Where do you want to fly?

2018 Median Price: $1,080,000
Change from 2017: 1.2%

2018 Median Price: $1,050,000
Change from 2017: 12.3%

As far as District neighborhoods go, this one is among the most predictable. Its stately Colonials and quiet streets have long been favored by Washington elites. It’s not undergoing any kind of revitalization—because it doesn’t need one. The bar “scene” is limited mostly to low-key joints like the Avenue and the Chevy Chase Lounge (where Brett Kavanaugh hangs out). So why, then, did the Zip code see a 12.3-percent spike in home prices in 2018—the kind of jump more typical of gentrifying neighbor­hoods undergoing drastic change? One explanation, local real-estate agents say, is that more well-off families are choosing Chevy Chase DC over farther-flung options such as Potomac and McLean. Whereas luxury buyers once preferred the space and land available in those places, today more of them want houses in the city, where it’s possible to walk to the grocery store and commute downtown in less than 30 minutes.

Photograph courtesy of HomeVisit.

And of course, Chevy Chase DC still boasts all the features that have long made it such a desirable place to live, particularly for parents. It backs onto Rock Creek Park, and the Chevy Chase and Lafayette recreation centers come with dog parks and play­grounds. It’s also zoned for some of the District’s best-rated public schools, though many of the local kids instead attend nearby Blessed Sacrament and St. John’s College High School.

2018 Median Price: $1,009,800
Change from 2017: 6.3%

2018 Median Price: $977,500
Change from 2017: 3.3%

2018 Median Price: $975,000
Change from 2017: -2.5%

2018 Median Price: $950,000
Change from 2017: -0.1%

2018 Median Price: $930,450
Change from 2017: 0.6%

2018 Median Price: $905,000
Change from 2017: 2.3%

2018 Median Price: $900,000 
Change from 2017: 1.1% 

Forget the Craftsmans and Cape Cods typical of Bethesda. In this pocket of the Montgomery County suburb, 400 modern homes fit right in with their woodsy landscape. Thanks to their most notable feature, walls of windows, residents feel as if they’re living among the trees.

In a rustic corner of Bethesda just outside the Beltway and about a half mile from the Potomac River, Carderock Springs is a unique community for Washingtonians who want a serene retreat from DC’s bustle. The neighborhood was created in the early 1960s by developer Edmund Ben-nett in response to the demand for more contemporary homes. Houses are laid out on two stories with four bedrooms and three baths, but each interior has evolved over the years to acquire its own personality and style.

The neighborhood has a full calendar of year-round events. Almost all of the younger children attend Carderock Elementary School. In the summer, the Carderock Springs Swim & Tennis Club is the community watering hole—nearly every resident has a membership. Some kids, all grown up, have even returned to Carderock Springs with their own families to live.

Photograph courtesy of HomeVisit.

2018 Median Price: $879,112 
Change from 2017: 6.4% 

2018 Median Price: $840,000 
Change from 2017: 1.8%

2018 Median Price: $800,000 
Change from 2017: -3.3% 

2018 Median Price: $781,000 
Change from 2017: 0.3% 

2018 Median Price: $750,000
Change from 2017: 4.2% 

The words “quirky” and “walkable” long defined Del Ray. This year, they’re being replaced by “beer garden” and “Amazon.” The Alexandria neighborhood has two new outdoor bars: Charlie’s on the Avenue’s beer garden is about to debut in what used to be an actual garden center, and Hops N’ Shine, which opened in December, is in a former Peruvian-chicken spot in Del Ray’s north end. That’s the relatively affordable part of the neighborhood—and the part closest to Amazon’s future headquarters—so expect to see more businesses and housing arriving in the months ahead.

Del Ray’s more established commercial strip includes new and newish restaurants such as Catch on the Avenue and Junction Bakery, as well as Bagel Uprising’s planned shop next to the cherished local coffee joint Stomping Ground. A 49-unit mixed-use condo development at the corner of Mount Vernon and Duncan avenues will open this year. But most of Del Ray’s housing still comprises townhouses and single-family cottages—within walking distance of favorite haunts like the Dairy Godmother frozen-custard shop and the Evening Star restaurant—that start in the mid-$700,000s. It’s a safe bet that more affordable large-scale development will begin to rise in nearby Arlandria as Amazon and the Potomac Yard Metro get closer to materializing.

2018 Median Price: $735,000
Change from 2017: 2.5% 

2018 Median Price: $725,000 
Change from 2017: 0% 

Though it shares a Zip code with more established parts of the Hill—such as the historic rowhouse-lined blocks around Eastern Market—Navy Yard is bursting with newness: Just-built, amenity-packed apartment buildings. An ever-growing supply of slick restaurants and bars around the ballpark. A six-month-old Whole Foods with self-serve wine and avocado toast. Plus, thanks to its inventory of luxe rentals and proximity to the Capitol, a populace with a hefty share of political newcomers. It’s true, the riverside blocks have become a hot playland for Trump loyalists—in February, for instance, local Young Republicans hosted a State of the Union viewing party at the Mexican restaurant Mission. But Navy Yard’s most famous resident these days is one of the MAGA set’s biggest foes: freshman congresswoman/heroine of the #resistance Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Photograph by Angela B. Pan

Regardless of their political leanings, fitness enthusiasts find the neighborhood a draw. Yoga, Pilates, and barre studios abound. The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail—which spans 20 miles along both sides of the river—runs through Yards Park, attracting cyclists and joggers. And while Navy Yard isn’t nearly as lively as, say, the 14th Street corridor, a lot more is on the way. Construction on the second phase of the Yards—the 18-acre mixed-use development that helped launch the neighborhood’s revitalization—is slated to begin this year.

2018 Median Price: $718,500 
Change from 2017: 1.2% 

2018 Median Price: $715,000 
Change from 2017: -1.7% 

2018 Median Price: $700,000 
Change from 2017: -0.7% 

2018 Median Price: $678,000 
Change from 2017: 3.5% 

2018 Median Price: $675,000 
Change from 2017: 8.9%

2018 Median Price: $668,000 
Change from 2017: 2.9% 

2018 Median Price: $660,000
Change from 2017: 3.9% 

2018 Median Price: $655,000 
Change from 2017: -3% 

2018 Median Price: $655,000 
Change from 2017: -3.7% 

2018 Median Price: $649,900 
Change from 2017: -3% 

Whatever you do, don’t call it Petworth. The little DC neighborhood just to the south of that better-known one is not only a distinct place—it’s quickly becoming one of the coolest slivers of the city. The stretch of Georgia Avenue from Gresham Place to Rock Creek Church Road makes up Park View’s commercial corridor. It’s where you’ll find a line snaking down the sidewalk on weekend mornings at the bagel place Call Your Mother. Within the same few blocks, there’s also a hip coffee shop (Colony Club), a high-end hair salon (Sense) run by Immortal Beloved alums, a popular hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint (Heat Da Spot), and—opening soon—a glam cocktail lounge (No Kisses) that looks like a throwback to 1950s Palm Beach and kitschy-cool Sonny’s Pizza.

Not surprisingly, more residential options have sprung up, too. But unlike the mammoth mixed-use projects farther up Georgia, multifamily buildings in Park View are generally smaller—such as the nine-unit Lamont across from Call Your Mother—thanks to lower-density zoning that has allowed the area to retain its more human-scale, Main Street vibe. Two-level rowhouses with front porches line side streets, though a lot of them are being converted into duplexes. And there’s one thing that other hood starting with P offers Park View residents: an easy walk to Metro at the Petworth stop.

2018 Median Price: $630,000 
Change from 2017: 2.6%

More than a few developers have talked a big game over the years about creating Washington’s version of New York’s Meatpacking District. The blocks around Northeast DC’s Union Market may finally come close. Since Edens opened the food hall seven years ago, it’s quickly evolved from a hangout for local foodies to a regional attraction that draws throngs of suburbanites and tourists alongside the diverse collection of families and young professionals who live in the neighborhood. The historic warehouses adjacent to the market have taken on a renewed vibrancy, with longtime wholesalers and businesses such as the Italian grocer A. Litteri now mixed among newcomers like the restaurant St. Anselm, a branch of Politics and Prose, and the Cotton & Reed rum distillery. This summer, a second food hall—La Cosecha—is set to arrive with more than a dozen Latin American restaurants and retailers.

So far, the several apartment buildings that have risen within the last couple of years have managed to stay true to the market’s industrial nature. The residential blocks south of the market and north of H Street are now hot property. Though small rowhouses can still be had for less than $700,000, it’s not uncommon for single-family homes to sell for more than $1 million.

Photograph by Joy Asico.

2018 Median Price: $619,900
Change from 2017: 6.9%

2018 Median Price: $615,000
Change from 2017: 12.7%

2018 Median Price: $608,000 
Change from 2017: 8.6% 

2018 Median Price: $605,000 
Change from 2017: 4.3% 

2018 Median Price: $600,000 
Change from 2017: 6.2%

2018 Median Price: $597,500 
Change from 2017: 0.1%

2018 Median Price: $593,000 
Change from 2017: 5% 

2018 Median Price: $585,000
Change from 2017: 4.5% 

2018 Median Price: $582,500 
Change from 2017: 8.9%

2018 Median Price: $579,250 
Change from 2017: 3.9%

It might sound too good to be true: a swimmable, fishable lake with five sandy beaches and seven miles of woodsy shoreline—inside the Beltway. But Lake Barcroft, in Falls Church just south of Seven Corners, really does offer all those things. The lake started as a reservoir in the early 1900s, built as the water supply for the city of Alexandria. By 1950, it had become too small for that, so developers bought it and started parceling out the surrounding land. What’s grown up since is a community of more than 1,000 homes (some of which are in the neighboring 22041 Zip code). About 250 are right on the lake—those will set you back well over $1 million. Fixer-uppers without water views start in the $600,000s.

Photograph courtesy of HomeVisit.

All residents, no matter where in the neighborhood they live, get exclusive access to the lake and its private beaches. The water fosters an extremely social culture—during warm months, neighbors get together for pontoon-boat parties and barbecues on shore. Year-round, they have supper clubs and happy hours at one another’s houses. Volunteers plan the Fourth of July fireworks, Halloween parade, and Easter-egg hunt. In the words of one longtime resident, “It’s a little bit like Leave It to Beaver.

2018 Median Price: $575,000
Change from 2017: 4.1% 

2018 Median Price: $575,000 
Change from 2017: 3.6% 

2018 Median Price: $575,000 
Change from 2017: 7.9% 

2018 Median Price: $565,000
Change from 2017: 0.9% 

2018 Median Price: $558,750
Change from 2017: 6% 

2018 Median Price: $555,000 
Change from 2017: 5.5% 

2018 Median Price: $550,000 
Change from 2017: 5.8% 

2018 Median Price: $547,000
Change from 2017: 6.2% 

2018 Median Price: $542,250 
Change from 2017: -0.5% 

2018 Median Price: $540,000
Change from 2017: -1.8% 

2018 Median Price: $538,948 
Change from 2017: 7.8%

2018 Median Price: $533,750
Change from 2017: 27.1% 

Why has a little town of just over 5,000 people seen a 27-percent jump in home prices in the past year? The schools, of course. U.S. News & World Report ranked Poolesville High—with its rigorous magnet programs—number two in Maryland, and the Washington Post deemed it the third-most challenging in the area. Bonus: The entire school system is within town limits, so kids can go from elementary through high school without ever leaving.

The town is surrounded by the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve, which gives it a pastoral setting. The tradeoff: There’s no movie theater or grocery store—residents have to drive to Harris Teeter in neighboring Darnestown—and dining is pretty much limited to a few pizza spots and some other casual joints. But a lot of people would rather spend their time outdoors anyway. Poolesville has a golf course, a public swimming pool, and eight parks, some of which host movies and live music in the summer, plus a nearby winery at Rocklands Farm.

The town fits the bill for families who want to stay in Montgomery County while getting a little more for their buck: Nice-size houses start in the $400,000s and typically come with ample yards. Commuters to downtown DC can catch the train at the Barnesville MARC station, about a ten-minute drive away.

Photograph by Matt McClain/Washington Post via Getty Images.

2018 Median Price: $530,000
Change from 2017: 3.9%

2018 Median Price: $525,000
Change from 2017: -4.4% 

2018 Median Price: $523,500
Change from 2017: -0.5%

2018 Median Price: $520,000
Change from 2017: 2% 

2018 Median Price: $516,000
Change from 2017: 3.2% 

This Zip code also includes downtown Silver Spring, but in contrast to that area’s constant construction and ever-changing streetscape, the quiet Linden neighborhood up Georgia Avenue is quintessential modest suburbia, made up of cozy Colonials, ramblers, and Cape Cods. Linden’s desirability is marked by the easy stroll to the Forest Glen Metro—with its own elevated walking path over the chaotic Georgia Avenue and I-495 interchange—quick access to the Beltway, and a close-knit community of families.

For many of them, life revolves around Montgomery Hills Park, the hub of the neighborhood. Within a quick walk of most houses, it’s where neighbors get to know one another and parents and kids frequently meet up for play dates. People often jog or stroll through on their way to the beloved Snider’s Super Foods and Goldberg’s New York Bagels. Woodside Deli and Meleket Ethiopian Restaurant are also just a stone’s throw away. The neighborhood’s major kid-friendliness is never on fuller view than on Halloween, when children swarm the festively decorated streets and an unofficial block party—complete with a haunted garage, a fire pit, and beer for the grownups—takes over near the park.

Photograph courtesy of HomeVisit.

2018 Median Price: $514,370 

Change from 2017: 11.8%

2018 Median Price: $510,000 
Change from 2017: 8.5% 

2018 Median Price: $510,000 
Change from 2017: -1%

2018 Median Price: $510,000 
Change from 2017: 6.3% 

2018 Median Price: $505,000
Change from 2017: 1.1% 

2018 Median Price: $501,750 
Change from 2017: 11.5% 

Washington’s first large-scale modernist community is the kind of neighborhood that people stalk—waiting, hoping, praying for one of its 457 original Charles Goodman–designed houses to hit the market. If you want to live in one, it helps to have an in. The many architects and artists who have moved there over the years know to give their other design-conscious friends a heads-up when one of the properties is about to get listed. (The neighborhood also tends to attract West Coast transplants, because midcentury-modern homes are much more common out there.)

Built between 1949 and 1971—in Fairfax County, just south of the city of Alexandria—the houses are distinguished by floor-to-ceiling glass, single-story open layouts, clean geometry, and an easy flow from the indoors out. As it happens, these features also make them well suited to aging in place, so residents tend to stay awhile. Another reason it’s tough to leave: the natural sense of community that results from all your neighbors having a similar interest in cool design.

Photograph by April Greer.

2018 Median Price: $501,000
Change from 2017: 3.3%

2018 Median Price: $500,000 
Change from 2017: 5.8% 

2018 Median Price: $496,250
Change from 2017: 7.3%

2018 Median Price: $492,500 
Change from 2017: 1.3%

2018 Median Price: $488,800
Change from 2017: 2.4% 

2018 Median Price: $487,500 
Change from 2017: -3.2%

2018 Median Price: $485,000
Change from 2017: 5.8%

2018 Median Price: $482,500
Change from 2017: -5.7% 

2018 Median Price: $481,225 
Change from 2017: 14% 

Looking for that quaint Georgetown feel in a more bucolic—and less expensive—setting? About an hour outside DC, you’ll find charming 18th-century homes, side by side with modern townhouses and swanky new condo developments. Families and young professionals are drawn to Leesburg’s great schools and lively downtown (part of which is in the neighboring 20176 Zip code) filled with locally owned shops, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, many of them in colorful rowhouses. In 2012, major streetscape improvements helped transform the historic core into a pedestrian-friendly town center, while multi-family housing has slowly been replacing open lots. Popular spots such as Delirium Café, King Street Oyster Bar, and the Wine Kitchen have helped jump-start a growing after-dark scene.

Just south of downtown, construction has begun on the 550-acre Compass Creek mixed-use development. Microsoft recently acquired more than half the land, though it’s unclear what the tech company will use it for. The site also includes a new Walmart and the $21-million ION International Training Center, a year-round, two-rink NHL-size ice-skating arena, slated to open later this year. Add to that the much-anticipated Metro Silver Line extension into Loudoun County and you start to understand why Leesburg home prices have spiked by 14 percent in the last year.

Photograph by April Greer.

2018 Median Price: $480,000
Change from 2017: 3.9% 

2018 Median Price: $477,500
Change from 2017: 8%

2018 Median Price: $475,500 
Change from 2017: 5.3% 

2018 Median Price: $475,000 
Change from 2017: 5.6% 

2018 Median Price: $470,000 
Change from 2017: 2.2% 

2018 Median Price: $469,000
Change from 2017: -3.3%

2018 Median Price: $466,050 
Change from 2017: -10.4% 

2018 Median Price: $465,000 
Change from 2017: 4.6% 

2018 Median Price: $464,950
Change from 2017: 1.3% 

2018 Median Price: $463,750 
Change from 2017: 2.5%

2018 Median Price: $462,500
Change from 2017: 8.2%

The neighborhoods along this main drag of Prince George’s County are increasingly lively—and still among the area’s most affordable

One place without any Zip codes that crack the top 100: Prince George’s County. For a lot of house-hunters, that’s great news. “Because DC prices have just gone bananas, people are looking for that urban, walkable lifestyle but at an affordable price,” says Lindsay Dreyer, CEO of City Chic Real Estate.

Buyers can find exactly that in the increasingly sophisticated neighborhoods along the Route 1 corridor in Prince George’s. While they’re still priced below much of the area, home values are on the rise. In Hyattsville, for instance, prices jumped by more than 9 percent in 2018, to a median of $278,000. In Brentwood, they rose by nearly 8 percent, to $275,000. Ongoing development—including future Purple Line stops—have the area poised for even more growth.

The part of Route 1 just over the District line has long been a magnet for artists drawn to its affordable homes and studio space. In 2001, the communities of Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood, and Hyattsville officially became the Gateway Arts District—a zone designed to support artists and help revitalize the corridor. As the laws of gentrification dictate, wherever artists go, yuppies—and businesses catering to them—tend to follow: Busboys and Poets arrived in downtown Hyattsville in 2013, followed by Vigilante Coffee Company in 2014. By 2017, a Whole Foods opened just up the road in Riverdale Park. Franklins—the county’s first microbrewery—was joined in downtown Hyattsville last year by Maryland Meadworks, Streetcar 82 Brewing Co., and Sangfroid Distilling.

The northern end of the corridor is undergoing its own revitalization. The University of Maryland, in partnership with the city of College Park, has begun to redevelop land it owns around campus, opening a hotel and tech incubator in 2017. The same year, MilkBoy ArtHouse, a restaurant/performance space/bar, made its debut. A food hall with a music venue is expected to open this summer.

One more piece of the partnership between the university and the city: a homeownership program intended to keep the university’s talent in the neighborhood by offering $15,000 in down-payment assistance to faculty and staff who buy locally. In almost four years, it has helped 45 homebuyers. If they stay at least ten years, they don’t have to repay the money. Says Eric Olson, the partnership’s executive director: “We’re creating a true live/work community.”

—Marisa M. Kashino

2018 Median Price: $460,423 
Change from 2017: 0.1%

2018 Median Price: $460,000 
Change from 2017: 2.9% 

2018 Median Price: $460,000
Change from 2017: 5.8% 

2018 Median Price: $460,000 
Change from 2017: 4.6% 

2018 Median Price: $459,999 
Change from 2017: 2.5% 

2018 Median Price: $458,500
Change from 2017: 6.9%

2018 Median Price: $455,000
Change from 2017: -1%

2018 Median Price: $454,900
Change from 2017: 3.9% 

2018 Median Price: $452,500 
Change from 2017: 9%

2018 Median Price: $445,500
Change from 2017: 6.2% 

2018 Median Price: $445,000 
Change from 2017: 7.2%

2018 Median Price: $442,000 
Change from 2017: 5.2% 

Depending on whom you ask, the Randolph Hills area is either in Rockville or in North Bethesda. Whatever side you’re on, the Montgomery County neighborhood is changing. There’s nearby Pike & Rose, a mixed-use development along Rockville Pike with restaurants including Jinya Ramen Bar and &Pizza, a high-end movie theater, luxury apartments, and a rooftop farm where people can sign up for fresh produce boxes. Also new: a green space that the Randolph Hills Shopping Center allocated to host festivals, live music, and beer gardens. The area around the demolished White Flint Mall could one day become a live-and-play community, too. Locals often take advantage of the trails in nearby Rock Creek Park, which sits along the eastern edge of the neighborhood. Or they can enjoy the outdoors at several county parks with playgrounds, tennis courts, and soccer fields.

Randolph Hills is a social place, with an active civic association that hosts events such as an annual 5K race and holiday caroling. Young couples and families who want to avoid Bethesda and Chevy Chase prices can find single-family houses in the $300,000-to-$500,000 range that are convenient to the White Flint Metro. Commuting by car to downtown Rockville takes about 15 minutes. Driving to DC is a bit dodgier—the best case is 30 minutes. Worst is, well, longer.

Photograph courtesy of HomeVisit.

2018 Median Price: $439,900 
Change from 2017: -6% 

2018 Median Price: $437,000
Change from 2017: 2.8% 

2018 Median Price: $437,000 
Change from 2017: -2.9% 

2018 Median Price: $436,250 
Change from 2017: -3.1% 

2018 Median Price: $428,500 
Change from 2017: 5.8%

2018 Median Price: $425,000
Change from 2017: -28.6% 

2018 Median Price: $420,000 
Change from 2017: -0.7% 

2018 Median Price: $419,000 
Change from 2017: 4.8%

This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Washingtonian.