Retired Contractor Renovates Eyesore Properties - - The News for South Mississippi

Retired Contractor Renovates Eyesore Properties

A retired coast contractor is busy turning dilapidated houses into quality homes.

 Jim Brow paid close attention to our recent special reports about eyesore properties. He prefers renovating rundown houses, rather than tearing them down.

Construction workers are busy renovating a house on 15th Avenue in Gulfport. The house was vacant when Jim Brow bought it through foreclosure for 25 thousand dollars. Once the remodeling is finished, he expects it will appraise for around 75 thousand.

"Remodeling has always been a lot more interesting to me because you have a lot more satisfaction in the fact of taking something old, just like somebody restoring old cars. We like to restore old houses," explained Brow.

The house next door is among his success stories. It's hard to imagine it was once falling down.

Brow has renovated more than a dozen rundown houses. He says the biggest challenge isn't the work, it's financing.

"The problem is that your banks and lending institutions feel that the property, once it is run down and condemned, is of no value and won't make a loan for you," said Brow.

The finance person who helped find Brow some loan money for his rehab projects says part of the problem may be the busy home building along the coast.

Glenn Michaelson says the new construction market is taking much of the available loan money.

"There's so much demand for money right now that they can pick and choose the loans they want to do. And they can stick with the ones that are new construction. They fit easily into the construction draw program, the funding programs," said Michaelson.

Brow says if loans were more available, more builders might get involved in such projects.

"Rather than tear old houses down, upgrade them so people can live in them today. And you're recycling an old house, rather than tearing it down," said Brow.

By Steve Phillips

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