Superior recycling program improves housing
Last year, the small house at 2527 E. Fourth St. wasn't even worth $40,000, according to Douglas County property records.
Now — with a complete renovation inside and out — that same three-bedroom, one-bath home is attracting a lot of attention, even with a $100,000 price tag.
Realtor Tom "Action" Acton said he had seven showings scheduled Tuesday, May 14, and one offer to buy on the table already.
The house is the first completed project for Superior's Vacant House Recycling Program. The house that had been taken for back taxes by Douglas County and turned over to the city for the program was sold in November to developer Barry Hunter Jr.
Hunter said he did some initial demolition and the roof shortly after he purchased the house in November, but the heavy lifting on the project to renovate the house was done in March and April.
"There was a lot of falling plaster," Hunter said of the house when he bought it.
Sheetrock replaced falling plaster. The electrical and plumbing were replaced, and the layout of the house was changed to make it more functional.
A staircase at the back of the home — almost ladder-like in its construction — was removed and a new one with a gentler grade was added at the front of the home the staircase from one of the upstairs bedrooms. The new staircase lands in a hall between the upstairs bedrooms.
New cabinets, counters and appliances were installed in the kitchen, and new fixtures were installed in the bathroom. New carpet and floors were installed throughout. The house was insulated and new windows were installed where they hadn't been replaced in 2006, Hunter said.
The house froze up last winter so a new high-efficiency boiler was installed, Acton said. He said everything is basically new and he expects the house will be relatively inexpensive to heat.
Mayor Jim Paine said the house reflects exactly what he'd hoped for when the program was created.
"This was worth nothing at all, and now it's worth quite a bit in a pretty exciting little neighborhood," Paine said. "We are very excited to enter the first completed house in the Vacant House Recycling Program."
The city recently sold the second home in the program to Bachand Realty, which is renovating a house on North 12th Street for rental property. The third, on East First Street, is being marketed for redevelopment.
"We kind of leverage the skill that people like Barry have already to see what they can do," said Jeff Skrenes, the city's housing and planning coordinator.