What $500,000 Buys You in DC

by Shilpi Paul

In What X Buys You this week, UrbanTurf takes a look at properties on the market in the $499,000 to $510,000 range to give readers an idea of what type of homes are available in this price point in the DC area.

What $500,000 Buys You in DC: Figure 1

H Street Corridor Row House on a One-Way, One-Block Street

The cozy, slightly isolated feel of DC’s one-way, one-block streets can create a real sense of community; Capitol Hill’s Walter Street is one shining example, and residents there enjoy several annual block parties and near daily happy hours. This three-bedroom is located on one such block just south of the H Street Corridor. While UrbanTurf isn’t sure if the block has a spreadsheet and email listserv yet, the house is well maintained and quite cute, with a checkerboard floor in the kitchen and a juliet balcony off of an upstairs bedroom.

  • Full Listing: 1312 Emerald Street NE (map)
  • Price: $509,000
  • Bedrooms: Three
  • Bathrooms: 1.5
  • Year Built: 1941
  • Listing Agent: Peter Principe, RE/MAX Allegiance

What $500,000 Buys You in DC: Figure 2

One-Bedroom at the Watergate With Views of the Water

A unit is on the market in the historic Watergate building. The layout maximizes the impressive view of the Potomac with floor-to-ceiling windows along the entire length of the living room and bedroom. Several glass doors offer access to a balcony. Of course, many co-ops carry massive monthly fees that can impact your bottom line, and this unit’s HOA dues of $2,276 a month are higher than most rents in the city.

  • Full Listing: 700 New Hampshire Ave NW, #305 (map)
  • Price: $499,000
  • Bedrooms: One
  • Bathrooms: 1.5
  • Square Footage: 1,280
  • Listing Agent: Ginette R. Winston, Winston Real Estate

What $500,000 Buys You in DC: Figure 3

Cozy Southeast Row House With Light and Openness

At some point, owners of this home decided to maximize the layout of the narrow row house. A vaulted skylight above the staircase brings light into the main level, which has an open floor plan. The home has just over 1,000 square feet of space, and the second bedroom feels a little tight, and the kitchen is stacked high with shelving to counterbalance the minimal floor space. However, a back patio and finished lower level ease the potential claustrophobia.

  • Full Listing: 1255 K Street SE (map)
  • Price: $499,000
  • Bedrooms: Two
  • Bathrooms: 1.5
  • Year Built: 1925
  • Listing Agent: Crystal Crittenden, Coldwell Banker

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/what_500000_buys_you_in_dc/6013


  1. Josh said at 2:35 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    The Watergate condo was silly to include. With those monthly fees it basically doubles the mortgage.
  1. bellow said at 2:43 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    @ Josh, While it might not be a good deal, I think the Watergate co-op adds variety to an article that could very easily just be Cap Hill row houses and two-bedroom condos.
  1. mj said at 2:45 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    @Josh, maybe true, but the price of the unit is considerably lower than a place that size and location without that large of a fee. You can't get a 1200 sq foot condo for 500,000K in that location. Usually when a co-op fee is that high, it includes some sort of underlying mortgage on the building, but I don't know if that's the case here. This place is really the equivalent of a $650,000-$700,000 condo.
  1. JB said at 3:30 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    @mj, I know it's an expensive area, but a 1BR really at $650,000-$700,000? I just don't see that. I think there's a pretty small market that would spend that much for a single bedroom.
  1. anna said at 6:16 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    the condo fees in the watergate are ridicuously high. Not a realistic buy for someone looking for home in 500k range.
  1. Daniel said at 8:30 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    The Watergate is a good property to include here because it offers variety, as bellow said. Also, understand the condo fee is high but it includes everything: all utilities, parking, cable, internet, real estate TAXES, etc. So when you think about it the condo fee is not really that much higher than when you add all those costs to a condo fee which covers very little. Also, there are one bedroom condos in the $500k+ range that people will buy. A good example is the Columbia (the old converted hospital) in the West End. If anyone is interested in more information please email me!
  1. secaphill said at 8:55 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    Emerald St, NE wishes it was Walter St, SE. Plus, the houses on Walter St sell in less than 5 days and for around $600,000. The only thing they have in common is that they are one-way.
  1. Ibn Ezra said at 9:42 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    There are some great houses selling at or near the $500K price point in Petworth, but you chose to include the Watergate 1-BR unit in this feature? It makes me wonder who you are writing for. Would a vast number of your readers rather go house-hunting in that historic-but-ugly Watergate complex or in real neighborhoods like Petworth, LeDroit, Park View, Pleasant Plains, Takoma DC, etc. etc.)?
  1. Greg said at 9:58 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    @Ibn, the two other options are what you ask for, just not in Petworth, but what you wanted in most other respects. I think people need to realize that the article added the Watergate unit precisely to show that there are a variety of properties that can be purchased in DC for $500,000.
  1. Rayful Edmond said at 10:47 pm on Wednesday September 12, 2012:
    The issue with including the Watergate is that a potential buyer with a pre-approval at $500,000 could never get in the door with those co-op fees. As I've said before, UrbanTurf is comparing apples and oranges when they look at fee-simple and condos/co-ops.
  1. Cath said at 11:56 am on Thursday September 13, 2012:
    @Daniel- it's a co-op fee, not a condo fee. I know property taxes, parking and cable are rediculous in DC, but I don't think that would add up to anywhere near the annual total for the co-op fee. It's an added cost for living in a luxury community within a building.

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