TOPA: Own a small or mid-sized apartment building in DC?

If you are the owner of a small or mid-sized apartment building in Washington, DC and are contemplating selling, please contact us BEFORE you do anything. It's important! We are skilled, savvy, and experienced in navigating DC's TOPA laws AND maximizing your profits and minimizing headaches. 


How? It would be malpractice to give away our secrets here. Contact us for a free consultation. 




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Does your DC house have a Lead Service Line?  DC Water has an interactive map to check!


1) You'll need to enter your property address.

2) Click on the pop-up link on the address to see what information is available.

3) DC Water is responsible for the part of the water line in public space and will replace at their cost.

4) Owners are responsible for the cost of replacing the water line on private property.

5) DC Water offers contractors who can perform the work on private property, usually at lower cost than finding your own contractor.

6) Hopefully your water lines have been replaced.


Here is a link to the map:


Buy Smart.  Live Well.

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First-Time Buyers in DC in-line for reduced settlement costs:


As a result of recent legislation, the recordation tax rate payable on residential properties acquired by first-time District of Columbia homebuyers will be a reduced rate of 0.725%.  The rate reduction will apply to deeds recorded on or after October 1, 2017, and all grantees named in a deed must be a first-time District of Columbia homebuyer to qualify for the reduced tax rate.  In order to obtain the first-time homebuyer tax rate, an application for the reduced rate must be submitted with the deed at the time the deed is submitted for recordation.  The Recorder of Deeds has indicated that the application form will be form number ROD 11 which will be available on the forms section of the ROD website.


Note:  Some restrictions apply, but this will save most DC first-time buyers thousands of dollars in settlement costs.


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Client Care vs. Client Development

Cullen P. Watson, Esq.

Client Care or Client Development?  Important Distinctions when Choosing a Real Estate Broker.

I tend to be forward-thinking in terms of business models, technology, and innovation; however, I am very “old school” when it comes to obtaining more clients for a real estate brokerage, a practice commonly referred to as business or client development. I heed the advice of my father, owner of a real estate brokerage for 40+ years in Maryland.

#1 – Be honest.

#2 – Do a good job.

#3 – Collect referrals.

In my opinion, too many large real estate brokerages are hyper-focused on client development rather than client care. When a brokerage forces its agents to focus on client development, the agents become over-extended. These agents cannot possibly give their existing clients the time and care necessary to help them make good decisions. Clearly, this is not good for clients, nor the agents associated with the brokerage. Existing clients receive lackluster ...

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What is Real Property?

Cullen P. Watson, Esq.

What is Real Property?  A Legal Definition.


Real Property, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014). 


real property (18c) Land and anything growing on, attached to, or erected on it, excluding anything that may be severed without injury to the land. • Real property can be either corporeal (soil and buildings) or incorporeal (easements). — Also termed realty; real estate. Cf. personal property (1).

“Real estate — or, to use the more formal term, real property — means primarily land, and everything which is naturally a part of the land, or is more or less permanently added to it. Trees, mineral deposits, gas and oil wells are all classed as real property so long as they remain a part of the land, but if the trees are cut down or the minerals extracted they cease to be real property and become personalty. Buildings and improvements of all kinds, which are permanent additions to the land upon which they stand, are a part of the real estate.” ...

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