life via instagram aprl

Why hello there. I’ve been a little lax on the ole blog because I can’t seem to muster up a lot of enthusiasm. I’ve been writing about real estate, design and things I love for TEN years. My creativity has dried up and work has been crazy. (Correlation? Possibly but I’m too tired to figure it out). I’m still exploring new places and things but really, I’m a kinda over writing about it. Kinda. There’s still a host of topics that pique my interest.  You’ll definitely still be hearing from me. However the days of daily postings are a thing of the past.  If you’ve noticed, I’ve been publishing twice a week.  That’s my plan for the future and I hope you keep reading.  Till next week!

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Last week, Urban Turf had a wonderful neighborhood profile about U St. Corridor and how it’s changed in the last decade. I was happy to be included in the write up.  Check it out here.

photo via Urban Turf.

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1954 Columbia ext

1954 Columbia Rd., NW #211

for rent | $2100.00

I’m renting a 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo for a friend/client in the Kalorama/Adams Morgan area.  Contact me if you’re interested!

1954 Columbia lr

Sunny, corner 1 bedroom with hardwood floors, updated kitchen, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops. Fantastic Kalorama/Adams Morgan location, minutes to restaurants and shops, 96 walk score. Gas included in rent. Tenant pays for electric, phone & cable. Bike storage in basement. No pets. No smokers. Available immediately.

1954 Columbia Rd kit


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re roundup marchlinks from left to right: urban turfwashington post, wtop,

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Whenever I’m getting ready to list a home for my clients, I follow these 7 steps to get the most money for my clients. This has led to many wonderful selling experiences and a lot of satisfied clients! (click here to see the reviews.)

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 overboard. Strong, floral plug-ins can make buyers suspicious. The most appealing scents are cinnamon/apple, vanilla or citrus scents.

6. Take good photos. Use a professional photographer for photos of your property. “Homes with professional photographs were found, on average, to be viewed 61 percent more online than others in that price range shot with a lower-end camera. The listings that used digital SLR cameras also commanded a 47 percent higher asking price per square foot, according to the Redfin analysis.” The stats speak for themselves.

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 2017, contact me at or 202.285.4238. It’s a great time to be a seller in DC!

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master bath inspo

In 2016, I had grand plans to renovate both the bathrooms in my condo. Instead, I went on some kick ass trips and renovated one of my bathrooms (priorities people!).  The master bathroom is on the schedule for 2017 and I’ve started getting quotes. When it’s all said and done, I hope it’s going to look similar to the photo above, a bathroom designed by Alexander Design.  How gorgeous is that bathroom???

master bath before1

This is my master bath.  Excuse the disaster that’s my towel storage but hey..real life. As you can see, it’s ugly and the space isn’t used well.  First, we have a tub and a shower stall.  We don’t use the shower stall and I’m getting rid of it.  I’m keeping the tub because I think all homes should have at least one tub and our second bathroom has a shower.  The shower stall I’m converting into a sink for my husband so we’ll have two: one on each side.  All of the tile is getting ripped out, I’m replacing the toilet with something more modern and storage is going to added next to the tub.

vanity master bathroom bye

This is the current vanity situation. It’s going “bye bye bye” and I can’t wait. It’s been functional for the last 10 years but it’s time to upgrade it. I’m imagining white, modern vanities with marble or quartz countertops. Our bathroom doesn’t have a window and I want the space to look bright.

While the project will likely take place sometime in May/June, the prep has begun.

First photo via Domaine magazine. The rest of the house is amazing too!

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916 G St NW-lr

It’s official..the DC real estate season has started.  The Super Bowl is over, the weather is temperate and buyers are swarming. Listings in the hot neighborhoods are going under contract quickly and multiple offers are still a reality. Interested in buying but have no idea where to start? I’ve pulled together a cheat sheet for you.

Talk to a lender. Picking a competent lender is the most important step in the buying process. Obtaining a loan is difficult these days. Your credit has to be good. You debt to income ratio has to be just right. Lenders need reams of documentation. Stay away from the big banks. Work with someone who’s local and knows the market. Once you’ve spoken to a lender and they have all the info they need (bank statements, salary stubs, financial records, your credit score. it’s invasive. get ready.) you’re pre-qualified and ready to start searching.

Find a property.  Discovering real estate you want to purchase involves looking at listings online and visiting houses/condos/coops. A picture can only convey so much. It’s wise to visit as many properties as possible to determine what appeals to you. The search can take a day or several months.

Make an offer. Once you find a property you love, write an offer. The DC market is competitive which means you’ll need to make quick decisions. If a listing is priced well, looks good and is in a desirable location, it’s going under contract in 1-7 days and often has multiple offers.

Execute the paperwork. After your offer has been reviewed and ratified, the contract is sent to the lender and the title company. The title company reviews the title work. Their job is to make sure the property is delivered with a clear title. The lender starts processing your loan and orders the appraisal.

Fulfill the contingencies (if there are any). With the increase in multiple offers, contingencies have been on the decline. If the sellers accept an appraisal, financing or home inspection contingency, fulfill them. If they go smoothly, you’ll head to closing.

Execute the final reviews. Before closing, you do a final walk through to see if the property is still in good shape. You will also review the CD (the closing document) 3 days before closing to make sure all your fees are correct. If everything is in order, you sign the closing documents at the closing table.

Complete the documents. Once all the documents are signed, you’re a proud homeowner. Congratulations!

The entire process  making an offer; its acceptance, ratification, expiration of any contingencies to closing usually takes 30-45 days. The days till closing starts the day you submit the offer to the listing agent. The closing date is usually 30-45 days from the date the contract is written.

A few definitions: Ratification means when all parties (the seller and buyer) agree to the terms of the contract. There are lots of variables to an offer. All terms stated in the contract are negotiable points: the price, the closing date, how many days you have for your home inspection, financing contingency and appraisal contingencies. Once ALL the negotiating points have been agreed upon, the contract is ratified.

Contingencies are a fulfillment of a condition. There are 3 contingencies that are normally used in a contract that protect the buyer: the home inspection, financing and appraisal contingencies. All 3 of these contingencies have to be met before you can close on a property if they’re included in the contract. There are different reasons to have these contingencies. Essentially, they protect the buyer from losing their earnest money deposit. As I mentioned above, these contingencies are used less frequently as the market becomes more competitive.

An earnest money deposit (EMD) is the deposit that the brokerage or title company holds in an escrow account. It goes towards your closing costs. The earnest money deposit is usually 3-5% of the offer price. It’s not deposited into the escrow account until the contract is ratified. If the contract is not ratified, the EMD monies are returned to you.

Closing costs in DC run about 3% of the purchase price. The two biggest costs covered by the 3% is the title insurance and the recordation tax that goes to DC Gov. This tax is 1.45% of the purchase price over 400K and 1.1% of the purchase price under 400K. For 2017, DC passed a first time home buyers tax break and the recordation fee is .0725% on all properties.

While buying a home can be a stressful, the end result is worth it.  You own a home!  2017 is shaping up to be a wonderful time to buy while interest rates remain low and the first time home buyers tax break is in effect. Ready to buy this year? Contact me via email or phone ( and we’ll get started!

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dc wise check2

Last week, the ladies of DC Wise presented the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project with a check for $90,000.  It was the largest donation they’ve ever received and it allowed them to hire their first volunteer coordinator. It also granted them the ability to expand their program to the hotels that are housing the overflow from DC General.  N St. Village and Fair Girls both received $5,000 as a part of the DC Wise legacy program.

I’m proud to be a part of this group of women and to have the opportunity make a difference in somebody’s life. Thank you for your support because this wouldn’t have been possible without your generosity.

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re rounduplinks from left to right: urban turf, washington post, housing wire, washingtonian

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happy 2017!


Why hello!  I’m a couple of days late in wishing you a Happy New Year but getting back to work is hard.  I spent the last couple of weeks working, enjoying my family and friends, and reading 8000 books.  Ok..I only read 15 and some were only 250 pages.  It was a really great holiday!


This year was quiet as my Uncle couldn’t join us for the annual Christmas Eve fish fry. Instead, these jokers helped my Dad.  It’s a lot of work but they have a great time.

Meanwhile, the rest of us were inside waiting for the pepperoni rolls to come out of the oven. Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year!


The hilarious part?  This compilation of my Dad cooking on Christmas Eve the last four years. Does this man age? He’s certainly having a good time every year!


While I had a wonderful time, I’m glad I’m back in DC and getting geared up for 2017.  I think it’s going to be a wild and crazy year for real estate.  I hope it’ll be a year full of fun as well!


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1020 Monroe St, NW #302

2 bedrooms | 1.5 baths

881 square feet

for rent | $2600

Modern 2 bedroom, 1.5 ba condo with an open floor plan, hardwood floors, silestone counters, ss appliances, and w/d in unit. Located on 11th St. “hip strip” in Columbia Heights, minutes to Metro, retail and restaurants. 95 walk score. $45 application fee. 1 months rent security deposit. No smoking, no pets. Tenant pays electric. For more photos, click here for the virtual tour.

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