May 24, 2018

In Gary, Ind., Become a Home Owner for $1

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In Gary, Ind., Become a Home Owner for $1

Some residents of Gary, Ind., could become home owners for only $1. The city is running a real estate fire sale, selling a dozen homes for $1 each to eligible buyers. The city repossessed the homes after the owners became delinquent on their property taxes, and as part of its neighborhood stabilization effort, the city wants to sell them to people who will refurbish them. 

“They need work,” says Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “It’s up to the home owners to provide the sweat equity.” 

Buyers must meet certain requirements in order to purchase the homes: They must be residents of Gary for at least six months, they can't be current home owners, and they have to occupy the $1 homes they buy for five years before they’ll acquire full ownership. Eligible buyers also must have at least $1,000 in savings, earn at least 80 percent of the area’s median annual income of $35,250, and demonstrate that they have the financial capability to repair the homes. 

When the $1 home program was first announced, more than 400 potential buyers stepped forward. However, after the city detailed the eligibility requirements, the finalist pool shrank to 25. Twelve names will be selected from a random drawing in September to decide who gets the homes. Freeman-Wilson says if the program is successful, the city would like to sell 50 homes a year.

Source: “Fire Sale in Gary, Indiana: Homes for $1,” CNNMoney (Aug. 20, 2013)

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