LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Imagine paying just $125 for a piece of land or only $500 for a house in the Metro.
Sounds too good to be true, but it’s actually happening.
It’s all part of a city program aiming to clean up and fix up vacant and abandoned properties, make them inhabitable, and then have them generate tax revenue again.
With an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 vacant and abandoned properties in Louisville, “frequently, almost always, we are not collecting taxes,” Develop Louisville Director Deborah Bilitski said.
The eyesores are also painful for the city budget, and therefore your wallet.
According to the city, it allocated about $2.5 million last year to the vacant lot division of Codes & Regulations.
Crews in that division are responsible for boarding up, mowing and maintaining the properties.
Every month, the Landbank Authority hears proposals to purchase land and dilapidated homes which the city took ownership of.
There is an inventory of about 450.
“We average around $3000 to $4000 for the house,” Laura Grabowski, the Vacant & Public Property Administration Director said.
That’s pennies on the dollar, but proposals must come with plans to rehab the houses or build on the land, as well as a lot of cash to do the job.
“We paid $2500,” Mirage Properties Co-Owner Michael Burkhead revealed about the first house he bought through the Landbank. “When it’s all said and done, we’ll have about $50,000 into it.”
Everyone is welcome to take advantage of these deals.
And even though many, who are in the market for property, can afford the purchase price, the construction budget prices most of them out of the market.
“One of the things that we want to be very thoughtful about is…not giving that property to somebody who either doesn’t have a full understanding of the picture of what those repairs or rehabilitation would be and what the costs of that would be,” Grabowski said.