By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
It looked like any open house: a “for sale” sign in the yard, a fragrant candle burning on the counter, and a homeowner doing a last minute cleanup in the kitchen.
But this open house was different. The house for sale is the first vacant home the Mahoning County Land Bank has renovated.
“This is the first house that the county land bank acquired with the intent to renovate,” said Debora Flora, executive director.
The land bank is overseeing $1.5 million in demolition grant funding for the county from the state attorney general’s office.
“So people know we tear them down,” Flora said. “But that’s not all the land bank should or could do.”
The house at 1815 Canfield Road is a good starting point, she said. She acknowledges it’s a small house, which limits the field of potential buyers.
“But it’s still a good house,” she said.
The two-bedroom, 1 Ω-bath home has a 2 Ω-car garage and a large, fenced backyard. The land bank made some improvements, including a new roof, plumbing, and interior and exterior paint. The central air and automatic garage doors were refurbished. The budget for the renovation was $15,000. The 45-day project came in under budget, Flora said.
Wells Fargo Financial foreclosed on the home in 2012 after the owner died. The bank donated the property to the land bank earlier this year.
The asking price for the house is $34,900. The Mahoning County auditor assessed it at $56,840. Annual taxes are $689.14.
The house is less than a half-mile from Mill Creek Park and a mile from shopping, food establishments and more
That appeals to Gina Ferraro of Youngstown.
“This is exactly where I want to be,” she said. “I have a lot of family that lives in this area. I work close to here. I love the park.”
The land bank is closing on a second house to renovate, also in Youngstown, Flora said.