WAMU looks at "toxic renovations" and DCRA problems

Ward 4 resident and WAMU reporter Martin Austermuhle has started publishing his three-part series on problems with flipped / renovated homes in the area. (He went on a neighborhood walk-through with CM Vincent Orange the other week.)

It's a good read and focuses on a young couple, Stuart Crampton and his wife Violeta Roman who purchased a flipped house on Perry St NW.

Crampton, Roman and their daughter Ama sitting on the porch of their home in March 2015. After a series of problems with the home, they moved out in Dec. 2013. (WAMU/Martin Austermuhle)

Crampton, Roman and their daughter Ama sitting on the porch of their home in March 2015. After a series of problems with the home, they moved out in Dec. 2013. (WAMU/Martin Austermuhle)

It can also help to explain some of the concerns by local residents who think DCRA is not doing enough to monitor these renovations or support existing & new residents.

From the article:

"[The homeowners'] story is a cautionary tale of home-buying in a hot real estate market, one in which developers quickly snatch up residential properties, renovate and sell them — often at a healthy profit. It’s also emblematic of a practice that has quickly spread in D.C. and elsewhere as real estate developers try to cash in on the city’s growth. In the nation’s capital, it’s happening too quickly for the city’s under-resourced regulatory agencies to keep up with, say some experts."

"That can mean homes where aesthetics trump quality, where new drywall and hardwood floors mask serious flaws. And while it can be hard to judge just how extensive the problem is — some developers say it’s only a small number of players — one longtime builder says that there are plenty of examples of poorly flipped homes."

I recommend reading the series.

Source: WAMU.org

Note: Martin Austermuhle is answering questions on the article / series on Reddit

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.



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