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UrbanTurf Answers

  • March 29, 2012

by UrbanTurf Staff

Each week, UrbanTurf gets questions from readers related to the articles we have written. Instead of answering in the comments section, where things can get lost in the shuffle, we have decided to round up those questions and provide responses each week in one article. Welcome to the first installment of UrbanTurf Answers!


UrbanTurf Answers: Figure 1

In this week’s installment of This Week’s Find, commenter JT asked if there is a way to find out about the history of individual homes in DC. The answer is yes, although retrieving the type of colorful information that we were able to get about 1125 D Street NE could be tough.

Back in November, UrbanTurf wrote an article about the Washingtoniana division at the Martin Luther King, Jr. library. The division can help owners find out when their home was built, identify former owners and residents and their occupations, and see if any additions were ever built and when. It can’t tell you whether or not your home was used to help ferry illicit liquor, but it is a start.


UrbanTurf Answers: Figure 2

In the article A Renter-Heavy Building Can Make Finding a Buyer Tough, commenter jag asked:

Is it generally the case that a building (not under construction or anything like that) must be more than 50% owner occupied or is the number generally higher than that?

In most cases, larger buildings have rules in place to keep the owner ratio well above 50 percent, thus protecting owners who want to sell. However, with smaller buildings, bylaws that speak to this issue are not always in place, which can lead to situations like the one that asked by the individual which prompted this article.


UrbanTurf Answers: Figure 3

In Love Letters and Home Buying which looked at a NY Times article that outlined the trend of potential buyers sending heartfelt letters to the sellers of a home they are interested in, commenter Richko asked:

What about letters to owners of properties that are not currently for sale? Do owners even bother reading them unless they are planning to sell in the short term anyway?

UrbanTurf has heard of a few instances of letters being placed in the mail boxes or mail slots of homes not currently on the market that people fall in love with. Several years ago, a relative of an UrbanTurf staffer even received a visit from an individual who came with an unsolicited offer in hand. They were intrigued, but liked their house too much to sell.


Lastly, a couple weeks ago we revisited the popular Cost of Buying article that we published in early March. Despite crunching the numbers and vetting the calculations with a number of real estate professionals, we mistakenly calculated the Maryland property tax and income tax for the chart. We will take this hiccup into account if and when we decide to publish a similar comparison in the future.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/urbanturf_answers/5351

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