This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a D.C.-based property management company that specializes in managing condos, single-family homes and multi-family properties in the metro region. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.
Searching for a residential income property is an overwhelming ordeal, especially in a metro area notorious for its high cost of living, transient population and glut of new apartment construction. These factors amplify the need for property owners to choose their next investments wisely. The surest way to do this is to buy property in hot, up-and-coming neighborhoods that are in high-demand among renters.
Location, location, location — the aptness of this real estate adage probably doesn’t surprise you. But the results of a study by Onboard Informatics ranking the five hottest neighborhoods for renters and investors in D.C. might.
Take the guesswork out of your next property hunt and check out why you should invest in these top renters’ havens.
1. Navy Yard – Anchored by the Washington Navy Yard, this Southeast D.C. neighborhood has enjoyed a vibrant resurgence, marked by a new wave of mixed-use developments that both preserved and modernized its industrial-era charm. The neighborhood is home to the Washington Nationals ballpark and several popular bars, restaurants and cafes.
There are government agencies located nearby, while Capitol Hill and Eastern Market are just a short walking distance. This neighborhood attracts military members, government employees and young 20-somethings. Residents depend on cars or public transportation and their average commute is 28 minutes.
Investor Stats: 85 percent renters. Average home price (past six months): $478,000. Average monthly rent: $909. Vacant homes: 9 percent. Annual resident turnover: 11 percent.
2. Mayfair – Mayfair was the childhood home to singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye. Now, its affordable townhouses and multi-family homes are capturing the attention of renters and investors looking for an area on the rebound. Mayfair’s residents include families, students, single professionals and retirees. This neighborhood is Metro-accessible and located along several bus routes. The average commute is 31 minutes.
Investor stats: 83 percent renter-occupied. Average home selling price: $449,666. Average monthly rent: $919. Vacant homes: 7 percent. Annual resident turnover: 13 percent.
3. Judiciary Square – Filled with federal courthouses and municipal buildings, this neighborhood hums with suited-up government employees, politicos and lawyers. Residents can enjoy the proximity of the National Mall, Smithsonian museums, Verizon Center and high-end restaurants and shops. Judiciary Square is Metro-accessible, and the average commute is 25 minutes.
Investor stats: 82 percent renter-occupied. Average home selling price: $272,000, Vacant homes: 14 percent, Average monthly rent: $1,008. Vacant homes: 14 percent. Annual resident turnover: 24 percent.
4. Barry Farm – This historic area played in important role in the post-Civil War era, serving as a settlement for freed slaves. It was the home of abolitionist Frederick Douglas’ sons. Now, it’s one of D.C.’s few remaining affordable housing holdouts –making it a prime location for investors and renters looking to get into a neighborhood that’s experiencing revitalization efforts still in their infancy. Redevelopment projects include the construction of rowhouses, multi-family homes, 18,000 housing units, 60,000 square feet of retail space, an open air market and a park for concerts and community events. The average commute is 30 minutes.
Investor stats: 81 percent renter occupied. Average home selling price: $136,966. Average monthly rent: $879. Vacant homes: 10 percent. Annual resident turnover: 17 percent.
5. Mount Vernon Square – Just north of downtown D.C. and the National Mall, this thriving urban center is home to the “Triangle,” an enclave of multi-use developments, rooftop lounges, bars, summer festivals, parks and unique restaurants and shops. It’s a live-work-play destination that draws professionals, singles, the LGBT community and students. Mount Vernon Square is conveniently located near two Metro stops and is bicycle friendly. The average commute is 25 minutes.
Investor stats: 79 percent renter occupied. Average home selling price: $438,283. Average monthly rent: $1,136. Vacant homes: 12 percent. Annual resident turnover: 15 percent.
Investors: have you found a property or neighborhood that piques your interest? A property manager can advise you on cost-saving systems and the amenities tenants can’t live without.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HillNow.com.