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This forum contains 239 topics and 576 replies, and was last updated by  topherrobin 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

Real Estate September 29, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Homestyle Renovation Loans

Has anyone done this type of loan? Just curious about your experience overall.

Real Estate September 22, 2016 at 9:56 am

Do not buy from Lock 7 Development

A followup from a posted topic a while back – I am a different buyer in the Brooks Row project from the one who posted before. I just wanted to confirm how awful it has been dealing with Lock 7. Spare me the generic “well you should expect delays with new construction” and “you should have protected yourself”. My wife and I were aware of all that and did everything we could, and it wasn’t close to enough. Here are the highlights.

1. Homesale contingency – we needed one in order to afford the mortgage. Lock 7 required us to have our house under contract by April 8th (because they were worried about us selling a one bedroom condo in Columbia Heights, which we managed to sell in 2 days on market). Their reasoning is that they were very confident in a mid-May delivery, so we got a 45-day rentback and had some family to stay with past that. We felt like covering ourselves into July (more than double their timeline) should be sufficient given that their 45-day-out timeline implies that construction is just about done and the project is being wrapped up.

2. Construction delays – You can’t even call it a delay, they have openly admitted that they just did not know the contractor was so far behind schedule in construction. They blindly believed UIP’s progress reports and had zero people in charge of contractor oversight and zero people checking on the site in person, all while making promises to buyers. When you say you are 45 days out, there shouldn’t be six months of construction left. This implies construction should be just about finished and you are focusing mostly on landscaping and getting ready for inspections.

3. Communication – they tell us now that they didn’t realize how far behind the project was until the summer. Still, we never got any communication to the effect of “Sorry, the project is behind schedule, it will be 3 more months.” No, we got about 8 or 9 different notices (one about every 3 weeks) that our project would be delayed a further three weeks, with no explanation as to why. After months of asking for answers on the source of delays and remaining timeline, Lock 7 finally put someone on the phone with us… someone who was not involved in the management of our project at all and could not answer any of our questions.

This communication issue has made finding temporary housing extremely difficult and stressful since their timeline updates kept us from being able to secure stable 90-day housing options. We have been living week-to-week (and only recently upgraded to month-to-month) since June 25th, and likely will have to do so until November. By the way, they have offered us almost nothing as a concession.

To sum up: Lock 7 is incompetent in the fields of project management, contractor oversight, and customer relations. Do not buy from them.

Real Estate August 29, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Recruiting for Census Bureau Study: Homeowners w/ Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for people who have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to help test questions on a national survey. Only one person per household may qualify. Each participant will receive $40.00 compensation for participating in this study. For more information, see our Craigslist ad here:

Real Estate August 16, 2016 at 9:44 am

Refinancing a Home with a legal english basement

Dear Popville:

I would like to revisit this topic which was raised in July 2014 since I have the same issue. Link.

I am attempting to refinance a conventional 30 year mortgage with a lender to get a better rate and the loan officer just informed me that I don’t qualify for a conventional loan because my house has an english basement; specifically according to him the appraisal company classifies my home as a multi-unit property because there are “two kitchens” and no interior stairway into the basement. It seems like they wont budge, and looks like I am out the $425 appraisal fee.

Based on the comments to this topic two years ago that I’ve linked above, some people have successfully refinanced as along as they found the appropriate lender. I would love to get some help here, and hear from folks who’ve successfully refinanced. Any advice would be very useful.

Real Estate July 13, 2016 at 9:08 am

Apartment Scammerz

Hello boys and girls, just want to do an annual Craigslist apartment awareness topic. So, I recently stumbled across this:, a SEEMINGLY too good to be true kinda deal, and after checking in with the “realtors” I received this ultra-shady e-mail:

Thank you for your interest in the property listed for rent. You were the second to reach out from the ad. The first prospective tenant no longer had to move because of his work situation. So we give the opportunity to you. We just finished all new renovations and are currently prepared to lease with flexible terms. We will work with you on move in date, lease length and security deposit.

I know you desire the precise address of the property but my husband does not want me divulge due to security reasons. We have had a string of break-ins, squatters and thefts at our other properties. We want to prevent that with this property due to the renovations that have cost lots of money. You will be the first to move in with the renovations. That is why we want to confirm you have your updated report before we schedule a tour.

All utilities are priced into the lease along with garage parking spaces. The appliances in the kitchen as well as laundry room were just installed. You have the option to choose your paint color and flooring before your arrival

When you want to come look at the place, then please visit the link below and grab your report. All of our tenants use this site because it is widely trusted. All you need to do is fill out the form and you get your report We aren’t interested in specifics of your report, it’s more of a formality to ensure you have rental history. Simply get your report by CLICKING HERE

Do not send me the report over mail, bring it to the tour. Once you let me know that you have your report ready, then I can personally schedule a walk through of the place.

So guys, what we have here is a website that collects “renter’s scores” by obtaining credit card information and an e-mail that now DEFINITELY seems too good to be true (pick your color? garage parking?? utilities all for $1250?!?!?!?). Notice how she was vague with the address but gave a fairly legitimate reason for not doing so, and how they don’t want to meet up until they have your score? yeah guys, no go. I know a lot of here are experienced in the CL scamming ring for renting, but it seems that the bots have gotten a bit better at wearing their hoo-man skins. So, for all those who just moved here, be wary of posts like this and ESPECIALLY responses like this – a lot of landlords care about credit, but they also tend to want to meet you first.

So heads up babies and be safe this summer of renting!

Real Estate July 10, 2016 at 6:59 am

Thoughts on living at the Capitol Waterfront/Navy Yard

I’m getting ready to move back to DC after a 2 year hiatus. There are some interesting places in the Capitol Waterfront/Navy Yard area, but I’m wondering about the neighborhood. I loved living in Logan Circle before, wondering how they compare and what ppl think of this newly developing area. Thanks in advance!!!

Real Estate June 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Looking for roommate for 2bed/2ba across from Metro – $1150 rent


I’m looking for a roommate for my luxury 2bed/2bath apartment in DC for a year lease. It’s two stops from the Silver Spring metro station, one stop from Brookland/Catholic U and two stops from the Columbia Heights metro on Green/Yellow line.

The available room has the in-room bathroom, walk-in closet, and additional spacious closets all around the apartment. Central heating and A/C, in-unit washer/dryer, parking. There is even a balcony attached to the living area.
There’s a 7/11 attached to the building and a new Wal-mart around the corner in Fort Totten. The complex has a gym, pool, roof deck, valet trash, and game room. The office accepts packages and offers dry cleaning services.

You’d be responsible for half the expenses: $1150 (rent)+$100 (cable/utilities) = approximately $1250/month. Looking for mid-July move-in date for a 1 year lease.

Transportation:The apartment is located across from a metro station on the red/yellow/green metro lines. There’s a taxi stand since Uber is taking over our lives. If you drive, off-street parking is in the back. Capital Bikeshare across the street as well as a major bus hub at the metro. So plenty of convenient transportation options exist.

A little about the person I think would make a good roommate:
Someone who pays bills on time.
Someone friendly, nice, and respectful.
Someone who enjoys living in the city.

A little about me:
Christian, female, extrovert professional worker in DC. I work a lot, normally, but when I’m not, I enjoy having fun with friends, watching sports (Roll Tide!), and meeting new ones in low-key settings. I enjoy a good tv binge. . .but I can also follow a tv series week by week.

Pictures available upon request. No pets (sans fish), no drugs, no smoking, etc.

Email [email protected] for more information.


Real Estate June 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Landlord wants to sell condo – I don't want to move.

My lease is up end of August and I was planning on renewing for another 6 months or going month-to-month. My landlord just informed me that he and his wife have separated and need to sell the condo in order to separate their finances. He said they plan to sell at the end of my current lease and has offered to sell it to me before putting it on the market, if I am interested. I am not in the financial position to buy the condo, nor would I want to at this point (love renting it, would not necessarily want to own it), but I do not want to move. There is also the possibility that I may have to move in the next 6 months due to work, so I am hesitant to sign on to another year-long lease somehwere else and I don’t want to move to another apartment to then potentially have move again a few months later. It is also worth noting that I have only been in the apartment since last August (so less than a year) and throughout my lease, I have had only pleasant and amicable interations with my landlord. Do I have any options besides buy or move?

Real Estate May 31, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Where do people find their apartments these days?

Losing a long time tenant in our 2BR and after glancing at Craigslist – where we’ve found great tenats in the past – I can’t imagine who is looking at all those glossy listings.

Are we out of touch and have to up our game – or is there somewhere that real people go to find apartments?

Real Estate May 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm


Project to Include Residential Units and Revolutionary, Tournament-Ready Squash Facility Sitting Atop State-of-the-Art Fire Station

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, May 18, EastBanc, Inc. will host a Topping Out Ceremony to celebrate the last beam of exterior construction placed atop the highly anticipated West End Library and Fire Station Project (Square 50) at 23rd and M Streets, NW. EastBanc’s official topping out ceremony for Square 50 is open to the public and is scheduled to begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. with introductions by Anthony Lanier, president of EastBanc, and will conclude with a photo opportunity. Lunch and beverages will be provided.
EastBanc’s Square 50 development will feature a 15,500-square-foot new, state-of-the-art West End Fire Station, a 54,300-square-foot Affordable Housing building with 55 units at 60 percent AMI or less along with six market-rate residential units and a one level garage with 24 parking spaces. The Square 50 mixed-use complex will also house Squash on Fire — a revolutionary world-class, tournament-ready squash facility with eight courts and a full-service restaurant. Currently, Squash on Fire is “holding court” and running a full squash curriculum across the street at Equinox Sports Club at 1170 22nd Street, NW. Internationally renowned world-class squash coach Amir Wagih oversees the Squash on Fire program at Equinox and will continue to coach when the official Squash on Fire facility opens. Wagih came to DC after a successful streak as the head coach of Egypt’s National Squash Team.
Square 50 is designed by Enrique Norten of TEN-Arquitectos and will combine all three disparate mixed-use functions into an architecturally unique and dynamic 90 foot-high concrete structure that incorporates exemplary urban design, architecture and landscape elements. The Fire Station, Squash on Fire Athletic Facility and residential portions of the building each have a unique architectural identity using different materials, setbacks and cantilevers to express the unique character of each use.
In addition to Square 50, EastBanc is currently building the West End Library Project (Square 37) — a new 21,000-square-foot library and 7,300 square feet of retail topped by 164 market-rate units that include 71 condominiums and 93 rentals also designed by Enrique Norten of TEN-Arquitectos. Both complexes are being built as a public-private partnership between the District of Columbia, EastBanc, The JBG Companies and Clark Enterprises. The project has received enthusiastic support from the DCPL, DCFEMS, ANC 2A, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the West End/Foggy Bottom communities as a whole.
For more information on the West End Library and Fire Station project, please visit the EastBanc website at:

WHO: EastBanc, Inc.

WHAT: Topping Out Ceremony for Square 50 West/End Fire Station & Squash on Fire Development Project

WHERE: 23rd & M Streets, NW
Future Site of West End Fire Station, Residential Units & Squash on Fire

WHEN: Wednesday, May 18
11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Photo Opportunity and Lunch Provided

ADDRESSES: Anthony Lanier, president of EastBanc, Inc.

CONTACT: Matt Hagan – [email protected]
Mobile: (202) 425-7656 / Office: (202) 483-3003
# # #
About EastBanc, Inc.
EastBanc, Inc. specializes in the acquisition, redevelopment and management of commercial real estate assets. The firm’s long-term appreciation strategy emphasizes the creation of enterprise value in targeted markets through targeted deployment of investor capital. The cornerstone of EastBanc’s enterprise value strategy incorporates its unique ability to influence sizeable portions of urban streetscape with significant capital upgrades and master-planned leasing. With an emphasis on urban mixed-use investment, EastBanc’s developments include upscale retail, luxury residential, Class A and Class B office and luxury hotel property types.

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Real Estate May 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

DC Open Doors House Crawl, June 25th

June is Homeownership Month!

Join DC Open Doors for a House Crawl around the city.

Take a bus tour of condos, townhouses and single family homes in the District, meet with lenders and learn how the DC Open Doors’ mortgage program, plus Down Payment Assistance, if desired, can make your dreams of homeownership a reality. Lenders will be present at DCHFA to answer your questions about the home buying process. Take part in the DC Open Doors Informational Session 2-3:00 p.m. on-site at DCHFA.

Enjoy refreshments, take the tour or join us at the Agency to meet with a participating lender.
Register Here:
DCHFA is a short walk from the U Street Cardoza metro station (green line) and there’s free parking available in our garage accessible via the V Street NW side of the building.

Real Estate April 26, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Assigning TOPA Rights

Hi Everyone,
Long time lurker, first time poster. My landlord is in the process of selling my building and I am looking to see if anyone is interested in my TOPA rights. It is a three unit apartment building in a very great location on Capitol Hill near Results Gym. I am looking for someone who wants the current tenants to stay.

Please leave your email in the comments if you are interested to get more information.


Real Estate April 25, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Property manager didn't give landlord notice, keeping our deposit

Trying to find out what my rights are as the tenant and what my landlord could do on his side.

Basically, I sent my 30 days notice to the property manager, which he acknowledged. He asked me to tell him when he could do the move-out inspection and I emailed asking if it had to be a weekday or could be a weekend and also asking that they give me notice before showing the apartment since I have a dog (even offered to help show it so the owner didn’t have to come down from NY). No response. I email a week later asking again and offering a few dates that work. Still no response. I finally email again on the 7th of the new month asking when they can do it so i can get my deposit back and they schedule for the next morning.

Fast forward EXACTLY 45 days to last friday (when they need to return the deposit by law) and I get an email saying that because I didn’t “turn in my keys” until the 8th, they’re keeping a week of rent. Now, I probably should have attempted again to schedule the inspection before the first but I did make two attempts to schedule with no response from them. When I mentioned this, the property manager said he understood my frustration but that I had not tried to contact anyone else at his company, so I was out of luck. He is my only point of contact and I only knew his information because after trying to email our original manager and the email bounced back; and a call to the office revealed that he had left the company and no one had told us who our new manager was.

So I reach out to the owner and it turns out that they didn’t tell him that we were moving out until the 8th when they did the inspection! He lost a month’s rent (maybe more?) because he thought I would notify him directly and the manager didn’t say anything to him. So now, not only is there financial loss, but I’ve lost the great relationship I’d built with my landlord and can never use him as a reference.

It gets even more shady though – making small talk with the manager when he came to do the inspection, I asked if the landlord had decided to redo the floors and not rent it out right away (and hence why they hadn’t shown the apartment at all during the last month). He replied that he thought the owner was still “deciding what to do with the property” but that he was “sad to hear we were leaving”. So he made it sound to me like he had already talked to him and told him we were leaving.

Finally, I got a letter from them today postmarked the 23rd with the “itemization of security deposit” forms, the box checked to indicate the check was enclosed – with no check. So they’ve now blown past the 45 day requirement to give me my money back.

Are they super shady our just super incompetent? Do I/my landlord have any legal recourse against them for the money? Do I take the loss and try and salvage the relationship with my former landlord?

Real Estate April 23, 2016 at 11:56 am

LeDroit Park Condo Open House Tomorrow, 4/23

Hi everyone,

Our condo is up for sale and we are having an open house tomorrow. Beautiful, large, wide and open floor plan condo; two outdoor areas; 3 minute walk to everything on Florida Ave like Bistro/Kafe Bohem, Shaw Tavern, Zenebach, Rito Loco, etc.

Check it out if you’re in the market!

Real Estate April 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm

GDoN Request

Just came on the market-seems to be pretty high for Woodridge area, but also may be a sign of fierce competition with Brookland and the rapidly moving gentrification.

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