People in real estate say that the three most important determinants of property value (or rent) are “location, location, location.” If that’s true and, for the sake of discussion, let’s say it is, then I’m way undercharging for my apartment.
Let’s consider, particularly if you’re from out of town, how you would get anywhere if you lived in Apt. 1202. Here we go, in no particular order.
1. You can walk. Within an easy, healthy, entirely safe 20 minute walk you can go to a zillion high-end or fast food restaurants, shops, movie theaters, clubs, etc. The Verizon Center, for example, where you can see big name concerts, the NHL Capitals, the NBA Wizards and the WNBA Mystics, is only a few blocks away.
The Verizon Center is in Chinatown, on 6th Street, between F and G. We’re at 4th and New York Avenue. New York Avenue is 1 block above K Street, so we’re close.
The picture below is the gateway entrance to Chinatown.
If you look carefully, immediately to the right of the arch over G Street, you can see the brown pylon with the white “M”s that mark the entrance to the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station. The Verizon Center is half a block to the right.
Here’s what the Verizon Center looks like during the daytime.
If you walk up 6th Street (with the Verizon Center on your right), 5 blocks later you’ll be on New York Avenue. One more block to your right, you’ll be home, if you rent my apartment.
Take a look at this Google map. Let’s say you’re a slow walker, that it takes you 20 minutes to walk a mile. (How pathetic is that? Fortunately, our building has a huge gym. You’ll be in shape in no time.) In 20 minutes, you’ll be able to walk anywhere in the blue circle.
As you can see by the Metro station markers on the map, there are 6 Metro stations within a mile of 437 New York Avenue, including Metro Center, one of the system’s hubs. Without having to transfer, there’s a station for every Metro line within an easy mile of our building.
2. By Metro rail. Metro rail is the Washington subway system that runs everywhere in the city, but also well into the District’s northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs to places like Old Town Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia, and Silver Spring, Bethesda and Rockville in Maryland.
This is the Mt. Vernon Square Station at 7th Avenue and M Street, at the Washington Convention Center. It’s the closest to my apartment, just 3 blocks down M Street.
And here’s what the typical Metro station looks like inside. This one is Judiciary Square, on F Street, between 4th and 5th Streets. Remember, I’m at New York and 4th. New York Avenue is just one block above K Street, so we’re close.
Not familiar with the Metro? Just click here for a map of the system and all the information you need to use it, Metro buses included.
3. By Bus. There are actually 2 bus services. The big one is Metro bus. (How imaginative.) No surprise, it’s from the same WMTA (Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority) that is responsible for Metro rail. Here’s what a Metro bus looks like.
Sure. You’re probably saying to yourself, “You see one bus, you’ve pretty much seen them all.” Right, but take a look at this next one.
Nice, isn’t it. This is a DC Circulator bus. The DC Circulator is a limited service that does a figure-eight loop through and across downtown Washington. (The route is actually painted on the side of the bus.) Remarkably, it stops every 10 minutes at each of it’s bus stops. For only $1, which is chump change by any standard nowadays, you can ride anywhere it goes. You can, for example, take it from its 7th and K stop which is the nearest to our apartment, just 4 blocks away, to Union Station (Amtrak) or all the way across Washington to Georgetown where you can spend your Saturday going from shop to shop and out for a great lunch or dinner. For only $1, it’s one of the real bargains out there.
4. By Bike. If you don’t have one of your own, you use Capital Bikeshare. It’s affordable and very convenient. Their nearest rack is at 5th and K, just two blocks from the apartment.
5. By Car. If you have one, or two, I can rent you one or both of the assigned spaces I own in the condo’s garage under our building. Each space rents for $175 per month. Very secure. Very convenient. If you don’t own your own car, I recommend Zipcar, a shared car rental service that has cars parked all over the place. Easy to reserve, easy to find. Zipcar’s nearest location is at 6th and New York, just 2 blocks away. (Are you getting the point yet?!)
6. By Train. Union Station is just over a mile from the apartment, but you’ll probably want to take the Metro (rail) or the DC Connector to get there, particularly if you have luggage. From Union Station, you can take Amtrak to Baltimore (BWI and downtown), Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and other points north and south.
7. By Plane. There are 3 area airports. Reagan National is the closest, just across the Potomac in Virginia. Then there’s Dulles International which is way out to the southwest of the city in the Virginia suburbs, and BWI (Baltimore Washington International) near Baltimore. The Metro goes to Reagan. That’s easy. Good luck on getting to Dulles, although they’re building a Metro line that will go there eventually. BWI is surprisingly handy, and often the least expensive place to fly in the area. It’s a Southwest hub. To get there, just go to Union Station and take a train to the BWI station.
Wow. Let’s see. What have I forgotten? ..Nothing, which is precisely the point.