Buyer's Market Celebrating the District's Real-Estate Bust

Price Pick of the Week

2396 Hurst St., Falls Church

Original Listing Price: $1.26 million (Nov. 18, 2006)
Current Listing Price: $1.175 (May 17, 2008)
Slash Rate: 7 percent
Square Footage: 4,588

This five-bedroom Falls Church home has “superior craftsmanship and materials” and is “loaded with luxury features,” including a recreation room with a home-theater wing, high ceilings, and a gourmet kitchen. Unfortunately, it’s been a stress-inducer to unload. Rather than keep the house on the market, letting the price dip until the seller’s desperation becomes evident, the property’s owner is offering an array of options: straight sale, rental, or rent-to-own. It’s a familiar scenario for Ken Miller, an agent with RE/MAX Presidential. This is the second time the house has been on the market in the last year, with three such choices. The house first went up in November 2006. A rent-to-own deal was secured the following July. No down payment was offered, but a contract was negotiated with various contingencies in place. The two tenants turned out to be undependable. Both of them stopped paying their rent, and needless to say, the ownership deal fell through. “We continued to let them stay there, thinking hopefully, they would get their act together,” says Miller. Now the former renters owe the property’s owner $15,000, several months’ worth of back payments. The property is currently available again for rent for $4,450 a month.

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