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Old 07-12-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
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Moneypit in DC


Hi all,

First time homeowner here. I bought a 120 year old pile of bricks in downtown DC and I'm attempting to turn it into a home.

Plaster repair, rewiring, new hvac, flooring, plumbing... all of it.

It's awesome, and I'm way over my head. Looking forward to learning a lot over the next two or three... decades.

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Old 07-15-2010, 05:17 AM   #2
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Moneypit in DC


Welcome.

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Old 07-15-2010, 06:21 AM   #3
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Moneypit in DC


Quote:
Originally Posted by KStreetQB View Post
a 120 year old pile of bricks in downtown DC
You know, the fire hydrants in DC don't work? It was in the Washington Post some time ago.
But that's OK - bricks don't burn!

I also heard that a lady sent her Fed. income tax payment to the DC gov. by mistake. Well, they cashed the check even though it was made out to the IRS, not to them, and it took her a year to get them to cough up the money.
Forewarned is forearmed.

Before you do any mods to a house in DC make triple sure that your plans are not against one of their many codes, ordinances, etc., etc.
They approved a transmitting tower on Wisconsin Ave. that was going to tower over everything. When everybody woke up to this fact they stopped work on it, so now they have the enormous base of said tower poking up above the trees, but that's it. It is/was over by Jennifer St.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-15-2010 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:59 AM   #4
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Moneypit in DC


The local DC government is difficult to deal with. I spent a whole day at the permitting office with 3 guys trying to work out a public space permit for scaffolding on my house (some, if not all, of your yard in DC is 'public space'), before they ultimately decided I didn't even need a permit. Very little attention, however, was paid to the actual architectural plans.

I have a corner lot, and the two corner lots across the intersection from me, which are also under construction, got slapped with stop work orders. I think it is pushing one of young couples out of the renovation window for their HUD loan - not sure what they are going to do. The buildings have been vacant for 40 years; whatever they were doing couldn't possibly be worse than leaving them as is.

I'm also in a historic district, which is nice I suppose, but very expensive to do exterior work in. I live in a somewhat dangerous part of town, but I basically have to pay for a Georgetown renovation. The purely aesthetic work they made me do, in order to get my permits to keep the house from collapsing, cost me in the 15k range. There goes my kitchen renovation! At least the drug dealers have the priveledge of breaking in through new historically accurate custom wood windows though... I hope they appreciate it.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:18 AM   #5
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Moneypit in DC


Maybe there is a site like this
http://www.ripoff.com/
for bureaucracies.

Sometimes they can be shamed into behaving themselves.

Good luck.

Be careful.

I hope that, in DC, you do not have to retreat from your own residence before you can use lethal force against an intruder.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-15-2010 at 10:20 AM.
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