About 2 years ago, after a lark got serious, I bought a piece of investment property in my homestate of Florida for the price of a nice used car. Then as is now, Florida property values were going down after the crazy heights of the housing bubble. In the few years I've owned this thing, the property value, according to the county, has gone down 10% each year. My primary home in DC, while going down from its heights, has kept its value for the most part. And for that I'm thankful. It's only through the Florida property I too can feel the pain that the rest of America is going through, watching as the property value plummets with each tax statement and when I bother looking on Zillow.
Recently one of my parents' (who live in FL) neighbors discovered a law saying my dad couldn't keep his commericial trucks in his yard in town. So to help him out, I went online and looked for a lot somewhere near where they lived with the vague idea of seeing what's out there. Unfortunately there isn't anything dirt cheap outside of the city limits, but there are plenty of fraction of an acre lots for $2000 in unbuilt and half built developments in Central Florida towns. Yes, for 20 Benjamins you can own a piece of dirt in Nowhere, FL. Heck depending on the size of your Christmas budget you can give the gift of a piece of Central Florida. I don't know how much further down from $2000 can an empty lot go, but hey don't you want to find out?
I guess you can find something similar in Nevada.
So back to DC, back to Shaw. Yes, the prices for houses here are crazy. Yes, housing in town isn't cheap, and housing in NW DC definately isn't cheap. If it were we wouldn't be throwing the gentrification word around so much, now would we? Having a foot in a world where there is no new investment and things aren't going great makes me appreciate how great and wonderful DC is.