Town Takes Claim to Hoarder's Home - NBC Chicago

Town Takes Claim to Hoarder's Home

Village hopes to sell townhome on the cheap



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    FILE IMAGE: A woman who filled her home with hoarded items lost it to the village of North Aurora last week.

    The village of North Aurora now owns a townhouse it had to clean up just over a year ago after the elderly homeowner filled it with hoarded trash.

    Trustees have agreed to accept the deed to 207B Linn Court as payment for the $34,500 the village spent on cleaning the townhouse, which had become a neighborhood hazard. The village had begun foreclosure proceedings to recover the amount owed, since the homeowner has moved to a nursing home.

    “The owner decided to deed us the house so we can get our money back sooner,” said Community Development Director Scott Buening.

    Even though the trash, vermin and mold are gone, the townhouse is officially not habitable because most of the walls and flooring had to be removed, leaving much of the structure stripped to the joists, Buening said. It would cost an estimated $40,000 to bring the townhouse up to code, he noted.

    The village will put the townhouse on the market this spring as-is, with the hope that a rehab contractor will buy and restore it for resale. If no one steps forward, the village will pay a contractor to replace the flooring and drywall, then put the townhouse back on the market as a livable structure.

    “While we intend to get the best price possible, we do not expect that we will fully recapture all of our clean-up costs,” Buening said. “The soft real estate market has depressed sales prices, and we anticipate that the final sales price may be below our clean-up costs.”

    As the new owner of the property, the village must pay Kane County $2,670 in back taxes, as well as take over payments for utilities and a $160 monthly homeowners association fee. Officials plan to file a tax exemption for the property, since it is now public property, said Buening.