Strauss-Kahn: Not Famous Enough to Move D.C. Real Estate

Realtors say Strauss-Kahn's presence won't affect the price of his Georgetown house

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Washingtonians simply do not love or hate Dominique Strauss-Kahn enough for his presence to make an impact on the Washington, D.C. real estate market, a 20-year veteran realtor there said on Wednesday. When it comes to properties like his Georgetown home, which is valued at $3.8 million, the triple roles of International Monetary Fund director, possible French presidential candidate, and high-profile sex assault defendant, don't add up to enough clout to affect the price. "There’s a lot of notoriety in DC, and he’s just -- we just don’t love him enough to really care if he lived in the house," said Ruth Horn, a sales associate at DC Real Estate. "Probably the house that Jackie Kennedy owned in Georgetown, that would affect the value somewhat," Horn said.

The house, a three-bedroom, four-bath brick number with lots of French doors and a huge back yard (check out TBD's over-the fence photos) sold for $4 million when Strauss-Kahn bought it in 2007. He's since renovated it and the price has stayed pretty steady, despite the drooping real estate market. "On that kind of a listing, it’s so high-end, it’s not going to make as big a difference as somebody who might affect the mainstream more," said Debi Fox, another DC Real Estate realtor. "People that are in that price range, I don’t want to say they’re above it, but it’s something that won’t matter as much."

Horn said some notorious tenants had affected prices, but Strauss-Kahn didn't have the fame for it. "Remember the guy [Jonathan] Pollard who lived in Virginia and was spying for the Israelis? I understand that house was rather hard to sell. So if it was someone who was like a traitor, that perhaps also would affect the value. But it's got to be one or the other. If it's in the middle, nobody cares." Not even if the house has colorful history ties: "I sold a house in Forest Hill, which is a high-end D.C. neighborhood, which had been an FBI listening post a few doors down from J. Edgar Hoover’s house, and it was very amusing to the people who lived in that house. I think LBJ also lived on the block. Did it affect them when they were negotiating on the price? No."

Back in France, Strauss-Kahn's fame carries more weight, to his chagrin. According to French media reports on Wednesday, the frenzy of paparazzi surrounding him since he moved back to his home country has gotten so bad he's had to call the police. Over the weekend, CNN's Hala Gorani tweeted this link, along with the note, "Coocoo DSK stalkers in Paris: 'If DSK goes to the pool, I'll follow him. I have my bathing suit.' "

In New York, where Strauss-Kahn's TriBeCa townhouse at 153 Franklin St. is back on the market, his celebrity only seemed to affect the price he paid for it. The New York Observer reported on Tuesday that he paid $60,000 per month for it, $10,000 above the asking price. It's back on the market for $50,000 a month as a rental or $14 million to buy.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.