Homebuyer Direct Program

Homebuyer Direct Program 2018-12-15T00:16:31+00:00


The Cook County Land Bank Authority is excited to announce the 2018 Home Giveaway Lottery! Every year, as a way to promote homeownership throughout Cook County, the Cook County Land Bank gives away a completely rehabbed home to a homeowner absolutely free! Click here to view last year’s announcement, house, and winner!

Click Here to view the official press release.


  • Recipient shall maintain the Property in compliance with all federal, state, and local building, housing and property maintenance codes applicable to the Property;

  • Recipient shall occupy the Property as Recipient’s primary residence, unless otherwise agreed to by the Parties in writing, for the sixty (60) month term of the Agreement;

  • Recipient shall not lease or rent the Property to any third party occupant;

  • Recipient shall not cause the Property to be encumbered with any lien or mortgage;

  • Recipient shall deposit Six Hundred Fifty Dollars and No/Hundredths dollars ($650.00) per month into an a modified standard joint order escrow agreement with a Title Company of CCLBA’s choice, to be used for property taxes and insurance.

  • Upon reasonable notice by CCLBA, Recipient agrees to participate in press interviews related to the Home Buyer Giveaway program and the Property throughout the Term of the Agreement

  • Recipient shall not disclose any information regarding Recipients’ award of the Property, or the terms and conditions herein, without prior approval by Cook County Land Bank Authority in writing



Q: ⇒ How do I enter the Land Bank’s Home Giveaway Lottery?

You may enter by clicking on the register button below.  Please fill out your first and last name, phone number, email, and current residence.  Please note:  you will be required to confirm your email address to be officially entered for the giveaway.

Q: ⇒ Can I enter multiple times?

We will accept one entry per person.  Duplicate entries will not be considered, and can lead to disqualification.

Q: ⇒ How old must I be to enter?

 You must be at least 18 years old to participate in the raffle.

Q: ⇒ Do I need to live in Cook County to be eligible to submit an entry?

No, you do not need to live in Cook County County to be eligible to register.

Q: ⇒ If I’m an employee for the County of Cook or the Village of Maywood, can I register for the Home Giveaway Lottery? 

No, an employee of Cook County/Village of Maywood is not eligible to participate in the Home Giveaway Lottery.

Q: ⇒ When will the recipient of the Home Giveaway Lottery be announced?

The recipient will be announced on December 21st, 2018.  The house is located in the Village of Maywood and will be completely rehabbed, however the exact address will not be revealed until the official announcement.

Q: ⇒ Am I required to live in the property?

Yes, the recipient of the Land Bank’s homeowner giveaway shall occupy the property as their primary residence for at least sixty (60) months from the date that the deed is conveyed.

Q: ⇒ Will the Land Bank cut the grass and shovel the drive/sidewalks in the wintertime?

As the owner of the property, the recipient shall maintain the property in compliance with all federal, state, and local building, housing, and property maintenance codes.  The owner shall maintain the property for at least sixty (60) months from the date of the deed.

Q: ⇒ May I pull cash out of the property through a mortgage refinance?

No, the recipient shall not cause the property to be encumbered with any liens or mortgages.

Elaine Lee Postcard Website


Congratulations to Elaine Lee, the 2017 winner of the Home Giveaway Lottery! Please click here to view pictures/videos of the events as well as the press release. The Home Giveaway Lottery was the kick-off for the Homebuyer Direct Program, and the specifics of the program can be found below.

This year, the address of the home will not be released in advance, however we can say that the house is located in the Village of Maywood.  The house will be given away in the form of a drawing, which is open starting Monday, November 26th. Registration will close on Friday, December 14th and the winner will be announced on December 21st. Terms & Conditions apply, only one entry per person.  To register, please click the link below to submit the necessary credentials.  Best of luck to everyone!



Are you looking to purchase your own home but having trouble finding something in your price range?  Have you ever considered purchasing a fixer upper?  The Cook County Land Bank Authority, on behalf of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and CCLBA Chairwoman Bridget Gainer, is excited to announce the launch of the Homebuyer Direct Program!  Click here to view the official press release as well as program specifics.  The focus of this program lies in reaching out to prospective homeowners who may be interested in directly purchasing, rehabbing, and ultimately living in the home of their dreams!   

With this in mind, the CCLBA is looking to offer properties throughout Cook County to prospective owner-occupants at below-market prices.  This could be a perfect opportunity for you to engage in the purchase/rehab, finish it to your taste, and build in some equity!  All properties eligible for the program are listed below, and will be updated on a daily basis going forward.

The following entails a list of questions and answers you may have regarding the Homebuyer Direct Program.   The CCLBA strongly encourages you to view these questions in order to understand all aspects of the program before applying for a specific property.  Please click the link found below, or click here for a downloadable PDF.

Q: ⇒ How do I purchase a home from the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA)?

Available properties may be viewed on our website (www.cookcountylandbank.org) by navigating to our Interactive Property Viewer.  Click “Homebuyer Direct” at the top of the page. If you are interested in a property and wish to inspect, click “Apply”. You will be asked to create an account, and then complete a short application.  CCLBA will make arrangements for you to inspect the property. If you are working with a Real Estate Broker, then the Real Estate Broker will meet you at the property to inspect.  If you wish to put in an offer, go back to the property address on the website and click “Offer” and complete the questions. CCLBA will contact you to let you know the status of your offer.

Q: ⇒ Do I need to be pre-approved by a lender?

If you are financing the purchase then yes, your offer should be accompanied by a pre-approval letter from your lender. If you are paying cash, please provide proof of funds.

Q: ⇒ May I offer less than the minimum price?

 Yes, you may offer less than the minimum.

Q: ⇒ Are there income restrictions under your program?

The Land Bank does not impose any income restrictions on buyers.

Q: ⇒ What are your down payment requirements?

The Land Bank requires a non-refundable $1,000 application fee, which is applied as a credit at closing. Funds must be in the form of a certified check made out to the Cook County Land Bank Authority.

Q: ⇒ Will my earnest money deposit be returned if I am denied mortgage financing?

Funds will be returned by providing a copy of the Lender’s Notice of Denial. However, if the loan is being denied due to a misrepresentation of income, assets, and debt disclosed for the pre-approval then funds will not be returned.

Q: ⇒ May I work with my Real Estate Broker?

Yes, your Real Estate Broker is welcome and will earn a flat fee of $2,500 up to a purchase price of $100,000; over $100,000 a commission rate of 2.5%.

Q: ⇒ How does the CCLBA make a decision when there are multiple offers for the same property?

The Land Bank will look at occupancy, contract contingencies, down payment, and first time homebuyers.

Q: ⇒ What if the home does not appraise for the offer amount?

The Land Bank prices the home below the market value using comparable sales information from the Multiple Listing Service. In the unlikely event that the home appraises for less than the offer price, the Land Bank will review the appraisal and consider an adjustment to the purchase price if warranted.

Q: ⇒ How long do I have to get loan approval? How long do I have to close?

Typically, the lender issues a loan commitment within 30-45 days and closes shortly thereafter. Please check with your lender. CCLBA will grant contract extensions if warranted.

Q: ⇒ What is the repaired value of the home?

Your Real Estate Broker will provide a value of the property after rehab. Further, the lender will complete an “as completed value” appraisal.

Q: ⇒ Are there any down payment assistance programs I can use?

Yes, check with the following for down payment assistance programs:
  • Your lender may offer assistance;
  • City of Chicago;
  • Neighborhood Housing Services;
  • Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA); and
  • Your Real Estate Broker

Q: ⇒ How quickly may I close?

Depending upon the source of funds, cash buyers typically are ready to close within 30 days. If you are working with a lender, a lender’s average closing time is 45-60 days. Please check with your lender.

Q: ⇒ If I change my mind can I get my money back?

 The $1,000 application fee is non-refundable, unless the buyer’s financing is declined.

Q: ⇒ Do I need an Attorney?

Buyers are encouraged to seek representation.  CCLBA and its attorney cannot provide legal advice to the buyer.

Q: ⇒ Do I need to attend a homebuyer education class?

Buyers are highly encouraged to attend a homebuyer class. Some lenders or entities offering down payment assistance will require homebuyer education.  Please check with your lender or with the entity offering down payment assistance.

Q: ⇒ Does the Land Bank CCLBA lend money?

The Land Bank does not lend money. Buyers seeking financing may select any lender they so choose.

Q: ⇒ Are there any lenders associated with this program?

Yes. Please see a list of our Lending Partners under the Homebuyer Direct Tab.

Q: ⇒ What are my options for paying for the home?

Homes may be purchased via Cash or Financing.

Q: ⇒ Do you offer rent to own?

No, CCLBA does not offer rent to own.

Q: ⇒ What type of loan is acceptable for the purchase of the home?

Purchase/Rehab loan would be the most appropriate type of loan for this program. However, buyers will work with their lenders to determine the best loan product/terms for their financial situation.

Q: ⇒ Will the CCLBA conduct repairs requested by my lender?

The CCLBA will turn on utilities (water, gas, electric) if requested by lender; however the properties are being sold “As Is”. Buyers should pursue a Purchase-Rehab loan such as a 203K to purchase the property and complete repairs and updates.

Q: ⇒ Is there an expectation for the level / quality or cost of rehab completed?

The only expectation is that rehab complies with all local, county, and state building codes and ordinances.

Q: ⇒ Do you help qualify contractors?

CCLBA will confirm that the Contractor is in, “Good Standing” with the State of Illinois, and property licensed and bonded to do business in the respective municipality.

Q: ⇒ May we live in the home while we’re in the process of rehabbing?

Occupancy prior to the completion of rehab depends on safety, soundness, and structural integrity.  Many cities and Villages require a “Certificate of Occupancy” prior to living in the home. Buyers are encouraged to reach out to the local municipality and inquire about occupancy requirements.

Q: ⇒ Do you provide an inspection report?

Yes, the Land Bank will provide a preliminary home inspection report; however, this report is for informational purposes only. The inspector may not be held liable for items missed. Inspections are the responsibility of the buyer.

Q: ⇒ Will I be allowed to hire my own inspector(s)?

Yes, buyers are strongly encouraged to conduct their own inspection (s) so that you may determine the condition of the property and level of rehab needed.  Homes sold by CCLBA are sold “As-Is, With Any and All Faults”.

Q: ⇒ Does my inspection need to be completed before or after going under contract?

We strongly encourage buyers to complete inspections prior to making an offer. Further, the buyer will have time to complete inspections within the time period noted in the purchase and sales agreement.


Vcute-house-illustration-113327418IEW HOMEBUYER HOMES

Please click the respective link below to browse all properties eligible for the Homebuyer Direct Program as well as view instructions on how to apply for CCLBA homes.  




The Cook County Land Bank has a number of lending partners that specialize in purchase/rehab loans such as the 203K product. Please click here for a printable PDF of all partners participating in the CCLBA’s Homebuyer Direct Program, which can also be found below:


Mark Verni, Residential Loan Officer
Office: (312) 861.1527
Cell: (708) 280.2839


Kevin Greer, Senior Mortgage Consultant
Office: (312) 525.1131


Ramona J Brooks, Senior Mortgage Banker
Office: (312) 564.1044
Cell: (312) 618.9756


Catherine Okoroh
Cell: (708) 351.7268


Natasha Robinson
VP of Mortgage Lending
Office: (312) 379.3557


Larry Poteshman, Loan Consultant
Cell: (847) 668.1441
Phone: (847) 262.3266


Tracy Flanagan, Vice President
Office: (888) 901.0026


Kimberly Adams
Office: (773) 329.4125


Chester L. Bell, Jr.
District Sales Manager
Office: (708) 655.2969


Ronald Branch, Mortgage Originator
Office: (773) 881.6800
Cell: (708) 705.2725


Office: (847) 950.9500


Elaine Lee Postcard Website



Congratulations to Elaine Lee, the 2017 winner of the Home Giveaway Lottery! Please click here to view pictures/videos of the events as well as the press release. The Home Giveaway Lottery was the kick-off for the Homebuyer Direct Program, and the specifics of the program can be found below.