It's a renovated, 7,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom, seven-bath house in a desirable part of North Arlington, and it's on the market for less than $750,000.
In an area where houses often carry million-dollar price tags, the deal seems extraordinary.
But little about the house has ever been ordinary.
The home, at the corner of 27th and North Sycamore streets, probably is Arlington's most controversial residence. A blue behemoth, it violated zoning regulations -- and in many opinions, good taste -- almost as soon as it was framed. Neighbors refer to it as the "airplane hangar" and the "blue brick."
It sparked a four-year legal battle between the county and its former owner and continues to breach zoning ordinances. But it's on the market for "just the right buyer," said listing broker George Greene of Star Homes Realty Inc.
"If someone had six or seven kids, it might be a good place for them. It's in a nice neighborhood with good schools. It really has a clubhouse feel," Greene said.
The house was bought at foreclosure last month by Bereen & Barry Investments LLC of Fairfax at a bargain price. The county has assessed its worth at $993,600 -- about $275,000 for the lot and $718,000 for the structure.
"You can't buy a home in today's market for below the tax assessment. It's unheard of," Greene said.
Potential owners might appreciate the house's ballroom-size living room (at least 50 by 100 feet), its basement with marble walls, the seven-room master suite or the bathrooms that adjoin every bedroom.
But much of the home remains unfinished. Several rooms have plywood floors, three flights of stairs are roughed in, the kitchen lacks countertops and the makeshift porch seems downright dangerous, with a plywood floor resting precariously over a 12-foot-deep cement foundation that houses a hot tub.
A buyer wanting to take on the monster project would first have to deal with Arlington County, which plans to enforce a variance granted to owner Paul M. Kingery in 1999, requiring that the house meet setback regulations.
Under that variance, two of the house's four sides must be moved by at least nine inches each, zoning coordinator Tony Burnett said this week. "The county is going to pursue this. We are not going to let it slide," Burnett said.
At two open houses, Greene has told visitors that the county probably would allow the house to stay if the new owner makes an effort to cooperate with the government.
"It certainly has some issues, but an architect or a builder could work with it," Greene said.
Kingery, a former George Washington University professor who now lives in Hawaii, bought the property in 1998 for $159,000. He tore down the small existing house and replaced it with the big one. After years of legal wrangling, he placed the home on the market in August 2003 for $1.1 million, but it didn't sell. It eventually went to foreclosure.
The county is preparing to notify Bereen & Barry Investments of the zoning violations as soon as the foreclosure deed is filed, Burnett said. He said that the county has received calls from interested parties and is telling them the walls must be moved.
Neighbors hope the recent developments mean resolution for the six-year saga that transformed a "cute little house" into what they see as a model of poor in-fill development.
"It's a terrible looking object, that house," said North Sycamore Street resident Geraldine Beale. "I just would like to see it torn down."