Eviction from one home landed woman in a vacant home that became her own
When Jillian Hardy’s father died in August 2016, she sank into a depression. She took off work for seven months and stopped paying her bills. As a result, she got an eviction notice for her Lansing, Ill., home, where she lived for 18 years. She immediately began looking for another house and found a vacant property in Richton Park through the Cook County Land Bank Authority’s website.
Using the services of a realtor, she visited the house, prayed over it, anointed each door knob and claimed the house as hers. Shortly afterward, Hardy, who is manager of a post office in Indianapolis, In. was approved for a mortgage to purchase the home.
She purchased the home (four bedrooms, three bathrooms) in August 2017 for $130,000 through the Land Bank’s Homebuyer Direct program, which sells vacant homes to homebuyers at below market rates, as long as they rehab the property and then live in the home. The home was valued at $155,000 at time of purchase, which means she gained an immediate equity of $25,000
While living in a hotel, Hardy put $60,000 worth of rehab work into the home. She put a new roof and garage door on the home, renovated her kitchen, installed hardwood floors throughout the house, installed new drywall, furnace and air conditioning and did landscaping. Her house is now valued at $196,000. Hardy, a single mother of three sons, moved into her home in January 2019.
Hardy’s new house is smaller than the one she had in Lansing, but it’s also a lot younger—10 years old, compared to the 50-year-old Lansing house.
“I could never imagine living in this house,” she said. “This house is everything I ever dreamed of. But most importantly, I have people on this block who care. This is a blessed house. God didn’t allow me to live on the street. He didn’t allow my sons to live on the street. He took us from one front door to another front door. He saved me from being homeless.”
Enabled her to buy an affordable home during time of personal crisis
Equity gained at time of purchase: $25,000
Post-rehab, Hardy increased the economic value of her home by $41,000