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Unable to sell at loss, Geithner rents out home

Wed., June 3, 2009

NEW YORK – The real estate market’s troubles are hitting close to home for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

After reducing the price on his house in a tony New York City suburb to less than he paid for it, Geithner still couldn’t sell and recently rented it out instead, according to real estate agents familiar with the deal.

Geithner put his five-bedroom Tudor near leafy Larchmont on the market for $1.635 million in February, after heading to Washington for his job as the nation’s top economic official.

A few weeks after the asking price was dropped to $1.575 million, the home was rented for $7,500 a month on May 21, said the agents, Scott Stiefvater, of Stiefvater Real Estate, and Debbie Meiliken, of Keller Williams Realty New York.

Although $7,500 might seem like a lot of rent, it probably falls a bit short of the monthly mortgage payments on the Geithners’ two loans totaling $1.25 million, plus $27,000 a year in property taxes.

Records show Geithner and his wife, Carole Sonnenfeld Geithner, paid $1.602 million for the home in 2004.

The roller-coaster housing market helped spawn the recession Geithner is tasked with ending. Nationwide, the median home price in April – $170,200 – was more than 15 percent lower than in the same month last year.


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