News & Updates | Chautauqua County Land Bank

Land Bank To Rehab, Demolish More Than 30 County Houses

Posted on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 10:08 AM

From The Jamestown Post-Journal.

More than 30 houses from the Chautauqua County Public Real Estate Auction will either be rehabilitated or demolished by the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation.

Last month, county officials held their property tax auction, which is when land bank officials pulled 12 houses for demolition and purchased 20 for their Rehabs 4 Sale program. Gina Paradis, land bank administrative director, said there are three more houses that will either be demolished or rehabilitated, which they will determine once the property has been evaluated.

”The next step is to access the properties. Then we do a walk-through and assess them for rehab if they look good. If not, it will go to demo,” she said. ”For the rehab program, we will clean them up and appraise them in ‘as-is’ condition and set an asking price, which is generally 60 percent of the appraised value.”

Paradis said they still need the Chautauqua County Legislature to approve properties for demolition and for the rehab program, which will most likely take place during their next scheduled regular meeting Wednesday, July 27. Once land bank officials have the legislature’s approval, the properties for the rehabilitation program will be cleaned and appraised, Paradis said they will post the houses on their website – – and on the multiple listing service system that realtors use.

Since the land bank was created in 2012, Paradis said the houses available during this year’s auction were typically what they see each year. However, she said since county officials reduced the foreclosure cycle from three to two years and because of the houses the land bank has pulled for demolition before the auction, the number of properties has shrunk.

”What you hear from the county is that it helps with the revenue they generate from the auction. It leaves a smaller amount of properties, which drives up demand,” Paradis said. ”By taking those properties that need to be demolished out of the auction cycle and taking care of them responsibly, it takes them out of the serial foreclosure cycle too.”

Paradis said going through the land bank is a better option than going to the tax auction for buyers. She said once the land bank has control of the property, potential buyers can look inside the property to have it assessed. For the tax auction, a potential buyer can only view the outside of the house.

”They don’t get a chance to go into the properties to see the work that needs to be done when they go to auction,” she said. ”A well-intentioned purchaser sometimes cannot handle all the work that goes into rehabilitating a property. There are things they cannot see by driving past the house. Through us, they can walk through the house and they can put in a bid on a property that we offer below market value. We provide an opportunity to invest and reinvest in a house that is a good outcome for the purchaser and the neighborhood.”


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