May 20, 2008

After two years, nonprofit sells two homes

It took two years, but two homes in the 1000 block of LaSalle Street are close to being sold.

The homes were built by Racine Housing and Neighborhood Partnership, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting home ownership in the city.

RHNP put four homes next to each other on the block up for sale two years ago. The three-bedroom homes were priced at $110,000, but hit the housing market at the wrong time and went unsold. Some grant restrictions on the properties also scared away potential buyers, though the restrictions were relatively minor, said Joe Heck, the city's assistant director of city planning.

The organization dropped the price to $99,900 and launched an intensive marketing campaign to sell the homes. Two of the four houses are scheduled for closing this month, Heck said. The other two shouldn't take as long to sell.

"The Realtor told us, if you get one or two sold, the rest will sell right away," Heck said. "People are leery about being the first one."

The sales are good news for RHNP, too. It frees up money the nonprofit had tied up in the home, and should help their financial standing.

The organization is between executive directors at the moment. Former Director Joaquina Winfrey resigned.

Heck said RHNP is going strong.

"The president (Gai Lorenzen) and the rest of the board have been very proactive since the director resigned," Heck said. "They're doing things to keep afloat and moving ahead."

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