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Where to Buy a Condo, How to Renovate It, & Why It's Worth It

Homeowners in Washington, D.C. have begun to swap their roomy single-family homes for condos closer to downtown. Steve Kirstein, principal of the luxury remodeling and construction firm BOWA, told Curbed DC that he's seen more and more people buying condos over the past few years. "A lot of these units are selling before they even go on the market," he said. The areas in Washington, D.C. where people are honing in on their search for condos, according to Kirstein, include: downtown, Georgetown, Kalorama, and Chevy Chase. In the D.C. area, he also added Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland as hot options.

The newest condo renovation trends have focused on contrasting colors with much darker or lighter hardwood flooring and cabinetry. Kirstein also said that there has been less of a demand for granite as opposed to man-made stones. Wall panels, wood planking on balconies, and tray ceilings are also on the rise. Lastly, smart home technology has seen a higher demand with homeowners installing cameras in their home or remote control options for lighting.

"I think condos are a wonderful alternative," said Kirstein. "A lot of people are tired of houses and want to be more downtown." He said that the reason why more and more people are going condo right now in Washington, D.C. is due to how terrible the traffic is, how vibrant the food scene is becoming in the downtown area, and how tiring the maintenance of a single-family home can be. Because of that, people want to live closer to where they work and eat, and people want more amenities like full concierge services.

There are trade-offs, though, to swapping one's row house for a condo. Kirstein said, "There are a lot of restrictions on a lot of these condos. There are pet restrictions. There are co-op restrictions ... There's less storage. There's less space." Even so, the downsides to some homeowners may be worth it.

With the below photo gallery, take a look at a few renovations BOWA has completed:

· BOWA [Official Website]
· All condo coverage [Curbed DC]