St. Paul selling homes for as low as $1

St. Paul selling homes for as low as $1
Photo courtesy of HRA

Buying a home for the price of a king-size candy bar might sound enticing, but don't get your hopes up. The hidden costs and long to-do lists makes these dingy properties not so exciting after all.

The city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority is selling 11 properties in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood for prices ranging from $1 to $50,000.

HRA owns the homes and is trying to find buyers willing to put some serious investment into the crumbling properties. Repairs and updates on the homes could cost an additional $140,000 to $190,000, according to the official estimates. Buyers must update the homes to fulfill city rules and follow historic preservation laws.That $1 property actually sounds like a nightmare for anyone without some serious housing construction knowledge. The property is located at 275 Bates Avenue and needs a rotted wall removed, replaced studs beams, and posts. And that's just the beginning of it. The home was damaged by a fire.

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"When people acquire these properties, they're not just going to be paying the acquisition price," said Ellen Biales, aide to city council president Kathy Lantry. "The $1 price has sort of piqued people's interest, but it comes with certain obligations."

The program's goal is to entice purchasers to make investments in the properties that go beyond minimum standards and are mindful of historic preservation goals, said Carol Carey, executive director of Historic Saint Paul.

City officials hope the homes will revitalize a stretch of the neighborhood and boost property values for the area. The homes are all clustered near the west end of Fourth Street.

If you are interested in the homes, there will be two open hours this week. Six of the homes will be show from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The remaining five will be shown 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. City staff will be on hand to answer questions about the properties.

For more information, visit the city's site or call 651-266-6115.

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