The St. Mark’s Players (301 A St., S.E.) present “Chicago,” opening tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $20 and can be purchased online at stmarksplayers.org. The show will run through May 21.
Siren returns to Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) with “F*** the Fame Away,” a Lady Gaga vs. Peaches Dance Party with a performance by “Slim Pu$$y” at midnight. Doors open at 10 p.m.
D.C. Front Runners is having its “spring fling” rooftop martinee soiree tonight at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Jeff Dutton and Kei Koizumi on their roof deck. The address will be posted to the group’s weekly e-news or e-mail [email protected] New Front Runners shirts will be available for sale. For more information, visit dcfrontrunners.org.
The Baltimore Museum of Art (10 Art Museum Drive) has more than 200 images by Diane Arbus, William Eggleston and Cindy Sherman in its exhibit, “Seeing Now: Photography Since 1960.” The exhibit closes Sunday. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Evolve Urban Arts Project presents “Shenanigans” featuring works by Lindsey Applebee in the Pierce School Lofts (1375 Maryland Ave., N.E.). The gallery is open from 1 to 4 p.m.
“Follies,” an award-winning musical starring Bernadette Peters, will be performed tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $150 and can be purchased online at kennedy-center.org.
Saturday, May 14
Protect and Defend presents “Copcakes for a Cause” wine and dessert tasting at Remingtons (639 Pennsylvania Ave., N.E.) tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is $25 and includes wine, dessert and soda. Proceeds will benefit Concerns of Police Officers. Protect and Defend serves the interests of gay and lesbian law enforcement, firefighters, military and other public safety and justice system workers. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit protectanddefend.org.
Jacob Pring presents “Come Out of the Shadows,” tonight from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.). Part of POZ D.C., this is a monthly party for those who are HIV positive.
The cast of “50Faggots” will be celebrating the release of its second webisode “I Was Just a Poor Lost Boy Myself” at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. with DJ Alex Cohen and Kuhmeleon hosted by Cyon Flare.
Epic Win Burlesque will be performing at the Red Palace (1212 H St., N.E.) tonight with Schaffer the Darklord and Nelson Lugo. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 10. All attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door and can be purchased online at redpalacedc.com.
A kickball tournament and fundraiser benefit, presented by The Lodge (21614 National Pike) in Boonsboro, starts tonight with a pre-party. The fundraiser will feature a silent auction and 50/50 raffle to benefit the Washington County Special Olympics. The tournament will be help Sunday.
Zenith Gallery is hosting a lecture demonstration with Rosetta DeBerardinis on the use of acrylic paints today from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Chevy Chase Pavilion (5335 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.). Artists of all levels are invited to attend. An artist reception will follow the lecture. E-mail [email protected] to RSVP.
Sunday, May 15
Flip-Out, D.C.’s LGBT flip cup league, has its weekly games today at 5 p.m. at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.). For more information, visit flipoutdc.com.
Pocket Gays present Maypole Sunday School today from 3 to 9 p.m. on the roof deck of Local 16 (1602 U St., N.W.) featuring the tunes of Glowstick.
Lambda Divers Scuba Club is having a happy hour tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at Nellie’s (900 U St., N.W.).
Pier Six Pavilion presents Sunday Funday with Amos Lee, Josh Ritter, Eric Hutchinson, Mason Jennings, Justin Jones and Bobby Long, with Sweet Leda, Taylor Carson and Kentavius Jones. Tickets range from $20 to $60 and can be purchased online at piersixpavilion.com. Gates open at 12:30 p.m.
Monday, May 16
The National Museum of Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave., N.W.) has an exhibit of photos by women from 1865 to 2004 called “Eye Wonder: Photography From the Bank of American Collection.” Containing 115 pieces by 45 artists, the exhibit is arranged thematically rather than chronologically. Admission is $10, $8 for seniors and students. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre (511 Tenth St., N.W.) presents “Liberty Smith,” a musical about Revolutionary America focusing on Liberty Smith, a childhood friend of George Washington, an apprentice of Benjamin Franklin and linked to Paul Revere’s ride, at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $44 to $49 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com.
Tuesday, May 17
Join Burgundy Crescent Volunteers to help pack safer sex kits from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight at FUK!T’s new packing location Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct., N.W.
The Washington National Opera will be performing “Iphigénie en Tauride” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.).
Wednesday, May 18
Dream City Collective is kicking off a monthly queer film series tonight with “But I’m a Cheerleader” in the Dream City Warehouse from 8 to 11 p.m. Dream City is asking for a dollar donation at the door. Refreshments, books and T-shirts will also be available. The Warehouse is the white garage in the northside alley, west of 11th St., on Monroe St., N.W.
The D.C. Ice Breakers will be having its monthly skate and social tonight. The group will be skating at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Rd.) in Arlington from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. then they’ll hit a local bar for a social hour. Skating is $8 and skate rentals are $3.
CAAPE will be having its monthly meeting tonight at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) from 7 to 9 p.m.
R-Group presents “Hunks in Trunks 2011: All Make Swimsuit Fashion Show” at Red Maple (930 North Charles St.) in Baltimore tonight from 7:30 to 11 p.m. A swimsuit charity auction will take place to benefit AIDS Action Baltimore. Tickets vary from $22 for one to $169 for a VIP-Sponsor Group Ticket for four people. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit hunksintrunks.org.
The Tom Davaron Social Bridge Club will meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner is needed. For more information, visit lambdabridge.com and click “Social Bridge in Washington, D.C.”
UltimateOut, D.C.’s only LGBT ultimate frisbee team, will be practicing from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the National Mall field in front of the Air and Space Museum in preparation for summer league play. Participants of all skill levels are welcome. Contact Ben Schock at [email protected], or for more info visit the group’s Facebook page on.fb.me/lqcEoF.
Thursday, May 19
OutWrite presents “Pioneers: Celebrating Ruth Simpson and Shirley Chisholm” tonight at 7 p.m. at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.). Both Simpson’s book “From the Closet to the Courts: The Lesbian Transition” and Chisholm’s “Unbought and Unbossed” were recently rereleased.
The Metropolitan Community Churches will hold the first day of its Conference for People of African Descent, Our Friends and Allis at the Fairmont Washington (2401 M St., N.W.). The conference runs through Sunday.
The D.C. Log Cabin Republicans will host its May general meeting tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at The Camden Roosevelt (2101 16th St., N.W.) featuring Jeffrey Richardson, director of the mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs. For more information, visit dclogcabin.org.
The evolution of the open house
The more sophisticated the advertising, the more the events flourished
In the early 20th century, there were no exclusive agreements between a seller and a real estate agent. Any broker who knew of someone wanting to sell could participate in an “open listing” by planting his sign in the yard of that person and competing with agents from other brokerages who did the same. To the victor who obtained a buyer went the spoils of commission.
The rules began to change in 1919, when being a real estate broker now required a license. An agent might handle only one property at a time exclusively, but an “open for inspection” period could be used to introduce a model home or new community to the buying population.
According to the National Association of Realtors, Dallas homebuilder, Howdy Howard, hosted one of the most successful open houses of all time in the 1950s. During the first 12 days of the event, an estimated 100,000 people attended, drawn by free sodas and the ultimate prize for the buyer – a new Cadillac.
Soon, brokers began hiring additional agents who could handle multiple properties. Unlike Howard’s marathon open house, agents would now host them for a few hours at a time, usually on a Sunday, to whet the appetite of the buyer pool.
Classified advertisements with a description of a property would be placed in a local newspaper and potential buyers would review them with their morning coffee to decide which houses to visit later in the day.
Marketing in newspapers went from a few lines of black and white text to a photo of a home’s exterior, to a multi-page spread that included both photos of houses and the agents who represented them.
The more sophisticated the advertising became, the more the open house flourished as a marketing tool, not only for the home itself, but also for the agent and the brokerage. It allowed agents to prospect for buyers for that home and others, and converse with neighbors who might want to sell their homes as well.
Soon, the sign-in sheet was born, used by the agent to capture the contact information of a potential client or customer and to let the seller know who had visited his home. While sign-in sheets or cards are still used, some agents have gravitated to electronic applications, using a tablet computer instead of paper for the same purpose.
Fast forward to the early 2000s in D.C., when open houses became the primary source of showing property. An agent would enter a property into the multiple listing service (MLS) on a Thursday, entertain no showings until Saturday, host an open house on Sunday afternoon, and call for offers either Sunday night or Monday. The open house allowed agents to send their buyers rather than accompany them and serve multiple clients at once.
The delayed showing day strategy referenced above has since been supplanted by the MLS’s Coming Soon status. Agents can now email or text links to upcoming properties to their clients in advance of showing availability and the clients can view photos, read property descriptions and disclosures, and schedule future visits accordingly.
Enter COVID-19. Due to the proliferation of the virus and the subsequent lockdown, the real estate world had to accommodate new public health requirements.
One of the first things to go was the open house. Even agent showings were constrained, with visitors limited to an agent plus two people and additional requirements for wearing masks and disposable shoe covers and gloves.
Overlapping appointments were not allowed, showings were limited to 15 to 30 minutes, and bottles of hand sanitizer sprung up on kitchen counters everywhere.
Ultimately, technology and ingenuity provided new marketing avenues for agents that included 3-D virtual open houses, Facetime and Duo viewings, videos, property websites and QR codes. Many of these marketing techniques remain, even though traditional open houses are coming back post-lockdown.
But are they really necessary? Certainly not for all types of properties.
I believe the days of using a public open house to procure a buyer are limited. Agent security has become a concern and the desire for in-person viewings during a specific day or time has waned.
On the other hand, Internet marketing and social media have a much wider reach, so much so that some people now feel comfortable buying a home – probably the most expensive item they will ever purchase – without even stepping into it until after closing.
After all, if we can work in sweatpants or pajamas while Zooming corporate meetings, how can naked virtual reality house hunting be far behind?
Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.
D.C. homebuyers face hyper competitive market
Sellers in driver’s seat as region faces record low inventory
With job growth rising during a period of aggressive government spending and historically low mortgage rates, the spring 2021 market sits at the lowest level of inventory since 1983.
Homebuyers in the D.C. area continue to face an incredibly competitive market. This is truly a seller’s market.
Lack of Inventory: Washington, D.C. has been in a gradually worsening housing shortage since the Great Recession. The area hasn’t had a six-month supply of homes for sale for almost 12 years. Now, we add a global pandemic that seriously altered what homeowners want out of their home, Wall Street on fire, and insanely low interest rates and we get a surge in motivated homebuyers.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of homes nationwide reached a record low in December 2020, with just 1.07 million properties on the market. The DC metro area is even worse off than the national average with only one month’s supply of homes. That means if new listings were completely dried up, there would be no homes available in four weeks. On average, D.C. homes have been selling within 11 days, which is 15 days faster than this time in 2020.
Seller’s Market: The time is now for Washington, D.C. homeowners to seriously consider selling their homes if they have played with the idea. Experts predict 2021 will be another strong housing market with an increase in demand from existing homebuyers in search of larger homes and buyers who delayed purchasing a home due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.
Zillow forecasts a nearly 30 percent annual growth in homes for sale in 2021. This would be the largest home sales growth since 1983. Zillow’s annual report stated, “Home price appreciation will reach its fastest pace since the Great Recession, as the inventory crunch continues to pit buyers against each other, competing for a scarce number of homes for sale.”
D.C.’s Current Market: According to the NAR, in March of 2021, D.C. home prices had increased 4.1% compared to March 2020, for a median price of $635,000. There were 1,004 homes sold in March 2021, an increase from 842 at this time last year.
We are seeing many homes receive multiple offers within just a few days in the D.C. area. The average home is selling a little above 1% of the listing price and many hot homes are seeing large bidding wars and selling for 3% or more above the listing price; 42.7% of D.C. homes sold above list price in March of 2021. That is a 13.4% increase from last year at this time. Active inventory for March of 2021 was 1,457 homes, down 9% from March 2020. March 2021 also saw 991 homes sell in the D.C. area, an increase of 31% from February of 2021. March 2021’s total homes sold had a 19% increase from March 2020.
Buying a Home: In the current seller’s market, buying a home can be like playing a chess match. You need to know the rules and be strategic. It can seem more like winning than purchasing a home right now. If you find a home you want to buy, chances are you won’t be the only one making an offer. It is a seller’s market everywhere in the country right now and D.C. is no different. Be sure you know what you qualify for and what you can afford.
Conclusion: The NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association both project prices of existing homes to increase 5.9% in 2021. This may mean buyers will have to be more flexible than in the past. For example, making an offer contingent upon the sale of a current home may be harder than before. It’s also possible you will pay more than the list price. The D.C. real estate market is on fire and many homes are off the market within 24 hours of listing. For sellers, if you have been thinking of selling your home there is no better time than the present.
Khalil El-Ghoul is Principal Broker for Glass House Real Estate. Reach him at [email protected] or 571-235-4821. Glass House Real Estate is a modern, more affordable way to buy and sell a home in the D.C. Metro area. Learn more about what makes us different at glassshousere.com.
Still the hottest vehicles in dealer showrooms
Crossovers keep wending their way into our driveways—and our hearts. After overtaking sedans, station wagons and minivans as the hottest vehicles in dealer showrooms, crossovers are now taking aim at the most quintessential of American rides: the muscle car. With naughty looks and hepped-up engines, the two dynamite crossovers below are sure to blow your mind—and just maybe your budget.
DODGE DURANGO SRT HELLCAT
Mpg: 12 city/17 highway
0 to 60 mph: 3.5 seconds
For more than 20 years, the Dodge Durango has been a solid if nondescript family hauler. But this year the automaker jazzed up its midsize crossover with brawnier styling and the latest tech toys. And for the first time, Dodge is offering a limited-edition Durango SRT Hellcat—a high-test model with the same hellacious Hemi V8 engine in the Challenger super coupe and Charger sport sedan. With 710 horsepower, this blazingly fast crossover can kick some serious ass, outrunning many a Ferrari and Lamborghini.
The upgraded suspension provides more dynamic handling and cornering, as well as selectable steering for better grip. For straight-line acceleration and to prevent nasty fish-tailing, I simply flipped the “launch control” toggle switch. The massive Brembo brakes also were stellar, with stop-on-a-dime performance and flaming red calipers on each wheel. Another plus: the iconic Hellcat exhaust rumble could be heard blocks away—music to the ears of any auto aficionado. As with all Durangos, this bruiser has best-in-class towing capacity of 8,700 pounds.
Inside, there’s plenty of space, including more room than expected for third-row passengers. The steering wheel, dash, and trim accents now have trendy Euro styling, though it’s more VW than upscale Audi. And you can opt for flashy seatbelts and premium seats in a color Dodge calls Demonic Red, along with black velour floor mats and a soft-touch headliner. Other features include heated/ventilated seats, a large 10.1-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone integration and the ability to pair two Bluetooth devices at once. Options include a 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and rear-seat entertainment with Blue-Ray player. Alas, this is a limited-edition model and all 2,000 of these speed demons quickly sold out months ago. But there’s still hope: Dodge allocated some of the racy Durangos to select dealerships, so you can call around to see if any are still available. And you can always try social media to find a lucky Durango Hellcat owner who just might be willing to sell this rollicking ride, if the price is right.
LAND ROVER DEFENDER X
Mpg: 17 city/22 highway
0 to 60 mph: 5.7 seconds
For decades, both the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover have been ubiquitous in the United States. Not so the smaller and less ostentatious Defender, often seen as a work-horse vehicle in BritBox reruns or action flicks like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. But last year the Defender returned to these shores after nearly a quarter-century hiatus.
Available in two- or four-door models, both Defenders start around $50,000. My test vehicle was the new top-of-the-line Defender X, which added—yikes!—another $35,000 to the sticker price. The look on these crossovers is boxy chic, which allows for a ginormous amount of headroom, legroom and cargo space. Land Rover also added extra stowage areas and cubby holes, as well as transom windows and a sliding panoramic sunroof to keep things airy. While the cabin may be sparse and full of solid plastics, the walnut trim on the center console and door panels is quite elegant.
Land Rovers have a somewhat infamous reputation for less-than-stellar electronics, but the 10-inch touchscreen was crystal clear and synced up seamlessly with the infotainment system. Tricked out with a jet-black roof, hood, and side cladding, the press vehicle I test drove was painted a haughty Eiger Gray Metallic. It also came with thick all-terrain tires, adding to a slightly menacing vibe. A full-size spare is conveniently mounted on the vertical tailgate, which swings completely open like a refrigerator door for easy access. The Defender X may not be as lightning quick as a Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, but it’s still plenty fast. And this brute can tackle the toughest of terrains, thanks to locking differentials, hill-descent control and a standard air suspension that can raise the chassis 11.5 inches above the ground. Overall, the Defender X can’t quite hide its refined roots as a tony Land Rover. But as with the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, this burly crossover flexes some serious muscle.
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