Laying a Foundation #LittleK

#2308 had its second round of inspections Tuesday (building inspection code 130 for anyone wondering). We passed! This time around, the DCRA inspector focused on the additions’ foundation; the first inspection evaluated foundation footings. Confused as to what is what?! I was, too. I continue to learn the terms, the processes, and the steps involved in building new construction, even if attached to an existing structure. What I’ve learned so far is outlined below, in pictures.

The first four pictures show footing construction, with vertical rebar being installed. Rebar, I’ve learned, needs to be grouted solid to become integral to the wall.


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The next set of pictures show the start of waterproofing. The black, tar-like material is used to prevent dampness. A drainage board (last picture) is also being installed to provide adequate waterproofing.

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More to come!

Displacement in D.C.

Take a moment to check out this great Op-Ed by Scott Kratz, vice president of Building Bridges Across the River. #Anacostia

“By working intentionally, early and with the community, we resolutely believe residents have a right to be heard, a right to stay and a right to thrive in this city that we call home.”

DC Market Trends

Pictures and the story behind my renovation’s yellow pine to come soon (proud I am!), but first … I just wanted to say, shout out to all of the buyers who are successfully purchasing homes in Washington.

Why, you ask? Because, in short, buying in D.C. is competitive — with plenty more losers than winners. Check out these stats prepared by Real Estate Business Intelligence (RBI):

  • Median sales price of homes in the District jumped 9.5 percent in August 2015 when compared to August 2014
  • The median sales price was $520,000!
  • Inventory: It is a tight sellers’ market (ping me if you want specifics, it all comes down to months’ supply)
  • Demand is high: Most properties are under contract in less than 13 days

Washington, DC, you are expensive. But, there’s no place else I’d rather call home. I’m lucky, and thankful, to be able to. #Anacostia.

March 2011 I say, “Hello, Anacostia”

I am a new homeowner—today marks just under 2.5 months of homeownership. At the advanced age of ninety-five, my home is neither naïve in the ways of the world nor tireless in its efforts to foster community development. Instead, its run-down state illustrates exhaustion and neglect, and for too long the ability to find resonance in an area of the District many continue to associate with these same characteristics.

This is where my story begins.

I owe my first introduction to my new neighborhood to 1214 U Street, SE
 Washington, DC 20020. While MLS power-searching homes in the District that were within my modest means, I decided one day to allow and to show me all homes on the market, regardless of their price. As I browsed through my results, I saw a beautifully renovated home in Historic Anacostia. Located just across the river—like the Brooklyn of my once hometown of New York—it was only upon closer inspection that I learned of President Obama’s campaign stop here to assert his authority as an anti-poverty crusader and of the endemic poverty and high crime rates plaguing this D.C. suburb.

Not one to take my research lightly, I found another website that offered a different view of the East of the River neighborhood—David Garber’s And Now, Anacostia. In his very first post, he writes: “There’s a wind a’blowing in anacostia. a handful of new investments are coming that together make a lot of promises: beautiful streets, more jobs, better quality of life. / it’s coming as streetcars, stadiums (maybe), bridges, storefronts, and sidewalks, and it’s going to paint a fresh face on this full of life but oft-forgotten (and avoided) neighborhood. / this blog exists to document that change.”

I am of the belief that simple acts can effect change. If a blog could gently nudge me to venture out into that “oft-forgotten (and avoided) neighborhood,” just imagine what power we all have to effect change—to help communities grow, and prosper. As I document my first-time home buying and renovating tips, tricks, and fumbles, I invite past, present, and future homeowners to consider how their investments can change a community. I also invite those of a myopic viewpoint—on both sides of the Anacostia River—to do the same.

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