywhere in the world – I’d choose Paris in the summer and Ocho Rios, Jamaica in the winter. Here in the DMV my first choice would be the Gold Coast (upper 16th Street) and my second would be Columbia Heights where I live now.

  • Manor Park. Hopefully the short sale gets approved. Freestanding homes, big yard, Fort Slocum, Rock Creek, Takoma metro, Walter Reed Development, clean yards, quiet neighborhood.

  • Takoma Park, MD (from a family perspective) and Mt. Pleasant (from a no-kids perspective).

    • I don’t know. I see TONS of strollers rolling around Mt. Pleasant.

    • As a Mt. Pleasant resident and parent, I don’t understand why you think Mt. P = no kids. There are tons of children in the neighborhood. Yes the yards are small, but we’ve got RCP, the zoo, and back alleys to play in. My kids love it here.

  • One home each in Big Sur and Napa Valley

    In DC, Woodley or Kalorama

  • I find it interesting that in this hypo where money is no object, Metro access is still important for some people. You’re rich! You can hire a driver or Uber everywhere!

    • There’s something about dealing with personal vehicles that I find exhausting. Getting in and out of them, calling for them, etc. I also find public transit more interesting (for the people watching) and it’s usually less likely to give me motion sickness. Ideally I’d want to live in a neighborhood where I can walk everywhere, because that’s my preferred way of getting around, but being able to hop on a bus or train whenever I want would be important too.
      Besides, I interpreted the question to mean money is no object as far as the house is concered (e.g. a fairy godmother was giving you the neighborhood of your choice but nothing else) but your income and savings otherwise remain unchanged.

  • Petworth! I will buy my neighbors townhouse if I need more room, but I’m not moving.

  • Woodland-Normanstone Terrace or Wesley Heights — easily the highest end housing stock in the city.

  • I love being in the Palisades but probably Tenleytown so I can walk everywhere.

  • At this stage of life, probably go with one of the 14th Street penthouses with huge living room that leads onto big private roofdeck.

  • right now – a large rowhouse with a small yard or roofdeck in the Dupont/Adams Morgan/Logan Circle area.
    5 or 10 years from now – detached house in Cleveland Park – metro access, wraparound porch, etc.
    anywhere in the world? Barcelona – a few blocks from the beach, preferably ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Winter vacation house: Tahoe
    Spring vacation house: French Quarter
    Summer vacation house: Chesapeake
    Fall vacation house: Chelsea

  • I’d stay right where I am – Columbia Heights – (Although afternoons like this when the Black Israelite whackos are spewing hate over their amplifiers I have momentary longings for elsewhere.) But really – I’m 5 min. drive to Rock Creek, 7 min. Metro to the National Gallery of Art and anything I need is within a few blocks. I have lots of good friends in the neighborhood. A lottery win would be nice to spend on a new kitchen & a few other renos, but otherwise, I’m home.

  • The Rockefeller mansion that sits alone in Rock Creek Park

  • I’d be content with a bungalow in Brookland ….or it’s NW equivalent – Cleveland Park! Or Takoma Park.

  • DC: I’d get one of those $5m houses just west of rock creek, with a swimming pool, tennis court and contemporary design, overlooking the park (is this area called Forest Hills?).

    Anywhere: I’d get a penthouse duplex on 5th avenue overlooking central park, a bit south of the Met, with 5 parking spaces in the basement garage for my friends to visit.

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