(Courtesy of MRIS)

We always are interested in hearing about great deals in the local real estate market — sellers who unloaded their properties for well over their asking price or buyers who purchased homes at bargain prices.

The recent sale of a 12,000-square-foot estate at 11824 Centurion Way in Potomac falls into both categories. The house sold for $2.75 million — $250,000 above its list price of $2.5 million, putting it at the top of Rockville-based multiple-listing service MRIS‘s best deals for sellers category in early November.

That turns out to be good news for the bank that owned the foreclosed property.

But it also turned out to be good news for the buyer, who picked up an estate that was listed at $5.9 million in 2011 before the previous owners were forced to turn it over to their lenders.

Four offers were made on the property, resulting in the above-list price sale.

“It’s amazing to me that there was so much interest in this place, because even though it’s enormous, it’s in terrible shape,” says the property’s listing agent, Jeff Wilson of Washington Fine Properties, who declined to name the bank that sold the property or the buyers. “The place had been vandalized, with most of the cabinets and fixtures and chandeliers stolen and there was mold in the basement. I didn’t really try to market it, just listed it for sale. I was shocked that so many people were interested in it — my voice mailbox was full every day with people wanting information about it.”

The estate, which has 10 fireplaces, eight bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, two half bathrooms and an eight-car garage, sits on two acres and includes a large kitchen and a second prep kitchen for caterers.

Renters have a new way to beat the competition

In a tight market, prospective renters need all the help they can get to give themselves an edge over the competition.

Lovely, an online rental market database, recently teamed with the Experian credit reporting bureau to develop “Apply with Lovely” — a platform that allows renters to easily apply for an apartment with $20 and one click. The application not only arrives faster in the hands of the landlord, but it includes the credit report and other pertinent information.

Tenants create a profile on the Apply with Lovely Web site, including their current address, their current and former landlord’s contact information, references, employment information, preferred move-in date, co-tenants and more.

If the landlord is a member of Lovely, the renters can use their mobile app to scan the landlord’s QR code or enter the landlord’s code and instantly apply for the apartment. The renter is charged $20 and the landlord receives the application and the most recent Experian credit report on the renter. The mobile app can also be used to request a rental application from the landlord.

For more information, visit https://livelovely.com.

More affordable housing comes to Arlington

It may not be easy for people with limited means to find affordable housing in Arlington County. It was identified by 2012 Census Bureau data as one of the country’s most affluent counties, and has some of the costliest housing in the nation.

But Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) is working to provide more affordable housing in the county. CPDC recently completed a $26 million redevelopment of the Larkspur rental community to provide homes for county residents on the lower range of the income scale.

The 76-unit apartment complex, at 2506 North 20th Rd. in Arlington, was redeveloped to provide 46 units for residents at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI); 15 units at or below 50 percent AMI; eight units at or below 40 percent AMI; and seven market rate units that were maintained in order to avoid displacing families who currently live at the Larkspur but have increased their income above 60 percent AMI.

When those residents choose to move, their units will become available to people with income at or below 60 percent AMI, making the entire development an affordable housing community.

The efficiency and one- and two-bedroom units have from 505 to 888 square feet. Rents vary according to the residents’ income, from $700 for an efficiency for the lowest income renters to $1,358 for a two-bedroom for the highest income renters.

Among the improvements were increased energy efficiency, expansion of unit sizes to accommodate more families and the addition of a community room for meetings and activities. Eight units were reconstructed to be accessible for the disabled and another eight units have been designated for “permanent supportive housing” to serve chronically homeless individuals and families.

The Larkspur is located near schools, shops and the Mount Vernon Trail as well bus routes and the Courthouse Metro station.

For more information about Arlington County’s affordable housing programs, visit www.cpdc.org.

Chinese food delivery is popular in D.C.

If you’re contemplating what to have for dinner tonight and thinking about Kung Pao chicken, you’re not alone.

The most popular cuisines ordered by Washington residents are Chinese, followed by Italian, deli/diner, Thai and Japanese.

Rent.com, a national database for rental property, and Delivery.com, a national Web site for restaurant delivery services, teamed up to survey renters about what they like to order for delivery and when. The most popular dishes ordered by D.C. residents include Pad Thai, burgers and chicken Tikka Masala.

On a national level, Delivery.com found that more people order delivery when the weather gets cold. In February, Delivery.com received 20 percent more orders than in July. Sundays are the most popular day of the week for delivery and nationally, deli/diner food is ordered most often.

Rent.com surveyed 1,000 renters and found out that almost one-fifth (19 percent) of renters order in once a week and 17 percent get food delivered between two and five times per week.

Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at realestate@washpost.com and put “Town Square” in the subject line.