Welcome to my Petworth Inauguration Package by Eric Nuzum

PoP contributor Eric Nuzum wonders what it will take to rent his home for the inauguration.

Several of my friends are aflutter over the inauguration. It has nothing to do with “change,” lack of “change,” or the likelihood that “change” will amount to anything actually changing. They are obsessed with a different kind of “change”: the type that will be jingling in their pockets once they rent their home or apartment to those who find no room at the inn for the Obama coronation on January 20th.

Even though hotels are not completely sold out yet (and that is true, they aren’t), urban tales are spreading through the city of people renting out their homes for tens of thousands of dollars. And my friends and co-workers have dollar signs in their eyes.

Perhaps I’ll eventually eat my words, but I generally operate under the principal that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

“What could go wrong?” my people ask. Well, let’s not go there. However I’m willing to bet real actual cash (you know, the kind I already have) that people willing to shell out thousands a night aren’t going to be a bunch of old lady spinsters from Iowa who go to bed at 7:30. Call me crazy, but even $20k won’t wash away the vision of some Fortune 500 executive screwing a coked-up hooker in my bed. Continues after the jump.

But let’s not let that stop us from dreaming a little, shall we?

Now, in reviewing the ads on Craig’s List and other “For rent” listings, it seems that location is the first selling point. Living in Petworth is–generally–great, but it is not as good of a selling point as being in Georgetown or Foggy Bottom. (And what the hell is a “Foggy Bottom” anyway? And why would anyone want to live in a place called Foggy Bottom? That’s terrible. It would be like living in a place called Leaky Drawers or Halitosis Alley.)

Since we can’t compete on location, then it becomes a street fight based on perks.

Initially, I was excited about this idea. Many potential sub-letters are offering rides to and from the airport, linens and towels, stocked refrigerators, and guides to local transportation, restaurants, and so on. I started thinking to myself, “Hey, I could do stuff like that! Perhaps there is something to this!”

Then I read about “the competition.” Specifically, the Inauguration Packages offered by the Mandarin Oriental and Omni Shoreham. The Mandarin’s $200,900 package includes a 3,500 sq foot suite, a butler, and the services of a chauffeured Maserati Quattroporte, stocked with snacks and Champagne. For the Omni’s package, your $440k buys you a private jet to come and go from DC, in-suite meals prepared by your personnel servants, a private performance from Mark Russell, and a parting gift of a puppy. Yes, you read that correctly…a puppy. Your choice of breed.

How crushing. Needless to say, I’m at a little bit of a loss as to how
I’m supposed to compete with that.

While I’m not really a caviar kind of guy, my wife does make an amazing maple salmon dish that is crazy good. For entertainment, I guess we could sit around and watch my puppy drag its butt across the rug. There’s always Uno, too.

Beyond that, I think I’m stuck with the basic argument of whether or not I’d want a stranger to rent my home–filled with my stuff and my life. Things that I care about and they don’t.

It kind of reminds me of that old joke: Man asks woman if she’d sleep with him for $10 million dollars. She thinks about it and says, “Sure.” Then he asks if she will sleep with him for $1. She gets upset and replies, “Of course not! What do you think I am–some kind of prostitute?” He replies, “We’ve already determined that. We’re just negotiating price.”

So, dear readers, what do you think? Would you ever allow strangers to rent out your house? Under what conditions?


What perks could you add to the pile to sweeten the deal?

7 Comment

  • If I can get even 5K for the week, I’ll rent my house to Kiss.

    And yes, I have no problem being a high-priced hooker. That’s HIGH PRICED, I ain’t no downtown streetwalker.

  • I think the risk of something unseemly happening in or to your home while rented out is extremely unlikely. Think about it—the most stereotypically rowdy traveller is the away-team sports fan. But even then, what do they do? They head out to the bars. Why? Because (1) that’s what people do, and (2) they want to be around other people like them. Same thing with the inauguration. Sure people want to witness the actual inauguration, but people willing to travel and pay money to rent someone’s house, are looking for more-they want to hang out with people similiar to them, meaning, going to parties (formal or informal), going to bars, being out and about with others to remember the occassion, etc. Why would they want to go back to a rented apartment (or house) and trash it? All that said, could some possession of yours get broken? Sure. But something could get broken when you have your actual friends over, and I trust anyone renting out their place would put away the “important” things.

  • Prince of Petworths original point should be reiterated. The crew that was aiming for the comedy club tryst combo should approach this landlord not to rent this building but to BUY it. then kick out CVS (they can move to Mount Pleasant street where they would receive a warm welcome. and then they’d have the whole huge theater building thats frankly sexier and has more history than the spot they were going for in u street. Imagine being able to hang old concert posters and movie posters to display the buildings history and bringing back the original ontario sign. it would be amazing. POP- Can we get an email contact for the owner of tryst. maybe the commenters on this blog could be mobilized to lobby for good causes such as this one. who’s with me?

  • oops. wrong post. and im too lazy to cut and paste it.

  • I have friends and customers in Louisville, KY that rented out their homes for the Ryder Cup. Some took out another insurance policy on their homes for a week (just in case scenario) and from what I know, everything turned out ok. They didn’t over price their homes, but they made it worth their while. Many of them went to stay with relatives or friends or even took a vacation. The city was a party for a week. I know because I was there.
    It can be done and done properly if it’s thought out in an intelligent manner. But is it really worth it? There was one guy I know who came back home and was disappointed he wasn’t in town for it. He felt he missed out on the exciting moment. I understand the money issue, but there is something to be said for enjoying the moment and not renting your home just to make a buck. Life is short so why would you want to miss out on the party, the good vibes the city has and all of your friends who are having the time of their life? This is a historical moment and you should be there to witness it.
    It’s a POP world and I am lucky to be living in it!

  • Thats why you rent out your place and party in the city with your friends while crashing on their couch. They get free drinks from the money you make. Win Win

  • bedbugs. nuff said.

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