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Navigating the DC Housing Market: Community Living vs. Solo Living

Navigating the DC Housing Market: Community Living vs. Solo Living

Navigating the DC housing market can be a daunting endeavor due to its high prices and limited availability. With a median home price hovering around $600,000, and rent prices soaring high, the cost of living in the capital can be burdensome. However, there are ways to mitigate these financial pressures, and one such avenue is choosing between community living and solo living. Each of these living arrangements has its own set of advantages, but community living — especially at places like Thompson-Markward Hall — often emerges as a preferable option for many.

Understanding the Washington, DC, Housing Market

The housing market in the Washington, DC, area is known for its competitive nature. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Availability: Housing units are often scarce, leading to higher prices. It’s essential to act quickly when you find a suitable place.
  • Cost: The DC area housing market is one of the costliest in the country. The high demand and low supply drive up housing prices.
  • Location: Locations closer to the city center or metro stations are generally more expensive. Exploring neighborhoods a bit farther from these hotspots can lead to more affordable options.

When searching for a place to reside, understanding the DC housing market trends can provide a substantial advantage.

Solo Living in DC

Living solo in Washington, DC, is undoubtedly appealing for those who cherish privacy and independence. Here are the pros and cons:

  • Pros:
    • Greater privacy
    • Greater control over living space
  • Cons:
    • Higher cost
    • Potential isolation, especially for newcomers to the area. This can also affect overall safety and comfort with no one else around

Community Living in DC: A Closer Look at Thompson-Markward Hall

Community living provides a contrast to the solo living experience, offering a shared living environment that can significantly cut down living costs. Thompson-Markward Hall is a prime example of a community living establishment in DC, providing a safe and affordable living solution.

Benefits of Community Living

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Sharing spaces can significantly reduce living costs, making the Washington, DC, area a more affordable place to call home.
  • Social Opportunities: Living in a community provides numerous social and networking opportunities with individuals from various walks of life. These individuals often become friends, co-workers, mentors, and more. 
  • Safety: Community living establishments like Thompson-Markward Hall emphasize safety, creating a secure environment for residents.
  • Local Knowledge: Being part of a community can provide a wealth of local knowledge which is invaluable for navigating the DC housing market.

Maya — a former resident at TMH — had this to say about her experience living here:
It provided me with a safe place to stay that I can also afford, and provided me with a community of women that I have gotten to know well in a new city.” 

Community living provides a viable option for those looking to mitigate the high costs associated with the DC housing market while also benefiting from a supportive network of individuals. The camaraderie and shared experiences fostered in community living setups like Thompson-Markward Hall often create a fulfilling living environment amidst the bustl


Thompson-Markward Hall’s Impact

Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the academic and professional success of young women. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, TMH offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Included in the room and board rates are utilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, and a diverse, welcoming community.

In addition to offering a wonderful place to call home in DC, we provide useful information to residents and prospective applicants as a resource to help them become familiar with DC and be successful in all of their endeavors. Whether you’re currently looking for a place to stay in DC, planning for a potential future here, or simply looking to learn more about the DC area, TMH is here to help!

Learn more about our accommodations or to submit an application today to start enjoying all of the benefits of living at TMH! You can also make a donation to support the crucial work we do!

Resident Resources

Room and board is due on the first of every month. TMH does not issue payment notices. A $20.00 late fee is charged everyday beginning at 9:00 pm on the 5th day of the month until the room and board payment is received. If you are unable to make your monthly payment for any reason, please speak to management immediately.

Room and board includes the first day of the month until the morning of the last day of the month or until the morning of the day of check-out, whichever day comes first.

In the event that a resident does not stay the entire month, rent will be prorated within the same month. To view the pro-rated fee schedule and a list of other fees—click here: TMH Pro-Rated Fee Schedule 6-1-2022


Each resident is asked to abide by the TMH House Rules and Regulations stipulated here: House Rules and ProceduresRule-packet-Emergency-Procedures-Updated-12-2019. Please read this document to become familiar with TMH policies and procedures such as guest policies, meal times, smoking areas, printer and copier use, Internet and telephone use, damage charges, and much more.

Monday-Friday hours / breakfast 7:00am-9:30am dinner 5:45pm – 8:00pm sat hours / breakfast 8:00 – 11:00am sun hours / brunch 8:00 – 11:00am dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm

Weekly Menu

Commuting: Metro stops within walking distance are Union Station, Capitol South, and Eastern Market. Refillable SMARTRIP cards are available for purchase at all metro stops. For more information on public transportation visit WMATA.

Parking: TMH does not offer parking and street parking is limited. Most areas offer 2 hour parking from 7:00am-8:30pm and unlimited overnight parking without a permit. However, if you do not have a Residential Parking Permit and your car is seen in the area repeatedly within a 30-day period you may be ticketed for not obtaining proper tags.

Union Station is the nearest public parking garage. There is generally a wait list for obtaining a parking space. Click here to visit their website to obtain up-to-date information.

Temporary Parking Permits: DC offers Reciprocity Parking Permits in special situations. Click here to see if you qualify. If you meet the requirements, you can obtain a Proof of Residency form from the front office.

Registering Your Vehicle in DC: If you do not meet the requirements for a temporary parking permit, you may choose to register your vehicle in DC. Click here for specific instructions.

Other Transportation Information:

  • Voting: To become a registered voter in the DC area, visit the Board of Elections & Ethics. Please note that you must unregister from your current voting state in order to register as a voter in DC.
  • DC One Card: DC has a new initiative to incorporate multiple cards into one all-inclusive card. The DCOne Card is a library card, Metro card, and can grant access to Public Parks programs. Click here to register or get more information.
  • DC Plastic Bag Policy: Washington DC’s Skip the Bag, Save the River Initiative requires a $0.05 fee per bag from businesses selling food and alcohol. Be sure to take reusable bags with you to the grocery store to avoid the fee.
  • DC Emergency Alerts: The DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Response has an alert system to notify residents of severe weather, police activity, road closures, and school and government closings. Notifications can be received via email or text message and can be specified to neighborhoods or work areas. For text alerts sign up here.
  • DC Metropolitan Police Resources: DC Metro PD offers several resources as well as an anonymous tip line for security concerns. You can find the tip line number as well as other important emergency phone numbers here.