33 Comment

  • I’d love to hear the story on this one.

  • I bet the builder is kicking him/her self for installing the see through door

  • This is awesome!

  • the builder is the worst kind of scum in DC. Among other shady real estate dealings, he was convincted of foreclosure scam and spent time in federal prison. He would approach people who are close to losing their homes and he tricked them into signing away thier homes for loans to cover missed mortgage payments. This builder had to testify before Congress for his role in foreclosure scams and a law was passed because of people like him.

    He has also been called one of DC’s worst slumlords in the city paper.

  • What house is this? For a second i thought it was the Party House on 18th and Kenyon.. but no, that doesnt have a see through door.

  • Interesting, so I guess that was posted by the owners of the upstairs unit? I say good for them. I doubt that they’ll get any satisfaction out of it (other than, most likely, resulting in a lower price for the lower unit at the end of the day) but I always approve of calling out scammers.

    Preying on homebuyers (especially first-time ones who may be near their financial limit to buy the place) is some nasty stuff. It’s sad because the buyer’s only recourse is a lawsuit, which will be expensive and time consuming to the point that it’s probably not worth it, even if they win.

    Winning involves proving negligence and failure to disclose known problems. Even in a situation where it’s a new renovation this can be difficult, and the builder can claim he didn’t know about the problem, and that a contractor is responsible, making it even harder because more parties are involved.

    As always caveat emptor. Get a good home inspector when buying a home, and even better, get a friend who actually is a contractor (or has had some experience with house stuff generally) to look the place over. Poor workmanship is not hard to spot – and problems with finish quality are a very strong indicator of far worse problems that you can’t see.

    • We need this guy to post the bond money…the city sent a letter a few weeks ago that he has 20 days to find the money, or he goes to jail. He doesn’t pay his condo fees for that unit, so we’re seeking a lien against the property. Wouldn’t it be nice to sell that thing and use the proceeds to get everything fixed?

  • whats the asking price, Im interested.

  • Glad this is garnering even more attention. This is on my block, 3400 block of Brown St. NW

  • i’m also glad this is getting buzz…i live here and wrote this sign in response to his sudden string of frantic open houses. it has definitely warded off some potentials.

    • You should try some of the tricks used in the movie Step Brothers. When folks show up for the open house, parade around like a Neo Nazi, or stumble out of your unit pretending to be dying from asbestos poisoning.

  • Hell, just blast music REALLY loud and jump up and down on your floors. That should do the trick as well.

  • i fell in love with the apartments upstairs, i stalked this property for months and tried to figure out how to come up with the money to buy. thank god i couldn’t actually bite. someone should post this on redfin and trulia.

    • we still love our house, and the low-ish prices justified the BS we’re dealing with now. we’re just shocked that someone like this guy can still get a developer’s license in DC and that people knowingly support him (realtors, contractors, WASA, etc). The fact that every utility company we call asks for his name and then says OHHHH THAT guy, yeah, we know all about him is scary enough. But why continue giving him accounts that he does pay? Pepco wouldn’t be so nice to me…

  • hmm, what is the name of the developer? All this info and no one has said who he is. I am very curious – thanks for posting this!

  • I think my wife and I looked at these condos when we were looking last fall. If it’s the same place, the developer is Vincent Abell. His name was on the property records and a quick google search revealed some shocking news stories about him.

    • i sure wish i had done the same! like i said above, though…i wasn’t going to get anything comparable to this on my budget, even if we do have to use our own money to get the repairs done.

      he has until wednesday to post the bond, and then it’s a 50K fine and jail time. whether he posts the bond or goes to jail, you can be sure we’ll be cracking some champagne!

  • If it’s really Vincent Abell, that’s super scary. I just bought a house in reaaaally bad shape from him, and am putting some considerable cash fixing it up (I bought it for a great price). The house is in awful shape, I can’t believe he actually had renters in it.

    I knew his history and was careful about buying the house. Fortunately, I didn’t have any problems with the home purchase (didn’t even meet him thank god) but my guess is that he just wanted to get rid of it asap. He must be desperate to get places sold and money flowing back to his account. If you buy from him, make sure you have a really good realtor on your side and that you do all your due diligence!

    He hadn’t paid his gas or water bill in the house for the last year. I have to second the comments that I can’t believe this guy can still purchase homes and open new gas/water accounts.

    (this is the first time I post on here, but was compelled to do it this time)

  • Thanks owner for the offer.

    I went through a title company, and had a lawyer and realtor at closing so all paperwork is legit. I also had a really thorough house inspection (took 3 hours), a HUD inspector, and a termite inspector take a look at the house. You can never be too protected 🙂

    I went to the gas company in person to change my name on the bill, so even if he’s liable for the old water bill, it’s not my issue to deal with anymore.

  • i hope it wasn’t his title company.

  • We took all the same precautions as you did, AND we had a warranty that was supposed to be backed by a bond posted with DC. The title company informed us that the bond was in place.

    It’s possible to get screwed despite all your research and due diligence.

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