I roam the Washington Post’s Real Estate discussion lists. When people from other areas or first time buyers start looking for houses the usual exchange goes something like this:
“Ohmagawd it’s expensive”
“Go live in West Virginia, BFE Virginia, Baltimore, Anapolis, St. Mary’s Co.”
“Don’t go to PG County or live in DC”
“Please suggest a nice safe neighborhood for a family”
“The Real Estate bubble will burst”
Well of all that I came across this:
From: dariaesq May-13 7:45 am
I think anything in that price range is going to come with some negatives. In the end you have to balance what negatives you can live with….moving a gazillion miles away to farout counties as I see people on boards suggesting West Virginia even!!! thats not a realistic or desirable option for many people (may not have to sit in traffic for a short distance but you’ll drive twice as many miles???); is living within the vicinity of METRO (not VRE or MARC…but the actual METRO System) important; dealing with Rt 7, 66, 270, American Legion Bridge, Wilson Bridge, 95, yadda yadda yadda (there are choke points all over this area…even those living in $600k plus neighborhoods have choke points to deal with and even if you live and work in the city sometimes getting from one part of DC to another part of DC can take 45 minutes!); you might compromise on neighborhood aesthetics and safety…but look into the neighborhood yourself versus assumptions about what it is like, the cheaper neighborhoods are not all as bad as many stereotype them to be; you might be limited to condos vs. townhomes or single family; it may need a lot of renovation if you are up to that.
I guarantee at $130k you’ll have to bend on one of those negatives, but despite the hype you CAN find something in that range close in, in nice neighborhoods and move in ready with limited renovation without having to give up or move to Bmore West Virginia Fredericksburg or some other extreme. Good luck.
Article of interest: Risky Neighborhood Or Investor Paradise?