Comp and Circumstance: Capitol Hill Vs. Georgetown

by Rebecca Ortega

Comp and Circumstance presents two listings of roughly similar prices in DC and compares the pros and cons of each. This week, we look at properties from two of DC’s classic neighborhoods, Capitol Hill and Georgetown. The price point is between $849,000-$874,900. Let us know in the comments which of the two you feel is the better buy. See all our past Comp and Circumstance features here.

Renovated Row House in the Heart of the Hill


Capitol Hill and Georgetown, two DC neighborhoods that have stood the test of time, are areas with highly desirable real estate and the accompanying lofty price tags. But which neighborhood has homes that deserve to command more when they hit the market? First, we look at Capitol Hill.


180 North Carolina Avenue SE is a renovated row home two blocks from the Capitol South Metro station on the Blue and Orange line, and across the street from Folger Park. Originally listed at $899,000, the price was reduced to $874,900 after two months on the market. Another six weeks later, and the new price still doesn’t seem to have drawn a buyer. This may be due to the fact that at just over 1,500 square feet (roughly 500 of which is unfinished), the property is on the small side for a row house. It is listed as having three bedrooms, but only two (master and basement-level suite) seem like proper bedrooms, while the third is quite small. With the bedrooms on split levels and a small kitchen and living room on the main floor, 180 North Carolina is probably more suitable for a couple rather than a family.

There are considerable selling points, however, not least of which is a beautiful, modern renovation. There are ten-foot ceilings, hardwood floors throughout, and an off-street parking space for rent. The location is also a big asset, as it is just a few steps from the Metro and the shops and restaurants on Pennsylvania Avenue. For someone who works on the Hill, this property eliminates any significant commute.


Family Friendly Next to Georgetown University

1719 37th Street NW is a row home in Burleith, a neighborhood just to the northwest of Georgetown proper. (We imagine the buyer will say they live in Georgetown, though.) With more square footage than the Capitol Hill property, and a smaller price tag, this will be a more attractive option for families or couples looking to start a family.


The property has hardwood floors, three spacious bedrooms on the upper level, and a comfortable layout on a main level that has a wood-burning fireplace. Standing out among the property’s amenities is a light-filled master suite with a walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom. The second bathroom, which includes a striking skylight, is larger than the master bath, which though a bit unusual will likely come in handy as it is the only other full-sized bathroom in the house.

There is some work to be done on this property, and that is a pro or a con depending on the eventual buyer. The kitchen could be updated, the backyard could use some landscaping, and the large, unfinished basement will eventually need to be renovated to enhance the resale value. Another drawback to this property is that it is nowhere near a Metro station. With a car, this won’t be an issue, but the property doesn’t come with a parking space, so a car-owning buyer would have to vie for the Georgetown area’s notoriously tight street parking.

The neighborhood is a strong selling point, however. A quiet area, close to both the shopping and nightlife on M Street and the more adult-friendly restaurants and Whole Foods on Wisconsin Avenue, the location will clearly add value to many buyers.

So, what do you think? Would you buy the trendier row home in Capitol Hill or is the space and location of the Burleith property the smarter purchase? Let us know your preference in the comments below.

  180 North Carolina Avenue SE 1719 37th Street NW
Bedrooms 3 3
Bathrooms 2 2.5
Square footage 1,563 (521 unfinished) 2,360 (640 unfinished)
Pros Location, great renovation Location, lots of light, family-friendly floor plan
Cons Not much space for the price No parking, no Metro
Price $874,900 $849,000
Neighborhood Capitol Hill Burleith (Georgetown)
Links 180 North Carolina Ave SEMap 1719 37th Street NWMap

See other articles related to: dclofts, comp and circumstance, capitol hill, burleith

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/comp_and_circumstance_capitol_hill_vs._georgetown/2306


  1. General said at 8:05 am on Wednesday July 28, 2010:

    That is not a lot of square footage in Cap Hill and if you are raising a family, I think more people would prefer Burleith to the Hill, despite the growing family-oriented rep of the neighborhood. My vote is Burleith.

  1. adam said at 9:57 am on Wednesday July 28, 2010:

    Not sure this is a fair comparison.  Seems the Capitol Hill property you picked is overpriced.

  1. Donna said at 10:17 am on Wednesday July 28, 2010:

    The price may be high for the space you are getting in Cap Hill, but it makes for a far easier commute than the Gtown house if you work anywhere near the Capitol.

  1. anon said at 4:13 pm on Wednesday July 28, 2010:

    THe CH property is really a 2 BR with a finished basement.  I agree that it hasn’t been priced well.  For that money you can find more space on the Hill (or lower $). And does “Rental Parking” mean parking spot doesn’t convey?

  1. Mary said at 10:11 am on Thursday July 29, 2010:

    Oh, I’ve walked past those rowhouses in Glover Park/Burleith a bunch of times and thought they were very charming - I’d no idea they were as spacious inside. I like the kitchen - all I can see that one would “update” is switch to stainless appliances but I actually like white ones in spaces like that - they look light and bright and clean, I think. From the look of it, the house backs on an alley and the yard that “needs some landscaping” was speedily converted from a parking pad. I’d have it revert to one forthwith as street parking is a gigantic pain in that ‘hood.

  1. Citi said at 11:13 am on Thursday July 29, 2010:

    I’d definitly go for the Georgetown home.  That place has so much charm, and great potential to be awesome.  The Capitol Hill home looks like my condo, narrow and tall, and tight. Although it looks like a beautiful renovation, I’m quickly tiring of the metal and wire railings on the stairways - they are everywhere. The Capitol Hill home is also overpriced.

  1. DCLaura said at 11:33 am on Saturday July 31, 2010:

    The cap hill place is definitely small, but if priced correctly would be my choice for the better buy. Esp if you don’t have kids or are looking for a starter home. The neighborhood has way more to offer IMHO and the classic row home just feels better to me than that weird georgetown exterior. I think maybe 799 is the right asking price for the cap hill prop but who knows. The market will determine the right price, right?

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