The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.
we’re not moving — at least, not moving out of mount pleasant — but there are a couple things going on that make us (er, the lady sparkler) think that it could be time to upgrade.
that said, if we can’t find a nice little fixer-upper row house in mount pleasant that we can afford now, we’ll just stay put until we’re on the other side of our daycare payments.
we love our neighborhood, and haven’t given up on the idea that we can raise baby sparklet here. we love our friends, we love our nanny. we love the fact that our vote for federal office is basically meaningless (wait, scratch that last one).
and, besides, there aren’t a lot of other options …
within D.C., we certainly wouldn’t move east of 16th street (too speculative), nor south or west of mount pleasant (we couldn’t afford it), and there really isn’t much in D.C. that’s north of us (all residential, little commerce, reduced transit).
outside of D.C., we have the same problems we’ve always had: new england and chicago are too cold (for my beloved); texas is utterly without seasons (for me); the pacific northwest is really far away and people there actually slow down at yellow lights (the latter is a “third rail” for the lady sparkler).
and besides, we all know how much my beloved likes change.
last summer when we moved in, our building inspector came in and showed us around the place. he talked us through the a/c, the furnace, the annoying glass-top stove, etc. about half way through, he said “oh, it looks like you guys have communal hot water, so there must be a building-wide water heater down in the basement.”
we didn’t think anything else about it.
… until yesterday. for reason’s too boring to explain, I was emailing with some people from the condo board (more on that later) and asked how the communal hot water worked.
they said there was no communal hot water.
so, i just came home and started looking around for where a hot water heater might be stashed. looked in the closets. looked in the laundry. looked through a this weird, tiny little 9″ x 9″ access hatch located behind our refrigerator (actually, it was too small to look, so i stuck a camera through and took the picture above.)
nothing. not just that, but i honestly don’t know what to do next.
in other news, the reason i was emailing with the condo board members was because they saw fit to elected / appoint me to the board three days ago. a board member was itching to get off — he had moved out of the building and is now renting his place out — and i was a warm body who didn’t know better to say no.
the funny punchline to this is that they asked me to be the treasurer. now, for those of you who don’t know a thing about me … i’ve never been paid to manage a budget, haven’t taken a math class since 1991, and had a legitimate shot of being a triple Theater / Russian / Geology major. (notice the one thing in common? no math.)
anyway, i agreed to serve on the board, but politely turned down the treasurer position, saying that we would be open to a “gross negligence” lawsuit if i said yes. volunteered to be secretary, or internal communications specialist, or streak through the hallways naked … basically anything that didn’t involve math.
Fortunately, somewhere in all that we managed to unpack and finish setting up all the rooms. We still have about a car load of stuff in Arlington, and about 6 boxes of miscelaneous crapola that we have to give away, put away, pitch or recycle … but we are finally in the home stretch (pardon the pun).
For those of you in town on Thursday before the wedding, we are going to host a little open house that afternoon so our beloved friends and family can see the new place. Until then, some more pictures below:
In fact, in seven days I expect to be painting our very own master bedroom a lovely shade of Chianti after earlier in the day giving our sellers the largest check I have ever seen in my life.
To bring you up to speed … Since we last mentioned Mt. Pleasant nary sixteen days ago, we have:
So, there you go.
Neither of us can wait ’til the end of October, when we can look back at this and start thinking that “shooting the moon” by moving and getting married on top of each other wasn’t the silliest idea we have ever had 😉
We got the call today shortly before lunch, that the nice people who live in the place we want to buy accepted our offer. Actually, they countered with another offer that was 9k more than what WE offerered, but which was still 16k less than the list price and 1k less then we *thought* they were going to counter with.
Needless to say, we are besides our self with happiness. The settlement is July 19th, and we don’t have to vacate our current appartment until the end of August. This give us almost 6 weeks to move. Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! I have no idea what to do with the extra time … except for plan a wedding of course.
The home inspection is on Monday, July 2nd @ 4:00 pm, so no real news (and no better pictures) until then. However, before the MLS listing disappears, I downloaded it for posterity’s sake, and it is below.
101 days until the wedding …
MLS#: DC6435304 · Bedrooms: 2 · Bathrooms: 1 full · City: WASHINGTON · Status: CNTG/NO KO · Type of Home: Garden 1-4 Floors · Style: Beaux Arts · Year Built: 1925 · Lot Acreage: 0 · Subdivision: MOUNT PLEASANT · County: WASHINGTON, DC · Address: 1661 PARK RD NW #206 · City, State, Zip: WASHINGTON, DC, 20010 ·
Comments: Gorgeous & Sunny 2 BR/1 Bath Condo in a GREAT Pet Friendly BLDG w/Bike Room**This unit SPARKLES w/UPDATES GALORE to incl:Kitchen w/SS Appls, Cabinetry, Silestone Counters, Remodeled Bath, NEW AC & Fresh Paint**Lovely HWD Flrs & Doors, Crown Molding**Large Rm sizes**W/D in unit**METRO, Rock Creek Park, Shops, Restaurants & Nightlife are here!!City Living at it’s Best**Sellers have taken PRIDE!
Amenities: Crown Molding, Elevator, Shades/Blinds, Wood Floors · Appliances: Dishwasher, Disposal, Dryer, Exhaust Fan, Intercom, Microwave, Oven/Range-Electric, Refrigerator, Washer · Kitchen / Dining Info: Kit-Breakfast Bar, Liv-Din Combo · Heating System: Forced Air · Heating Fuel: Natural Gas · Cooling System: Central A/C · Cooling Fuel: Electric · Hot Water: Electric · Parking Info: Street · Water System: Public · Construction: Brick · Community Amenities: Common Grounds, Elevator
Actually, truth be told, this has been in the back of our minds for quite some time. The housing market bottomed out (in DC, at least) in November of 2006, and is on the way back up. Interest rates are low, but climbing. Personally, our current lease expires in August, we are expecting another lease hike, and our building punishes you if you don’t renew for a full year ($300/month to go month-to-month).
So, basically, the economic gods seem to be telling us something. Not wanting to anger said gods (Alan Greenspan?), ten days ago we found a real estate agent (Brandon Green) and a mortgage broker (Rob Riggins), both of whom came VERY strongly recommended and both very kindly gave us a crash course in home buying. After a weekend of getting oriented, and half a week of getting pre-approved, we hit about 20-25 different places this weekend.
The primary goals were a 2 bedroom condo in DC (in the Circles area — Logan, Scott, Dupont, Thomas) or in Virginia (either near where we live now in Court House, or near were The Lady Sparkler used to live in Del Ray/Alexandria). Given our budget, Brandon chuckled warmly at his naive little charges, and politely showed us some places we could actually afford.
The winning neighborhood by far was Mt. Pleasant, which is due north of downtown (16th street runs along the western edge of the neighborhood) and is nestled up against the back door to the National Zoo. The neighborhood has a fantastic diverse, family-friendly, funky vibe — those who know me know I don’t use the words “funky” or “vibe” lightly … darn hippie words! — and it seems to be one of the last true communities in the District.
The place we are bidding on is 1661 Park Road, #206 and is located at the corners of 17th street and Mt. Pleasant Avenue. It’s about 2 blocks from the Columbia Heights metro (where a Target, Best Buy, Marshall’s, Starbucks/Caribu Coffee and Carvel are all opening), 3 blocks from Rock Creek Park, and 6 blocks from the zoo.
(If you look on the Google Map above, the place we are looking at isn’t marked correctly … 1661 is actually well to the left of the green arrow, on the other side of the 5 townhouses you see on Park. It’s the building with 2 big trees between it and the street.)
The apartment has a ton of windows, and gorgeous, dark hardwood floors. Two bedrooms, brand new kitchen. The pictures attached to the listing were so bad, that we almost didn’t look at the place.
Anyway, we will obviously keep you posted as we keep moving towards the exciting conclusion of this very special episode of Extreme Makeover: Life Edition.