Ask Becki Young to describe her home-buying experience, and the word “lucky” quickly spills out of her mouth.
And with good reason.
Her decision a decade ago to purchase a home in the city of Hyattsville, in Prince George’s County, Md., came on the heels of a planned explosion of retail options in an area that’s less than 10 miles from downtown Washington.
Today, residents of Hyattsville enjoy easy access to a number of restaurants, including the popular Busboys and Poets, a brewery, and the newly opened Whole Foods Market on Route 1 in Riverdale Park.
Young said that she had a hunch about the direction of retail development in her neighborhood but that her prediction wasn’t close to what’s actually unfolded in Hyattsville.
“It’s always been sort of up-and-coming, but it’s gotten to the point where Hyattsville is up-and-come,” said Young, who lives in a 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom Victorian.
Lasting friendships: With an array of classically affordable houses, from 1840s Victorians to 1920s bungalows and “everything in between,” Hyattsville is fast becoming a sought-after neighborhood for people looking for a deal, said Ann Barrett, an agent with Long & Foster Real Estate.
“People are sick and tired of getting priced out of D.C.,” Barrett said. “They come to Hyattsville and see how cool it is and they’re sold.”
Barrett said she has lived in Hyattsville for 20 years and that the people really make her neighborhood special. There’s a nurturing moms group that plans age-appropriate activities for children and arranges play dates and clothing swaps, she said. And another group is focused on helping older neighbors age in place by running errands for them.
“It’s a wonderful community and people are really focused on each other.”
Mary Warneka was looking to replicate the small-town feel of her college town of Dayton, Ohio, when her agent recommended she visit Hyattsville.
Her college town was filled with architecturally stunning older homes, “so when we came for a visit and saw these old, beautiful houses we were really impressed,” said Warneka, who purchased a 1,300-square-foot, four-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow in 2003.
“We love that we have a neighborhood with porches and sidewalks where people sit outside, play the guitar, and chat with each other.”
Megan Haidet, who purchased a home in the neighborhood last May, said that she was drawn to Hyattsville’s charm.
“We love the outdoors and gardening and being close to bike trails, and this neighborhood has all the above,” said Haidet who lives in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow “with 10-foot ceilings so it feels a lot bigger.”
Shortly after moving to Hyattsville in 2003, Warneka and a few neighbors tossed around the idea of starting a wine tour that would travel from house to house throughout the neighborhood.
A neighborhood event that originally featured 14 people visiting seven homes has blossomed into a community attraction called the Vine Crawl that takes place each spring. A similar event featuring beer takes place each fall.
On a recent Saturday more than 300 residents of Hyattsville walked the neighborhood, stopping at designated houses for a chat and a little wine, said Warneka, who continues to help organize the events.
“The Vine Crawl is a nice way to kind of spend more time with neighbors as you’re trying to develop friendships and discover where the deeper connections are,” Warneka said. “People have definitely found lasting friendships.”
Living there: The neighborhood is bordered by Route 193 to the north, Adelphi Road and Route 1 to the east, and the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River to the south and southwest.
In the past 12 months, 177 properties have sold in Hyattsville, ranging from a 967-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $61,977 to a 2,112-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Craftsman house for $639,900, said Barrett, the agent with Long and Foster.
There are 27 houses for sale in Hyattsville, ranging from a 948-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $79,900 to a 2,176-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial for $625,000, Barrett said.
Schools: Hyattsville Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary, Edward M. Felegy Elementary, Hyattsville Middle, Northwestern High and Eleanor Roosevelt High.
Transit: The city of Hyattsville is close to the Prince George’s Plaza and West Hyattsville stations on Metro’s Green and Yellow lines. It also is a short distance from MARC’s Riverdale Park station.
Crime: In 2016, there were 125 assaults, 75 robberies, 65 stolen vehicles and one homicide reported in Hyattsville, according to police.