August 27, 2012 [The Plain Dealer]
The renovation of distressed properties is no longer the realm of the professional rehabber. Welcome a new player in the renaissance of Greater Cleveland real estate: the handy-dandy homeowner.
“Of the 400 homes that have been rehabbed, 40 percent of them were done by homeowners,” Gus Frangos, head of the Cuyahoga County land bank, noted for this editorial.
Nothing against rehabbers — they restore the eyesores, then sell or rent them — but it’s homeowners, especially those with sweat equity in their properties and plans to stay for the long term, who really rebuild neighborhoods.
The Owner Occupant Buyer Advantage Program, fresh off the drawing board of the Cuyahoga County Reutilization Corp., the official moniker of the land bank, wants to make rehabbing easier for homeowners.
It invites do-it-yourselfers to bid on homes in need of moderate makeovers. Buyers must use the rehabbed homes as their primary residences for at least three years. Go to cuyahogalandbank.org and click on the Owner Occupant Buyer Advantage Program link to see the three properties currently listed.
The boulevard of broken dream homes beckons.