What can the Washington-area home buyer get for $80,000, $120,000, $160,000 or $200,000? The Post today surveys a sampling of $80,000 and $120,000 homes, while next Saturday's Real Estate section looks at a handful of houses in the $160,000 and $200,000 range. By Tom Precious Special to The Washington Post
The not inconsiderable sum of $80,000 once might have bought quite a house in the Washington area. Now it fetches a one-bedroom condominium in the District, a two-bedroom condominium in Arlington or a three-bedroom house in Prince George's County.
The $80,000 price tag is $25,000 below the $105,000 median cost of Washington-area homes last year, according to a recent study by the U.S. League of Savings Institutions, and might appeal to single professionals, young couples, small families or retirees.
The search for the $80,000 housing unit begins in the District's Kalorama neighborhood at 2311 Connecticut Ave. NW, where $79,000 will buy a 750-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath condominium unit in the Woodward building. Situated in one of the city's older, more stately apartment buildings directly across from the Chinese Embassy, the unit is about a 15-minute walk from the Dupont Circle Metro station.
The distinctive looking, Spanish-style building, with its columned entranceway and red-tiled roof, was built in 1911. The seven-story, 52-unit structure was one of the first apartment buildings in the District to be transformed into a condominium in the early 1970s.
"I think when you sell an apartment like this , you're selling the building and the apartment comes with it," said Hilda Amacker of Condominium Realty Brenneman. She said the building's residents range in age from young professionals to retirees.
Amacker said the $79,000 unit "appeals to a young person who wants to be in Kalorama, but doesn't have a lot of money."
Taxes on the unit run just under $1,000 a year, and an additional $203 monthly condominium fee covers all utilities and a Home Box Office cable television hookup. No off-street parking is available for the unit, which has been on the market for about six weeks.
The unit's compact but workable kitchen includes a gas range, dishwasher and disposal. Amacker said the owner is willing to buy new kitchen appliances if the asking price is accepted.
The living-dining-room combination measures 19 by 12 feet, while the bedroom's dimension is about 10 by 17 feet and includes ample closet space.
The unit has high ceilings, red pine floors and two window-unit air conditioners. There is no clothes washer or dryer, but a laundry room is on each floor. With the bedroom facing an outside wall and the living room facing the building's inner courtyard, the unit tends to be dark, even on sunny days.
"The main selling feature is its location," said Amacker, who added that the building's rooftop deck, with its expansive city views, is an added selling point.
The unit does not carry an assumable mortgage.
Across the Potomac River in Rosslyn, a small two-bedroom, one-bath unit in a garden-style condominium building is on the market for $79,950. Situated just behind the Iwo Jima Memorial at 1423 N. Nash St., the building is within walking distance of the Rosslyn Metro station and is less than a minute's drive from the Roosevelt bridge that links Arlington with downtown Washington. Shopping is available in Rosslyn.
On the top floor of a four-story building that was converted to condominiums in 1980, the well-lit unit contains 780 square feet of space. There is a spacious 17-by-14 living room, a 10-by-8 separate dining room and two bedrooms that measure 13 by 12 and 12 by 10.
The 10-by-7 kitchen includes a dishwasher, gas range and disposal. The unit has wall-to-wall carpeting, double-paned windows and central air conditioning.
A $154 monthly condo fee pays for all utilities. Taxes on the unit last year totaled $632. No assumable mortgage is available. The unit has minimal closet space, but extra storage facilities, as well as a laundry room, are in the building's basement.
The unit is suited for a young couple or a single person, according to Sally Harper of McEnearney Associates, who added that, although the unit is only 30 square feet larger than the Connecticut Avenue condo, "There is more space in this apartment than in Washington for the same amount of money."
Harper said that the unit, which has been on the market since mid-January, also could be bought as an investment and rented.
In Prince George's County, $78,000 will buy a three-bedroom, one-bath Colonial-style house complete with a front and back yard.
The 30-year-old house, offered for sale three weeks ago, is at 7215 Hawthorne St. in Landover, just off Route 202.
"It's a good starter home," said JoAnn Hood of Long & Foster Realtors. Hood said that the house is close to shopping, public schools and one mile from the Landover Metro stop, and is ideal for a couple with young children.
The house is situated on a corner lot. Outside features include a fenced-in yard, a couple of mature trees, a two-car driveway, a utility shed in the back yard and a garden. The home's exterior is aluminum siding.
Inside, the estimated 1,000-square-foot house has a 20-by-10 living room with red brick walls and a fireplace, a large, 26-by-11 wood-paneled family room and a separate 12-by-10 dining room. The kitchen has a gas range, dishwasher, washer and dryer and a cut-out wall for serving the family room from the kitchen.
The second floor has three bedrooms, measuring 10 by 15, 10 by 10 and 10 by 9. The home's only bathroom is on the second floor. The house has no basement, but extra storage space is available in the attic.
The house is gas heated, but contains no air conditioning. Storm windows are included. Taxes total $900 a year, and while an assumable mortgage is available, its interest rate is at 13 1/2 percent.