Buying A Home In Illinois - When Jillian Hardy was 55 years old, she faced the unimaginable: evacuation from her home in Lansing, Illinois, where she had lived for the past 18 years.
"My biggest fear was losing my house and having to start all over — that's unheard of at my age. I thought I'd lost everything," Hardy said.
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For some time after the death of his father in 2017, Hardy was depressed. It took time off work, blew up his bills, and eventually led to the loss of his first home. When Hardy realized how close he was to becoming homeless, he quickly began looking for another place to live.
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He and his realtor found a home for sale in Richton Park, part of the Cook County Land Bank Authority's Homebuyer Direct program.
The Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) takes abandoned homes and makes them easier to buy. There are thousands of vacant properties everywhere, dilapidated, boarded up and left alone for years. This could mean refund taxes or a blurring of the title that the land bank sweeps to the next owner if he undertakes to repair the property.
"Working with the Land Bank is a call to action," said Cook County Land Bank Authority Executive Director Rob Rose. "Our job is to bring a long-term vacancy that has been invisible to the market and make it available, accessible and affordable."
The Land Bank was founded in 2013 to address communities across the region that have been hit by the mortgage crisis – places with high levels of abandoned properties. The organization is primarily known for buying vacant homes and selling them to community developers at below-market rates. However, residents can also request a bid for land bank properties.
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Hardy did just that for a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house in suburban Richton Park. The house was valued at $155,000, but after taking out a mortgage, he was able to buy it for $130,000. Landbank does not require a deposit, but charges a fee of $1,000 that is applied. as credit at the end. In total, Hardy put $60,000 into rehabilitation, which took about two and a half years.
At the time, he was living in a hotel and commuting a few hours each day as a post office manager in Indiana. That was the biggest challenge, more than losing your first home or planning your first rehab, he said. But now? He has his dream house.
"I love my house. This is the house that was meant for me and my son. I love this neighborhood. I drive down the highway whistling, I work crazy hours and I'm not afraid," she said. "Thank God. every day."
Currently, the land bank has about 200 residential properties in its inventory, and more are added every week. Since the launch of the Homebuyer Direct program in 2017, approximately 150 homes have been sold and renovated. Local developers have been able to buy properties from the land bank since 2013, and last November the organization celebrated its 500th rehabilitation.
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When a land bank looks at a proposal from a candidate, whether a developer or a private home buyer, the organization is not looking for the highest bidder. Even if there are many offers on a property, someone with a well-thought-out application really helps the Land Bank make a decision.
"We're looking for proposals that are specific - what are the problems in the house and how are you going to fix them? What will it cost? Do you have pictures or tell me what kind of furniture you're bringing in?" Rose said.
One applicant, Rose recalls, wrote a deeply moving letter about what home was in the neighborhood she grew up in and what it would mean to her to return.
"These are things that help us make decisions and get out of the money mentality. We think about the best fit and the sustainability of the neighborhood," he said.
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Similarly, Michael and Alissa Bolz were excited about improving their neighborhood. They are longtime Lansing residents and lived next door to a vacant home the couple eventually purchased through a land bank. Originally owned by Michael's grandfather in the 1950s, it had been vacant for the past few years.
They paid the list price, which was only $4,000. As you might expect, the house was completely dilapidated.
"After we bought it, I said, what have we gotten ourselves into? The house was disgusting and beyond repair. But the best advice we had was to just start on a plan and work your way up.
Using approximately $100,000 in rehab loans, the couple worked with a local family contractor that allowed Michael to be truly involved in the process. He was happy to spend money locally and create more value in the neighborhood that had been a part of his entire life.
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This is the mission of the Land Bank - to create more value in the districts. This means affordable housing, starter homes and dream homes. "There are still many challenges to find a home in the areas where you want to live," said Rose, "but the Land Bank is working to increase those opportunities."
Is, like most other big cities, in the middle of a crisis of affordable housing. This is difficult when most solutions seem to depend on developers building more affordable housing. The Land Bank program is encouraging – it can make the home buying and rehabilitation process empowering and affordable for individuals. 5 2-4 0-1 2-3 Surrounded by an award winning golf course, Bowes Creek Country Club is a new home community offering ranch and duplex homes in a fantastic setting with walking trails, playgrounds and on site. restaurant a few minutes away. Community Type: Amenity/Resort, Golf Home Type: Single Family, Prices from $399,995
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