10 up-and-coming DC-area neighborhoods to buy a home

Del Ray in Virginia Transplants from Portland, Oregon, looking for a good coffee fix should visit this quaint area in Alexandria. Mainstays are 1930s row houses, consignment stores and, of course, coffee shops. With row houses selling for around $500,000, you don’t necessarily need a fat wallet to live there, either. Located near the Braddock Road Metro, Del Ray is close to the Birchmere, an iconic District of Columbia-area attraction that features live music. It has the look of neighboring Old Town Alexandria, “but gives off a much more casual, down-to-earth vibe,” Buck says. “Everybody’s walking dogs, going to yoga class. They all look happy.” (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Kingman Park/Lily Ponds in D.C. Located near the far northeast corner of Capitol Hill, these areas offer two major perks: affordable properties and easy access to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. The District of Columbia is in the process of redesigning the stadium’s campus, says Ty Voyles, a principal at Fulcrum Properties Group: “Once that redesign goes through, these neighborhoods will benefit big time.”
Brightwood in D.C. The craftsman- and bungalow-style homes of this District of Columbia neighborhood are similar to those of neighboring Takoma Park, Maryland, but are much lower in price. You can enjoy Takoma Park’s various restaurants and retail establishments, and walk to the area’s Metro stop on the Red Line. Brightwood also has convenient access to Georgia Avenue’s quickly developing retail corridor and Metro Bus service.
Claremont in Virginia  Located near Shirlington, Virginia’s bustling commercial area, the Claremont neighborhood has affordable, older homes selling for under $500,000. If you’re looking for a single-family home in Arlington with a yard and a driveway — but want quick access to shops and restaurants — Claremont might be the neighborhood for you.
Cheverly in Maryland Like Hillcrest, Cheverly, Maryland, has a very tight-knit community feel and has easy access to the District via the Orange Line Metro. Residents have access to amenities like the Cheverly Swim and Racquet Club and the Cheverly Community Market. Cheverly’s housing inventory is very similar to highly desirable areas like Arlington, Virginia, but you can get a basic brick colonial for almost $500,000 less here than you’d find it in the popular Virginia suburb.
Pimmit Hills in Virginia Often overlooked or driven past, this Falls Church, Virginia, neighborhood has many of the same perks as Claremont. Its reasonably-priced older homes are set on large lots (some more than a quarter of an acre), and the area is a prime spot for buyers looking for a fixer-upper or to tear down old homes and build anew. Tysons Corner Center, a large shopping area, is located nearby and is a big selling point for Pimmit Hills.
Hillcrest in D.C.  Buyers looking for a suburban community that’s a short commute to Capitol Hill should look at Hillcrest, located in the southeastern part of the District, across the Anacostia River from downtown. “It has a great stock of brick colonials, and you can buy a full detached, renovated home for about half the price of a Capitol Hill row home,” Voyles explains. It has stunning views of the monuments and Capitol Hill.
Cherrydale/Waverly Hills in Virginia  Near Route 66 and Lee Highway, this modest residential area composed of detached homes and multifamily housing is redefining the concept of “walkability.” Cherrydale and Waverly Hills never had that distinction some 15 to 20 years ago, due to their mile-long distance to public transit. That’s since changed, says Billy Buck, president and CEO of Buck & Associates Inc. “People these days are more willing to walk longer distances and bike to Metro, or take the Arlington Transit Bus.” As a result, neighborhoods like these are getting more attention from health and exercise-minded buyers who have a different vision of what their commute should look like.
Edgewood in D.C. This Northeast District of Columbia neighborhood sits in the middle of the Bloomingdale, Brookland and Eckington, areas, which “have seen massive booms in housing development, prices and retail in the last five years,” Voyles says. Edgewood is close to all of the amenities these three neighborhoods provide: The Catholic University of America; Brookland’s Red Line Metro stop and Monroe Street Market; and Bloomingdale’s great restaurant scene. But if you’re looking for a quaint row house in the District of Columbia, you can buy one in Edgewood for a third of the price of a home in Brookland.

Most people are familiar with areas like Georgetown, Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle, not to mention Bethesda, Maryland, and Alexandria, Virginia. But the District of Columbiacomprises dozens of unique areas with which even seasoned residents may not be familiar, each of them offering its own array of dining, entertainment and housing options.

What many homebuyers aren’t aware of are the great neighborhoods located right next door to these booming areas, offering homes for much more affordable prices.

We asked top real estate agents in the District, listed by real estate data companyOpenHouse Realty (a U.S. News partner) to give buyers the inside track on some very affordable and desirable neighborhoods that might not be on their radar screen – but should be.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up