Rent vs. Buy: Glover Park

  • January 28th 2010

by Michele Lerner

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Rent vs. Buy: Glover Park: Figure 1
Row Houses in Glover Park

Plenty of rent-versus-own calculators are available online to do a purely numbers-driven evaluation of whether you should buy a home or rent one. (The New York Times has a particularly good one.) But, as most buyers in search of a new home know, the decision to buy a home is not purely financial. It requires a long-term commitment to a home and a neighborhood.

Beginning with a look at Glover Park, UrbanTurf will work its way through the neighborhoods of the city to gather estimates of rent and home prices as well as the distinctive characteristics of each community.

The Neighborhood

Glover Park, located just north of Georgetown, extends along both sides of Wisconsin Avenue NW from Whitehaven Parkway to Calvert Street and northward on the western side of Wisconsin Avenue to Fulton Street. The western boundary of the neighborhood extends along 42nd Street adjacent to Glover-Archbold Park.

Rent vs. Buy: Glover Park: Figure 2
Photo courtesy TreyDanger

The neighborhood population is a mix of long-term residents, college students, single professionals and some young families who opt for the quiet neighborhood rather than moving to the suburbs.

For all that it has to offer, Glover Park is essentially in a Metro station “dead zone.” That said, the D2 bus line, which runs through Dupont Circle and on to Capitol Hill operates all day with rush hour service throughout the neighborhood every few minutes. A number of bus lines also run frequently up and down Wisconsin Avenue.

To Buy…

The homes in Glover Park are primarily row houses built in the 1920’s and 1930’s, which, depending on the condition and size, are priced from $600,000 to $800,000, according to Chris Jones, a realtor with Long & Foster and a Glover Park resident. The properties on the higher end of this range typically have three or four bedrooms, garages and upscale renovations. For example, this updated townhouse listed for $765,000 has four bedrooms, two full baths and a one-car garage. Conversely, this three-bedroom home that is not too far away but in need of some work is available for $100,000 less.

In addition to row houses, Glover Park is filled with condominiums that were converted from apartments in the 1970’s. Prices average between about $250,000 and $300,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath unit, and two-bedroom units range from $350,000 to $450,000, although finding a unit this size for sale in the neighborhood is fairly difficult.

…Or To Rent?

Now let’s look at what renting in this area will cost you.

Based on an analysis of Craigslist apartment rentals from the past ten days, a one-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood rents for approximately $1,400 to $1,700 per month. Two-bedrooms will run you about $1,900 to $2,300, and the mid-point for renting a three-bedroom row house is about $3,200 per month.

To put these numbers in perspective from a buy-versus-rent standpoint, we look at a Glover Park one-bedroom, one-bath condo with parking that recently sold for $265,000 at 4000 Tunlaw Street NW. Monthly costs for this home are estimated at approximately $2,100 per month including the condo fee of $494, property taxes, condo insurance and principal and interest and private mortgage insurance on a loan of $251,750, which assumes an FHA-approved down payment of 5 percent, or $13,250. The building also has a number of amenities including a 24-hour front desk, a swimming pool, a roof deck and a convenience store.

By contrast, a similarly-sized one-bedroom home is estimated to rent for approximately $1,600 per month, a $500 monthly difference.

The Verdict

If you are looking for anything larger than a one-bedroom, the rent versus buy debate in Glover Park is fairly one-sided. You should buy. This would be a different story if there were more two-bedrooms for sale in the neighborhood, but as we noted above, we found that this size unit is fairly hard to come by. And if you are looking for a three or four-bedroom single-family home, chances are you have a family and plan to stay in the neighborhood for the foreseeable future.

See other articles related to: dc home prices, glover park, home buying, rent vs buy, renting in dc

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/rent_vs_buy_glover_park/1726.

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