The US capital is about more than just politics
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Washington, D.C. is, of course, the capital of the United States, but if you think this is just another staid government town, think again. Washington is reinventing itself as one of the country’s coolest and most desirable cities. Formerly rundown neighborhoods are finding new life as hip new districts and the city teems with some of the world’s greatest museums, art galleries, and architecture. It’s no surprise that real estate is in high demand and prices are going up.
Culture, History, and Business
Washington, D.C. is a planned city whose origin begins on July 9, 1790, when the U.S. Congress passed the Residence Act. The law called for the building of a new national capital to be located on the Potomac River, the exact spot of which was chosen by President George Washington himself. The new capital was built quickly and Congress moved in ten years later on November 17, 1800. While the city was burned to the ground in the War of 1812 by British Troops, it rebounded and grew over the next two centuries. It has hosted many events that have changed the course of American history, from the inaugurations of most U.S. presidents to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington.
Economically, Washington revolves around the government. A quarter of employees in the city work for the federal government and many more work for businesses, organizations, and groups that have close ties to the government. However, the economy is diversifying, and healthcare, scientific research, education, and finance all play important roles.
Real Estate Appeal
A couple decades ago Washington was known for having some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. That’s all changing now, however, and many of the city’s inner city neighborhoods are undergoing an intense process of gentrification. Housing prices are rising as young people and even families flock to the city to enjoy its amenities, cultural institutions, and excellent transit.
Real estate in Washington, D.C. is unique because of extremely limited inventory. The District of Columbia is already highly urbanized and there’s very limited land available for new development. Due to height restrictions designed to preserve the historic character of the city, even when new housing is built it only results in a limited amount of new properties being for sale. As a result, there is rarely enough housing stock to meet demand. While that means prices can be quite high in some areas, it also means that Washington offers a fairly safe market for real estate investors.
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