DC Welcomes Pope Francis

While I may only hear the sirens and see the throngs of people awaiting a glimpse of Pope Francis, it is remarkable to think that he is here, in a town I now call home.

Beinvenido Papa Francisco

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.

Peebles 100% affordable housing project in Anacostia but 0% affordable housing in NE project

Popular in my Anacostia’s community listserv today, we discuss concentrating affordable housing in our neighborhood.  It is incredibly disappointing to see hotel and apartment development, including a dog park and eateries, planned for 5th and I when Anacostia consistently gets the equivalent of the middle finger from developers.

The city dumps low-income housing into our neighborhood.  Is it true, as Four Points’ Stan Voudrie has said that due to low market rents in the neighborhood, using affordable-housing tax credits is the only way to finance [a] project?! I beg to differ.

Peebles Corporation:

5th and I: “[T]he hotel will occupy floors 1-8 of the new project, with a total of 153 rooms and 5,500 square feet of “meeting/function space.” On top of the hotel will sit 52 residential units on floors 9-12. There will be a restaurant and cafe on the ground floor.”

Anacostia: “The development team plans to build the project’s affordable units off-site in a seven-story building across the Anacostia River at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, a proposal that made local voices east of the river [none too happy] when it was floated last year.”


Developer Tim Chapman:

“The Big K site on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, nicknamed after the liquor store that once operated there, has sat vacant for years as the city mulled its development potential. Although the solicitation recommended that the site not include housing and the initial plan was for offices, Chapman later determined that the best use would be affordable housing. The current plans call for 114 income-restricted apartments, available to households making under 60 percent of area median income, and ground-floor retail.”

“The shift has upset many neighbors, who argue that Anacostia and Ward 8 already have too much affordable housing, and that what the amenity-starved neighborhood really needs is market-rate housing that will attract high-quality retailers.”




Hello Anacostia!
Hello Anacostia!

So, tiling has started at Shannon #2. Having practiced on Shannon #1, I thought my second time around would be a breeze. Then, I remembered the importance of leveling, that thinset can be messy, and, of course, the importance of appropriately cutting the tiles used. I also came to realize that pre-mixed thinset can sometimes take longer to dry.

A couple days of 24/7 fans, re-doing tile, and admitting (to myself) that some pieces of tile are not level to perfection, my laundry area (under the stairs); HVAC utility closet and data hub; and, powder room are mostly complete.

Shout out to Stephen Ortado from Historic Structures for graciously donating the tiles used in my laundry and powder room. (For anyone who has purchased tile, you now how costly it can be!) For my utility closet, I used the remaining tiles from Shannon #1.

Not a tile to waste!

Here are some pictures, before and after:

Fire proof a hole, you say?

I learned something new today. Holes, see below for pictures, made for PVC piping and electrical wiring that lead to a different floor (e.g. crawl space below, or second floor above) require a fire retardant foam prior to closing in the walls. Thank you, Max Insulation and DCRA framing inspector, for catching my lack of foam experience.



Weekend Tiling

Never as much as you’d like to complete when it comes to planning and renovating,  it’s time to take a shower, go buy me a toilet, and enjoy the rest of Memorial Day with Ralfster.

Under stairs laundry area
First floor half bath
HVAC Utility Closet
Cool construction shoes

New Construction in Historic Anacostia




Seen from the alley, this set of row homes in Historic Anacostia has been under construction for just a few months. The properties will be move-in ready come August. Following a similar style no matter what street they pop up on, they provide a thoughtful mix of old and new in my favorite DC neighborhood.


Always curious as to how some builders seem to get all the vacant lots, my research tells me a long-term strategy to obtain the land is being, and has been pursued for several years now.

In any case, this style of home may be hitting the market in the late summer and early fall 2015. Previous sales have occurred pre-market … high demand, for sure!

Who’s building, and who’selling? Ask me,  I may tell you.




Happening NOW | Navy Yard Open House

From 1 to 3pm today, and again tomorrow, come see this penthouse one-bedroom coop. (As a bonus, you’ll see me, too!)

1000 New Jersey Ave SE PH#12 is right by the metro, close to Nationals Ballpark, the Yards Park is just a stone’s throw away, and the building offers concierge service, a fitness center, and even an indoor pool.

An added bonus – for those who need to rent out spaces when traveling, etc. – this coop ALLOWS renting.

What else can I tell you? Hmm…for all who love Whole Foods, WF will be your neighbor at 800 New Jersey Ave SE come early 2017, while Harris Teeter and Vida Fitness are already within walking distance.


1000 New Jersey Ave PH12
Open Concept Design
Future WF and Canal Park
Financing- Informational Purposes

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