The Barbee Dreamhouse is 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath with a finished basement, and we bought it for a whopping $2500. No… that is NOT a typo, that is TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! (That’s less than I spent to go to Europe)… but I’m sure you are wondering HOW?! Two words: TIF District.
I work for a library, so typically the words “TIF District” are like nails on a chalkboard to me but this is a really good example of TIF money going to good use! For those of you who doesn’t know what a TIF District is in laments terms the city or governmental entity takes funds from property taxes and relocates it to encourage investment in growth within the district.
In our case the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association (EPNIA) uses the TIF money to purchase abandoned or distressed properties and they are then able to sell them to owners for a very nominal fee and in return the buyers will renovate the properties thus helping clean up the neighborhood! Our neighborhood association is doing a tremendous job, Enos Park is a completely different place than it was even 5 years ago.
For more information on the EPNIA and what they are doing visit their website here.
Stephen and I had a little bit of a different buying experience than I believe most past (or future buyers) have had. The home was one that Enos Park still had a mortgage on and because of a bunch of legal reasons I don’t quite understand the city dragged their feet releasing the funds to pay off the mortgage so that Enos Park could sell the property to us. (insert eye roll)
But before we get to that point let me back up a little bit.
After we decided that this was the home for us we had to fill out an application and a “scope of work” which is essentially a worksheet that lists all renovations you plan on doing to the house and list the potential costs. You then schedule an interview with a few members of the board.
We met with the board in December and poor Stephen had the stomach flu but was a trooper through it. We hoped they wouldn’t ask him any direct questions so that his lunch wouldn’t end up on the table (ugh). I did the majority of the talking and the interview (which was very casual and laid back) went off without a hitch!
After the interview the board members we met with had to take our application back to the rest of the board and we had to be voted in by the rest of the board (spoiler alert: we were accepted!)
Once we were accepted the waiting game began… Long story short, we had to wait for city council to release the funds which took 2 months and then another month for Enos Park to receive the funds and close on the house and then FINALLY after 3 long months on March 2nd, 2017 we closed and became the proud owners of our BEAUTIFUL (note the sarcasm) new home!