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310 3rd St. SE

Listed sale price: $999,000

Previous sale price (October 2003): $632,500

The average cost of a single-family home on Capitol Hill has soared from about $154,000 in 1996 to $418,000 last year—an increase of more than 170 percent. This turn-of-the-century two-story brick house, just south of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, continues the price-hike trend. Currently valued at $536,750, according to the istrict’s tax-assessment rolls, the house is for sale by owner Farhan Mirza for nearly twice that much.

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The four-bedroom residence is divided into a duplex, with separate two-bedroom units on the first and second floors. “[C]hoose you[sic] favorite,” the seller’s flier reads, “and rent-out the other.” No choice there: The upstairs unit includes central air-conditioning and a master bedroom with a stone waterfall-theme shower and private sauna. Downstairs features a stained mirror above a nonfunctional fireplace, cloudy windows, and tiny closets—and it lacks AC altogether. Stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops line narrow, hallway-like kitchens on both floors. Preliminary 2005 taxable assessment: $543,042. —Chris Shott