Living the DC Dream

Shout out to our new friend loving life on your boat

The 730DC team asked about where you’re living and 350 of you answered.

Editor’s note: We would be remiss to go further without mentioning that homelessness, displacement, and gentrification are real problems in Washington that are directly linked with the answers discussed in this poll. We urge you to not just think critically about how your living situation interacts with that of the broader community, but to engage with political efforts to protect and promote affordable housing as well as directly support people in need.

Are you happy with your living situation?

All in all, y’all are doing alright!

Of those respondents, 55% said they’re happy with your current living situation, with another 15% saying they’re overjoyed. I mean, that’s not bad odds. (Our hearts go out to the 2.6% of you who said it sucks and you’re actively looking to leave. We’ve been there. You will get out, and Craigslist will be your friend.)

This might have something to do with the fact that 88.4% of us share a unit with other people, who, despite headlines you might have read, can actually be really nice. Humans are social animals!

How many other people (besides you) live in your house/apartment?

Cheers to the 3.1% of respondents living in housing situations with 6+ other people in their home. We want to hear what that’s like. (Are those kids? Are those roommates?)

Almost 44% of us live with strangers-turned-roommates who we may not have known before moving in, while almost 41% of us live with friend roomies. (These stats aren’t mutually exclusive.) But let’s not forget those of us who’ve figured out how to save on rent and live with your bff: 21.1% live with your spouse, SO or partner.

We were surprised to see how many people live in apartment buildings. Row houses are still the quintessential District quarters, but the trend of splitting them into separate units seems to be pretty popular.

What sort of structure do you live in?

Let’s give a shout out to the one person who lives on a boat with their SO, owns it, and said they are overjoyed about it. Can we come?

But while we are pretty happy with things now, it might not last. 38% will eventually leave the District to settle down somewhere else.

Do you think you want to buy in DC?

(Thinking about buying? Don’t forget incentives for first-time buyers and this rent vs. buy calculator.)

One big reason: the cost of buying in DC as home prices here hit record highs and rise at faster rates than surrounding suburbs. Of course, this means recognizing the disproportionate growth in housing prices in the central neighborhoods versus outlying ones, especially to the Southeast. With almost 41% of us saying that as soon as we can afford it we’re living alone, that’s a lot to save up for.

But at least for now, we can revel in the shared experience / schadenfreude that is living in shared space in DC. Many of you wrote in telling us about your best (worst?) living stories. There was a fair share of negligent/potentially illegal landlord complaints (yes, this links to the Office of the Tenants Advocate, and yes, they should be able to help), some outlandish roommate complaints, as well as some Craigslist roomie fairy tales. With that in mind, here’s just a few of our favorites:

“I have so many, so here’s the most classic one from Bloomingdale: A landlord that got out of paying property taxes for years because she said our group house was “Club Afrik,” a school group that meets at our location to send underprivileged High School students to Africa for the summer. To my knowledge, this was not a real organization and definitely not meeting at our house.”

“My dad grows weed in our backyard…because he can. He’s got me babysitting the plants and the drying buds while he’s on vacation. I don’t even smoke.”

“The house was built in 1909. At some point, they added a tin shed on the back of the house and called it a kitchen. It floods when it rains two days in a row, and we can’t get it above 55 degrees in the winter. The owner has no incentive to shell out for improvements because the house is rent controlled. We stay because it’s cheap, but we have to wear winter coats when we make dinner between November and February.”

“We rarely all have our schedules line up to eat dinner together, but once a month we go out together to eat at a nice DC restaurant to treat ourselves. One time we did a family Soylent dinner. It was gross and we ordered Thai food afterward.”