Housing Complex

Inauguration Rental Reports: The $15,000 Capitol Hill Townhouse

Let me first apologize. If you're sick of reading about inauguration rentals, then this blog probably irritated you in the past week. Thus far, I've followed (with four entries ) one girl's attempt to rent out her Northwest townhouse, and I've constantly posted stories and figures I've found related to the inauguration crowds and outrageously high prices for rentals around the region.

Well this onslaught won't be subsiding—at least not for the next week. Sorry.

Since all I ever have to report about real estate these days is depressing news, I'm clinging to this baby. But more importantly, there have been very few stories inquiring whether any Craigslisters are actually getting responses, negotiating deals, and signing papers.

So for the next few days, I'll be posting reports from these people from around the city. No, it's not definitive data. But it will give you a sense of what's renting and what's not. My guess is the "Not" category is dominating. Badly.

First up...

Craigslister: Peter Sherer

Offering: $15,000 for his historic Capitol Hill townhouse, with three possible bedrooms.

How many other occupants: One, Sherer's wife

Location: Close to the intersection of Third Street and Constitution Avenue Northeast

Details: The advertisement describes "a stunning living room that seats 10," a second floor that has a "cozy and quiet bedroom with a queen sized bed and its own full bath," and an artist's studio where an inflatable mattress could be situated. Upstairs, there's a "master bedroom suite that was entirely renovated a few years ago."

Special Requests: "No Children under 10 years old unless they are dependably well-behaved."

Date posted: 11/13/2008


Why in the first place: Sherer runs a company called Experience Matters, which coaches baby boom executives into new jobs and through the first stages of retirement. Although he hasn't forwarded his posting to his network of clients, he's imagining someone exactly like one of them to stay in his house.Here's the vision: "She’s from Chicago, and she wants to come to Washington and bring her kids because it’s going to be a historic event. Rather than driving 30 miles from some Motel 6 in Manassas, she’s decided that this sounds like a cozy way to house her family...[The woman] might even have an adult child with a spouse." Despite receiving no interest, Sherer says he's not willing to lower this price. If the place rents out, he and his wife plan on visiting friends or family outside of the city. If there are no occupants, they'll stay and invite others to join them. The whole inaugural rental concept "just seemed like sort of an interesting idea," he says "I thought it would be somebody like me. I assumed they did something interesting. They were here for a reason. And that it might be someone who, for all I knew, might become a client. "