Last month, Washington Blade readers had the opportunity to nominate themselves or their unmarried friends to be included in the selection of Most Eligible LGBTQ Singles. Today, the winners will be honored, and we can read about their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and aspirations.
Long-term Blade aficionados will note that this issue normally comes out (yes, I used that phrase on purpose) right before Valentine’s Day, giving those who are courting someone or looking for Mr. or Ms. Right an opportunity to ask, “Will you be my Valentine?”
Those of you who are old enough to remember, may find this reminiscent of “The Dating Game” television show, where one person would ask questions of three others who sat anonymously behind a screen to determine which one to take on a date, with all expenses paid by the show’s sponsors. If you’re able to catch any reruns from the ‘60s and ‘70s, you may recognize contestants named Steve Martin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sally Field, and Michael Jackson, among others.
Searching for a home is more like the Bachelor franchise of today, where instead of contestants being hidden, they are on display; a Parade of Homes for those looking for love, or at least, for a good investment. Accordingly, here is a snapshot of today’s Most Eligible Homes, as determined solely by my opinion.
Most Eligible Alexandria Condominium: Park Place at 2500 N. Van Dorn Street. Built in 1965, this 16-floor high-rise of 410 homes offers studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units ranging from 471 to 1360 square feet, with the larger ones featuring two baths.
Most homes there have balconies; those on the higher floors have treetop or D.C. monument views. Underground parking is available with some units, as is an abundance of unassigned surface parking. Two pets are allowed per unit and laundry facilities are conveniently located on each floor. Although monthly fees can be somewhat stratospheric, they include all utilities, a 24/7 attended front desk, and use of the outdoor pool and indoor fitness center.
Most Eligible Low-Cost Suburb: Upper Marlboro, Md. Currently, there are 59 detached homes on the market, with 58 of them listed between $280,000 and $800,000. You can get fixer-uppers under $350,000, split foyers and colonial homes in the $400s, new construction starting in the low-$600s, or a few 10-20 acre lots with houses to renovate, expand, or tear down and start fresh.
The outlier is a custom-built, 10,000+ square foot, stone-front Colonial with 4 bedrooms, 5½ baths, and a 3-car garage on a 4-acre lot for a mere $2.2 million. Built in 2007, it has every indoor and outdoor feature you could imagine for less than a 1,423-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 2½ bath condominium with parking at DC’s City Centre.
Most Eligible Mid-Century Cooperative: River Park in southwest D.C. Designed by Charles M. Goodman and built by Reynolds Metal in 1961, it consists of twin high-rises with units of varying sizes and an assortment of 2 to 4-bedroom rowhouses along 4th Street and inside the complex on N Street.
In one of my first transactions, I helped a buyer pay $10,000 at auction for the studio he had been renting there. Since then, that studio is still a bargain at roughly $110,000. At the time, if you made any changes to the interiors, you had to put things back the way you found them, including painting the walls back to white, when you sold. Thankfully, times have changed.
The fees are high, but in these cooperative apartments, they cover heating and cooling, property taxes, and often, as with many co-ops, a portion of the mortgage with tax-deductible interest. Pets are allowed in the rowhouses, and amenities include a pool, a fitness center, a tot-lot, a 24/7 concierge, a party room, and a community library.
Finally, my choice for the Most Eligible Collection of Antique Homes is D.C.’s Capitol Hill. Whether in the NE or the SE quadrant, 100-year-old homes abound. Still affordable by D.C.’s standards, they are reminiscent of Georgetown at half the cost.
The Hill still reminds me of a small town. When I lived there, my pre-dinner cocktail hour included a walk around the neighborhood, where people kept their blinds open, their pride of ownership inviting you to peek into the living room at the 20th century architecture and décor.
So if you are still looking for your Valentine, become your own “most eligible” by securing a home in one of these or other distinctive areas of the DMV that suit your style and your budget. Candy and flowers are still popular too.
Valerie M. Blake is a licensed associate broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate / @properties. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.