A house that once sat vacant in Chicago Heights is now bustling with its activity from its new owner Tamara Crossley and her two teenage children.
“I love the home,” she said. “I love the neighborhood. I encourage anyone to utilize the services of the Land Bank. I think it’s a great opportunity not only for people to become homeowners, but to be able to come into something where you’re not under water, where you do have equity in your home.”
In August 2019, Tamara purchased the four-bedroom, two-bath home for $71,407 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. Tamara moved into the home in September and began rehabbing it.
She said buying her own home for the first time and rehabbing it was somewhat unnerving for her, but she’s glad she took a chance.
“It’s a new experience,” she said. “In the beginning it was a little scary, having to rehab and being pressured to do so. But it’s turned out to be a great experience.”
When a homebuyer buys a vacant property through Cook County Land Bank’s Homebuyer Direct program and rehabs the property using his or her own funds, the Land Bank gives the homebuyer 12 months to complete the rehab.
Using her own funds, Tamara put about $7,500 worth of repairs in the house, including redoing upper- and lower-level floors and painting the house. She’s currently finishing up drywall repairs and painting her bathrooms. At the time of purchase, Tamara’s home was valued at $96,000, which means she gained immediate equity of $24,593. Tamara said her home now appraises at $121,000.
She gained immediate equity of $24,593 in her home at time of purchase.
Post-rehab, the economic value of her home increased by $25,000.