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Ardmore locals save condemned homes to sell to families

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Ardmore has a hundred and fifty condemned houses as of Monday. They cost money to tear down,  but they’re not safe to live in.

Reece Riggle and Brannon Burroughs closed on one of those houses on 2nd Avenue a week ago.

They’re fixing it up to sell it, saving it from the same fate as the neighboring house, which was torn down.

“We have the experience in doing these type of remodels and thought man, there are just so many condemned housing throughout town, and we should really do something about it.,” Riggle said.

Both men have a background in real estate. Burroughs knows construction.

It’s how he decides if a condemned home is a diamond-in-the-rough, or just a money pit.

“The first thing is the bones of the house,” Burroughs said. “Everybody walks up and sees the house and it scares them. When you can look past that and actually have a vision of what the house needs to be... I’ve been doing, my family’s been doing construction since I was little bitty. So its easy to walk in and know what the house is going to need.”

Burroughs said a home could be condemned for one reason, but usually will have several other code violations too. They all need to be fixed before the city will let someone live in it.

Houses can be condemned for major structure issues, such as roof or foundation problems, or even just because the water supply was turned off for too long.

If the problem isn’t fixed, eventually the house is torn down.

The city said on average, it costs $2-3 per square foot to demolish a house.

The 2nd Avenue house was condemned because continued to get broken into.

“According to the city, a lot of vagrants and miscellaneous people have been breaking into this home,” Riggle said.

“Well next thing you know, they may be breaking into the neighbors house, getting into their storage stuff,” Burroughs said.

Burroughs said when it looks like a neighborhood is lived in, the crime goes down.

Riggle said these projects let them provide affordable houses to families in their hometown.

“In order to build up this part of town, it’s important that families have pride of ownership,” Riggle said. “And we’ll give them a good start.”

Riggle said that vision is why they won’t be selling the properties to investors.

“It’s very important to us that these homes go back to the families of Ardmore,” Riggle said. “There’s just a lot of outside investors, anywhere from California to Texas, and they’ll buy these properties, and they’ll just let them sit and not do anything with them. A family will take care of a home more than an investor would.”

“Some contractors come in and just, lipstick on a pig. They just throw a bunch of paint on it and call it all good,” Burroughs said. “We’re not gonna be like that. We’re gonna take pride in our homes.”

Burroughs also said they’ll offer a year-long warranty to the families that purchase the homes.

Have a condemned home you’d like to sell? Find them on Facebook here.

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