May 08, 2010 - 11:50 pm

City Paper Reports on 1922 Third Street

1922 Third StreetThe house and carriage house at 1992 Third Street are still on the market after Community Three Development withdrew its offer.  The Washington City Paper ran a story on the current owners’ woes in buying and now selling the property.  It turns out the current owners invested in the house in 2000 with a man who turned out to be a con-man.  After several legal battles with their partner, they were able to obtain the full title to the house and paid $75,000 to repair the carriage house roof, in addition to the expensive legal bills.

In April 2009 they decided to put the place on the market, but the offers fell through.  The City Paper writes,

She had four serious offers, but by then, amid widespread economic uncertainty, nobody could get a mortgage—even a tenured Howard University professor, she adds.

That’s not exactly true, though.  Having bought our LeDroit Park house in May 2009, we know from experience that it was certainly possible at that time to get a mortgage.  The problem was that it was difficult to get mortgages on overpriced properties or for buyers with poor credit.  Certainly these restrictions narrowed the field, but to say it was impossible to get a mortgage is an exaggeration.

Buyers interested in buying 1922 Third Street might want to consider an FHA 203(k) mortgage, a Federally-subsidized housing rehabilitation loan that combines the purchase and renovation costs into a single loan.  Only certain lenders are qualified to make these loans and these loans require a good deal of preparatory work (appraisals, inspections, estimates, permits, etc.), but they provide relatively affordable interest rates that regular construction loans rarely match.