Behind the Scenes: Deed-in-Escrow Services

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Behind the Scenes: Deed-in-Escrow Services

We are often asked about the day-to-day work of the Cuyahoga Land Bank from curious residents and community leaders. In this second of an ongoing Behind the Scenes series, we look at the popular Deed-in-Escrow program that makes it possible for individuals to purchase a home in need of renovation from the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s inventory. Ian Ahern, Housing Manager in the Programs and Property Management department, sat down to answer some frequently asked questions:

Who is the typical Deed-in-Escrow buyer?  There really isn’t a “typical” buyer.  We sell homes to first-time homeowners, people interested in renovation and restoration, and those looking for investment properties.  We prefer to sell to owner/occupants, but many sales are also to responsible investors.

What type of renovations are typically required on these homes?  It depends on how long a home has been vacant and how extensive the neglect. We prepare a unique rehab plan for each property to be completed by the buyer. A majority of homes have developed mechanical issues requiring repairs to the electrical, plumbing and HVAC.  Many also need new windows, doors, kitchen cabinets, flooring, driveways, or roofs. Buyers must acquire the needed permits before we release the deed.  We also developed a set of standards for renovation HERE that all buyers must follow.

How many homes are available for sale at any time through the Deed-in-Escrow program?  It depends, but right now there are 27 homes listed for sale.  You can check out all available homes HERE.

How many homes are sold and renovated through the program on average every year? We average around 125 buyer renovations every year.

How inexpensive is it to buy a home to renovate?  All Cuyahoga Land Bank homes are reasonably priced based on property condition and location.

Do you have a favorite renovation that a buyer completed?  I have a few, but so many of these homes are renovated above and beyond the specifications.  It’s great to see buyers updating these homes for the betterment of the neighborhoods.