Exasperated county commissioners in Ohio, tasked with selling the Georgia home of its elderly former owner, have slashed the price of the property to $1 after four years of failing to find an interested buyer.
Through a bizarre quirk in Ohio’s law books, the elderly woman’s two-bedroom property in Hawkinsville, Georgia, was purchased by Butler County commissioners in Ohio for $18,000 in 2004 in a bid to help her qualify for medicaid shortly after abandoning the home and moving to Butler County, Ohio, to be closer to her daughters. Shortly after relocating, she moved into a nursing home and promptly ran up a $50,000 bill.
As first reported by the Journal-News, the unidentified woman could not access medicaid as long as she was listed as the owner of the property. As a result, Butler County’s care facility director Chuck Demidovich agreed to purchase the property for $18,000 back in 2004. The sale helped cover $40,000 of the woman’s nursing home bills.
Ohio law requires nursing homes to take people’s property when they enter a facility.
“It’s a strange thing,” Demidovich told the Journal-News. “The thing is the law says I’m supposed to collect these people’s property. I really don’t want to do that, and this is an exact example why. If I get somebody’s house that nobody wants, I might as well become a land bank.”
Ohio county commissioners tasked with selling the home, first listed the 1,050-square-foot property for $8,000 in 2015.
Even though it is valued at $15,320, the property did not sell even after being listed at auction in 2015. It is located at 235 Dooley St. in a fairly neglected condition.
“I just have a wild idea, what if we put a quarter-page ad in the newspaper and it just said something like property for sale, $1,” Commissioner Cindy Carpenter told the Journal-News. “Do you have any ideas on how to get rid of that property, since it’s not selling at auction.”
As the county continued to incur $200 yearly tax bills, it tried to sell the property through auction and saw at least one offer of $1,000 fall through. It also failed to sell it at a sheriff’s sale after it was foreclosed.
The Hawkinsville City Council, meanwhile, wouldn’t even accept Butler County’s attempt to give the house to them for free.
“If we advertise for a dollar, this could change the dynamic,” Carpenter said.
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