I'm as big of a Washington, DC cheerleader as it gets. I love biking its wide avenues and rowhouse-lined neighborhood streets. I love that it's reinventing itself and that people are reinvesting in neighborhoods that could use a lift. I love how international it is, how front and center it is, and how there's something interesting to do any night of the week.
Although you won't often hear me advocating a move out of the city, I am somewhat contractually obligated (okay fine, these are great houses) to show off these on-the-market options just outside DC's border. You know, just in case you're in the market for Congressional representation.
Renovated Victorian - Chevy Chase, Maryland
Lord Fairfax House - Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
Centuries of grandeur permeate this renovated 5-bedroom, 5 1/2-bath historic home with exquisite woodwork and curving staircase. Built in 1801 for Thomas Lord Fairfax, a close friend of George and Martha Washington, this in-town mansion features a library, game room, up-to-date kitchen and breakfast room that cater to everyday living, and a magnificent dining room and grand salon for special events. The sunroom embraces a garden with year-round gazebo, garage, and off-street parking. Pricetag: $5,995,000
Maple Shade - Vienna, Virginia
Built in 1890, Maple Shade is a quaint farm house that retains the charm and ambiance of a bygone era. The kitchen and baths have been totally renovated for the 21st century, yet reflect earlier times. Newly painted inside and out, Maple Shade is just moments to shopping, nature trails, and the local historic district. Pricetag: $699,900
David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.