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City-owned home for sale

March 17, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unofficially agreed to put a city-owned home on the market for $73,000.

Community Development Director Larry Bayer told the council that it should consider offering incentives to make the property, which is at 140 S. Potomac St., more attractive to buyers.

One of the incentives included forgiving the loan at a rate of 10 percent per year over a 10-year period. The offer would be good as long as the buyer remains in the home for a decade.

"We would like to see it be owner-occupied," Bayer said.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner suggested that the loan should be forgiven at a rate of 5 percent instead of 10 percent.

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"(Ten percent) is like giving it away," Metzner said after the council work session. "I didn't agree with it."

Metzner said the city shouldn't have announced the selling price of the home in an effort to get a better deal.

In January, the council authorized spending $55,000 to purchase the home and $15,665 to repair the roof. The home, which is condemned, has a history of code violations.

Bayer said an unnamed buyer is "very anxious" to purchase the brick, three-story building.

He said the city should stipulate that renovations to the house begin no later than 120 days after settlement and be completed no later than 180 days after the project gets under way.

"We don't want another project that just sits," Bayer said.

Necessary renovations to the house include the installation of new plumbing and central air conditioning, according to city documents.

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