6.5 out of 10

Penn Branch

38.8742977697381 -76.9586434662003
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Parking
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Medical Facilities
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
  • Schools
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Professionals

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Aug 13, 2016

"Penn Branch - Nice Area to Live"

I have read several of the reviews, and it's obvious that none of the reviews are recent or really accurate, and few, if any of the reviewers have spent time in the Penn Branch Community. The Penn Branch community consists of single family detached homes with large well-kept lawns and well-kept homes. Most of the homes are 3-4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, and since 2013 there has been a diverse and gradual increase in new homeowners who want to live in the city, and move to the area because prefer a less populated and strong community. The community is very stable, and many of the homeowners who have lived in the community for 30 plus years are aging and selling their homes to younger families. In fact, residents moving to Penn Branch since 2013 include middle class African American American, white, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern, LGBT and other groups. It's far from the dismal reviews reviews that I have read. In fact, crime in the Penn Branch community is much lower than other part of the city.

What is accurate is there is indeed a lack of viable shopping, restaurants, and the community is not considered walkable because of the lack of any shopping areas, and bike lanes. While the schools both have strong leadership, they do need improvements. However, the community is anchored by two strong community associations: Penn Branch Citizens Civic Association and Hillcrest Community Association. Both have been actively advocating for the construction of viable shopping areas, where the community incomes far above the average for the Ward ($90,000).

The anchor shopping center, Penn Branch Shopping Center, was built in 1963, and needs to be demolished. The shopping Center was auctioned on August 10, 2016 to a promising developer.

By the way, the photo is NOT a home in Penn Branch DC.
Pros
  • Very good homes
  • Large Yards
  • Strong Community and good neighbors
Cons
  • Lowest Crime Stats
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
2yrs+

"depressing"

Penn Branch is a highly variable neighborhood in the area east of the Anacostia. As one resident once said, this is a sort of forgotten part of town because few retail establishments are likely to set up shop there. Sadly all recent attempts at attracting major chains have failed due to the poverty of the market. In any event: Penn Branch is a mixed income community, with a combination of public housing and fairly well-kept, large homes. To say that this causes tension is an understatement. Neighborhood hoodlums like to attack the nicer areas and loot them for whatever they can find. Recently a string of burglaries targeting nicer areas has given the police a real headache.
With that said, Fort Dupont Park along its edge gives Penn Branch residents somewhere nice to go for recreation on the weekend. Leaving the neighborhood for most shopping and dining however is a necessity. Fortunately, many in Penn Branch either have cars or are good at finding everything by bus, so this isn’t a huge problem for most of them. Schools are abysmal, and those who can afford to will homeschool their kids or send them to some sort of private schools.
Pros
  • some decent homes
Cons
  • crime
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Nice and affordable homes"

This neighborhood of 4,781 residents is located in the southeast section of the city and of generally located to the southeast of the Anacostia Freeway and is bordered by Fort Davis Drive S.E., Massachusetts Avenue S.E and Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. Average home prices in 2010 were $192,541, although homes currently on the market are higher than that. 54% of the homes are owner occupied. The architecture of the homes appears to be a mix of traditional ranch style homes and some Cade Cod style homes as well.

Penn Branch has two schools within the neighborhood. One is St. Francis Xavier Academy and the other is Randle Highland Elementary. There are numerous small stores within the neighborhood including a CVS, but residents will need to venture out for more extensive shopping opportunities. Restaurants are limited in the neighborhood as well and are pretty much centered along Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. Better grab a bite to eat wile you are out shopping. Green space can be found at Randle Circle Park as well as Pope Branch Park.

Crime can be a problem as current rime data indicates crimes against people as well as property. Crimes include assault, robberies and theft. As always check recent crime data and make an informed decision before moving into any neighborhood.
Pros
  • some decent homes
Cons
  • crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Not Good for Anyone"

The Penn Branch neighborhood in Washington is solid in ethnicity but diverse income. Located near the Anacostia River in one of the less desirable parts of the city, its African American citizens range from the desperately poor to the quite comfortable. Not surprisingly, the further one moves from the Anacostia, the wealthier the population is.

Penn Branch residents tend to be middle ages adults with one or two children still at home. As is often seen in low income neighborhoods, the median age of the female residents is slightly higher than that of the males.

The vast majority of residents live in low rent housing, usually in apartment complexes. Most of them were born and raised in the District or one of the nearby states. A quarter of the population never graduated from high school.

Many of the people living in these apartment complexes do not own cars, and are dependent on local public transportation to get to and from work. This means that they have to leave earlier, and will arrive home later than their driving neighbors.

Finally, the crime rate in Penn Branch is over twice as high as that of the District in general. Therefore, if you possibly can, you will want to live somewhere else.
Pros
  • some decent homes
Cons
  • crime
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
JimmieW
JimmieW I know this post is more than two years old, but this was never a low rent area, has no apartment complexes, and most of the residents in Penn Branch have graduated from college and have a higher income; own more than one vehicle, and don't depend on public transportation. I have lived in the area for more than 15 years, and what you wrote was incorrect then, and even more so as of this writing. More than 90 percent of the homes in Penn Branch area owner-occupied and always have been. In fact, many of the homes are inhabited by the second owners since the houses were built.
Aug 13, 2016
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