How much money do you need to set aside to buy a house?

As I congratulate my colleagues and friends who received the coveted Best of Gay DC awards, I thought it appropriate to share with you my own subjective list of “Best of”.

Best home to buy. With 233 of them on the market in DC, the one bedroom, one bath condominium under $ 400,000 may be the best option for a personal residence or investment. Considering a median price of $ 320,000 and 49 days to market, there is some business to be done. You have a choice of areas around town and large and small buildings.

Best first-time buyer program. DC’s Home Buyers Assistance Program (HPAP) is by far the best option to use if you are eligible. This program is based on income and household size and can provide up to $ 84,000 towards the purchase of a DC personal residence. For example, to receive the full amount, the income of a group of two is limited to a total of $ 51,600, 50% of the median family income for DC. Other requirements may apply.

Best tax reduction program. If you qualify, you may be able to take advantage of the DC tax rebate program. Using the example of our group of two working adults purchasing a personal residence for less than $ 516,800, the income limit is $ 79,020 or $ 113,500 in designated economic development zones.

Program approval exempts buyers from paying property taxes for up to five years and reduces purchase closing costs by eliminating registration taxes paid by the buyer and distributing transfer taxes paid by the buyer. seller to buyer rather than the DC tax office. For the buyer of that personal residence of $ 516,800, that can mean savings of nearly $ 15,000 in closing costs.

Best neutral paint color. It was Builder Beige first, then Gray was OK, then they mingled with Good Grief Greige. While neutrals can be bland and boring, these days expect to see a variety of off-whites adorning the walls of homes for sale. Sherman Williams 7008, Alabaster, did the trick for my newer sellers.

Best wall decoration. Sponge paint and other effects are long gone. Forget the shiplap unless you live in a beach house or on a real boat. Aged wood may still be suitable for a cabin in the woods, but in an urban, modern setting, wallpaper is back, baby!

This is not your grandmother’s wallpaper. No chickens, tiny footprints, edging or fake grass in sight. Today’s wallpapers are bold, geometric or a throwback to mid-century modern and are mostly used on an accent wall so they don’t look overwhelming. Love vs. Design ( can create custom wallpaper to match your color scheme in a peel and stick application that avoids the mess of wallpaper paste.

Best houseplant. For us new to plant growing, the prize goes to The Easy Care Bundle by The Sill ( For just $ 45, you get two very hard to kill potted succulents, a snake plant and a ZZ plant.

You can also purchase a subscription. $ 60 plus $ 10 shipping for the purchase of a medium-sized plant of the month with a black or cream planter. Choose classic plants or select non-toxic pet plants for just $ 5 more with a minimum 3 month subscription. You can even buy them as gifts.

Best balcony plant. For houses with a balcony or terrace, the winner is a potted Winter Gem boxwood. It is an evergreen foliage that will take a golden hue in winter and then turn green again in spring. It also grows in both full and partial shade – almost a whole and forget about this type of shrub – needing water only once a week or twice in warmer climates. Cut it like an Edward Scissorhands topiary for a little architectural interest.

Best freestanding refrigerator. I would be remiss if I did not include a category of the best home appliances. A high-end refrigerator with see-through doors and built-in versions of computers, televisions, and smart home items has some appeal until one of the glitzy attractions breaks and you spend that much on one. new motherboard than for a brand new refrigerator.

The winner of this category is therefore the model RF28R7351SR from Samsung. This bad boy is available in standard and counter depth and includes a patio door with external water and ice, a pull-out freezer with two baskets, and a center drawer that can be set to one of four temperatures for welcome food or wine. .

Here is. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to judge the Best of Blake Miniature Schnauzers category. I think a 4 way tie is in order.

Valerie M. Blake is a licensed associate broker in DC, Maryland & Virginia with RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her through, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.

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