Grilled corn with soy butter at Kushi
Summer=grilling and the grilling season kick off is Memorial Day Weekend.  My husband and I attended a cook out this weekend and one of our contributions was my latest obsession: grilled corn with soy butter.

I first sampled this dish at Kushi.  Their version has the perfect amount of char and I always want five pieces.  My husband replicated the recipe and it was a huge hit.  It's easy, yummy and emphasizes the natural sweetness of corn.  Plus, it's on a stick. 
Here's how he made it:
Soak 12 wooden kabob sticks in water for at least an hour.  
Take 6 ears of corn.  Shuck and clean ears, cut in half.  Skewer each piece of corn with one kabob stick.
Soy Butter:
In a food processor, combine one stick of butter, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of sweet mirin.  Combine until mixed.
Heat grill until temperature gauge registers 400 degrees.  Add corn.  Brush corn with soy butter mixture.  Barbecue with grill closed for 10 minutes.  Open grill, baste corn again with soy butter mixture.  Cook with grill closed an additional 5 minutes.  Open grill and check on corn.  If char isn't sufficient, leave on grill for an additional 5 minutes.  Transfer to a platter.  Serve and enjoy!   
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Happy Memorial Day!

DC is full of pomp and ceremony on Memorial Day Weekend.  There's Rolling Thunder (thousands of military and ex-military on motorcycles raising awareness for MIA's), concerts on the Mall, and parades.  There's also cook outs and hot, steamy weather.  I hope you're enjoying the same at your Memorial Day celebration!

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It's unusual for two houses in 16th St. Heights of this size and grandeur to hit the market at the same time.  A former co-worker owned one of these beauties in 2005 and it was spectacular.  These two properties are impressive as well.

5709 16th St, NW
5709 16th St, NW grand entryway.  Living room to right, dining to left.
5709 16th St, NW kitchen

5709 16th St, NW has five bedrooms, three and half baths and is listed for $1,089,000.  The square footage is 4,161 which is enormous by DC standards and the yearly taxes are $6,750.  The house has hardwood floors, two fireplaces, updated kitchen and baths, a large front porch, a two car detached garage and a lovely back yard for entertaining.   It's Open Sunday, 5/29 from 1-4pm.

5715 16th St, NW
5715 16th St, NW entry and view of living room.
5715 16th St, NW English Garden backyard

5715 16th St, NW is five bedrooms, four and half baths and is offered for $1,349,000.  It's 4,293 square feet and the yearly taxes are $7,010.  This property features hardwood floors on the first level, updated kitchen and baths, a private front porch, 10 feet ceilings, a fireplace, a detached two car garage and an amazing English Garden in the backyard.  (Check out that backyard!  Can you imagine the upkeep?  I guess if you have a house and a garden this big, you have a gardener.  It's divine.  I wish I didn't kill every plant that crosses my path because this garden inspires me.)

*photos courtesy of MRIS.

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After.  Staging by Charm City Staging.
There's a million articles about the importance of staging a property to sell.  So why am I writing about it?  Reading about it is one thing but seeing it in action is another.  

I can attest to first hand knowledge as a buyer agent that staging makes a huge impact.  The difference between a staged property, whether it's using the owners belongings or furnishings from a staging company, is significant.

Recently, I showed two properties that were exactly the same in sister buildings.  Each was a two level, two bedroom, two and half bath condo.  Unit #1 had brightly painted walls (greens, reds, oranges) and knick knacks everywhere.  Unit #2 was painted a neutral tan and was de-cluttered.  My clients are making an offer on Unit #2. 

My point:  staging sells.

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As I've noted, good weather makes me happy.  I want to sit outside, read a thousand books and sip delicious cocktails. 

This years perfect summer beverage is a Strawberry Lemonade.  My version was inspired by Masa 14's drink.  Masa 14 uses simple syrup, strawberry puree and muddled lemons.  It's fantastic but sweet.  My recipe is less sweet and easier to make at home.  

The ingredients are simple:  vodka (I like Grey Goose), three or four sliced strawberries, Pellegrino Limonata and soda water.  My friends also like to add basil or mint.  I'm a purist and enjoy only the vodka, strawberries, limonata and soda.

Assembling is even easier:  in the bottom of the glass, muddle the strawberries.  Add two ounces of vodka.   Add ice to the top of the glass.  Add Pellegrino Limonata until the glass is almost full.  Top with a splash of soda water.  Stir.  Enjoy!

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Riveting Rooms

I love to read.  It's my #1 preferred activity and I'll cut you if you interrupt me.  (ha.  kidding. sorta).  I've been a crazy reader since I was young and I currently polish off about seven books a week.  I know.  I read fast.  That's why I go to the library.  This weeks "Riveting Room" focuses on my idea of a perfect reading chair.  It's big enough to curl up.  It looks fluffy.  There's books within reach.  It has the same pillow I have on my couch.  The pillow I lean upon when I'm reading.  See why I love it?

Photo from lonny blog about the Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House in Chelsea.  It's a bad ass space.  Check it out.
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Real Estate Roundup

The latest trends and topics in the real estate world.

1824 R St, NW could be affected by Federal changes to big mortgages
Consumers are trending towards shorter-term mortgages because of low interest rates via The Washington Post.
Apartment construction to spike in DC area in 2012 from The Washington Business Journal.

*photo courtesy of Matrix

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This week I'm focusing on two houses that have incredible potential.  Both are in Georgetown and priced to sell.  

1671 35th St, NW
1671 35th St, NW living room
1671 R St, NW side yard deck
1671 R St, NW is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath rowhouse four blocks off Wisconsin Ave, NW. It's listed for $699,000.  It's a fantastic location.   I viewed the house yesterday for a client and unfortunately, he's passing.  His wife didn't love it but I think it has the makings of an unbelievable dwelling.  The same family has owned it since 1956.  It was updated about 30 years ago and needs work.  It's 1230 square feet and the yearly taxes are $8,052.  It has high ceilings, a working fireplace, a lovely side yard and hardwood floors under the carpet.   

3737 R St, NW
3737 R St. living room
3737 R St, NW backyard
3737 R St, NW is a three bedroom, 2 bath rowhouse.  It's also four blocks off Wisconsin Ave, NW.  Once again, the location can't be beat.  It's listed for $619,000, is 1080 square feet and the yearly taxes are $5503.  This house also has a lot of promise.  It has parquet floors, a fireplace and an enormous backyard.  With a few upgrades, this property could be a show stopper. 
Both are being shown by appointment only.  Happy Friday!
*photos courtesy of Matrix
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Get Over It

In my fantasy world, this is the one that "got away."

In Saturday's Real Estate section in The Washington Post, there was a great article about how to get over the house that "got away." 

I thought it was an apt subject because the Spring market has been rife with multiple offers.  Everyone (buyers, sellers, realtors, media) is discussing how fast houses are going under contract and how many offers properties are receiving. 

Urban Turf recently posted about the hot Capitol Hill market.  In the comments section, multiple readers had something to say about the situation.  One realtor commented that one house (her bid being one of them) received over 20 offers! 

My clients have also been on the receiving end of this market.  I wrote about in August 2010.  It's continuing to happen in the 2011 season.

As a buyer agent, this is not a fun place to be with your clients.  My advice is always the same:  the house you end up with is always better than the property you lost in a multiple offer situation.  You must have fortitude.  That isn't the platitude a buyer wants to hear immediately after you lose a bid, but nonetheless, it's true.  I have multiple clients that can attest to it. 

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Ladies Who Brunch

Sunday, I hosted a baby shower brunch and it was a ton of fun.  It was a collaborative effort by all of the hostesses and the baby mama had a ball.

The mama-to-be is having a boy.  I pulled some inspiration from this post by Camilla Styles at Style Notes.  I also was energized by the adorable invite produced by Jackie from Undefeated Mom.   

The colors for the shower were grey, navy blue and orange.  The menu was frittata, bacon and date scones (huge crowd pleaser), fruit salad and mimosas.  One of my guests is a vegetarian.  I also served vegetarian versions of the frittata and scones.

Tissue paper pom pom's a la Martha Stewart and flower arrangements of gerber daisy's and delphinium.
Me: mid prep for the frittata's in my Great Nana's apron.
Frittata's, scones, and fruit salad. " Welcome to the World" cake by Chris Furins.
Our favorite baby gift: lots of cute outfits on a clothes line.

*photos courtesy of Rhonda, flowers by Shey and Jane, fruit salad by Jennifer, baby gift by Val, cake procured by Sheela.  

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Riveting Rooms

Last weekend, I hosted a baby shower with several friends.  It was an intimate affair with only ten attendees.  Afterward, I had a notion that a larger dining table would be more suitable for entertaining.  I adore my table but it only seats six.  Which leads to my love affair with this weeks "Riveting Room" from Lonny's latest issue.  I could seat eight to ten easily at this table!  Details forthcoming on the baby shower.

Jeff Jones dining table with mismatched chairs via Lonny
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One Bedroom Rental

3883 Conn Ave, NW

I'm renting a condo for clients.  It's a furnished 1 bedroom (713 square feet) with garage parking at the Connecticut for $2300.  The unit has hardwood floors and an open floor plan.  The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.  There's a washer/dryer and a juliet balcony.  The Connecticut has a rooftop pool with grills, an exercise room, a business center with computers/faxes/printers and a concierge service.  The Cleveland Park Metro (red line), restaurants and shops are blocks from the building.  It's available 7.1.11 for a one year lease.  Contact me at or 202.285.4238 for more information.

View of Living Room/Dining area towards the Kitchen
View from front door
Bedroom with desk and queen size bed
Bath with washer/dryer
Rooftop pool with grills

Exercise Room
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