Lowell CDC Projects
Many homes that come on the market in the Lowell neighborhood are in disrepair. Making them only available for “cash only” buyers. Families desire to buy but the availability of homes that are available to purchase with bank funding are rare.
We have partnered with an investor to purchase and rehab several houses, working alongside a family who is then able to buy the rehabbed home when the work is done.
Franklin Ave: The Conrad Family
Grayson and Carolyn started volunteering with a youth program in the Lowell community in 2008. Those interactions with the families of the neighborhood sparked a love for the community and the diversity they found here.
After getting married in 2010 they dreamed of owning a home and investing in a community. Carolyn and Grayson both started working near Lowell and decided that this community was the place they wanted to plant roots in. They started searching for a home and found a house that was foreclosed. It fit their needs and desires for ownership, but the house needed minor rehab and there were several fixes that needed to be made before they would be able to purchase the house with their loan.
Through some conversations with residents in the community they learned about the Lowell CDC and the partnership they had with an “angel” investor. After a walk-through of the house with the contractor, the priority list and budget were set and the investor made the purchase. Grayson and Carolyn were able to take an active role with the rehab process, demo, clean up and providing key direction on paint colors, flooring options, and countertops.
Within a few months this home had new carpet, kitchen counters, roof, exterior and interior paint, light fixtures, bathroom appliances and back fence. Grayson and Carolyn were eager to move in and make this house their new home.
Yosemite Ave: The Gragston Family
The Gragston’s sensed a season of transition coming in their life. They were discerning their call in life, considering moving abroad but driven by a deep desire to plant and grow food. They were connected to the Lowell CDC when a partner was talking to them about the opportunity to buy a home in the Lowell community. They met with the Lowell CDC expressing their desire to own a home with sufficient land where they could put down roots: Investing in a community, a home for their family and a place to build an urban garden.
The Lowell CDC was able to connect all the resources; once a house that fit their criteria was identified, the Lowell CDC partnered the Gragstons with an “angel” investor who was willing to purchase the home because it was only eligible to a cash buyer. “We would not have been able to buy a house without the LCDC, We didn’t have cash” said Kim.
The Gragstons then walked through the house with a contractor, creating their priority list of repairs and rehab. The Kitchen would need to be finished, flooring and paint throughout, lighting fixtures and the list went on and on. The Gragstons had been pre approved for a home loan so the difference between the cash purchase price and their loan amount was $30,000. The work started and projects started being checked off the list. After almost 7 months of Rehab, and hard work the Gragstons were able to purchase their home. “This dramatically changed our life, we consider it a gift to live here” Kim commented.
The process was hard and at times seemingly impossible. “we were taking a big risk” Jeremy noted but it was all worth it in the end. The Gragstons feel that the relationships and the continued support from the Lowell CDC have been invaluable. From Board members dropping by to offer advice on rehab to a full historical tour and analysis of their home, every detail has been appreciated.
They have continued to build and plant, transforming their yard into an urban farm, feeding themselves and neighbors and researching crops for International Medical Missions.
Lowell CDC completed construction of a new home with H.O.M.E. funds in 2012. Mayor Ashley Swearengin awarded the City’s 2012 Historic Preservation Awards in the “In-fill/Sustainable” category to the new single-family residence located at 415 N. Calaveras.
The project was shepherded by the Lowell CDC, working with Robin Goldbeck Architects. This award honors individuals or groups who have demonstrated excellence in the restoration of an historic building, leadership in preservation planning or neighborhood revitalization.