Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


A New Promise to My Clients

In Washington, DC, where I do most of my work, anything built after 1952 is considered new construction.  Unless I'm showing something that has been completely renovated, there is likely to be something old and funky - galvanized plumbing, kitchens that were state of the art during World War One, or heating systems reminiscent of Dante's Inferno, wrapped in a blanket of asbestos.

So often, I hear myself saying, "You know, it wouldn't be all that hard to redo the [fill in the blank].  Actually, I had a conversation something like that with myself when I bought "This Old House" over 20 years ago!  

And over the years, I've done a fair amount of work on the place.  But I was sort of ignoring the bathrooms, which are great examples of early indoor plumbing, and were prioritized just below my face lift in terms of dealing with them.  All that changed when an antique burst pipe, and now I am making more appointments to meet contractors than I am to list and show houses.   

Friday, I was out showing houses to a favorite client when my phone rang.  It was a contractor alerting me that he was emailing a bid, which I checked out on my Blackberry a few minutes later.  When I saw his number, I had to pick myself and my Blackberry up off the floor, and I promised my client that I would never again utter the words, "You could fix that pretty easily," ever EVER again.

She hugged me!  We both laughed. 

Today, the electrical contractor showed up on time to the minute and did the electrical upgrade I'll need to handle the new central air (the place was going to be ripped up anyway, so why not?) and to run the heater on the Jacuzzi.  This is the first step, and I'm glad it finally happened - the pipe burst in mid-April. 

My face lift will have to wait a little longer.  Darn! 


Comment balloon 8 commentsPatricia Kennedy • June 25 2007 05:30PM


Well worth a Mulligan, may this be the first of many-  be good  cheryl

Posted by Cheryl Willis, MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law (RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI) almost 12 years ago

Cheryl, thank you!  This post finally has a comment!  Whoo Hoo!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Patricia: This is a good one! I actually have a good excuse for not having commented sooner...I didn't join AR until this year!

Posted by Kim Southern- "Sold" with Southern Hospitality, Greetings from the North Georgia Mountains! (Century 21 In the Mountains) almost 12 years ago

Kim, that is an excellent excuse!  And thank you for your comment!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Patricia:  Great story and I try to catch myself whenever I'm about to tell a client, "but that's an easy fix...  or you can always add a swimming pool".  Hello, big bucks involved is what goes off in my head so I try to watch my mouth.  I feel for you and those not so easy fixes you have to make.

Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) almost 12 years ago

Patricia~So happy you put this one back out there. I needed the Sunday morning comedy. Your post is a great reminder that "simple" upgrades/improvements/repairs to some might not be to others...especially when it involves plumbing or electrical!

Posted by LaShawn Norden, REALTOR, (321) 377-0157, Your Real Estate Advocate in Central FL (Keller Williams Heritage Realty) almost 12 years ago


Good idea on the mulligan, and a great post.  Isn't it easy when we deal with 'fixes' every day to loose track of what can REALLY be involved.

I'm waiting for my contractor to get back to me with some numbers on a variety of projects that I'm planning for my house. (Somewhere down the road).  I'm hopeful I won't need to have my heart jumpstarted when I see the page.

Posted by Eric Webster, Grand Rapids, MI, Five Star Realty (Five Star Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Patricia - LOL!  Isn't that the way it always goes...?  It's hardly ever less expensive than you thought...  :)

Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) almost 12 years ago