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The Buyer's Guide To The Ultra-Popular Capitol Hill

Last week we mapped the ten least expensive properties in Capitol Hill but now we're back with the skinny on what it is like to buy a house there. As one of DC's oldest neighborhoods it is about two square miles with a population of approximately 35,000 people, most of whom live there to be near their jobs around Capitol Hill. Famous historical names who used to live there include Frederick Douglass, J. Edgar Hoover, and John Philip Sousa (the house he was born in on G Street is still there). Click through for the flavor of the the neighborhood and a few sample listings.

The neighborhood: If any neighborhood were to win an award for best example of gentrification it would be this one. Spend any time walking the streets and quickly you'll pick up on the family vibe. Strollers and golden retrievers abound. Lawns are small but have strewn tricycles and discards of Lego projects behind the fences. Coffee shops, yoga studios, and the stall areas at Eastern Market are the 'third spaces' where people gather. Not all that long ago this was one of those places where few dared to go after dark, but the upgraded housing stock has brought new money to the nabe.

What the homes are like: Attached rowhouses only occasionally interspersed with some multi-family buildings (most of which used to be single-family mansions) has been the norm. But the increase in popularity has given rise to those rowhouses being turned into boutique condo buildings so most first-time buyer's best hope of getting into the nabe are the one and two-bedroom units that go for about $500,000. The row houses typically start around $600,000 and very quickly get into the low million dollar territory. There are exceptions, but those exceptions are usually under a thousand square feet.

Want to spend more?: Try Georgetown.

Want to spend less? Try Shaw, Eckington. Or if you don't might buying and waiting for the nabe to come to you buy in the nearby Hill East. The developers are stretching in that direction.

Sample homes on the market:
· A four bed, 3.5 bath for $899,999 [Redfin]
· A 3 bedroom 2.5 bath for $649,000 [Redfin]
· A four bed, three bath with carriage house for $1,189,900 [Redfin]