Buy, Repair, Sell of Homes on Bank Foreclosure List

by Donald Hanz on Foreclosure Crisis

Florida neighborhoods severely affected by the foreclosure crisis may find revitalization soon with an initiative funded under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The Collier County government has taken steps to purchase, repair and sell homes on Bank Forclosure List to clean up or revitalize neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

Under the program, Collier will purchase foreclosed properties and hire a contractor to do the repair on them. After that, rehabilitated properties will be sold at a minimal cost to working-class residents of the county. The county government guarantees that rehabilitated homes acquired on Bank Foreclosure List will be sold at zero profit.

Marcy Krumbine, Collier County’s Housing and Human Services director, expresses her excitement that the initiative has finally taken off. She has been working on the stabilization program since last September. For the initiative, she gathered together a crew from several county departments, including purchasing, code enforcement, facilities management and real property.

The first home purchased by the county on Bank Foreclosure List was a rural property in Golden Gate Estates valued at $74,000. According to Krumbine, the house has a garage which means that it does not have to be demolished because it conforms to the county code.

According to Collier housing manager Frank Ramsay, the property will receive new carpeting, hurricane shutters, fresh wall paint, new well pump and appliances.

Krumbine said that the property is in good condition unlike other foreclosed homes that bore the signs of their former owners’ frustrations. Some have outlines of punches on the wall, ripped out lighting fixtures and torn up floorboards.

Meanwhile, Collier County received $7.3 million of federal funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the money was used right away to purchase and overhaul several foreclosed homes.

Another property purchased by the county government in Golden Gate is a coral-colored house for $42,122. The property features a screened patio, large backyard and a half-covered Jacuzzi. The property was in a worst condition with torn off hinges, yanked out appliances and ripped out electrical wires.

Krumbine admits that the property needs a lot of renovation but there is a potential that it could be restored to its original glory.

County leaders are hoping that purchasing homes on Bank Foreclosure List would restore neighborhoods devastated by the foreclosure crisis and boost the economy by providing work to local tradesmen who will renovate and maintain the properties.