South Bend neighborhood takes on fixer uppers

South Bend’s Near Northwest Neighborhood is renovating old homes.

The neighborhood association says the project has been a huge success, and this year has been one of its best.

“We’ve got wait-lists. We’ve got people calling me,” realtor Stephanie Larimore said.

Larimore says some of her most popular sells actually started off with hardly any value.

“People get it. They finally get it,” Larimore said.

A newly renovated home on Lindsey Ave. was fixed up in four days, and was sold in four hours.

It’s one of four houses rehabbed by the NNN this year.

It’s a program completely unique to the neighborhood.

Using federal affordable housing funds, the NNN association buys houses nobody wants.

They fix them up to sell to low to moderate income families at market rate.

Kathy Schuth of the neighborhood association says there are two big benefits.

First, it solves the abandoned homes problem, making the neighborhood safer.

Second, it provides well-built homes to families who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

“You’ll hear people say homes like this have good bones, and that’s exactly right,” Schuth said.

Larimore says the benefits go even deeper.

She’s starting to see other houses in the neighborhood go up in popularity, and individual neighbors taking on fixer uppers on their own after seeing what the association has done.

Four houses are already selected for 2017.

“It’s stabilizing the whole area which is sort of the goal,” Larimore said.

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