Purchasing City Houses for $1
The city will sell to non-profit organizations at a reduced price of $1 if the property has been on the market for AT LEAST 60 DAYS and the asking price is $25,000 or less.
Purchasing City Houses for $1,000
The city will sell to non-profit organizations at a reduced price of $1,000 if the property has been on the market for LESS THAN 60 DAYS and the asking price is $25,000 or less.
Guidelines for both $1 and $1,000 purchases:
- Pay closing costs including but not limited to the Letter Report, closing fee, current tax bill if applicable, current water bill, and broker’s commission if the property is listed with a broker.
- Must have been in operation for at least 12 months.
- Must have housing rehab experience and the intent of the purchase must be to rehabilitate the property.
- After rehabilitation is complete, the property may be sold to an owner-occupant or can be kept as an investment property.
- To view a City property on the Extended Listing, a Right of Entry agreement and key must be picked up by contacting David Dorsey at (414) 286-5645 or by email at email@example.com. To view a City property that is listed with a broker, contact the broker directly.
Steps needed to secure such a purchase:
- Select a vacant property with a sales price equal to or less than $25,000. Choose from properties marked as eligible on the Extended Listing (• Eligible for Community Based Organization [CBO] $1 sale) or a property listed with one of our outside brokers. PLEASE NOTE: Additional properties are listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). To get information on those properties contact a Wisconsin licensed real estate agent.
- Provide letter stating the intent of the purchase, as stated above.
- Examine the scope of work for the repairs (provided by the City).
- Provide a timetable for the completion of the work.
- Provide evidence of financing for the rehabilitation of the property (no gift letters).*
- Provide IRS Non-Profit 501(c)(3) letter and Articles of Incorporation.
- Must be registered with Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
- For properties on the Extended Listing, offers to purchase shall be made directly to the City real estate office on City forms. Submit City of Milwaukee - Offer to Purchase to 809 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Email offers to ResidentialOffers@milwaukee.gov or fax to (414) 286-0395. For properties listed through a broker, offers must be submitted directly to that broker.
- A $50.00 earnest money deposit made payable to the City of Milwaukee (cashier’s check or money order and is non-refundable if offer is accepted).
- Buyers must conform to standard City buyer policies.
- Broker commissions will not be paid by the City on the sale of properties through this program.
* Buyers are required to show proof of financing for renovation work prior to closing. Such proof may include a commitment letter from a lender or a current bank statement. Buyers must complete renovation work within 90 days of property acquisition. Buyers are subject to a deed restriction that prohibits resale within two years of acquisition, unless that sale is to an owner-occupant. In the case of buyers who use an acquisition/rehabilitation/resale program model, the deed restrictions outlined above will apply to the buyer who purchases the renovated property from the non-profit organization.
For homeownership projects, the organization must provide documentation of experience in the acquisition and rehabilitation of residential properties for homeownership and prepare a marketing strategy/plan for sale of the property to an owner-occupant. Members of the team that will be involved in renovation and marketing must be identified.
For rental projects, the organization must provide documentation of experience in the acquisition and rehabilitation of residential properties for rental, including property management experience. Members of the team that will be involved in renovation and management must be identified. If the non-profit organization intends to hold properties as an investor, the property shall be subject to real estate taxes.
If the buyer does not have previous experience in residential renovation, the buyer must submit information that demonstrates that team members (general contractor, real estate agent, property manager, etc.) have previous relevant experience that will ensure the project’s success.
For buyers that have not previously purchased property from the City of Milwaukee, the City reserves the right to require proof of successful performance on the first property sold before accepting additional offers to purchase from the buyer.
If a buyer seeks to purchase multiple properties, it is preferable that properties be clustered geographically. Offers to purchase properties in bulk will be evaluated based on the buyer’s previous track record and level of proposed investment in the properties.