A quaint, brick house with white trim and a tidy yard will be the first of dozens of completely renovated homes to be sold to the highest bidder as part of an innovative new program designed to stabilize Detroit neighborhood housing values and create new residential opportunities. Not long ago, the house at 18652 Monica Street was vacant and in need of repairs. Now, it is move-in ready with fresh paint, beautiful hardwood floors and an updated kitchen and bathroom. A big crowd gathered on the front lawn of the house Wednesday, August 26 for the official launch of “Rehabbed and Ready.” The public private partnership is a joint effort between the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Quicken Loans and Home Depot to offer renovated homes for sale on the Detroit Land Bank’s buildingdetroit.org auction site.
“The neighborhoods of Detroit are already starting to turn around. Blighted homes are being removed at a record pace. Other homes are being renovated and we have even seen residential new construction for the first time in decades,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans. “The Rehabbed and Ready program adds another critical component to neighborhood revival. It addresses rebuilding the market so appraisal values can be rationalized to allow financing to come back to the housing ecosystem in Detroit.”
Quicken Loans is providing a $5 million grant to fund the program and will also offer financing to qualified buyers. The Home Depot, with the help of local contractors, is renovating the homes. Gilbert was joined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, representatives from Home Depot, and even next-door neighbor Brenda Beasley to talk to reporters and neighbors about the merits of the program.
“We’re taking another major step forward in rebuilding the neighborhoods,” said Duggan. “In addition to the homes we’re rehabbing, this initiative provides an opportunity for thousands of homeowners in the surrounding neighborhoods, as it will allow more accurate appraised values which will generate home financing in the area.”
The house on Monica Street in the Bagley neighborhood is situated on a block with well-kept older homes and neighbors who look out for one another. A second property in the same neighborhood will soon go up for auction through the initiative on nearby Prairie Street. Homes will also be renovated in the Crary/St. Mary’s, College Park and Evergreen/Outer Drive neighborhoods. All bidders must be owner occupants.
“This is just the beginning,” said Gilbert. “You may say it’s just a couple houses a week, and it is just a couple of houses a week but the key thing is that it gets the neighborhoods active and going.”
Quicken Loans is offering pre-approvals for mortgage financing. Call (866) 918-7874 to speak with a loan expert. The first public open houses will take place at 18652 Monica Street and 18509 Prairie Street in Detroit on Saturday, August 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The homes will be placed on the Land Bank auction site on Wednesday, September 2. For more information, visit buildingdetroit.org.