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Price Pick of the Week
5904 Pratt St, Alexandria

Original listing price: $699,000 (May 22,2007)
Current listing price: $489,900 (April 1, 2008)
Slash rate: 30 percent
Square footage: 2,308 (according to Fairfax County tax records)

This six-bedroom “wonderful” and “beautiful” Alexandria colonial is “larger than it looks,” according to its real estate listing. It also has an “economical gas heat” system, a “cozy gas fireplace in [a] very large living room,” and a “great close-in location”…toward the last Virginia stops on the yellow and blue Metro lines. The current owners, an older couple, bought the house in late 2005 for $670,000. Then income went down, the husband retired, and the couple needed to live on Social Security, says Wilmer Vasquez-Martinez, their real-estate agent with Long & Foster in Herndon. The house was originally listed with Rubio Real Estate in May 2007 for $699,000. Over the summer, the price dropped to $675,000, and then the property was withdrawn from the market in late August. At that point, the house was relisted at $664,000 with Vasquez-Martinez, though he had little faith it would sell for that price. “When the market went down, I was wasting my time,” he says. Eventually, the owners suggested he try to sell the home as a short sale. He submitted an offer for approval to the bank several months ago, he says. “They are working very slow,” he says. “We’re just waiting with our fingers crossed.”

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