PNC Line of Credit Leads to Presidential Discovery

What happens when a family expands the basement of their historic home in Alexandria, VA? A presidential discovery, of course!

Rick and Heather Garcia needed more room in their Alexandria, VA home. But this wasn’t just any home. Their townhome was built in 1767 by George Washington, who was not only the first president of the United States, but also a farmer and businessman. After George and Martha Washington’s death, the property moved into the Washington Estate, but after a number of years, was eventually relinquished to outside buyers.

More than 250 years later, when the Garcias were looking for a home to fit their growing family, Washington’s original townhome fit the bill. The owner at the time was a historian who was happy to get the home back into the Washington family. Heather Garcia provided genealogical proof of her family tie to George Washington’s great-grandfather, and soon the house was theirs. 

Making Room to Grow

The Garcias lived in the historic home for about five years before they decided they needed additional space. After contacting the city to analyze requirements, they realized they couldn’t expand up, so they decided to build down through the basement.

To fund the expansion, the Garcias immediately turned to PNC, where they had a trusting relationship with the local branch and Wesley Clark, one of the bank’s relationship managers. Heather Garcia said the decision to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) from PNC was an easy one because of positive previous experience with their branch personnel.

With the funding secured, the Garcia’s architect and engineer dug into the basement and made an historic discovery: an 11-inch crawl space and two brick wells filled with artifacts dating back to when the house was built in 1767. Upon this find, the Garcias, who are both historians, contacted the City of Alexandria and Mount Vernon, George Washington’s historic estate.

They eventually unearthed more than 2,500 artifacts, including keys, broken pottery, toy soldiers and a clay tobacco pipe – most of which the family donated to the City of Alexandria and Mount Vernon. Some of the artifacts have been displayed at the Alexandria Archeology Museum.

Rick Garcia recognizes the responsibility of owning a landmark property. “It’s very important that people who are stewards of a property understand that they have a responsibility to give back to the community,” said Rick. “Thanks to PNC, we’ve been able to expose the history of the house and provide color to the history of Alexandria at the same time.” 

 

Learn how a home equity line of credit can help you fund your home dreams»

What’s a HELOC?

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a revolving line of credit secured by your home that allows you to access the available equity you have in their home. You can borrow as much or as little as you need, whenever you need it, up to your established credit limit. As you repay the outstanding balance, the amount of available credit is replenished, which becomes available again for future use, if needed, throughout your draw period.

What’s a HELOC?

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a revolving line of credit secured by your home that allows you to access the available equity you have in their home. You can borrow as much or as little as you need, whenever you need it, up to your established credit limit. As you repay the outstanding balance, the amount of available credit is replenished, which becomes available again for future use, if needed, throughout your draw period.