KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A program in Kansas City, Missouri, that sold off dozens of eyesore houses for just a dollar last year hopes buyers are willing to pay a bit more for another batch of fixer-uppers.
The Land Bank of Kansas City's latest promotion, which starts with an open house Tuesday, is offering roughly 50 homes for $999 apiece, nearly a year after 32 homes in worse disrepair were snapped up for just a buck.
The available houses will be listed on the Land Bank's website . Buyers will have 120 days to address immediate code issues and one year to complete a rehab that makes the structures livable. Renovations could cost tens of thousands of dollars, the Land Bank cautions while pitching the homes as "excellent opportunities" for first-time home buyers.
"If you've got skills — if you're a contractor or a (building) tradesman — this would be a great deal to get into a home," said Ted Anderson, the Land Bank's executive director.
Although last year's buyers were rewarded with an eventual $8,500 rebate — the amount it would have cost the city to flatten those houses — no such deal applies this time, Anderson said.
"In this case, the houses aren't on the eve of being demolished and are in better shape," he said. These "homes are structurally sound and just need a little love, and vision, to bring them back to life."
The program is part of a larger Kansas City effort to deal with dangerous, abandoned houses that have attracted squatters and crime. The city is devoting $10 million to tear down up to 800 houses, with the Land Bank's program intended to save some of those targeted.
Applicants for the $999 homes must undergo a background check. Registered sex offenders and people with drug-dealing or prostitution convictions are disqualified.
Anderson said it hasn't been decided how long the $999 homes will remain up for sale.