Last Updated on: 11th January 2024, 08:25 pm
Washington, DC is the nation’s capital and one of the most culturally significant cities in the country. There are more than 130 distinct neighborhoods in Washington, DC, all offering something exciting and unique. However, like many major cities, the cost of living in DC is considerably higher than the national average. But luckily, there are plenty of affordable Washington DC neighborhoods offering low crime and a great quality of life. Here are a few of the best places to live in DC if you’re on a budget.
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Foggy Bottom | The Most Affordable DC Neighborhood for Students Looking for Off-Campus Housing
- Population: 13,168
- Median home price: $527,500
- Average rent: $2,811 per month
- 4,430 crimes per 100,000 residents
Situated on the banks of the Potomac River adjacent to downtown, Foggy Bottom is a historic neighborhood home to multiple government agencies and George Washington University. It’s considered one of the best neighborhoods in DC for young professionals and college kids because of its proximity to GW University and Georgetown and the fantastic dining and nightlife options available. The neighborhood is also near National Mall, the park that is home to iconic monuments like the Lincoln Memorial.
Residents will find plenty of gorgeous row homes, lofts, and condo buildings, as well as walkable, tree-lined streets and gorgeous views of the Potomac. Its central location and close proximity to Georgetown mean the crime rate is higher than in some areas. However, most residents report that you shouldn’t feel unsafe as long as you take the proper precautions. But if you’re looking for a hip, college area that is reasonably priced for all it offers, Foggy Bottom is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in DC.
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Takoma | An Affordable, Family-Friendly DC Neighborhood
- Population: 3,696
- Median home price: $620,000
- Average tent: $2,050
- Crime: 3750 per 100,000 residents
Takoma is a diverse neighborhood located in the 4th Ward of Northwest DC, bordering the city of Takoma Park, Maryland. The community is famous for its trendy boutiques, fabulous restaurants, and historic buildings. Many of the homes in Takoma are considered historic and over a century old. It’s a fairly diverse neighborhood that is home to mostly middle-class families and is considered one of the most affordable DC neighborhoods.
Residents will find plenty of fun things to do within the community, including the Takoma Farmers Market and Rock Creek Park, a sprawling urban green space with hiking, tennis, golf, and a ranger-lead wildlife program. There are also several quality public schools in Takoma, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Washington, DC for families. While not the absolute cheapest DC neighborhood, it offers a high quality of living and housing prices that are reasonable compared to the rest of the city.
Cathedral Heights | A Safe, Affordable DC Neighborhood with Stunning Architecture
- Population: 3976
- Median home price: $417,500
- Average rent: $2,140
- Crime: 1,572 per 100,000 residents
Cathedral Heights is a small, affluent enclave in northwestern DC full of life and character. Named after the stunning Washington National Cathedral, the neighborhood features elegant, Edwardian row houses along Wisconsin and Cathedral Avenues and plenty of apartments, condominiums, and co-op complexes. The community is home to Glover Archbold Park, a 183-acre natural stream valley park that contributes to the neighborhood’s scenic ambiance.
Residents of Cathedral Heights enjoy an easy commute to downtown, walkable streets, and plenty of bars and restaurants. It’s also considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Washington, DC, with a crime rate that is 33% lower than the national average. It tends to be a quieter area without as much excitement or nightlife, which attracts more families and retirees than young professionals. However, with a median home price of $417,500 and an average rent of $2,140, it’s one of the most affordable neighborhoods in DC.
Adams Morgan | Washington DC’s Last Funky Neighborhood
- Population: 16,435
- Median home price: $580,000
- Average rent: $2,459
- Crime: 3067 per 100,000 residents
Adams Morgan is a fun and diverse neighborhood known for its live music venues, eclectic food scene, and popular bars. This affordable DC neighborhood is home to several foreign embassies, and the local food scene reflects that diversity with cuisine from cultures ranging from Ethiopia to Filipino. The 18th Street Corridor is the epicenter of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, where visitors can find bookstores, bakeries, art murals, cafes, boutiques, and more.
Housing in the area consists of colorful Victorian row houses and mid-rise apartment buildings structured as condominiums of co-ops. It’s considered one of DC’s quirkier neighborhoods and starkly contrasts the conservative, suit-and-tie atmosphere for which Washington DC is known. As a result, it’s one of the best DC neighborhoods for college kids and young professionals and offers plenty of excitement at an affordable price.
Glover Park | A Quiet, Affordable DC Neighborhood in a Central Location
- Population: 7,139
- Median home price: $298,000
- Average rent: $1,871
- Crime: 1,033 per 100,000 residents
Located just north of Georgetown, Glover Park is a hidden gem full of friendly neighbors and quiet, tree-lined streets. It’s a family-oriented, affordable neighborhood in DC offering reasonably priced homes and an easy commute into downtown. With a crime rate that is 56% lower than the national average, Glover Park is one of the safest neighborhoods in DC and offers a pleasant environment for raising a family. Residents will find a mix of apartment buildings and row houses built in the early 20th century. You’ll find a few local restaurants and bars scattered around the neighborhood, although it isn’t known for its entertainment and nightlife.
However, there are several notable government buildings, including the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Visa Office of the Chinese Embassy. It’s also a very walkable neighborhood with plenty of parks, perfect for young children and pets. So with affordable housing, easy access to amenities, and low crime, Glover Park is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in DC for raising a family.
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Eckington | A Peaceful, Affordable Neighborhood in Northwest DC
- Population: 4,006
- Median home price: $699,999
- Average rent: $2,424
Eckington is a neighborhood in northwest Washington DC, located one mile north of Howard University and one mile south of the US Capitol. The neighborhood is enveloped in a gorgeous canopy of elm trees, giving the area a prestigious ambiance. Residents will find plenty of affordable row houses and amazing local bars and restaurants. It’s somewhat far from downtown. However, there are several options for public transportation that are accessible to commuters.
It’s one of the top affordable neighborhoods in DC for young professionals searching for cheaper housing options who don’t mind being further away from the action, and most residents tend to be in their 20s and 30s. It is right next to Brentwood, which is considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in DC, so residents should lock their doors and be alert after dark. However, most Eckington natives report that it is a safe, welcoming community, and you won’t experience much danger as long as you don’t stray into rougher areas. So if you’re looking for a laidback neighborhood in a quiet part of town, you should check out Eckington.
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Tenleytown | A Historic, Affordable DC Neighborhood with a Small-Town Atmosphere
- Population: 360
- Median home price: $350,000
- Average rent: $2,323
- Crime rate: 1063 per 100,000 residents
Tenleytown is a small, historic neighborhood in northwest DC, located at the intersection of River Road and Wisconsin Ave. It’s perched atop the highest elevation in DC, offering scenic views of the rest of the city. It’s the second oldest neighborhood in DC and has dozens of historic landmarks. It’s also home to Fort Reno Park, which was the site of a battle during the Civil War. Today the park is famous for its annual summer concert series, which has been a tradition since 1968.
Tenleytown offers a small-town feel with easy access to urban amenities. It’s a great place to live, offering low crime, great schools, and easy access to everything that DC has to offer. Homes in Tenleytown tend to be less expensive than those in the surrounding neighborhoods, and residents will find a variety of housing choices, from rowhouses to single-family homes. It’s considered an affluent area with a median household income of $156,783. But if you’re looking for a historic, affordable DC neighborhood offering a lot of value for the money, you should consider living in Tenleytown.
Columbia Heights | An Affordable DC Neighborhood Full of Life and Culture
- Population: 30,399
- Median home price: $700,000
- Average rent: $2,272
- Crime: 4,971 per 100,000 residents
Columbia Heights is a neighborhood in Northwest DC that is known for its diversity and notable attractions. The community is a true melting pot, and no particular group constitutes a majority. However, it’s famous for its Latin heritage. Columbia Heights is also very close to the DC USA Shopping Mall, an 890,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by nine different big box stores. Other notable attractions in Columbia Heights include Howard University, Malcolm X Park, Banneker Recreation Center, and All Souls Church.
Columbia Heights is home to some of the most authentic restaurants in DC, and visitors can sample anything from Laotian to Cuban food. The housing consists mainly of condominiums and townhouses in Federal and Victorian architectural styles. It’s a large neighborhood, and certain areas suffer from higher crime rates. However, the community has shown significant improvements in safety in recent years, and most violent crime tends to be isolated to certain areas. But if you are looking for a culturally rich, affordable DC neighborhood with plenty of excitement and affordable housing, you should check out Columbia Heights.
Map of Affordable Neighborhoods in Washington DC
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