First Friday

4431 q st nw
4431 q st living room
4431 Q St, NW is a quaint. It's three bedrooms, one and half baths for $659,000.  It's 1890 square feet and the yearly taxes are $5080.  It's an estate sale and being sold in "as is" condition.   It has central air, newer windows, and lovely hardwood floors.  The bath and kitchen need work but the sellers have priced it accordingly.  There's also an unfinished basement with man cave potential.  In addition, there's a front porch and a deck off the kitchen plus off street parking.  If you want a Foxhall address at a reasonable (DC) price, this could be the house for you. 

"listing courtsey of Erich Cabe of Prudential Carruthers, photos by Peter Evans photography

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Going to the chapel (hill)

This weekend, one of my cousins is getting married in Chapel Hill.  I'm excited about seeing lots of family, a ROAD TRIP (!) and exploring a town I haven't visited for years.   Thankfully, some friends have agreed to house sit and make sure Zazu survives the weekend while we're wildin' out.

Most importantly, it's an occasion for NEW DRESSES.  I've had some good luck the last several weekends and scored some cute options to wear this weekend.  

Option 1: 

Elizabeth and james dress
 
Short and black.  How can you go wrong?  It has criss cross straps in the back and I'm replacing the belt.  Leopard, of course.

OR

Option 2:

Green zara dress

Long and green.  It is a 6pm wedding.  A long dress could be appropriate.  Of course, I'm belting this bad boy too.  One guess: leopard.  

Leopard belt

Which is the best option?

Option 1, Option 2, belt

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  Butternut salad 2 web As I mentioned on Saturday, the fall vegetables are starting to fill the farmers market. While I was there, I grabbed a butternut squash to make one of my favorite salads.  

It's an easy recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.  Of course, I modified it a bit.  

Squash scored

squash scored and drizzled

First, split a 1.5 lb. butternut squash into halves.  Score the halves into cubes.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup over the squash.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper.  Roast for 60 minutes at 400 degrees.

While the squash is roasting, combine 3/4 cup apple cider or juice, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of minced shallots in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Cook 6-8 minutes, until cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Off the heat, which in 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Roasted butternut squash squash after roasting for 1 hour

Place arugla in a large salad bowl.  Scoop cubes of roasted squash from skin and add to arugula.  Add a sprinkle of sliced almonds, dried cranberries and grated parmesan cheese.  Spoon viniagrette over salad and toss well.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

1 (1.5 lb) butter nut squash, split and scored into cubes

Good olive oil

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 ounces baby arugla, wased and spun dry

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place butternut squash on a sheet pan.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup over the squash.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper.  Roast for 60 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine 3/4 cup apple cider or juice, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of minced shallots in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Cook 6-8 minutes, until cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Off the heat, which in 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place arugla in a large salad bowl.  Scoop cubes of roasted squash from skin and add to arugula.  Add a sprinkle of sliced almonds, dried cranberries and grated parmesan cheese.  Spoon viniagrette over salad and toss well.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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Riveting Rooms

Veranda kitchen
Veranada magazine recently partnered with designer Windsor Smith (and others) for their first concept house, The House of Windsor.  Veranda unveiled the house in the October issue and it's stunning.  I'd seen photos of the more memorable rooms. (crazy wallpaper and patterns!)  Somehow, I missed this gorgeous kitchen.  This is my dream kitchen.  It's huge.  It's grey and white.  It has a large communal dining table where friends and family can lounge for snacks and vino.  Perfection.

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Jack Rose

Finally, I returned to Jack Rose.  I wrote about a visit to the Jack Rose rooftop in June.  Their main dining room was slow to open and I've been dying to sample the full menu for months.  At last, I can give a mini review.

Why a mini review?  Because I only tasted three items.  The evening I visited, I also had a condo board meeting.  It was poor planning on my part.  I wasn't able to linger as long as I wanted.   

Jack rose saladI ordered the arugula salad.  This was no ordinary salad.  There were grilled pears and figs stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon.  Plus the whole affair was sprinkled with bacon and a (what tasted like) a shallot vinaigrette.  It was delicious.

My husband ate the housed spiced beef with a homemade horseradish dip and the baby cheddar biscuits with domestic proscuitto.  Unfortunately, he gobbled both so quickly I didn't get a chance for photos.  I had a bite of both and they were excellent. 

What I did eat was fantastic.  I look forward to my next visit to delve into the main courses. 

 

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Apples

Gourds
Flowers
It's a well known fact that I love the Farmer's Market at 14th and U St, NW.  Today's bounty was exciting because the first Fall vegetables are out:  butternut squash, gourds, pumpkins, kale plus flowers and apples.  The honey crisp apple (top photo) is my latest obsession.  They never get mushy and they taste like apple juice.  Give them a whirl..you won't regret it.

*photos by concretejungle dc

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First Friday

Sorry there was no post yesterday.  I had it ready to roll and then…a series of mishaps.  I decided to scrap it and move forward today.

This week, I'm featuring a foreclosure in my building.  This is the exact layout of our condo but on a higher floor.  Please excuse the pictures.  It's pouring outside, I only have my point and click (fancy camera STILL BEING REPAIRED.  it's been weeks now) and the unit looks terrible.  The good news:  it has LOADS of potential.

523 lr 523 view 523 kitchen

2120 Vermont St, NW #523 is 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo listed for $620,000.  As I mentioned, it's a foreclosure but it's for sale for market price.  I'm mystified by the pricing.  Normally, foreclosures are much lower than market value.  Frankly, this is great for the values in our building so I'm not going to complain too loudly. 

The property is 1,314 square feet, the yearly taxes are $4,504 and the condo fee is $683.00 monthly.  It has two parking spots and a storage space.  It's three blocks to the U St. Metro (green/yellow line) plus multiple bars and restaurants on U St. Corridor.  If the weather had been cooperative, you'd see from the second photo that you have a view of the Capitol from the living room.  Plus some construction cranes and the gas station.  Wahoo urban street scape.

Amenities include an open floor plan, a juliet balcony, floor to ceiling windows in the living room, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops in the kitchen.  The building has an excercise room and a lovely roof top with a grill.  Of course, I'm a fan.  

*listing courtsey of Ralph Nichols of Fairfax Realty

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Real Estate Round Up

1905 - 1917 newest
DC MUD reports the project at 14th and Wallach St, NW is submitting revised plans to HPRB. Hopefully, this version will be approved.

Having a hard time figuring out interest rates and points?  Urban Turf  offers an explanation.  As I've stated many times, your lender makes or breaks your real estate transaction.  It's essential to have a grasp of how lending works. 

Don't understand your homeowners insurance policy?  The Washington Post presents tips on deciphering your coverage.  This is another essential when purchasing a home. Make sure you have enough coverage for natural disasters (hello earthquake and hurricane) plus day to day issues.  

Are there two housing markets in the US..one for the rich and one for the poor?  The Huffington Post explores the disparity between the average buyer and the luxury buyer.  

*rendering courtesy of DC MUD

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Riveting Rooms

Purple room lonny
I love the color purple.  It's such a cheerful color.  My bedroom in my parents house is periwinkle.  I had a purple and white duvet cover.  I would paint my current bedroom violet or lavender if my husband wouldn't stage a revolt.  When I read Lonny's feature about Frette linens, I was instantly enchanted with these linens.  Don't they look sublime?

*photo courtesy of Lonny magazine, p. 84

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Working the system

1341 t st exterior
Last week I closed a deal where my client worked the system.  She used several local programs with great success.  Here's how she did it:

First, she used BB&T's C.H.I.P. (Community Homeownership Incentive Program) program to fund her loan.  CHIP allows you to finance up to 97% of your purchase price and private mortgage insurance is waived.  You must have excellent credit and your income can't exceed 80% of the county's median income.  She only put down $500 for her down payment!

Second, we negotiated a closing cost credit of 3% of the purchase price.  The credit covered her closing costs.

Third, my client qualified for the DC Tax Abatement Program.  A homeowner doesn't have to pay taxes for five years on their property if they meet the income requirements, if they are owner occupants and the house is valued at less than $332,000.  There's two additional nifty features to this program:  you don't have to pay the transfer tax of 1.1% to DC Government (often, the biggest chunk of money in your closing costs) AND the sellers 1.1% recordation tax is credited to the buyer.  YEP.  In our case, this credit was used to buy down my clients interest rate.  Her initial interest rate was 4.2%.  Using the credit, she was able to buy it down her interest rate to 3.8%.  (crazy!)

Last but not least, she's also eligible for the DC First Time Home Buyers tax credit of $5,000. 

Buyers, THAT'S how you work the system. 

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First Friday

Sometimes, a house "wows" you.  The house featured today fits into this category. 

3331 N St, NW
3331 N st living room
3331 N st kitchen

3331 N St, NW is a Federal townhouse built in 1805 that's listed for $10,000,000 (!).  The property has six bedrooms, six full bath and three half baths.  It's 6,598 square feet and yearly taxes are $41,026.  As you can see, it's a beauty.  It's five levels and has eight fireplaces.  The original moldings and architectural details are intact and amazing.  Plus, the home has been updated for modern living.  In addition to the lovely interior, there's a flagstone terrace and parking for three cars.  (Critical in Georgetown.)  Shown with 24 hour notice and by appointment.

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NYFW

Striped suit polka dots

It's Fashion Week in NYC.  One of my biggest dreams is to go to Fashion Week and see the best shows.  Or stand outside the tents and view the parade of kick ass outfits. I've been following my favorite photographers, like The Sartorialist (one of his images above), for the latest trends.  Polka dots is HUGE this year and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I love, love, love this outfit.  I see a variation in my future.

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