Housing Complex

The Inauguration Rental Chronicles, Part 4: Exuberant Exchanges After a Response

The Inauguration Rental Chronicles follows the epic story of four roommates as they seek to rent out their Northwest townhouse for a glorious sum while battling the tides of waning consumer interest, pie-in-the-sky expectations, and an untested and entirely unknown market.

The last chapter of our story ended on a positive note. After three days on Craigslist, the group's advertisement got a hit from a woman that wanted to bring 15 college students and two chaperons from St. Johns College in Patchogue New York to stay in the group's four-bedroom home. (Yes, this number was somewhat worrisome. But perhaps it could be negotiated down.) After an initial e-mail, the respondent made several requests: "Can you send me photos? Another question, how far are you from the metro, restaurants and sites?"

This letter prompted one roommate, with gleaming dollar signs in her eyes, to draft an exuberant e-mail about nearly every business within a two mile radius. Here's a snippet:

On Kenyon and 14th Street there is The Heights (a more upscale restaurant) and then you have Julia's Empanadas, El Pollo Campero (peruvian chicken is AMAZING there), and Rita's Italian Ice. Giant grocery store is a block up on 14th and Lamont, its across from Sticky Fingerz Bakery one of the best vegan bakeries on the East coast. A block down on 14th and Irving is the metro (green and yellow lines, Columbia Heights station), Pete's Apizza (best pizza in DC!), Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Panda Express, and Commonwealth Gastropub. There is also a Target, Marshall's, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, a gym, Kinkos and Starbucks.

There were similar paragraphs covering the U Street area (home to "music venues such as the 9:30 club, Black Cat, Bohemian Caverns, DC9 and Velvet Lounge"), and what to do by Dupont Circle ("Sit in the park by the fountain or hit up even more dining options") and Eastern Market ("Definitely check it out on Sunday the local produce and chotchkies for sale there at awesome and unique").

In total the letter took roughly fifteen minutes to draft. And in response, the inquirer sent...nothing. The St. Johns College woman never wrote back. She simply dropped off the face of the earth. At least one relationship was not terminated in this exchange: the connection existing between craigslist and the home's somewhat deflated residents.

Image by Tsevis