Dearborn sells city side lots to increase property values

The City of Dearborn is selling land back to its east side residents, one side lot at a time.

The city launched the program fifteen years ago in efforts to make real estate in the city more attractive and valuable. Since the election of Mayor John B. O'Reilly, Jr. in 2007, the program has ramped up.

It's a focus of the mayor's, who wants to see Dearborn's home values rise. A proactive blight removal and abandoned home demolition program opens up opportunities for re-selling lots back to neighbors whose homes would otherwise be affected by blighted buildings next door.

The side lot program, focused on the city's older east side, allows Dearborn homeowners the ability to purchase vacant land next to their properties and transform the lots into attractive, usable spaces, suitable for gardens, garages, driveways, house additions, and more. Vacant lots can even be jointly purchased and split between two neighbors.

Buildable lots are also for sale, encouraging new construction in older neighborhoods.

"A lot of the older properties on the east side are not aligned with modern standards," says Mayor O'Reilly. "But people are tearing down houses and building the house that they want. It's a good sign because it shows that people want to live here."

The program generated 29 side yard lot sales in 2016, a significant increase from the 13 sold the year before. Those 29 side yards generated the city $93,177 in revenue and returned properties to tax rolls. And residents gain the benefit of larger lot sizes, which is especially a premium for homeowners of smaller parcels in the older eastside neighborhoods of the city.

Buildable lot sales were also up in 2016, increasing from nine properties sold in 2015 to 22 properties sold for the purpose of new construction. This generated the city $415,562 in revenue and returned properties to tax rolls.

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