The house Elizabeth Kucinich eventually fell in love with was initially ugly as sin.
"It was," she says laughing. "The front of it is really... it is a very unique building. It reminds me more of a badly designed 1960s church. Well, the front is one thing, and then you go to the back, and it is a completely different thing."
Kucinich, who is married to Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Ohio, has just launched Capitol Estates, a real estate firm affiliated with Century 21 Redwood Realty.
"I love – I really value historic properties and unique places with character, and also on another level, it is perhaps a manifestation of [what political types do]: You see something that does [not] work quite right and you want to help fix it. We do that politically, but why not physically as well?"
When Kucinich first started looking into moving to Washington, D.C., she says she didn't expect much.
"I wanted to bring the dogs over here," she says. "So I was looking for a place that would literally have room for a bed and small yard for the dogs. I didn’t expect to be able to buy anything that would be a nice, you know, proper home."
But, then she and the congressman saw an ugly home with a gorgeous garden that sat on a hill in a friendly, tight-knit Anacostia-Hill Crest neighborhood even her broker didn't know about. All the neighbors know each other. It is three miles from Capitol Hill, she tells us.
"We put a lot of love into our home," Kucinich says. "It is a modest, but lovely home. We are happy.
"I know so many members of Congress still live in their offices, or have small places. It costs so much money down on the Hill. I just thought I’d like to take my experience and help people to find a home, because ... when you live the life that we do, where your whole life is dictated by airline schedules and voting schedules and having to be at so many different things, it is good to actually have a place that you can lay your hat down again and rest.
"You know, home is really important to me, and I just thought it was something I wanted to move into to help people in this town sort of find a place that’s stable," she continues.
This quest for home and loving properties back to life is kind of a life Kucinich was born into in her native England.
"My family has a long history of buying and loving dilapidated properties and bringing them back to life," she told HOH.
"When my mom and dad were 19, they found this house — it was a cottage. The front door was nailed up and back door was tied up with a piece of string. The actual property itself was just full of, well, it had been used as a rubbish dump for many, many years. My parents just fell in love with this whole area, and they decided to buy it. They spent many years loving it and bringing it back to life. It is now a healing and teaching sanctuary that my mother runs, and it is just a little heaven they’ve created.
"My parents are divorced, and my dad a number of years ago had his eye on a house up in Coventry, where he lives," she continued. "It had goats living in it. People threw bricks through windows. And he just loved it. It was from the 1930s/1940s; it had parquet flooring and all these amazing things, but it also had animals living in it. And he just loved it. He and his wife purchased it and have just loved it back to a fully functioning lovely home."
Kucinich promises she can help clients find any kind of home.
"This is just my own story, my journey to this place."