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  • Condo rental at 4th and M SW: cockroach the size of my hand (let’s say 6″ long and 3″ wide) and at least an inch tall. I should have kept it because no one believes me, but at least my room mate at the time was there to verify, though she was screaming her head off…

  • New home renovation. After pulling up 6 layers of linoleum in the kitchen, we discovered that the base lay was affixed with a water soluable glue from the late 1930s. It easily came up with a little hot water and scraping. This issue was it was a hide based glue. Stuff smelled like a slaughter house when in its liquid state. It took my wife and me a nasty, hot humid week in August to get the stuff up. It was easily one of the worst smells in my life.

  • I bought a new condo and the electrical system in the building caught on fire in the middle of the night. I had to live in a hotel in Dupont for a month with all meals and room rates charged to the developer while he replaced the entire electrical system. Ok, so that isn’t that bad. I returned two days later to clean out my freezer and fridge (everything spoiled and melted). I had roaches in my fridge and freezer. It was gross. I couldn’t clean the thing out before I had to leave because it was the middle of the night and I had to work the next day…

  • realizing that the crackheads i saw hanging out on the lawn outside my apartment building actually sleep there at night

  • The exact same thing happened to me. 1 week after I moved into my condo, a water pipe burst, flooding my kitchen. Being a first-time homeowner, I also had no idea what to do. My first instinct was to call DC Public Works…obviously a blond moment on my part. Luckily, my upstairs neighbor (a more seasoned homeowner) knew to shut off the main water line.

    My condo got baptized…does that mean it’s Catholic now?

  • A week after my wife and I moved into our rowhouse, there was a torrential rain…and a torrential leak into our bedroom. In the several months leading up to closing it hadn’t rained hard once, so we (and the inspector) missed it. Thanks Al Gore or whoever controls the weather.

  • I bought a condo in March, 2006, in Columbia Heights. At the end of June, my 3 year old central air conditioning unit broke down. No cool air at all–the compressor needed replacing. The combination of me being out of town and swamped A/C service people meant no air conditioning for the entire month of July. It was miserable and I was out $1000. Thanks, developers who installed crappy A/C units!

  • I’ve had similar wanter issues. I learned the hard way that when you move into your new home you must get the gutters cleaned and outside drains cleared. This was after having water come under the door to the basement because the roof downspot was totally clogged.

  • first moved to dc i lived in a basement apt….biggest shock were those darn CRICKETS ALL OVER THE PLACE around oct-dec….AWFUL. never again will i live in a basement or even own a house with a basement……i know that’s hard around this city so that’s why i live in a condo now.

  • Standing in the shower and looking up to see water literally flooding out of the light socket. The landlord told me this was perfectly normal.


    Moving into a place that had such a terrible roach problem that I went through an entire can of Raid in one night. I even found them in my bed… eventually they stopped hiding from the sun/lights. I’d never seen a roach before this.

  • One windy evening, and two days after closing on the purchase, I heard the sound of shattering glass a loud thud coming from the second the floor and the as I unlocked the front door and entered the house. Fearing I had startled a burglar, I began yelling up the stairs that I was unarmed and that I would allow the perpetrator to leave without a fight. “Just no violence”, I shouted repeatedly.

    When there was no response, I crept up the stairs and prepared to do battle with the thief only to discover a 50′ tree had fallen into the back of the house, shattering the back windows and taking out a large part of the roof.

  • 3 homicides on my block in 2 years after moving in. 2 of those were in broad daylight, and 1 involved a guy beating another to death with a baseball bat.


  • i went out partying the day I moved in after the movers left. Very late that night, or more like very early that morning I brought a guy home to my new place, and left my cell phone in the taxi by mistake. Another guy found my phone and prank called half my family and friends. My mom, worried that something had happened to me (especially given it was my first night in Petworth alone in my new house), appeared at my new house at 10am…I was still drunk w/ my new friend upstairs. It was quite the embarrassing moment to fess up about the guy upstairs, but then I asked my mom if we could give him a ride home. When we reached his place, I died a little when he got out of the car and leaned in the front window to give me a kiss and ask for my phone number. I think my mom was so glad I wasn’t dead that she didn’t give me much grief, but my whole family was giving me crap at Thanksgiving dinner a few days later…so much for the responsible new homeowner!

  • One of the most unexpected things in my apartment living days was when the previous tenant entered my apartment with his key and asked me where the bed he left was.

  • Ugh..the crickets….I had a basement efficiency at 16th & T back in the early ’90s and had to ward off those crickets every fall…they were horrible!

  • 11:50 Anon-

    You’ve pretty much described my own personal version of hell.

  • For me, it was the near simultaneous realization that the roof leaked, the air conditioning was so badly installed inside & outside that it only lasted a few months, and that there was almost no insulation in the walls or attic. And then the fence fell. The developer must have bribed some inspectors to get a certificate of occupancy for this place, which the city promptly lost.

  • 11:50 Anon – You never returned my phone calls! Guess I was just a drunk hook up!

  • 11:50 Anon- you should get back to 4:23 Anon if it is not too late. The story is very cute!

  • I’m surprise nobody mentioned rodents! We rehabbed our home and thought we did a pretty good job sealing holes… well, those nasty critters (rats, mice… I don’t know the difference) can squeeze into a hole the size of a quarter. I totally freaked out and went steel wool/trap crazy. Now, I probably catch a mouse (yes one) every 3-4 months. I’ve been told catching a mouse here or there is just a fact of life living in DC; but I still can not accept that fact!

  • 2 a.m. on a work night, I heard rustling in the kitchen garbage can. I was irritated, expecting that my pet mouse (I know, that’s strange) had somehow escaped and gone for food. I was leaning close over the can, about to stick my hand in to find her, when a HUGE RAT jumped out, pausing to perch on the edge of the can and exchange stares with me before landing with a thud and tromping to behind the refrigerator. I heard it through the night under my kitchen sink cabinet.

  • I woke up one morning and found that the front part of basement entry had flooded (6″ at the deepest) and that there was 1/2″ of water in the front of my living room. Another 1/2″ would have gotten water on the power strip.

  • In MD I had a lot of bad experiences…The first place we moved into we had two kids get shot fatally in the first 2 weeks of moving in. They were just down the street and it was a gang related shooting. The second was the next house we moved into in MD where we were burglarized while we were away for Thanksgiving after only living there a couple of months.

  • So sorry, 4:23 Anon, it wasn’t me. Actually, I dated my drunk hookup for almost 2 yrs. When we finally broke up, he used the example of asking for my number in front of my mom as an example of being willing to fight for me. Alas, it wasn’t quite enough. He’s a good guy, it just wasn’t in the cards for us for the long haul. But as to who she really was, maybe new Petworth homeowners just really like to party!

  • The big rainstorm where water puddled and came in through the windows and then leaked through the interior of my house. and then it did it again the next day. and the next month. and we replaced everything from roof to walls until it stopped, $25,000 later.

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