Now officially vacant and officially owned by Fannie Mae, 823 Penn Avenue North in Minneapolis – the subject of Monday’s story and video and this photo by my colleague Kyndell Harkness – has a bright future, if Fannie Mae‘s promises are fulfilled. Amy Bonitatibus, a spokeswoman in Washington for the federally-bailed-out mortgage giant, said that as of March 31, Fannie Mae owned 62,371 single-family homes nationwide – all of them obtained through foreclosure. That’s nearly 20,000 more than a year earlier.
But Bonitatibus pointed out that Fannie Mae is selling thousands of houses as well, through private brokers, auctions and its own web site. Fannie Mae’s modus operandi is to fix up the homes and then sell them, rather than just unloading them as is, she said. It won’t sit boarded for years, either, she said. She suspects the repairs and listing could happen within 30 days.
Fannie Mae is currently listing 146 houses in Minneapolis, including a 620 square foot, one bedroom, one bath charmer at 701 Newton Avenue North for a mere $7,500. That one’s under contract.
“Fannie Mae is committed to maintaining its REO [real estate owned] properties,” Bonitatibus said. “By investing in the rehabilitation of distressed properties at the outset, we are able to sell the property more quickly and in the process, help stabilize neighborhoods.”
Whistleblower will check to make sure that actually happens in the case of 823 Penn Avenue North.