Date   
ISO someone to create a digital slide show with music

Kathe Mcdaniels
 

I need to scan old photos to create a digital slide show with music. I would appreciate some advice as to where to go to have this done.

Thank you,
Kathe McDaniels

Re: Responses re appealing assessments

marie_drissel
 

I really need to respond to one of the suggestions presented in this
compilation. It is a common error made in appealing assessments. One
neighbor suggested that one gather comparables from the last 3 months or January to March 2009. Neither the assessor (which is the first level of appeal) nor the Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals (BRPAA) will consider sales in 2009 unless the sale was under contract in December 2008 and settled in January 2009 with none of the conditions of the sale changed between December and January. Your assessment is made as of January 1, 2009. Both appraisal and assessment theory preclude the use of sales after that date. This is a common error made in many presentations.

One other point is a few people did not make it clear that you have two attempts before the last level which is DC Superior Court Tax Division--like 3rd base. The first appeal must be filed by April 1, 2009. This one is before your assessor. Your chances of winning are greatly improved if you appear in person.

One other good idea is to take pictures and mark them with square and lot of both your property and any comparables you use. Show your pictures to a friend/family member and ask them if the pictures demonstrate what you are trying to prove. If you do not receive the decision you believe you should have received from the assessor you can appeal at the next level or with BRPAA--second base. You may introduce new arguments/information at this level including any tips your learned from your initial meeting with the assessor. Many have suggested that you ask for your property record card and the cost.dat sheet at the very beginning of this process. This is critical. So call now.

If you have a particular problem with your property you might get a real estate agent to write a letter about the specifics and why your house would not have sold at the sales price of your selected comparables. Use 3 to 5 comparables. It is not good practice to use less then 3 if possible. This in essence is what an appraisal is when prepared by a certified appraiser. But I want to be clear you do not need to spend the money for an appraisal. There are no
fees to file appeals at these two levels. The first hearing at the
assessor's office usually takes place in late Spring or Summer and the
second level with BRPAA starts in the Fall. But if you still disagree with BRPAA you may represent yourself in DC Superior Court Tax Division but there is a substantial filing fee. You do not have to be a lawyer and you can again introduce new evidence.

Marie Drissel

_____

From: cleveland-park@... [mailto:cleveland-park@...]
On Behalf Of sid9dc
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 4:30 PM
To: cleveland-park@...
Subject: [Cleveland-Park] Responses re appealing assessments



Thank you to the number of people who replied to my post about strategies
for contesting the 2010 assessments. Because of a substantial number of
requests that I forward the info I received, I've chosen to post it all
instead.

I've started to look around for comps, and there's more out there these days
than washingtonpost.com. There's also zillow.com and trulia.com. Another
website that keeps track of the DC market as a whole is dchousingprices.com.
If there's anything else out there that's good, please let me know.

With all the information about comps in hand, most responders to my post
suggested requesting a phone interview or in-person meeting. Here are
several of the most useful of the responses. At least one wanted to remain
anonymous, so I've chosen to present all of the responses anonymously:
[previous message snipped by moderator for length]

Lucy the (no longer) lost dog - flier removal

hiryzun
 

Now that Lucy has been reunited with her owners, they're asking for help taking down the fliers. Feel free to remove any fliers you come across. More info at www.lostlucy.com.

John
Connecticut Ave.

Re: Responses re appealing assessments

heimert
 

I would reinforce the in-person/phone approach for the reasons stated in #2. Don't be intimidated--the process at this stage is pretty informal. You sit with the assessor at his/her desk and can go through your evidence/documents--it's not a hearing at all. Being able to discuss them allows you to clarify any confusion the assessor may have--they're not likely to be at all familiar with your house, or at most only vaguely so. And if your argument is at all detailed (which it likely will be), it's nice to be able to step through it twice, or try a slightly different explanation to make the same point.

Have a copy of documents to leave with the assessor. They won't make a decision at that point, but will instead go to a supervisor to discuss it, and then they give you a decision.

Andrew

--- In cleveland-park@..., "sid9dc" <sid9dc@...> wrote:

Thank you to the number of people who replied to my post about strategies for contesting the 2010 assessments. Because of a substantial number of requests that I forward the info I received, I've chosen to post it all instead.

I've started to look around for comps, and there's more out there these days than washingtonpost.com. There's also zillow.com and trulia.com. Another website that keeps track of the DC market as a whole is dchousingprices.com. If there's anything else out there that's good, please let me know.

With all the information about comps in hand, most responders to my post suggested requesting a phone interview or in-person meeting. Here are several of the most useful of the responses. At least one wanted to remain anonymous, so I've chosen to present all of the responses anonymously:
[previous message thread snipped by moderator for length]

For rent parking space one block to Metro

Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd
 

Parking spot available for rent immediately. One block to Cleveland Park METRO. $175/month. If interested, please call me at (202) 363-2369

- Josefa (Ordway Street)

Responses re appealing assessments

sid9dc
 

Thank you to the number of people who replied to my post about strategies for contesting the 2010 assessments. Because of a substantial number of requests that I forward the info I received, I've chosen to post it all instead.

I've started to look around for comps, and there's more out there these days than washingtonpost.com. There's also zillow.com and trulia.com. Another website that keeps track of the DC market as a whole is dchousingprices.com. If there's anything else out there that's good, please let me know.

With all the information about comps in hand, most responders to my post suggested requesting a phone interview or in-person meeting. Here are several of the most useful of the responses. At least one wanted to remain anonymous, so I've chosen to present all of the responses anonymously:

Response #1

I once won an appeal by telephone, but nowadays the supporting documents--assessments of neighboring similar houses--are essential. Personally, I would opt for a one-on-one interview. Check the DC Government database to see whether you can print out the information you need.

Response #2

Here are some basic thoughts:

- telephone or in person hearing is best. You want to be able to react and answer any questions that arise. I think a letter cuts off this discussion and will sell you short in getting your point across.

-Be reasonable and have well supported facts and conclusions. Know the sales in your neighborhood and how those houses compare to your house in terms of age, condition, size, room mix, negotiated sale terms and any concessions offered on the sales.

- Check your ego about how great your house is. That is not the point. What you want to show is that the sales used by OTR are superior to your property. If you have deferred maintenance (such as replacing gutters or leaks in your roof) or dated items (unrenovated kitchen, unrenovated bathrooms, old heater, etc) make a point of it. Market value should consider deductions for these items as any buyer would either have your repair them or expect a reduction in pricing because of them.

- Have the data ready and presentable. The facts are the key. Confirm the sales with brokers or neighbors to understand the negotiations and underlying terms. If there is special financing or amounts placed in escrow, the sale price is affected. You have to get to what is known as "cash equivalent". So any term of sale that either inflates or deflates the price must be either added or subtracted from the sale price for cash equivalency.

- Request OTR's data ahead of time. You have to specifically request their information - - it is not automatically given to you. Then, research their data and check the calculations. If there are errors in your favor, point it out at the appeal.

- Get your property record card. This has the facts of what OTR thinks your property is (i.e., 3 bed/2 bath semi-detached or 3-bed/3-bath detached with garage, etc.). Make sure these facts are correct because your card may have an extra bath or an integral garage instead of a detached garage or carport. The facts matter because each element either drives the assessment/value up or down. Find the ones that drive your assessment down and have photos to prove it.

- If you have bills or estimates for major repairs dated after Jan 1, 2009, submit them. This would be for replacement of heaters, air conditioners, toilets, etc. As the value is as of Jan 1, the premise is that these elements were obsolete and should be reductions in value IF the properties used by OTR did not have such obsolesence.

Response #3

DC eliminated its real estate tax equalization laws in the mid 90's, so there is no accountability responsibility in the assessment board. They can and do set tax assessments as they are directed

First, do file the appeal and see how many neighbors you can get to appeal also. There is value in numbers.

2nd Ask to have an assessment board agent/inspector assessor visit your home for you to show that person your house, neighbors' houses and the big ones.

Try and get real estate sales comparables from the last three months to show the assessor at your home.

Your house assessment was made before the financial crash. Ask specifically when your assessment was evaluated. Assessment board workers came by my house taking pictures of only the front of the house in the first half of 08. I don't remember the exact date. Try to make them give you the date the pictures were made of your house. It should be in your house's file..

At the appeals board meeting if you need to attend, present all of the data you have collected. Ask the board to refer to each of the houses that you use as evidence if they do not do it first.

Also, ask the realtor you use to get the comparables to give you some advice on what to say. They probably won't but it is worth a try.

Response #4

It helps to compare your assessment rate to the true value of your house. The assessment rate varies from 63% to 100% of value in my area of Woodley Park. I have successfully reduced my taxes over several years and intend to file a complaint again this year.


Sid
Upton St.

Re: Responses re appealing assessments

swedecraig@...
 

Before appealing your assessment, be sure to obtain from your assessor your Property Record Card and the cost.dat sheet showing how your assessment was calculated. It is not calculated on comparable sales but rather on the basis of cost of replacement new less depreciation. There is no inclusion of the costs you would incur if you sold your house, for fix-up costs, for sales agent, for transfer taxes and there is no inclusion of the costs of the personal property in your house, such as refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, which ordinarily are sold with the house if the house is sold. The assessment is supposed to measure only the estimated market value of your real property, and does not include the value of services paid for when the house is sold or the value of personal property when the house is sold or the transfer taxes that must
be paid if the house is sold. That is the law and that was the ruling of Judge Eugene Hamilton of the D.C. Superior Court in Craig v. D.C., in 2005, a ruling from which the District did not appeal.

Therefore, in looking at "comparable sales," one needs to estimate the non real-property items contained in such sales. I have used 10%, which is conservative. In Florida, they use 15%. One also needs to recognize that if sales were made several months ago, they need to be adjusted downward to reflect the downward trend in D.C. housing prices, which declined 28.8% since their high on the January 1, 2006 valuation date to the current valuation date, January 1, 2009.

As noted in my testimony and exhibits in today's oversight hearings by Jack Evans of the D.C. Council, the proposed residential assessments for tax year are, on average, 25% too high. This is the result of artificially high multipliers for the house, inadequate depreciation and artificially high land values.

Peter S. Craig, Esq.
3406 Macomb St. NW
Washington DC 20016

Lost Sunglasses Near CP Metro

Kathleen Lewis-Workman
 

Hi, I lost a new pair of prescription sunglasses around the Cleveland Park Metro station.

They were in a yellow/gold cloth case (but might have fallen out).

Please let me know if you have found a pair.

Thank you
Kathleen
klewis_workman@...

another housekeeper recommendation

C Rosen <christinerosen2003@...>
 

Dear Neighbors,

Our housekeeper is looking for additional work in the neighborhood. Xiomara has cleaned for us for five years (and for one of our neighbors for nearly twenty years). She is reliable, detail-oriented, and hard-working and I can't recommend her highly enough. She is fluent in English and she drives.

She and her daughter work together and they have always done an excellent job for us. Xiomara has time available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. You can contact her directly on her cellphone: 240.478.7239. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me off-list via email.

Christine Rosen
Macomb Street
christinerosen2003@...

Free bed frame, Rocker for Sale

David & Eileen
 

Free: A wooden, single mattress fouton frame (I believe from Ikea) is in front of my house for anyone who wants it. It's assembled in two pieces and the screws to attach it together are taped to the frame. It's in great shape.

$50 for a solid maple (perhaps ash) ladderback rocker featuring turned finials and steambent curved slats that has a rush seat. In excellent condition.

Eileen Langholtz
3610 Ordway Street

Any recommendations for a local photography course?

michaelsmithot
 

Hey, neighbors, I recently purchased a very nice professional-grade camera and would love to take a course to bring my skills up to the potential of the camera...any suggestions? Please respond off-list.

Thanks as always,
Michael Smith

Re: cabs to the airport

Maya
 

RedTop Cab is fabulous, but only if you're going to National or Dulles.  Not only do they arrive five minutes early, but the cabs are spacious and clean, and before we had meters in DC, they had them, which I considered an advantage.  I even discovered that if you tell them in advance how much your kid weighs, they will come with a proper size car seat too.

It turns out to be quite difficult to get a reliable cab service to go to BWI, in my experience.  I've taken to going on a weekday so I can take the commuter rail, or on a weekend taking the bus from Greenbelt - both work quite reliably.  I have given up on SuperShuttle which will never guarantee a limited number of stops and wants you to go 2 hours earlier than you'd like to.

   --- Maya Bernstein
       Devonshire Pl


________________________________
From: heimert <heimert@...>
To: cleveland-park@...
Sent: Friday, March 6, 2009 2:09:33 PM
Subject: [Cleveland-Park] Re: cabs to the airport


FWIW, I have found Red Top Cab of Arlington to be extremely more reliable than any DC cab company. They may pick up in DC if destination is National (or Dulles).

Andrew

Re: cabs to the airport

heimert
 

FWIW, I have found Red Top Cab of Arlington to be extremely more reliable than any DC cab company. They may pick up in DC if destination is National (or Dulles).

Andrew

--- In cleveland-park@..., marcia.kass@... wrote:

To the Nashes:

If you are going to use standard D.C. cabs, Diamond is more reliable
than Yellow. Diamond will also take advance appointments by phone.

Marcia Kass
Wilshire Park

Roofer Needed

cscusack <cscusack@...>
 

Hello,

We need to replace the flat roof on our garage. If you've had a good experience with a roofer, we'd like to hear about it.

Thank you!

-Tina

Recycling still not picked up

Adele Blong <amblong@...>
 

Trash was finally picked up in the alley behind the north side of the
2900-3000 block of Porter but the recycling has still not been picked up as of noon Friday. I've reported it to 311 as suggested by DPW rep Kevin Twine.

Adele Blong

My excellent housekeeper is looking for additional work

Julie McCune <julie_mccune@...>
 

Hi Neighbors,

My housekeeper, Flor, recently mentioned that she is looking for additional work. Flor is extremely reliable, trust-worthy, and has done an excellent job cleaning my apartment every other week for the past year and a half. Prior to hiring Flor, I used Maple Maids and then Green Clean. Flor does a much more thorough cleaning job and also charges less than both of these other agencies. Furthermore, both Maple Maids and Green Clean ruined or broke a household item, whereas Flor has never damaged anything in my house.

Flor is originally from Guatemala and is fluent in Spanish, but speaks, reads, and writes enough English to communicate effectively about any of your household needs. If you would like any additional information about my positive experiences with Flor, feel free to email me or call me at 202-210-8097. I will also note that I originally hired Flor after reading a positive recommendation for her on this listserv in 2007.

If you'd like to call Flor and schedule a cleaning, get a price quote, or find out more information, you can reach her at 301-589-1914.

I will also mention that Flor usually travels by public transportation and therefore you are expected to provide your own cleaning supplies and equipment. I actually prefer this because then I know what chemicals/products are being used in my home.

Thanks,
Julie McCune
Ordway St NW

Auto Glass recommendations?

magistra_ryder
 

Hi, neighbors,

This morning, I clipped a garbage can with my car (I am responsible, though irritated, as the garbage crew did not return this can to its proper resting place) and my passenger side mirror went flying.

The assembly is fine, and the mirror popped right back into place, though the glass is fractured.

I am looking for a an auto glass location that will fix this inexpensively. Only the glass with its plastic frame/backing needs to be replaced.

Online places will only sell me the glass (no frame/backing) or the entire assembly, or I think I could do it myself.

Can you all provide me with the names of any reputable auto glass locations in the area? I am near the Cathedral.

I appreciate your help!
Reagan
Garfield and Wisconsin

seeking labor lawyer for COBRA denial case

dcrunner22
 

Dear List Serve Community,

It has recently come to my attention that a major local employer is barring discharged employees from obtaining both COBRA and Unemployment compensation in violation of Federal Labor Laws. Can anyone recommend a good lawyer?
 
Thank you
Colleen Hackett

follow up to packages stolen in December...arrest made!

Thomas/Sarah Hentoff/Sloan
 

Neighbors,

Back in January, I posted about two packages that were stolen from my front stoop. I wanted to follow up because, incredibly, a suspect was arrested (and is now out on bail) in Arlington, Va and the police there along with the US Postal Inspection Service are working on building a case against her.

I was notified by the USPIS because mail with my name on it turned up in a rental car that was recovered due to non-payment. Not just my mail was found in the car though-- police have identified 49 victims in DC and Virginia. (If your mail was also found in the car, you too will have gotten a notice from the USPIS. I know that at least two others were victims of theft from boxes I found.)

The police think that this woman drove through DC neighborhoods (around Dupont Circle up Connecticut Avenue into Cleveland Park) stealing mail and packages, dumping boxes along the way. She was compiling a journal with all sorts of financial information to then be used to open up accounts in the victim's name at various stores. Pretty chilling.

If you were missing mail (bank statements, credit card statements, packages, etc.) in the general time period of November 2008-February 2009 you should submit an online mail theft report with the US Postal Inspection Services https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/ . Because many of the individual thefts were relatively small, the Arlington police are working to document the grand total of the damages, and they are using the USPIS reports as the starting point.

You should also check with the credit agencies to see if any inquries were made in your name and place a fraud alert on your accounts. (The three agencies are: Equifax 1-800-525-6285; Experian 1-888-397-3742;Transunion 1-800-680-7289)

Sally Sloan

FS: Uptown Theatre 3/6/09 7:45 PM showing of Watchmen 2 tickets

Mary Davis <maryelizabethdavis@...>
 

Bought two tickets to the 3/6/09 7:45 PM showing of Watchmen at the Uptown on fandango several days ago for my daughter and a friend. Saw reviews today - much too violent for them to see. Will sell both tickets for $15. Can pick up at house or our office -- anytime today.

Mary

202 234-7300