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Quicken Loans, Home Depot Partner with Land Bank to Renovate Auction Homes

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Quicken Loans, The Home Depot and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced plans today for a partnership with the Detroit Land Bank. The parties will work together to renovate 65 homes owned by the city and controlled by the land bank. These houses will be auctioned, with the hope that their much-improved condition will add value to the neighborhoods targeted by the program. Officials and reps from Quicken and Home Depot outlined the plans during a press conference today at the first of the homes to be auctioned, a brick colonial on Monica Street in Bagley.

The house on Monica has been fully renovated, and will be open to the public during an open house Saturday from 1-5 pm, according to Quicken Loans PR manager Jordan Fylonenko. The house, along with the others in the program, will be auctioned by the Detroit Land Bank. Because these homes are fully renovated, the hope is that they will raise property values of other houses in the neighborhood—comparable properties, called "comps" in real estate lingo. Speaking to the Financial Review Commission Monday, Mayor Duggan expressed optimism about the program's potential impact on Detroit neighborhoods.

"They're going to renovate [the houses] first and sell them to raise the comps," Duggan said. "Once you get the comps up, the appraisals come up. So they're attacking it that way." The public—and especially prospective buyers—can tour the home this weekend during the open house. The Monica Street property goes up for auction on the Land Bank's website next week. The Detroit Land Bank has sold city-owned, derelict properties since 2014. While the hope was that the homes would be renovated and neighborhoods improved, many criticize the deals city workers get on pricing, and roughly a third of the initial 394 Land Bank sales struggled to close (or failed to close) because it was difficult or impossible for buyers to get financing on abandoned properties that appraise for low value.

The first home auctioned by the Quicken/Home Depot program, a 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath 1939 colonial cottage on Monica Street, has a handsome brick and stone exterior, and the renovations preserved many nice original touches including hardwood floors, a marble-faced fireplace and the old bathroom tile. The kitchen features granite counters and brand new appliances. According to the Land Bank's listing for the Monica Street home, the total investment in the property stands at $60,821. Given that the auction bid for the house starts at $48,500, the winner of this Bagely cottage could be in for a sweet deal on move-in-ready real estate.

·Quicken, Home Depot to detail Detroit home renovations [Detroit Free Press]
·Detroit Land Bank Auctions: Are They Really Working? [Curbed Detroit]
·18652 MONICA [Detroit Land Bank]