Lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo with an open floor plan, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and a wine refrigerator in the kitchen. Hardwood floors throughout, 2 gas fireplaces with original mantels: 1 in the living room and 1 in master bedroom. Upgraded master bathroom en suite, washer/dryer in unit, balcony and secure parking. Condo fees include Direct TV with HBO and wifi/internet. Minutes to retail, restaurants and metro. 91 walk score.
Last Friday, my husband and I journeyed to Friendship Heights to have lunch at Range, Bryan Voltaggio’s DC restaurant. We ate at Volt’s Table 21 in 2010 and in many ways, I knew what to expect from the cuisine at Range. It did not disappoint.
It was restaurant week and we decided to give the menu a whirl. Range offered a number of great options and this girl can’t resist a deal. We started with a kale caesar and a beet salad. My husband had the pizza and I had a blackened hake sandwich with no bread (gluten free these days. it sucks). We finished with a chocolate custard with bacon fiddle faddle and lemon pound cake. All of the food was excellent. My husband, the (wannabe) restaurant critic, had a few complaints about his pizza. It wasn’t clear from the menu description that it didn’t have sauce. He also felt it needed salt. All of the complaints were remedied once the waiter came back with the requested sauce and salt. Let’s also note that he said the crust was amazing. My hake was well seasoned and cooked perfectly. My homemade potato chips were delicious. The star of the show was definitely the desserts. BACON FIDDLE FADDLE people. I wanted a plate of it.
Would we go again? Probably not. The food and atmosphere were great but we are lazy, lazy people and like to stay in our ‘hood. It’s sad but true. However, it was a fun experience and I’d recommend it to anyone living/visiting Friendship Heights.
Do you like restaurant week? When it first started, my husband and I would go to at least one lunch and dinner. Then I became jaded. A couple places we tried had terrible menu selections and the service was horrendous. (we are not 2nd class citizens because we’re here for restaurant week! ok? so slow yo’ roll)
On Monday, I had lunch with a friend at the Grill Room in between appointments and it was so fun. The roast chicken and greens was divine and I’d like to go back for dinner. The new chef is Frank Ruta, formerly of Palena. Encouraged, my husband and I are having lunch at Range on Friday. It will be our first visit and I can’t wait! Did you try anywhere new or go to an old favorite?
There are a million articles out there about the importance of staging a property to sell. So why am I writing about it? Reading about it is one thing. Seeing it in action is another.
Since I work with buyers and sellers, I see firsthand how much of an impact staging can make. I’ve had clients say “no” to a place because the colors of a wall or because the furniture looks like their grandmother’s. Buyers watch A LOT of HGTV and they have certain expectations these days. Staging a unit can help make a place shine.
A couple of years ago, I showed 2 units in the same building in Penn Quarter. The units were the exactly the same: same price, 2 levels, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, hardwood floors on the first floor, carpet on the second and they both had the same view. Unit #1 was brightly painted (oranges, greens and purples) with a lot of clutter. Unit #2 was painted in neutrals (tans and creams), was staged and de-cluttered. My clients bought unit #2.
Another one bites the dust. One of my colleagues alerted me that Holm Condos is no longer. They’re switching to rentals. He had 2 units under contract in the building and was told last week the project was going rental.
I’m fascinated by the number of buildings that start as condos and covert to apartments.(The Shay is another recent conversion). Buyers are clamoring for new construction but they want to see it. The pre-construction buying days are waning yet developers don’t seem to take that into account. There’s a major disconnect between what buyers want and what developers are giving them. Meanwhile, the flood of rentals in the DC market is making the rental market soft which will effect investors. 2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year!
I’m prepping a new listing for the market and I always follow these 7 steps to get the most money for my clients. It’s a lot of work but the results are always impressive. (See the reviews from my satisfied clients!)
1. De-clutter. I know you like your collection of troll dolls and think it’s wonderful. It isn’t. Box it up and utilize the space in a way that’s appealing to buyers. Clear the counter tops in your bathroom and kitchen. (Yes, even your toothbrush.) Take your photos and holiday cards off the refrigerator. It’s all a distraction to a buyer.
2. Re-paint in neutral colors. Red kitchens and dining rooms are so 2000. Don’t date your decor with bold colors. Buyers are picky and one terrible paint color can make them over look your property. A tan or greige paint color is the top choice for most buyers. Boring but it works.
3. Clean extensively. Nothing is worse than a grimy bathroom or kitchen when you’re viewing property. Hire a cleaning service. Your property should sparkle. Keep your place tidy while it’s on the market. Make your bed. Put away your soiled clothing and clean laundry. Hang up your coat and put away your shoes.
4. Re-arrange/remove furniture. Most sellers have too much furniture in their space. If you have belongings in every single corner, get rid of them. If it’s over sized and makes your space look small, store it for your next place. Rearrange your furniture to make the space open and inviting. Open your blinds/curtains to show the view and the sunlight.
5. Make sure it smells good. That old man/sock smell is not making your place more attractive. On the other hand, you don’t want to go over board. Strong, floral plug-ins can make buyers suspicious. The most appealing scents are cinnamon/apple, vanilla or citrus scents.
7. Don’t overprice your property. Sellers first inclination is to list their property for waaaayyy higher than it’s worth. That leads to more days on market, price reductions and less money in the long run. Price correctly the first time. Your house will likely sell in 7-10 days and you’ll get the money you want.
A little prep work goes a long way when you list your home. If you’re looking to sell in 2015, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.285.4238. It’s a great time to be a seller in DC!
Flying back to Buenos Aires was a series of mishaps. Our flight was delayed twice, my husband was involved in pastry smooshing incident (Which was not his fault. The flight attendant was the culprit but that didn’t matter to his seat mates) and we almost got hit by another plane in an “air traffic controller miscommunication”. There was fervent applause by our fellow passengers when we landed and that summed up my sentiments exactly.
Once we got back to BA, we checked into the house we rented in Palermo Soho. It was incredible and in a fantastic location. While there were a few hiccups, renting a house was one of the best decisions we made. It was 3 bedrooms/3 baths with a lovely court yard and a roof deck. On New Year’s Day, my husband grilled pork and beef and we had a feast to celebrate 2015.
Another day, we went to the Recoleta Cemetery and toured the crypts of the famous Argentinians. It was creepy. We also took a 3 hour bicycle tour of the city and went to the San Telmo market. We hunted all over BA for a choripan stand, the street food that everyone tells you to eat. We found the best stand at the San Telmo market.
We had many amazing meals and everything in Argentina is affordable. Their currency was recently devalued and there’s a thriving “blue market” where you can exchange dollars for pesos at a 12/13 to 1 rate vs. the official rate of 8 to 1. We rarely spent over $50 for dinner for the both of us and we ate at some of the best restaurants in BA.
BA was the best part of the trip for me. Not only did I feel better, I loved the weather and the variety of things we were able to do. We also laughed a ton. When I reflect upon this trip, that’s what I’ll remember the most. It was a marvelous way to begin 2015!
If you hadn’t figured out from the radio silence on the blog, I went on vacation to Argentina on December 26th. After a wonderful Christmas with my family in NC, my husband and I hopped a plane and landed in sunny, warm Buenos Aires on the 27th. We immediately jumped on another plane the 28th to begin the first part of the trip in Salta. Salta is in northern Argentina, in the foothills of the Andes mountains. As you can see, it’s a small city surrounded by mountains and it’s gorgeous.
For me, this part of the vacation blew because I caught a nasty cold/sinus infection right before we left. In fact, my husband and I left abruptly on Christmas Day after I realized I needed antibiotics, stat. (I WAS NOT going to be sick after planning this vacation for an entire year, damnit). I made an appointment at the emergency clinic in Cleveland Park and got a Z pack. I felt like hell for the first couple days of the trip. Salta will forever be associated with how horrible I felt. Salta is probably awesome but I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Meanwhile, we still did some cool stuff. One of the best guides we found was the 36 hours in Salta article from the NY Times. We saw the 1000 steps (I was waaay to sick to attempt this. We were traveling with two friends and one climbed the steps and said it was amazing. We did a drive by on the tour we took and after seeing it up close, I’m impressed she made it!), we went to the San Lorenzo cloud forest and ate lunch at La Table de House of Jasmine. For me, this portion of the trip kicked ass. San Lorenzo was the highlight of our time in Salta. It was nature at its best. Then we had a super swanky lunch at the House of Jasmine. This place was totally over the top but after climbing a bunch of trails, it was so nice to have delicious food and a big glass of wine.
The other highlight of the Salta trip was the Patio de Empanadas. It was about a mile from our hotel in downtown Salta but it was fun to walk the streets and check out the locals. The patio is a tiny house with a big outdoor area and there are 9 empanada stalls. Our guide told us to go to stall #7 and there we experienced a bevy of empanadas. They were, by far, the best we ate on the trip and my favorite was the chicken.
Overall, Salta was a fun place to visit but I’d never go back. Again..I can’t tell if it was because I was soooo sick or if we didn’t do the right things. It’s known for it’s outdoor activities but we were only there one full day. We definitely took advantage of the activities that were in the immediate vicinity. My husband and friends tell me I’m exaggerating but all of us were relieved when we returned to Buenos Aires (BA) on the 30th. More on our BA adventures tomorrow!
Happy 2015! I’m off to a slow start because I’m seriously sleep deprived after my flight back from Argentina. Which was amazing and I’m missing it fiercely. I can not believe it SNOWED today. On Sunday, I was sitting outside in a sun dress enjoying the 80 degree weather. Doh. Once I recover my brain, I’ll post about Argentina. Vacation does a body good. I’m feeling refreshed and fizzing with ideas about 2015. More mañana!
Jen Angotti is the creator of Concrete Jungle DC, a blog about real estate in DC, ideas on how to decorate and design your abode plus a variety of topics she loves: new restaurants and bars, DC happenings, food, and travel. Jen is a licensed realtor in DC and VA.
Rise Bakery, located at 2409 18th St, NW in Adams Morgan, is a gluten-free bakery. This is monumental news in my gluten free world. A couple of months ago, my husband popped by there and grabbed a few things: a bag of bagels, a loaf of bread, a banana nut muffin and a cinnamon roll. They were delicious and I was so exited. Good gluten free bread and pastries are hard to find. I had an appointment today in Adams […]