The first two homes rehabbed under the city’s $18 million federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant go on sale Thursday.
Information on the properties will be available on the city’s LiveEvanston website and open houses are scheduled for Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m. for the split-level home at 1704 Grey Ave. and from 2 to 4 p.m. for the duplex at 238 Custer Ave.
The program is designed to rehabilitate and sell to income-qualified buyers 50 single-family homes and condominiums in south and west Evanston neighborhoods that became vacant as a result of the foreclosure crisis. The program runs through mid-2013.
Potential buyers who live or work in Evanston may also qualify for the “First Look Advantage,” an exclusive opportunity to make an offer on a LiveEvanston home for the first two weeks the home is on the market.
LiveEvanston provides buyer incentives to make high-quality homes affordable to moderate-income households earning between $31,440 and $96,960, depending on household size.
The city will provide a “soft” second mortgage starting at $7,000 up to $50,000 that is forgiven over a period of up to 15 years, depending on the unit type and size of the loan. All buyers must occupy the home as their primary residence.
LiveEvanston homes will be priced as low as $60,000 for condominiums and $100,000 for single-family homes. Buyers can choose from a variety of home styles and sizes, from one-bedroom condominiums to four-bedroom detached single-family homes with a private yard and garage.
City officials say each home will be fully rehabilitated to a like-new quality and will include energy efficient upgrades that lower energy costs and reduce the home’s environmental footprint. In addition, all buyers will receive a free bicycle as a car-free alternative to enjoy the City of Evanston.
“LiveEvanston is a great opportunity for families currently renting in Evanston who think homeownership in Evanston is out of their reach. Or for people who work in Evanston and want to live closer to their work. LiveEvanston makes high-quality Evanston homes truly affordable,” Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said in a news release.
Interested buyers must register for the program on the Live Evanston website and get pre-approved for a conventional mortgage.
Buyers must also complete eight hours of homebuyer counseling, which will be provided at no cost by the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation. The counseling will include classes and one-on-one sessions that help prepare buyers for homeownership.
The LiveEvanston program also includes 50 homes for rent, and the first those are also available.
While I applaud the effort
While I applaud the effort Evanston is putting into these houses, I am also disappointed. I'm an Evanston resident living in one of the targeted neighborhoods. The pace of rehabbing is slow and the rate that Evanston bought these houses at is killing MY resale. While I do want to see housing that is affordable, let's not slit the necks of those of us paying our mortgages.
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