Not only does City of Minneapolis sell real estate, they’re ramping up their efforts to reach out to buyers in the hopes they’ll snatch up some of the city’s North Side abandoned houses. Rather ironic when it’s taxpayer money that pays for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Basically what this means is that we pay for the city to purchase abandoned homes and then we pay again to buy those homes from the city. It's like buying a home twice. If it weren’t a government entity doing this it’d probably be considered illegal.
Be that as it may, the program may be a boon to homebuyers in the city -- at least those that aren't afraid of major fixer-uppers. Here’s how it works:
- The city “acquires” (their word) vacant and blighted properties, such as vacant lots, vacant commercial buildings and vacant residential buildings.
- The City of Minneapolis facilitates redevelopment of these properties through new construction and rehabilitation.
- Although originally only nonprofit developers took advantage of the program, Minneapolis city leaders are now saying that buyers that will be owner-occupants get preference.
Of the 550 vacant properties in Minneapolis, more than 300, both privately and city-owned, are located in the North Side. In fact, more than 100 of these properties belong to either the city or the county (tax forfeitures) according to a records search performed by the Star Tribune’s Eric Roper. The City of Minneapolis’ inventory consists of 24 homes.
City officials are looking at a number of ways to encourage private, rather than non-profit buyers for these homes, including the possibility of offering some for sale for just $1.
As with any process that includes government, however, the purchase process for these homes includes lots of hurdles, including a more-than three month approval process and a hefty, yet refundable deposit.
Then, there is the condition of the homes to consider. Many contain lead-based paint and asbestos and have structural or major system damage. There is a heavy level of rehab involved in making these homes livable again, which is not only challenging for the average homebuyer but expensive as well.
You can find the procedures for purchasing a city-owned home on City of Minneapolis website. If you’d like our assistance, don’t hesitate to call.