DC Buyer: Attorney Power Couple Looking For More Space

by Martin Smith

DC Buyer is a series on UrbanTurf where we look at buyers from various demographics and provide available housing options for them in the current DC market. After presenting some choices, we will ask readers to help them make their choice. If you are a prospective buyer and would like to be featured in DC Buyer, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

This week, we’re working with Evan, 35, and Julienne, 38, a couple who would like to make the move from their downtown condo to something with a little more space to stretch out.

Evan is a corporate attorney at a firm near Metro Center who is on the partnership track making about $175,000 per year. He has a strong credit score of 768 and has paid off his law school loans, but does carry a credit card balance occasionally. Combined with car payments, his monthly debt is usually around $500 each month.

Julienne is also a lawyer with a small private practicehttp://dc.urbanturf.com/admin.php?S=0&C=edit&M=edit_entry&weblog_id=28&entry_id=1857 based in Old Town Alexandria. While her income fluctuates a bit from year to year, it tends to average out at a pretty steady $145,000 annually. She also has a good FICO score of 738, no student loan debt, and a car loan with about 36 months remaining. She carries a credit card balance from time to time resulting in total debt payments of around $700 per month.

Evan and Julienne have loved their downtown condo, but want the space and privacy that a townhouse, or better yet, a single-family home can provide. While they have been fortunate enough to have a roof terrace, they would love additional outdoor space as well as private parking and a good layout for entertaining. Currently they have no children, but nieces and nephews visit often, so at least two extra bedrooms are important.

1453 Q Street NW

Lastly, Julienne is ideally looking for a quiet neighborhood, but something that still has easy access to the city and activity nearby. Evan does not want to spend more than $50,000 on renovations and redecorating, which will come out of separate savings. With about $700,000 to $750,000 in equity from the sale of their current home, they are looking at properties in the $1 million to $1.2 million price point.

The first choice that we found that fits Evan and Julienne’s criteria is a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath townhouse at 1453 Q Street NW in Logan Circle, recently reduced to $1,119,000. This property offers several key features that appeal to both Evan and Julienne, including a stunning master suite with a walk-in closet that’s practically large enough to be a fifth bedroom and a two-person walk-in shower in the bathroom. The living room, while not enormous, is a good size for entertaining guests and has built-in bookshelves and an alcove with bay windows, and the eat-in kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a large island. As an added bonus, the house features an in-law suite on the ground level that offers $1,500 per month in rental income. The home’s downside: the only parking options are zoned street parking or off-site rental.

Master Suite at 4462 Macarthur Blvd

Just listed for $1,089,000, the second choice is a three-bedroom craftsman home in Palisades at 4462 Macarthur Blvd NW. Built in 2004, this home has a kitchen with high-grade appliances and stone as well as a fireplace and access out to a rear balcony off the in-room dining area that can easily hold a table for ten. A spa bath, glass-enclosed shower, two walk-in closets, a fireplace and private balcony round out an impressive master suite. A third bedroom, bathroom, and laundry suite make up the top floor, and there is a two-car garage and rec room on the basement level. Aside from a real yard and a slightly more walkable neighborhood, there is nothing this house does not offer that Evan and Julienne wanted.

Backyard at 3416 30th Street NW

The final property we have proposed for Evan and Julienne to consider is 3416 30th Street NW in Cleveland Park, on the market for $1,225,000. What this four-bedroom lacks in charm from the street, it more than compensates for once you step inside. The entire home was recently redone, so all our couple will need to do is decide if they want to paint. The master suite is not as impressive as those of the other two properties, but the home is in an ideal location just two blocks to the Cleveland Park Metro, offers garage parking, and has one of the best backyards that we have seen in DC, ideal for entertaining this spring and summer.

Given these three choices, where should they put in their offer?

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See other articles related to: palisades, logan circle, dc buyer, cleveland park

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_buyer_attorney_power_couple_looking_for_more_space/1857


  1. SimonF said at 10:23 am on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    I would go with the Cleveland Park house solely for the backyard. Beautiful.

  1. ML said at 10:32 am on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    Love DC Buyer—it’s a great feature!

    The Cleveland Park backyard is beautiful, but the ceilings look low.  Will Julienne’s commute get significantly longer from Cleveland Park or Palisades?

  1. Lauren said at 10:39 am on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    Three very different neighborhoods, but I’d agree with others above that the Cleveland Park house offers the best compromise of a quiet yet conveinent location. And the backyard looks perfect for BBQs with room for kids to run around.

  1. ML said at 10:52 am on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    Cleveland Park is a great neighborhood, for sure.  But closer to Old Town, how about 131 D St. SE?

  1. former Georgetowner said at 11:24 am on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    of the three neighborhoods they looked at, I like Logan Circle the best.

    I’m not a huge fan of Cleveland Park.

    But that said, if they’re planning to have kids and plan to send their kids to public school, the Palisades house is probably the best option of the three.

  1. Rob said at 12:12 pm on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    I’d go with the Palisades home. They specifically asked for a single family home.

    I’d also check out Chevy Chase. Many young, affluent families have been snapping up deals there. Postcard settings with beautiful yards and trees.

  1. Janson said at 12:44 pm on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    These are three great options and in the end this feels more like a lifestyle choice than a housing choice. To be part of the life of the city clearly the Logan Circle unit is the best offering with the shortest commutes both to work and to play. If being part of city life isn’t the goal, they might consider looking even further out…

  1. Martin said at 1:54 pm on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    The Palisades home, while it looks like a single family property from the outside, is actually a duplex - the right side of the building is a separate townhouse.

    Also, it is immediately next door to an incoming 30+ unit townhouse development that just secured another round of approvals, so there will likely be construction noise for a few years.

    All that being the case, it is still one of the best properties I’ve seen in quite a while, and it’s my personal favorite.

  1. K said at 1:55 pm on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    This feature would be even better if you would do follow-ups to let us know which home the features people/person ended up purchasing!!!  Please consider.

  1. Golly G. said at 4:46 pm on Wednesday March 10, 2010:

    They should keep their current condo and give a million dollars to a worthy charity. No one needs a million dollar + home.

  1. SWester said at 10:02 pm on Wednesday March 10, 2010:


    There’s nothing wrong with those who can afford them buying expensive homes. Of course, when those who can’t afford them buy them, we get major problems, e.g. 2005-present. But expensive homes do generate nice sums of tax revenue, which in turn can benefit the community at large.

    And you didn’t read their situation carefully: their current condo has equity of about $750,000, so their out of pocket might only be around $300,000. Not $1 million.

    Furthermore, you have no idea how much they give to charity in a given year; it might very well be far, far more than you’ve ever given or will give in your lifetime.

  1. jj said at 12:22 pm on Thursday March 11, 2010:

    the q street property, while decent inside lacks huge curb appeal with the faux castle brick facade. returning it to the orignal brick would boost the property value, the neighborhood and the curb appeal.

    And who decides how much you can spend on a home? spend what you want or what you can afford. the q street property sold for 615k in 2003 to the current owners, so a 500k increase in value is a bit steep, given that it’s only assessed at 755k. But condos in the area that are smaller are selling for much more. if you’re looking for more bedrooms, you’re going to pay a price for it. if you can’t afford it, your options are to look for something smaller or somewhere that has lower prices. don’t cop the “holier than thou” attitude.

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