The Omaha Municipal Land Banks makes its first major sell since its creation. On Wednesday, the OMLB board accepted a $140,000 offer to buy the vacant house at 2002 Country Club Avenue.
For over a decade, the house has been empty except for some rodents calling it home and neighbors called it an eye sore.
But soon a family will call the house home.
“We're just as excited to see the property rehabbed and of course see a new owner applicant on the property as well,” said Executive Director of the Omaha Municipal Lank Bank Marty Barnhart.
The land bank bought the property for $50,000, listed it for $65,000 in June and six applicants were approved. Through an auction process the highest bidder got the house for $140,000.
In the meantime, the land bank needs to keep the house safe so they put up plexiglass on the windows already broken to stop intruders from coming in. Plywood also covers a hole in the roof where water would pour in when it rained.
The “SOLD” sign also is a relief for neighbors as property values can rise.
“When that happens that can really maintain a neighborhood and keep it going well into the future as we have done today,” said city councilman Pete Festersen.
The new owners won’t rent the house out, they will call the property home.
“When you have an owner-occupied home there’s a little bit more pride of ownership and the maintenance and condition of the homes usually improves and stays at a better level,” said OMLB board member Mike Reidmann.
The owner is no stranger to this Country Club neighborhood-they actually live just blocks away.
“It's unusual but it's a great win for the land bank and it's something that doesn't happen very often,” said Barnhart.
After the new owner officially takes over the property which can take 30-90 days to close on it, they will have two years to fully get the house up to code.
The land bank will make quarterly checks to make sure the property is getting cleaned up.
To learn more about the OMLB or interested in purchasing property through the land bank, click here: http://www.omahalandbank.org/#about