By Tim Dayton, Executive Director
As I look back over our Neighborhood Revitalization Projects, I am reminded of the Bill Murray movie “What About Bob”. In that movie, Richard Dreyfuss plays a psychiatrist who has developed a process where by his patients are treated through the simple philosophy of "Baby Steps" - doing things in small incremental steps in order to achieve extraordinary results.
It’s amazing what you can achieve one baby step at a time.
I recently had to write a brief report for a grant we received in October of 2017.
It was for our SE Neighborhood Revitalization Projects.
When we applied in May of 2017, we had already purchased our first house, at 709 Stewart Ave SE. At the time, we estimated it would cost us $59,200 to restore and that we would be done by October of 2017. We guessed it would be sold by March of 2018. At the time, we estimated the home would sell for $85,000 and had high hopes of selling it to a low income family.
Turns out that we were optimistic (to no one’s surprise). The project ended up costing us $69,006 ($9,806 over budget). The home sold for $95,000 ($10,000 over our estimate). The house was finished in October, just the wrong year (one year over our estimate). And it was sold to a single mom and her young son after just two months on the market.
Not bad at all for our first revitalization project, utilizing a largely volunteer work force.
Except it wasn’t our only project. A second abandoned home fell into our laps in the middle of working on 709. We managed to start and complete a second project simultaneously. We estimated the second project would cost around $33,000 and prioritized finishing this one first. It was done for the most part in September of 2018 and came in just under $40,000. Turns out I am not very good at estimating. But once again the market was good and we were able to sell it to a first time home buyer, another single parent and her daughter.
Two abandoned homes reclaimed, two first time home owners in their own homes, two neighborhoods revitalized in two years. Next up, two abandoned houses on Dale Ave. Baby steps, one small step at a time is all it takes to treat this wild world of ours. Care to help us learn how to walk? Contact us any time.