A. Toni Young remembers feeling giddy with anticipation after deciding in the early 2000s to put a contract on a house in Rosedale, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington that, according to her, was primed to become one of the next hot real estate markets in the city.
She brought along her brother to tour a property and his reaction, she said, was less than reassuring.
“It was still a bit of the wild, wild West and kind of rugged in 2003,” she said. There was still a lot of drugs and a lot of violence in the neighborhood. My brother took one look and just said no with an exclamation point.”
But Young was undeterred, she said.
“I told him that I really thought that Rosedale would grow and change. I told him that in a decade the neighborhood would be on the up and up. He just thought I was crazy,” Young remembered with a chuckle.
As it turned out, she had history on her side in her optimism about Rosedale’s prospects for a real estate rebound.
Young, who grew up in the District but moved away for a period in the late 1990s to attend graduate school in Northern California, continued to feel stung, she said, by an experience that happened years earlier while she was an undergraduate there.
At the time, she was renting a place on an underwhelming block of rowhouses at the edge of Capitol Hill.
When she prepared to uproot to San Francisco for graduate school, the owner of the property offered to sell to her for around $150,000, Young said.
She turned him down.
That was a move, she said, she’d come to regret — and one she promised not to repeat.
“When I came back to D.C. in 2003 from the West Coast, I called a friend who sold real estate and told him that I wanted to buy a house near where I rented during college. I gave him a budget close to what my old landlord wanted and my friend laughed before asking if I’d become a Rockefeller,” Young said.
“In the time that I left and returned, that exact house was on the market for $800,000. I was stunned.”
So Young said she decided to look in communities east of the Anacostia River, where prices were lower but the possibility for growth seemed promising, she said.
She looked at more than a dozen properties before going to Rosedale and finding a 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom semidetached house.
Soaring values: In the 16 years since Young bought her house in Rosedale, the neighborhood’s real estate values have soared, with houses on her block recently selling for more than three times what Young said she paid for her house.
Jenn Smira, a real estate agent with Compass, said that Young was correct to anticipate the interest in Rosedale and smart to buy into the market when prices were lower.
“Rosedale is really in demand. It has great proximity to nearby destination points for restaurants, bars and shopping along the H Street corridor and nearby Union Station. I have clients who live in Rosedale and bike downtown or to their jobs at the Senate or House office buildings,” Smira said.
Residents say the addition of nearby shopping options — eliminating the “food desert” — has been a welcome surprise.
Rosedale is less than three miles from Capitol Riverfront, which features a plethora of restaurants and shops. The neighborhood is also within walking distance of the H Street corridor, and it is home to a performing arts theater and an eclectic mix of other businesses.
Living there: Rosedale is bounded on the north by Benning Road NE, on the south by C Street NE, on the east by 19th Street NE and on the west by 15th Street NE.
In the past 12 months, 55 properties have sold in Rosedale, ranging from a 505-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $310,000 to a 2,016-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom Wardman-style house for $777,000, said Smira, the real estate agent with Compass.
There are eight homes for sale in Rosedale, ranging from a 707-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $319,900 to a 1,683-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom condominium for $699,000.
Schools: Miner Elementary, Eliot-Hine Middle and Eastern High School.
Transit: Rosedale is served by a number of Metrobus routes and has direct access to the D.C. streetcar system. The neighborhood is about two miles from the Minnesota Avenue station on Metro’s Orange Line.
Crime: In the past year, there were 89 assaults, 57 robberies, 36 stolen vehicles, 31 burglaries and 12 homicides reported in the police service area that includes Rosedale, according to District police.