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by Prince Of Petworth August 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

“Dear PoPville,

I’m pretty sure there are a few regulars here who own investment properties. My husband and I have considered buying a small house or condo to rent out. We’d like to bring in a little extra a month and expect property values to increase significantly in our neighborhood over the next 5 years, so now would be the time. We’re already seeing sales prices start to rapidly rise, so affordable options are becoming more rare. We would probably have to borrow against our primary residence for the down payment though, so we’re not sure it’s worth the risk.

To those of you who own rental properties, what are the key things we should consider in making our decision? I’m interested in hearing both about financial considerations and also the general headaches of being a landlord.

by Prince Of Petworth August 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“Dear PoPville,

If anyone you know is trying to close on his or her first home this month and had gone through DC’s Home Purchase Assistant Program (HPAP), they won’t be able to.

Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL), which administers the HPAP loan, has not received August funds from Dept. of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) which is preventing first time home buyers from closing on their home.

HPAP acts as a buyers second trust loan. Because GWUL doesn’t have their August funds from DHCD, they cannot loan anyone money to close this month.

Four weeks after my original closing date, everything is finally ready on the seller’s end for settlement. But now, I, as the HPAP recipient, am not ready because GWUL cannot loan me the money for which I already qualified. So my settlement is postponed indefinitely, until GWUL gets their funds. Each week my first trust lender is charging me $200 to lock in my rate.

This is a mess. DHCD needs to release the funds to GWUL ASAP so I and all other first time home buyers closing this month can move into our homes and enjoy homeownership in DC.

Extremely frustrated.”

by Prince Of Petworth August 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user James Crane

“Dear PoPville,

I was wondering if any of your readers could recommend a organization that accepts vehicles and donates them directly to families in need. I own a Honda Civic in decent condition with 120,000 miles, which could run for many years to come. Most organizations that I have researched sell your car to an auction or for parts and give the funds to the organization. I would prefer the car to be donated to a person or family for their use. Please let me know if anyone knows of a good organization that meets this criteria. Thank you!”

by Prince Of Petworth August 4, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user Kevin Wolf

“Dear PoPville,

I live in an apartment on U St NW that shares an alley with town homes/condos on Willard St NW.

There is a home that has been purchased by a developer and is being remodeled. The work on the home has been going on for 3-4 months already and doesn’t look near completion.

EVERY work day this week, the construction vans have been blocking the alley. there is another entrance/exit to the alley, but the way my car is parked in my spot makes it impossible to use that entrance when leaving my spot. This week has been particularly bad, but I’d wager that they block the alley on a 3 day average.

The workers are less that friendly and have taken over 5 minutes to move their van, often cursing or giving me the finger. Admittedly, I’ve been pretty frustrated and rolled down my window and yelled “you can’t block the alley!”

They drive a van that is unmarked, I’ve looked at the house, and there is no company named. The permits are all ambiguous and do not have a contact number for each service (plumbing, electrical, windows, etc). I’ve called 311 several times to have parking enforcement or DDOT come out, since they do not have a permit to block the alley, but it can take up to 2 hours for service.

Is there anything I can do? It’s so frustrating to have our alley blocked. I know there are other issues with the construction, because there is a “work stoppage” sign on the building now. But that just limits the amount of work; the construction guys are still there every day. From talking with a couple neighbors, I’m not the only one who is frustrated.”

by Prince Of Petworth August 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

“Dear PoPville,

This horse trailer has been parked on 10th St NE just North of K St for more than a week. It was moved once, but only a few feet. The truck towing it has DC tags, but the trailer has Maine tags. It’s taking up at least 2 spots (maybe 3) in an area with little parking to spare, but I assume it’s legal because enforcement MUST have seen it by now. I could see it being here for a day or two while someone moved in or out, but at this point, it seems they’re just storing it here, which is pretty obnoxious if you ask me. According to DC regs, it’s illegal to park a trailer on the street in front of a residence (18-2405.5). But a 311 report was rejected for no violation. Not sure what’s going on there.”

by Prince Of Petworth August 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

“Dear PoPville,

I live in an apartment building in DC where I send my dry cleaning out, but I have had several items ruined by the cleaner. After a few attempts at having said cleaner try again on these items, I still have stains on some of my favorite dresses and shirts. I am desperate to find a great dry cleaner in the DMV that can help me! Do you have any recommendations? Although I live in DC, I am willing to drive to somewhere in Northern VA or MD.”

by Prince Of Petworth August 2, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user Nathan Stewart

“Dear PoPville,

I own a condo in a 4-unit brownstone in Adams Morgan. There must be many, many folks in our situation, living on a single floor of a former single family home, slowly bleeding out a monthly fee to a property management fee for bare bones financial management and paying 3 monthly bills. In 8 years we have had changed firms three times due to very poor service.

They simply ignore or greatly delay any requests for scheduling maintenance work. And we pay the current firm $300 a month. Since it’s taken out of our HOA dues it’s a mildly hidden expense, especially so considering it’s split 4 ways.

Basically, we’re hoping to find someone with some sort of certification or insurance that has experience with extremely small HOA’s yet views their needs appropriately.”

by Prince Of Petworth August 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm 0

“Dear PoPville,

I was out of town last week and the emergency/moving parking permit signs for trucks were posted on the 24th, for a move on the 29th. From what I’m reading they’re only required to be posted 72 hours beforehand. I was ticketed $30 and towed (Able Towing on Eldwin NE – towed Saturday, they’re closed Sunday, arrived and waited 1.5hrs for a tow truck to free my car from being boxed in in their lot) $160. Looking for anyone’s advice on avoiding this in the future… or if it’s worth contesting the ticket?”


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