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Remember When You Could Buy a D.C. Townhouse for $83,000?

Remember the good 'ol days when a soda cost a nickel and you could buy a townhouse for $83,000? No? Well, according to this classified advertisement from The Washington Post, it was only 27 years ago that a three-bedroom townhome in Columbia Heights was worth that very price. Nowadays, the median listing for a three-bedroom home in the neighborhood is around $673,000. Be careful because seeing the rent prices from 1914 might make you a little nauseous. ($47.50 for a five-bedroom unit??) For those who feel like they were born in the wrong decade, here are some comparisons of similar listings in varying years to prove that a time machine wouldn't be so bad.


↑ In 1988, you could own a three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhome in Petworth for $135,000. Nowadays, you're more likely to pay around $749,900 for a three-bedroom townhome.


↑ In Shaw, you used to be able to find a three-bedroom townhome on the market for $109,000. Nowadays, any three-bedroom home in the neighborhood is closer to the $800,000 range. Just imagine this three-bed townhome asking for $109,000 instead of the current $949,000.


Wesley Heights has some of the more expensive listings in the Washington, D.C. market. In 1988 you could get a townhome with hardwood flooring, a master bedroom suite, and french doors that lead to a garden for $382,500. Nowadays, you can get a one-bedroom home for around the same price, but if you need at least two bedrooms, you're reaching $850,000. The above listing shows a three-bedroom townhome with the same details, asking $854,990.


↑ At The Dresden Condominiums in Kalorama, you can rent this four-bedroom condo for $8,300 a month. In 1914, you could rent a condo with the same number of bedrooms in the same development for only $40 a month.


↑ When La Rennaissance was known as The Kenesaw in 1914, rent varied from $25 a month to $125 a month, depending on whether you preferred a one-bedroom unit or a four-bedroom unit. Nowadays, the Mount Pleasant condo development asks $1,395 for a one-bedroom rental unit.


↑ In 1914, The Balfour offered two-bedroom units for $30 a month. Now, the U Street development offers two-bedroom rentals for $2,600 a month.
· Cost of Buying a House in the District, 25 Years Ago Today [Ghosts of DC]
· 1914 Directory of Apartments and Rent [Ghosts of DC]
· Washington, D.C. Has the Fourth Highest Rents in the Nation [Curbed DC]