When you are looking to buy a house in DC,  you want to find the hidden real estate gem, every home buyer’s dream either a primary residence or an investment property. The key is to find the properties that others may have overlooked. We will provide you with tips and strategies to find these properties in our latest post!

Typically, real estate agents look for a house to fit your needs instead of thinking about resell ability. This will be your biggest investment in your lifetime.  So what separates a property from being a potential goldmine from being a house which just a money pit? Just because it looks like a good deal on paper, doesn’t mean it is. There are a few critical points to consider before purchasing a house in DC.

#1 The Location Is prime

When you are dealing with a property in an incredible location, sometimes it pays to invest no matter what state the property is in. In DC, it is best that your house is located close to restaurants and shops and has good public transportation, namely METRO stations.  Sometimes, the land might be worth more than the structure itself! Then, take a look at what other properties are selling for in the area. If you work with a contractor that you know and trust to help you create a repair estimate on a fix upper house in prime location, that is how you add value to your property. That is sure way to see a substantial return on your investment.

 

#2 Crime Rate

When you are buying a property, it is best to check out the trend of the crime rate.  Is crime rate going down or going down up?  What type of crimes are happing in area?  The 2018 crime rate in Washington, DC was 491 based on City-Data.com crime index, which was 1.8 times greater than the U.S. average. DC’s crime rate is higher than most cities in the U.S. The 2018 Washington crime rate increased by 2% compared to 2017. The number of homicides stood at 160, which increase by 44 compared to 2017. In the last 5 years Washington DC has seen a decrease in violent crime and in property crime.  If you would like to read more about the crime rate in DC: http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Washington-District-of-Columbia.html

 

#3 School Ratings

Great schools are a tell tale sign of a great neighborhood. Families will usually factor in a school’s rating when they make their decision about where to move. You can check the school rating at the web site such as: https://www.greatschools.org/. Even if you don’t have kids, researching the area’s schools will give you a good idea of the neighborhood.  When you sell your home, you will be glad that you bought a house in great school district.  You will likely find many families who are ready to put down some roots. On the other hand, homes near colleges and universities will likely have a higher turnover. This could be advantage or disadvantage.  You will get high demands for your rental but you need to consider expenses related to high turnover.

 

#4 Future Development Plans

What will the area look like in 5, 10 or 20 years time? Contact your local building department to learn more about development plans in the area. A new shopping center, roads and infrastructure and even proximity to schools will all have an impact on the property’s value.  DC’s zoning Commission voted unanimously on January 14, 2016 to adopt a brand-new zoning code.  You need to follow new zoning so that you can track your property and surrounding area zoning and developments.  This will affect your home value in ways that you would never imagine.

 



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