Monday, August 4, 2008

Reviving Cincinnati: 723 Mt. Hope Avenue, Part I

Price Hill Will's effort to save homes in the East Price Hill's Incline District continued last Monday at 723 Mt. Hope Avenue as crews from Castle Construction began demolition.

The 2,100-square-foot house, which was once owned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was purchased for $17,000 from a buyer who had no ability to fix the place up.

"It's a lot of work," says James (Jamie) Bass, housing development director for Price Hill Will. "If you're an owner looking to renovate, there's no profit potential there."

Funding for the rehabilitation projects comes through the Housing Development Assistance Program, administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

In addition to a construction subsidy, the program allows Price Hill Will to offer buydown assistance through a 15-year forgivable second mortgage.

Built in 1913 as a single-family, the house had been carved up into as many as three tiny apartments.

Price Hill Will plans on demolishing many of the walls to open the property up into a modern floor plan.

In addition to a reworked layout, the house will be practically brand new, with a new roof, mechanicals, floors and carpet, and side and back porches.

A series of six structural rods will be inserted into the masonry to stabilize and fix a large crack in the left rear corner of the house.

"We want to make sure it's done right," Bass says. "The last thing someone should have to do when they move into a brand new home is make a bunch of costly repairs."

Energy Star rated products and appliances will be used throughout, saving energy and keeping homeowner costs down.

"This house is going to be gorgeous," Bass says.

One-hundred twenty days have been budgeted for completing the work.

Price Hill Will also will begin work soon on a property they purchased at 439 Hawthorne Avenue, a large 1905 Victorian that has fallen into extreme disrepair.

Both homes will be open during Sunday's Price Hill Showcase of Homes from noon to 5 PM.

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