New Castle News

October 13, 2012

Flipping of city houses seen as real problem

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

New Castle has two primary assets, location and cost of living.

Next to drugs, the primary problem is out-of-town investors and inferior contractors.

I know three young couples who moved into city homes with the intent of renting to own. They found themselves with major concerns in the properties. All three homes were “revitalized” by the same contractor.

All three couples have children and work and contribute to our tax base. All three couples want to live in the city and want their kids to go to New Castle schools. All three couples have moved or are moving because of the contractor.

We went to the courthouse and got the tax cards on several houses in our area. These show when a house is sold and for how much. These house flippers are making a killing on the North Hill.

One house was purchased on Jan. 6, 2011, for $11,000 and resold on Jan. 13, 2011, for $24,900.

Another was purchased on Aug. 3, 2010, for $10,000, and resold on Aug. 20, 2010, for $22,000.

Another house was purchased for $4,764.86 on Feb. 11, 2011, and flipped on March 16, 2011, for $21,500 and resold again on March 29, 2011, for $36,500.

These three houses were all refurbished by the same contractor.

Youngstown was awarded a $1 million grant to tear down blighted properties.

Wouldn’t it be great if New Castle could get a grant to save these homes? If a legal contract could be written to sell these homes to people for a minimal profit, with stipulation that the house is sold “as is” and the buyer must live in the house for at least five years?

I believe these problems can be solved if we think outside the box.

Pat Schwoeble

East Winter Avenue

New Castle