Historic neighborhood flaunts homes for $1
August 25, 2009
(NBC) - As one of St. Paul's most historic neighborhoods, Dayton's Bluff is part of the fabric of the city, but today many houses there stand vacant.
"We are not immune to a nationwide crisis that's occurring," says city council member Kathy Lantry.
St. Paul has 2,000 vacant homes and city officials say a tough problem requires creative solutions.
In an effort to fight foreclosure, the town is getting into the business of residential real estate, starting with Dayton's Bluff.
With the help of federal funds the city bought eleven foreclosed Dayton's Bluff houses and is now selling them.
The asking price is as high as $50,000 and as low as $1.
"It's taking the worst of the homes in a concentrated area and reinvesting in them so that we can prime that pump and get the real estate market back on its track," says Natalie Fedie with the city of St. Paul.
The houses have all passed inspection, but are in various states of disrepair.
The two $1 homes on the list are like diamonds in the rough.
"You really want to have a vision when you come into these homes and really see the potential for what they can be," says Fedie.
The potential, city officials say, is a long-term neighborhood turn-around.
Successful bidders must agree to actually live in the houses they own and fix them up, making an investment in the house and their community.
"What I want people to do when they drive by three months or a year from now is to hear nothing but hammers and saws and see a revitalization of these gorgeous old homes," says Lantry.
The houses for sale by the city in Dayton's Bluff will be open for the public to see Tuesday and Thursday night and city officials say if this sale is successful they'll look at using a similar strategy in other neighborhoods.
In order to bid on the houses, you also have to qualify for a mortgage between $140,000 to $190,000 dollars and any renovations have to follow historic district guidelines.
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