City hopes to generate buyers for vacant properties with tour for realtors
Organizers hope they can look past the boards, the blight and the busted windows to see what's possible.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's most affordable homes are sought after more for potential than location.
Some homes in west Louisville cost just $1 -- and the city is working to generate interested buyers.
"It is a challenge. There are some buyers who specifically want West Louisville. The majority do not," said realtor Crystal McAfee.
McAfee was among a number of realtors, mortgage lenders and brokers riding aboard a TARC bus to tour the city's vacant properties on Wednesday. Organizers hope they can look past the boards, the blight and the busted windows to see what's possible.
Develop Louisville's Laura Grabowski said it's about vision.
"These realtors really are our voices on the ground," she said.
The city has 4,000 abandoned properties in the nine neighborhoods west of Ninth Street. Louisville Metro Government owns or controls about 400 of those properties. And according to Keith Buckner, the president of the Louisville Real Estate Brokers Association, they are a bargain.
"Properties they can purchase for a little as $1," he said.
McAfee says price is a great selling point because people just don't realize what she learned a long time ago.
"I purchased my first home in the Russell neighborhood for $7,000. It needed paint and carpet. I lived there two years, and since then, I've rented it out to a great tenant the last five years," she said.
But for people who may not be able to get a big-time loan, but could afford a fixer-upper, the challenge is the price tag on safety in some of Louisville's most dangerous neighborhoods.
Grabowski says they are trying to energize these neighborhoods.
"This bus tour is part of what we do to show the good that's happening because we know a lot of people hear the bad," she said.
The hope is that, as new families move in, crime moves out.
"You are changing the demographics of the neighborhood," said Buckner.
McAfee said it's a goal worth every penny.
"To be helpful to the community, to create affordable housing opportunities, to turn the neighborhood around," McAfee said.
The tour was coordinated by the Louisville chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, this month. The law protects against discrimination in the home buying process.
For more information on vacant properties in the city, click here.
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