Daniel Gallagher wasn’t sure what he was getting into the first time he purchased a home from the Cuyahoga Land Bank, but the experience was an incredibly rewarding one, and he recently completed renovation on his second Cuyahoga Land Bank home. Gallagher purchased the three-bedroom, two-bath Colonial in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood through the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Deed-in-Escrow program in 2017. “Ian Ahern and the rest of the staff at the Cuyahoga Land Bank were very helpful, making it a very positive experience,” says Gallagher.
The Deed-in-Escrow program offers buyers an opportunity to take neglected properties and bring them back to life. Houses come at a reduced purchase price but often require extensive renovations. The buyer agrees to renovate the home as required within a specified timeframe and the deed to the home is held in escrow until renovations are complete.
In Gallagher’s case, the repairs were significant, but he was fortunate to have a little help. “My brother is very knowledgeable about construction, and I was able to save a few dollars by doing all the electrical work myself which is the trade in which I have the most experience. This poor house was totally stripped of wiring, so we had to rewire the entire home,” says Gallagher.
Looking back, Gallagher realizes he could not have done it without his family’s help. “I would not have tried to take on this project without the support of my family and friends,” who helped him from a financial standpoint and offered moral support throughout the renovations. “I’m very lucky to have them in my corner.”
“Rehabbing entire houses is not easy,” cautions Gallagher. “You need available funds and a game plan before even attempting to tackle such a project, and any experience in residential construction is, of course, extremely helpful.”
“The Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Deed-in-Escrow Program is important to this area because it ensures that older houses in Cleveland neighborhoods get the attention they need. As a Cleveland native and someone who still lives in the area, I take pride in helping my city in any way I can. I would recommend this program to anyone who has the time, money and knowledge to help our city improve – one house at a time.”
Click HERE for more information on the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Deed-in-Escrow Program.