Their rehab of a house next-door restored their property value
Michael and Alissa Bolz of Lansing, Ill. used to live next door to a run-down, vacant property that was formerly owned by Michael’s grandfather. That property, vacant for two years, was eroding the value of their current home at the time—a home that was built by Michael’s grandfather in the late 1950s.
So the Bolzes decided to do something about it. In 2016, they decided they would try to purchase that home, fix it up and live in it.
They submitted a bid for the house through the Cook County Land Bank Authority’s Homebuyer Direct Program and got the house for its list price of $4,000. Using about $100,000 in rehab loans, they renovated their home, and even found family artifacts along the way, including old photos and a childhood Valentine’s Day card belonging to Michael’s mother. After completing the renovations in their main living space, they sold their first home and moved into their newly rehabbed, three- bedroom, two-bath home. And then they had a new baby boy named Ezra, currently 10 months old.
The Bolzes are thrilled that they were able to rid their block of a run-down property and add value to their neighborhood. “Being local is important to us,” Michael said. “We added value to the neighborhood, and we didn’t have to leave the neighborhood.”
Michael and Alissa are loyal Lansing residents. Michael grew up in Lansing and is president of the Thornton Fractional High School District 215. He and Alissa, a senior research manager, both attended Thornton Fractional South High School together. And they both attend a local church in the community.
Michael credits the Cook County Land Bank for stabilizing home prices in his neighborhood. “This is a great neighborhood,” he said. “The Land Bank stabilized the prices and took a vacant home off the list. I think the Land Bank is doing the important work of bringing life to vacant properties in Cook County.”
Watch Michael talk about his home rehab on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfHgJHEwZwg&feature=youtu.be
HOW THE BOLZES BENEFITTED FROM THE HOMEBUYER DIRECT PROGRAM:
They got a property at below market rate.
They now have a renovated, modern home.
Their renovated house appraised at $175,000 in 2018, creating an economic value of $71,000 for their home. (Note: Homebuyer Direct clients typically earn an average of $20,000 in home equity.)
They paid off some student loan debt, using some of the equity from their home.
They were able to stay in their neighborhood.