Get Smart With City Chic: Is DC Real Estate a Dumpster Fire?

Get Smart With City Chic is a bi-weekly column giving you the real talk rundown on what’s happening with the D.C. real estate market. Sponsored and written by Lindsay Dreyer, the broker/owner of City Chic Real Estate.

This guest post is by Sarah Brazell, Realtor in DC/MD/VA with City Chic Real Estate. Book a call with Sarah!

I’ve had a lot of people ask, “How’s the real estate market?”… and even more friends send me that meme of Will Ferrell in a burning neighborhood yelling: “Does anyone want to buy a house?!”

It’s true the housing market is not the same market it was last year… but that’s not a bad thing!

Super low interest rates for the past decade allowed for people to borrow money for cheap. Those 2% and 3% interest rates flooded the market with tons of buyers who got into an absolute BLOODBATH to buy a home. Those buyers sought to be competitive by driving up the prices of homes. (Is a studio in Foggy Bottom really worth $400,000?) Along with inflating prices, perhaps even more dangerously, those buyers were waiving all contingencies. How comfortable would you have been buying a home without a home inspection or appraisal contingency?

As interest rates have started to rise, the frenzy has settled. Cheap money has dried up and stock portfolios have taken a hit. As a result: housing prices have started to dip, homes are sitting on the market for longer, and bidding wars are a thing of the past. Ladies and Gentlemen it is FINALLY a buyers’ market!

I don’t know about you… but being a buyer now sounds a lot nicer than it used to be!

And the housing market in D.C. remains a great long term investment.

Unlike most cities in the U.S., our housing market is especially unique because the majority of jobs here stem from a recession proof industry: the federal government. Home prices may vary over the years, but they’re going to remain steady thanks to our local economy. So steady in fact, this may be the only time when you’re able to shop for a home on clearance (Where are my MAXXinistas at??)

While I think it’s a great time to buy, you may not be ready or agree with me and that’s okay! I’m not going to be the one to push you. Life is all about timing. Like love, it’s important not to rush into anything until you can appreciate it. Think of homeownership like a long term relationship. You can’t leave when the new flavor of the week comes around.

While stocks and NFTs are the passionate, tumultuous lovers with high highs and low lows, homeownership is that levelheaded (dare I say boring?) guy who’s been around forever, and is not going anywhere. Stocks and NFTs can be fun for a fling. If you’re lucky, your stocks may make it with you for the long run! Or, you can date a stock for just a few months, sell it for a 20% gain a few months later, and come out unscathed.

If you’re over games and appreciate a safe and less tumultuous relationship, consider homeownership. Homeownership is the long term play, where if you can commit, you’ll see how good it can be for you. And trust me, homeownership can be REALLY good to you.

You get perks like tax write offs, equity lines of credit, principal paydown, rental income, and if you’re lucky a really cool place to live!

I’m not a tax advisor or a financial planner, but I do know the secret to being able to retire in the next 20-30 years is having a well rounded portfolio with fat returns. That portfolio needs to have stocks, bonds, and property. The stock market has been great for the past few years, but how does your overall portfolio look? Are all your eggs in your 401k basket? Personally, it hurts a little less opening up my E*Trade app or 401k statement knowing I have other assets that are making money.

I purchased an investment property this year. I have a tenant in my rental who is covering my mortgage (plus a little more.) Plus my mortgage is getting paid-off! In the next 15 years, I’ll have a fully paid off asset that I bought on sale in 2022. Free cash flow for retirement!

Warren Buffet famously said: “Be greedy when others are fearful.” Don’t be fearful when it comes to your future just because we weren’t taught how to invest in school. We millennials have had the s**t end of the stick for way too long. It’s about time we get a chance to get into the game and create some wealth!

TL;DR: This is the time to buy a home on clearance. Invest in your future. You can refinance your interest rate later.

City Chic Real Estate is a woman owned, independent real estate company, specializing in helping first time buyers and sellers in the DMV. Book a no pressure, intro call with our team at

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