(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post))
(Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post))

Anonymous sources are commonly deployed in these parts to advance investigative stories about Washington’s big secrets. Like what went down in Benghazi, how the Justice Department views all this media-subpoena business and how much money that guy down the street just sunk into his stately home.

The Wall Street Journal’s Lauren Schuker Blum recently did some investigative reporting on the booming Washington, D.C., real estate market. She found that high-end properties are moving fast and that this town is embracing a “new wave of contemporary architecture.”

Good stuff, though not nearly as good as the goods she digs up on the home of one Washington denizen:

Last September, Jim Courtovich, who runs a public-affairs firm, paid $3.835 million for a 4,800-square-foot home near the National Cathedral. According to people familiar with house, Mr. Courtovich spent about $500,000 to renovate the five-bedroom home, adding a second kitchen downstairs with a 12-foot walnut-and-marble carved kitchen island. Upstairs, he added a separate charcuterie room with a deli slicer and meat locker.

“I really wanted to create a casual and usable space for entertaining, because there’s a lot of formality in Washington,” says Mr. Courtovich, who has lived in Washington since 1990.

Bolded text inserted to highlight enterprise real-estate reporting.

In a brief chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, Courtovich said that Blum had spoken with contractors and decorators involved in his renovation — and must have pieced together its estimate on that basis. When asked whether the half-mill figure was accurate, Courtovich replied, “You know, I don’t want to talk about those numbers.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.