Buffalo selling homes for a dollar

The New York city's program may have a few strings attached, however.

By MSN Real Estate partner 8 hours ago

© Tetra Images, Getty ImagesBy Megan Friedman, Country Living

 

You can be a homeowner for as little as one dollar. Sound too good to be true? Well it is, kind of.

 

The city of Buffalo, New York is putting old, abandoned homes on the market for just a buck — but the cost of repairs could equal the price of a typical home.

 

The city’s Urban Homestead Program will give you the great deal as long as you promise to fix the place up and live there for at least three years. You’ll have to cover closing fees as well. But by doing so, you’re saving a historic home from being demolished. Cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, and Gary, Indiana, also have similar programs in place.

 

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"We're reintroducing new life into these properties," dollar-home owner Mike Puma told the Los Angeles Times.  "Not only are you taking a stand against demolition, but you're taking a stand on what happens in this city."

It’s not exactly a popular program; eight to 10 houses a year are sold through the program, while 4,600 vacant homes remain. And that’s because with the great deal comes a lot of work. Some homes require fixes that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

 

But the results can be amazing if you're willing to put in the work — and your community will be grateful for your elbow grease. 

 

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45Comments
1 hour ago
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I used to live in Buffalo so I saw firsthand how bad these abandoned homes were all over the city. Another big problem was the large number of rental homes owned by absentee landlords who kept them in terrible condition yet rented them to low income families at top dollar. I am glad that one of the conditions is you must live in the home yourself for at least three years. I wish more cities would sell their abandoned houses for only a buck to nonprofit organizations and these community groups would fix them up for low income families and people to rent at a low cost.
1 hour ago
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Might be worth the buy if more was known about the areas the homes are in.

But for me the deal killer is being told I have to live in them. I'd be happy to rebuild them and sell them, even at a bit under market value, but that's it. Looking to make some money here.

3 hours ago
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I lived in Buffalo once.  I moved out of the City after they mugged two nuns on the street,  killed the little old lady who operated the corner drug store and a mob of neighborhood moms attacked a man who told their kids to stop smashing bottles in the street.  These homes are probably located in zombie neighborhoods where teenagers strung out on drugs roam day and night  robbing, raping and killing.  Why do you think these homes were abandoned in the first place?  The only time anyone pays any attention to these zombies is on election day when the Democrat machine herds them to the polls.
3 hours ago
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Funny how the states that are in real trouble are in Democrat control. Will the MORONS who vote Democrat ever figure out they are being used by a bunch of corupt control freaks who do nothing but regulate everything and rip us off with never ending  taxes/fees? Look around your town and ask yourself if things are getting better for all the $ these corupt bastards take.

 

4 hours ago
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I don't believe in buying a liability. 
4 hours ago
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Since I live on the west coast and know nothing about Buffalo, I'll just have to trust those who have commented that it's not a great place to live.  But for those who think otherwise, If they otherwise qualify for a mortgage loan, FHA's 203(k) is the way to go.  The buyer gets to finance the repairs so they don't come out of pocket and at an interest rate that is only about .25% higher than a standard purchase money loan.  The borrower can even finance up to 6 months worth of mortgage payments so that they don't have to pay rent and a mortgage since the house would not be livable for the most part.  Hiring a qualified, licensed, bonded contractor is key but HUD also requires the use of a 203(k) consultant and their services are invaluable as an advisory sounding board.  Most lender's state that as long as there's a foundation on the property, the house can be built on it.  If the overall structure is otherwise sound, new plumbing, electrical, roof, chimney repair, furnace, air conditioning, flooring, and painting, etc. can be done.  Structural repairs can be done to even out a sagging upper floor and a basement remodel is also allowed to give more usable living space.   If it's a tiny house, the footprint can be enlarged with room additions and even a 2nd story addition.  With a little more homework, the author of this article could have easily included this information. 
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Depending on the house, the lumber alone could be virgin old growth in the beams, Buffalo has a lot of historic old houses so just hire an armed guard 24/7 until its occupied and finished.  There have been more habit for humanity projects that when they return in the morning the only thing left is the drywall, maybe.  But the city is coming back faster now then it has in the last 35 years.  It is definitely hit the bottom.  Suggestion: apply for a pistol permit and conceal carry we have large rats on 2 feet ;) Kidding aside the wood in these houses is not found anywhere else in the world, it is amazing.  Virgin yellow pine, douglas fir, hemlock, walnut, quarter sawn oak, mostly from the Adirondacks and upstate Turn-of the century rough cut lumber grain patterns and length only wished for these days.
4 hours ago
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This is SOOO STUPID!  Confiscate the properties, level them and take them back to only fresh topsoil and make community gardens.  Then when you get enough of them next to each other over the next decade, sell them for full price to developers for brand new construction.  Take control of your own city; don’t just give it away!


4 hours ago
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I used to live in Buffalo so trust me on this - don't waste your valuable dollar on a house in that city...
5 hours ago
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Obama's dollar store

 American Dollar Store
5 hours ago
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I heard that China is going to purchase a lot of those homes? 
5 hours ago
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The old buy it for a buck scam.  I would do it if the assessors office would promise to value my purchased property at a buck, but that will never happen with these corrupt governments that use a person's house as an open check book for local schools.  Time to tear down all the houses and shut down local governments!!!!
5 hours ago
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In the late 70's, every night on the evening news all we heard was about house fires in Buffalo and the immediate area.  After visiting there I realized burning the place was the right idea.  And it's only gotten worse. 

I hope the idea works and it cleans up the area.  With the high crime rate, it's a risky investment.

6 hours ago
6 hours ago
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Cool gimme ten bucks worth and hold the onions...Naw Never mind Buffalo is under Bloomberg's control, and I don't want to live there even if the gave me a house....
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