Kansas City homes that sold for $1 in 2016 get renovated
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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Kansas City homes that sold for $1 in 2016 get renovated


KANSAS CITY, Mo. >> At least 18 dilapidated Kansas City structures that sold for a dollar two years ago have been renovated into livable homes.

The houses were part of the 2016 “dollar house” experiment run by the Kansas City Land Bank, which controls abandoned properties that don’t find buyers, The Kansas City Star reported .

The program was an attempt to salvage some of the city’s 20,000 abandoned houses. The Land Bank stipulated that buyers use their own funds to renovate the homes enough to remove them from the city’s list of dangerous buildings.

Eligible buyers had to be local and would begin paying property taxes immediately. The dollar-house program also specified that someone, preferably the home’s owner, would live in the house to add vitality to the area. The buyer would receive an $8,500 rebate from the Land Bank if all the requirements were met.

Thousands of residents expressed interest in the program, but only 31 houses sold. About a dozen of those homes remain in disrepair. The Land Bank holds the deeds of trust on all of the properties purchased, which means the houses that aren’t renovated will likely be reclaimed by the city for removal.

Jenna Squires has spent about $12,000 to rehabilitate one of the homes. The former construction professional did much of the repair work on the property herself. She had to remove three tons of garbage from the house, replace the gutters, create a kitchen, install a heating and cooling system and build a bathroom.

Taking into account the $8,500 rebate she received from the city last year, Squires’ house was renovated for a net cost of $3,500.

“It’s one step forward and two steps back,” she said. “But the better this place gets, the more I know it’s been worth it.”

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