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Taking on a Fixer Upper

There is no better email than one from a client who says, "I've referred you to a friend." I've been lucky to work with some of the nicest, kindest, most professional people in DC and when those people introduce me to a new client, I know we will have a great experience buying or selling their home.

One of those referrals called me in February. We met for coffee at Union Market to discuss her ideas. Here is the general gist of our conversation. She "warned" me that others hadn't gotten her vision, were not up for the challenge, and then she explained.

I want to be in "this" (narrow) geographical area, I want a home, I want an investment that will appreciate more than other homes in the city. I don't care if the lights are on, if the kitchen needs to be ripped out, and the walls and windows are in rough shape. I want a fixer upper and I am willing to wait until we find it.

I was ALL IN!

Working with a client with a real vision to improve a neighborhood and home that needs some TLC is very inspiring. Her desire to take on a home requiring love and attention was infectious. She's not an investor; she wanted a home. Her home.

We discussed different ways we could tackle her search--regular sale, bank owned, being prepared to knock out walls, rip up floors, bring along a flashlight and a contractor to our tours. We were prepared to move quickly when we found the right one, as we knew it might get snatched up by a developer if we didn't.

We worked our way through homes with no electricity, weeds, damp basements, shaky staircases, and holes in the ceiling.

Her vision came into focus when we found a 1930s bungalow in an enclave of about 100 homes nestled under the shade of the U.S. National Arboretum. If I had to guess, I bet most DC residents don't know this neighborhood exists. They should; it's adorable.

Below is an image of the home as purchased in early August and the dumpster already hard at work. More photos to come as the renovations continue.

Are you ready to find your fixer-upper? Call or email me. I've got my flashlight ready!

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