The residents of Gary, Indiana have a program to look forward to that was announced in June. The city is having a real estate fire sale for a dozen homes at $1 each.
The American dream of homeownership is a grasp away for those who never imagined it was possible.
The catch: "They need work," said Gary's mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson. "It's up to the homeowners to provide the sweat equity."
Putting sweat equity can be a sweet deal for many who are familiar with renovation and have an eye for design. Although there are many abandoned houses in Gary, all aren’t available and the program is only for the University Park section.
The program quickly drew interest of more than 400 applicants, but only 25 met the requirements and are now finalists.
In order to qualify for the program, buyers must meet the following requirements:
- Buyers must have lived in Gary for at least six months.
- Buyers must have $1,000 in savings.
- Buyers must earn at least 80% of the median annual income of $35,250 in the area.
- Buyers must demonstrate that they have the financial ability to rehabilitate the home.
In addition to the requirements, the buyer must not be a current homeowner and is required to occupy the winning home for 5 years before receiving full ownership. Otherwise, the buyer forfeits the deal.
Next month, 12 will be randomly drawn to each win a home.
The Mayor isn’t new to the program and hope the strategy is a success to rebuild the city of Gary while in the future offers 50 homes each year.
“Freeman-Wilson, 52, hopes that buyers will have the same kind of experience she had more than 20 years ago, when she bought her first house in Gary for a dollar under a U.S. Housing and Urban Development program.”
Bahiyah Shabazz is one of the nation's leading financial experts on the art of maximizing growth, entrepreneur, personal wealth expert, and author of "Spending fast: Clean up your finances in 5 days", "Finances are linked to emotions: live within your means", and many more. Bahiyah Shabazz is also a motivational speaker, columnist, and radio host of ‘Fix Your Money’. If you have questions or topic suggestions please email: contact@BahiyahShabazz.com.