The Kansas City Land Bank had 72 applications for its $999 house sale, and is now evaluating those before final sales take place.
The Land Bank had advertised 50 urban core houses for sale at the $999 price, although it also made clear that these urban core houses need tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs.
Applications were due May 1.
Land Bank Executive Director Ted Anderson said the Land Bank board would consider the applications at its May 22 meeting and hoped to close on the sales in July.
He considered the sale, dubbed #HeartofKC, a success. “We got a lot of good contacts,” Anderson said, adding that some experienced rehabbers applied close to the deadline for some of the houses.
Preference is given to owner occupants, and Anderson said 27 applicants want to move into the homes or move in a family member.
Other applicants want to fix up a home to rent or sell.
Some of the houses received multiple applications, while others received none. Most of the offered houses had just one applicant. If that applicant meets the Land Bank’s requirements and is approved by the board, that house will be sold. For houses with multiple applicants, Anderson said, preference will be given to those who want to be owner occupants and who can complete a more extensive scope of work.
This $999 sale builds on the Land Bank’s $1 house last year. That sale, for horribly deteriorated homes that needed even more extensive repairs, resulted in 31 intrepid buyers taking on a huge task.
Anderson said a few of the $1 house purchasers have thrown in the towel but most are plugging away and should complete their home repairs by October.
The $999 home buyers are supposed to complete exterior repairs and fix code violations within four months of purchase, and have a year to complete their rehab jobs.
The Land Bank is Kansas City’s owner of last resort and gets tax-foreclosed properties that fail to sell on the courthouse steps.
Its inventory includes more than 800 structures, but about 200 of those are slated to be demolished through the city’s dangerous buildings demolition initiative. That’s a two-year program to demolish about 825 vacant and dangerous buildings, including Land Bank and other properties, that create a big problem for neighborhoods.
The pace of the Land Bank’s other home sales has picked up in the past year, so the inventory of structures is gradually diminishing.
Anderson said his biggest problem now is not structures but vacant lots. The Land Bank has 3,000 vacant lots to deal with, and finding buyers for those abandoned pieces of land is a constant challenge.