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November 18, 2014

Renovations breathe new life into homes and communities

On a street just west of Chicago, the sound of drills and hammers means a home is being renovated before sale — creating ‘a sense of positive excitement.’

With a whirl of drills, hammers, and crowbars, it takes workers 15 minutes to demolish the old kitchen in a vacant house under renovation.

“The neighbors are pleased to see something is happening to the home,” says Russ Cross with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Community Outreach. Wells Fargo owns the Victorian-style home in the Village of Oak Park just west of Chicago.

Wells Fargo often renovates real-estate-owned (REO) properties to prepare them for sale. Owner occupants, nonprofits, and municipalities are given first opportunity to bid on the homes. The goal: Stabilize neighborhoods, revitalize communities, and create jobs.

“When somebody moves into a home that’s been rehabbed,” says Brian White of the Cook County Land Bank Authority, “it creates a sense of positive excitement for the community.”

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