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City continues talks on house sale proposal

February 09, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday decided to continue discussions on a proposal that would allow city staff to sell six city-owned homes that are on the market at a 25 percent discount.

Community Development Manager Larry Bayer told the council that the homes are part of the city's Single Family Homeownership Program, in which the city buys and renovates old homes before reselling them.

The city historically has sold homes in the program at their appraised value, but the houses aren't selling in today's sluggish economy, Bayer said. He hoped the lower sale prices would make the homes more attractive to prospective home buyers.

"We need to move the homes," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said after the meeting. "(The city is) like any other homeowner. If they don't sell, you have to do something about it."

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The houses are at 212, 214, 441 and 443 N. Jonathan St., 226 N. Locust St. and 119 Randolph Ave.

If the city cannot sell the houses at 212 and 214 N. Jonathan St. within the next few months, Bayer said he would consider trying to find nonprofit organizations to occupy the properties.

The longer the city waits to sell the homes, the less money it will have to replenish the Single Family Homeownership Program for future projects, he said.

Bayer said the city typically sold between four and six homes a year since the Single Family Homeownership Program began in 1991. Only two homes in the program were sold in 2007, and no homes have been sold so far this year, he said.




The houses and their prices

Six city-owned homes are included in a proposal that would allow city staff to sell them at a 25 percent discount. The following are the homes and the proposed sale prices.

· 212 N. Jonathan St. - $63,700

· 214 N. Jonathan St. - $63,700

· 441 N. Jonathan St. - $97,500

· 443 N. Jonathan St. - $97,500

· 226 N. Locust St. - $138,750

· 119 Randolph Ave. - $90,000

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