Washington, DC Luxury Detached Homes

While Washington, DC can often seem like the land of cityscapes, detached luxury homes are also an important part of the real estate picture. Location can be key to the equation, given the densely packed downtown neighborhoods. But head to DC’s leafy enclaves—often in the Northwest and Northeast quadrants—and you’ll find plenty of postcard pretty lawns and gracious houses. There is also a lesser number of elusive and highly sought after single-family detached homes closer to Washington’s epicenter, in neighborhoods like Georgetown and Kalorama.

Here is the luxury inventory offered for sale in the District of Columbia

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What exactly is a luxury detached home? Simply put, a detached house has space all around it, unlike a rowhouse that is set directly against its next-door neighbor. When we assign the term luxury, we are looking at factors that might include price point, size, interior features and remodeling, location, and the lot itself. Luxury homes in the nation’s capital can be old or new, with architectural styles including Colonial, Victorian, Federal, Tudor, Mediterranean, Italianate, Cape Cod, French Normandy, Arts and Crafts, and Modern, among others.

Washington has been around for centuries now, with waves of development and redevelopment over time. Many of the grand old mansions built in urban neighborhoods during 1800s were torn down in the name of progress during the mid-20th century, before the advent of protected historic districts. At the same time, many of the multifamily units remained standing, simply because they fit the purpose of housing in the city. But despite all this, it’s still quite easy to find neighborhoods where development and planning always quiet tree-lined streets, yards, and traditional houses.

More About DC Luxury Detached Homes

What are some of the more common differences between detached homes in the suburbs and those in the heart of the city? The answer lies in the way the federal district was laid out and developed. A French-American engineer named Pierre L’Enfant drew up the initial plans for Washington, DC in 1791, including primary government buildings and a grid of blocks, with east-west and north-south streets intersected by wider diagonal grand avenues. Many of the blocks were tightly compressed, much in the manner of other major U.S. cities of the time.

As developers got to work and the population grew, the style of residences leaned heavily toward narrow conjoined rowhouses, and apartment buildings. Detached houses reflected wealth and were more often found in neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, along wide roadways like Connecticut and Massachusetts Avenues that connected at traffic circles. Many of the larger historic homes in DC’s urban neighborhoods have either been razed, or now survive as embassies or museums. There are of course, those that remain as private residences.

Georgetown predated the creation of the federal district and you’ll find some beautiful homes there, notably in the East Village near Dumbarton Oaks Park and Montrose Park. Kalorama is another old neighborhood with some truly impressive estates. Neighborhoods in the northern part of DC where you’ll find a larger number of luxury detached homes, include Cleveland Park, North Cleveland Park, American University Park, Berkely, Chevy Chase, and Forest Hills, to name a few.

District of Columbia Luxury Detached Homes FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a rowhouse be a detached home?

A: While rowhouses are typically built right next to each other in a row, without any space between, you will sometimes see standalone examples. These are detached homes with a tall and narrow rowhouse style.

Q: Is it easy to find a luxury detached home with a large yard in the heart near downtown Washington, DC?

A: You can find detached homes near the downtown area, but they will often be examples of standalone rowhouses, or federal-style houses on relatively smaller lots. It is more common to find luxury detached homes on larger lots in DC’s outlying neighborhoods, rather than the urbanized downtown area.

Q: Can I find detached homes with modernist or mid-century modern architecture in Washington, DC?

A: Yes, you can. There are a number of older homes with classic modern design, including mid-century modern architecture, in Washington’s suburbs. Additionally, many of today’s notable architects will custom build from scratch, or will extensively renovate, homes throughout the District of Columbia, resulting in stunning modernist styles.

Q: Are there luxury detached homes within walking distance of parks or recreation areas in Washington, DC?

A: Yes. It is quite common to find detached homes that are quite close to Washington, DC’s many parks and greenbelts. Some of the larger and longer parks include Glover Archbold Park, Battery Kemble Park, the Potomac River greenbelt, Foundry Branch Valley Park, Dumbarton Oaks Park, Montrose Park, and the biggest park of all in DC, Rock Creek Park along with its various offshoots.

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