Sunday Stroll in Old City (?)

Yesterday, I took a walking tour from Mt. Vernon/NoMa to Logan Circle. I fell in love with the 400th block of Ridge Street NW, among others with, when I checked out a few rental units in that neighborhood a month ago. It is such a quiet area that has a lot of potential. I also like the area between Logan Circle and the Convention Center. Sure, some of the streets are still undergoing transition but I think that it is a good location for me in the long term. And that's what I want, a place that will fit my lifestyle now and for the next 10-15+ years. I may party in Adam's Morgan and on U Street now, but will I still want to have easy access to that area later? So barring a lottery win that would enable me to buy a house in Foggy Bottom or Dupont, I'm thinking that an area a short bus ride from Chinatown/Penn Quarter is more my style.

Yes, I am still interested in purchasing a home in D.C. I briefly toyed with the idea of getting a condo, but now I am quite sure that I would be the most happy with a house and a small yard. This means that I will need to save even more money.

I've decided to go for a place with 2-3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms—to ensure rental income and easier resale. I want a place that has been updated but not renovated. I want a structurally sound house with new appliances, updated bathrooms and revitalized floors. But I don't like renovations that strip an old house of its character. I've seen many places like that and in fact, I live in that sort of house. It is modern and comfortable but it lacks the charm and workmanship that an updated, old house can have.

A yard is a must. Nothing huge that I can't manage, but something that will allow me to "play in the dirt again."

I don't think that I'm asking too much. But houses are so expensive in D.C., even in transitioning areas I like. Can I really save and raise five figures during the next few years to manage at least a 5 percent down payment? Given housing prices, that means at least $30k, not to mention the money I'll need for closing costs, an emergency fund, etc. That's where government grants and family gifts will have to come in. I hesitate to ask my mother for help, and I've heard that many of the HUD, etc programs are tailored to low-income families, not underpaid single Hill staffers. Where does that leave me?

When I go home this weekend, I hope to talk to my mother about my plans and get her advice about how to properly proceed. I still have at least two years to save and research but I want to be fully prepared before I start seriously looking and sign my life away.

**I am quite confused about the proper name(s) of the areas where I was walking. The real estate listings say Old City 1 and 2, the street signs said Mt. Vernon/Naylor Court/Blagden Alley, and wiki calls part of the area NoMa. I apologize to the locals who are offended by my ignorance, but where was I?

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