Is H Street Worth It?

Word on the street about a neighborhood "in transition"

By Mark Wellborn Urban Turf
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 3:09 PM EDT
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Is H Street Worth It?

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This week UrbanTurf is taking a look back at the best that D.C.’s residential real estate market had to offer in 2009. From the best deals to the best trends to, of course, the best listings, we believe we have sussed out the cream of the crop.

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Photo by Elise Bernard

Nothing seems to arouse debate in this city like neighborhood talk. Is Cleveland Park falling off? Why doesn’t Georgetown have a Metro station? Is Petworth the best place to buy a home? No matter the question, you can be sure that you will get an impassioned response. And that is exactly what we got when one of our readers asked if the H Street Corridor was "worth it."

For those unfamiliar with the H Street Corridor, it's the latest D.C. neighborhood to be labeled "transitional" and is attracting young homebuyers with its growing nightlife and retail scene and affordable housing stock. The post in which we posed the above question from a reader elicited close to 60 comments, the tenor of which ranged from current residents cheerleading about the future of the area to concerns from prospective buyers about a neighborhood still in transition.

Here are a few examples:

The (Overly) Optimistic:

This is undoubtedly the best area to invest around. In five years, H St beautificaion will be complete and the street cars will be up and running. A new condo building with mixed use and ground level retail will run from 8th to 10th Street. Probably another 15-20 restaurants, bars, new establishments will have opened. And your property value will have increased significantly. We just bought south of H recently. While I might not have been comfortable going much farther to the North as yet, this area is already good and is just going to keep getting better once they finish all that construction that makes H look messy right now. If you like Capitol Hill, but aren’t ubber rich, this is the only way to get in. So do it now and reap the benefits while you still can.

Dealing with Crime, Reaping the Returns of Long-term Investment:

You might possibly be mugged sometime in the next 10 years for $38 in your wallet, during which time you will have made at least 400k on your little row house with English basement, back yard and parking because other people unbelievably still did not have the guts to buy in 2009 even with all the obvious positive signs.

The (Overly) Pessimistic:

Better ask for a bullet-proof vest at closing. It’s absurd to even consider buying in this neighborhood! Save your money and move to NW DC. I lived on H St for 2 years beginning in 2004. Sure people will tell you it’s fine, but don’t believe it.

UrbanTurf’s Best of 2009 continues tomorrow with D.C.'s best live/work space and the top up-and-comers of the year.

Previous Best Of 2009 entries:

 

More recent articles about D.C.-area real estate from UrbanTurf:

 

Copyright 2007-2009, UrbanTurf.

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