Ah, roommates.

Because I blog about housing, people often treat me like their personal real estate consultant. They want tips on where to buy a condo, where to find a cheap apartment, and in the case of a recently-graduated family member, how to locate a great, affordable abode for his newly formed group without a group house in one of the D.C.’s central, desirable neighborhoods. (You know the ones: Adams Morgan, Dupont, Woodley Park, U Street, Columbia Heights, Logan Circle, Shaw etc.)

For all current and future inquirers: I am happy to help. Or at least attempt to help, and then feel like a failure.

So help I did. I asked around to friends to see if they had advice. And I e-mailed a friend, who is currently living in a Columbia Heights group house. He and his housemates were hoping to move to a “place that isn’t falling apart quite so much,” as he put it.

But apparently, there are no decent houses left in the city:

We basically couldn’t find anything. Maybe that’s what was so surprising—not the inflated prices (though they are from a year ago), but the total lack of options.

We had three people looking hard for two months, and not more than a handful of places showed up. 4/5/6 bedroom houses in columbia heights/mount pleasant for 700-1000 per person were just not popping up on craigslist. Petworth maybe. A mile north of the metro, sure. But nothing comparable in location to what we have now, and certainly nothing close to the price/location combination.

And as far as finding new roommates to replace the exiting one, it’s a cinch. We interviewed 10 people [recently]—all twenty-something non-profit/govt workers new-ish to town. It definitely looks like a seller’s market from where I’m standing.

Anyone have any better stories to tell? Or is this really the current state of the market out there for rental homes in Washington?

Image by Eralon, Flickr Creative Commons