July 12, 2018 at 7:30 AM
Eric Clark didn’t spend much time on a recent Sunday afternoon inside the semidetached house on a hill in Deanwood, one of Washington’s far Northeast communities.
He didn’t need to, he insisted to a real estate agent prepared to deliver a well-rehearsed sales pitch.
That’s because Clark, who lives about three miles away and has spent months scouting neighborhoods that might offer more space than his current, cramped, 635-square-foot condominium, had done his homework, he told the agent.
“The past eight months in this neighborhood have been a boon,” Clark said. “I know I need to pull the trigger because it’s getting harder and harder to find properties that fit what I’m looking for,” added Clark as he visited the open house.
And Clark is not alone, said Curry Robert, an agent with Latitudes Real Estate.
One of Washington’s few remaining underdeveloped neighborhoods, Deanwood offers potential buyers plenty of space at a price that won’t break the bank, he said.
“I see a lot of young professionals who are in the market for a house but have been priced out of more expensive areas in Northwest,” Robert said. “Instead of spending a million bucks they can come to Deanwood and spend $400,000 and get a nice yard.”
On the upswing: For years dubbed a neighborhood in transition, Deanwood, just inside the District on the Maryland border and covering roughly two square miles, is on a seemingly endless array of “best of” real estate lists, Robert said.
This year, Redfin named Deanwood one of “10 hottest neighborhoods in the country.”
Anthony Fletcher, who has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years, said that he’s noticed an uptick in the number of renovated houses hitting the market and the many new faces moving to the community.
He’s been approached by several investors looking to purchase his 922-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom semidetached home, he said. He’s polite but firm with his reply.
“I’m not going anywhere unless I hit the Lotto,” he says with a wide grin.
Tyrone Newman, who moved to Deanwood a decade ago from Capitol Hill, said that he’s enjoyed his neighbors and likes living on a relatively quiet street but has grown frustrated by a lack of basic city services that are commonplace in more affluent communities.
“I’ve lived here 10 years and I’ve seen a street sweeper come down my block maybe three times,” said Newman, who lives in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom Colonial.
He pointed to a nearby alley that he says was littered with trash for close to six months. “We call the government but they never come.”
The inattention, rather than breed a sense of helplessness, he says, has had the opposite result. Neighbors, fed up with the lack of response, have taken matters into their own hands and organized neighborhood cleanups.
“Out here, we have to take care of our own block.”
Courtney Myers, who’s lived in the community for 25 years, said he understands Newman’s frustrations because he’s felt the same way.
The bright spot, he said, is that signs of progress are sprouting up and giving residents hope that Deanwood is truly turning a corner.
“The neighborhood is being upgraded. It’s coming along slowly, but it’s happening.”
Living there: Deanwood is bordered by Interstate 295 to the northwest, Eastern Avenue and Division Avenue to the east and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue to the south and southwest.
In the past 12 months, 310 properties have sold in Deanwood, ranging from a 986-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom Federal-style home for $90,000 to a 4,704-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom split-level home for $1,100,000, said Robert, the agent with Latitudes Real Estate.
There are 32 homes for sale in Deanwood, ranging from a 1,215-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom Colonial for $229,900 to a 1,610-square-foot, five-bedroom, two-bathroom Colonial for $850,000.
Schools: Drew and Houston Elementary, Kelly Miller Middle, and H.D. Woodson High.
Transit: Deanwood is a rather large geographic area, Robert said, and the neighborhood is not far from four Metro stations. There’s Deanwood and Minnesota Avenue on the Orange Line and Benning Road and Capitol Heights on the Blue and Silver lines.
A network of bus routes on Metro also serves the neighborhood, and it is home to several Bikeshare stations.
Crime: Since January, there have been 34 assaults, 30 robberies, 27 burglaries and three homicides in the police service area that covers Deanwood, according to D.C. police.