Is It a Good Time To Buy a House on Capitol Hill?

Is It a Good Time To Buy a House on Capitol Hill?

  • 10/23/23

Capitol Hill is a residential neighborhood at the heart of Washington, D.C. It is down the street from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Mall, and the Lincoln Memorial. The neighborhood extends from Stanton Park to the Yards Park on the shore of the Anacostia River. Up to one-third of senators and national-level politicians live in these beautiful many-styled row houses, each enjoying the luxury of both proximity to the Capitol and exquisite town-home living.

For those who do business in this area, living here is a mark of prestige. Capitol Hill homes for sale are highly sought after. It is also a valuable neighborhood in which to rent. If you are considering buying a house in this prestigious neighborhood, you will need to watch the market closely to determine the best time to buy.

Capitol Hill holds timeless value

The Capitol Hill housing market will always hold value. While home prices may rise and fall in the short term, owning a home in this neighborhood will always be valuable in the long term. This is because there will always be demand for housing in close proximity to the central buildings of Washington, D.C. Politicians and alike professionals at every level benefit from living within walking or bicycling distance of their office. In addition, many people dream of living in one of the row homes or condos for sale here because of the history found in those iconic residential streets.

Home prices in Capitol Hill are rising from a dip

The Capitol Hill housing market is unique, but it does respond to local trends. Recently, the pandemic and sudden interest rate increase caused a dip in home prices. However, those homes’ values are on the upswing, presenting a seasonable time to invest. Homebuyers in the area have an opportunity to find homes listed below their value in recent years.

As the common idiom reminds us, it's best to buy low and sell high. Now is a particularly good time to shop for homes that are currently being sold below previous valuations but with confidence that the price will go up in the near future. Look for homes that are listed below previous pricing in high-demand locations with charming traits. The ebb and flow of the real estate market is there to provide variable benefits to those willing to invest.

Because Capitol Hill homes typically progress in value over time, buying during a temporary value dip is a good strategy for a long-term investment. This is true whether you plan to make a Capitol Hill home into your primary residence or intend to rent it to prestigious tenants.

Necessary caution when buying a historic row house

One important factor to note is the maintenance quality of Capitol Hill homes for sale. Many of the iconic row houses here are quite old. While their age adds to their charm, it also increases the likelihood of lingering maintenance issues, such as leaky roofs, cracked foundations, and outdated appliances. Some may have old electrical, plumbing, or heating systems in desperate need of upgrade and replacement.

Never buy a house without personally viewing it first, as owners may be trying to offload a house without completing costly repairs. While a Capitol Hill flip can be a profitable venture, it's best to approach this type of strategy with care. Always conduct a thorough home inspection before committing to a purchase to ensure that you are making a smart investment.

One option is to buy one of the condos for sale in Capitol Hill instead of a row house. Condos in this neighborhood tend to be newer, and building problems such as roof maintenance are handled by the condo association.

Primary residence or rental on Capitol Hill

Investing in Capitol Hill real estate can be done for two reasons. If you want to live in the heart of Washington, D.C., buying a home on Capitol Hill can be deeply rewarding. You will be within walking or biking distance from some of the country's remarkable landmarks and a dozen beautiful parks. There are a number of boutique shops, charming restaurants, and access to traffic arteries.

This makes the neighborhood appealing as a primary residence and rental investment. As a primary home, it provides a lifestyle steeped in history and majestic significance with walkable streets and prestigious neighbors. As a rental investment, however, a home in Capitol Hill is an opportunity to welcome tenants with important business in the Capitol willing to pay a premium for close access to their workplace.

Developing a long-term investment strategy

The local housing market favors long-term investment over short-term flips. Capitol Hill homes for sale are rising in value, but not always at a steady pace. If you want to see the greatest returns on your allocation, it's best to wait. Continue enjoying your home or accepting rental income until a favorable seller's market, when home values have risen to provide satisfactory returns.

If you are buying an older home, it is also important to factor the costs of maintenance, updates, and repairs into your long-term investment strategy. Many Capitol Hill homes can be sold for much more than your purchase price, but only if you sink money into renovations to modernize and improve the property. Fortunately, you do not need to adhere to a specific architectural style because the area already represents an eclectic mix of styles built over time. A modernized row house that maintains the neighborhood charm is exactly what distinguished homebuyers are looking for. You can conduct these updates all at once or at a comfortable pace over several years to increase your resale price in the future.

Work with a skilled Capitol Hill real estate agent

When getting involved in a unique housing market like Capitol Hill, you will find the best opportunities when working with a skilled local real estate agent. Your agent will help you find homes that suit your needs, style, and investment plans. The expertise of DC real estate agents from the Rutstein Group can help you find homes in good repair listed at opportune prices. They will negotiate on your behalf and help you get the best deal on a local house or condo purchase. Is now a good time to buy a house in Capitol Hill? Conditions are suitable for a long-term investment, provided you find the right property for sale. If you are currently aspiring to own a home in this prestigious neighborhood, contact The Rutstein Group to get started.
Recommended reading: Options for First-Time Homebuyers in Maryland, DC, and Virginia
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*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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