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City Offers $10,000 Rebate To Renovate & Sell Older Homes

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NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) - While parts of North Texas can't build homes fast enough to keep up with the demand, some older neighborhoods are struggling to attract and keep new home buyers.

To compete with other cities and keep up with supply and demand, the city of North Richland Hills is offering people $10,000 to renovate some of the city's older homes.

Many of the homes being renovated have been vacant for some time. NRH officials call one neighborhood, just inside Loop 820, a hidden jewel in need of a little renovation.

Most people wouldn't imagine their dream home having broken windows, peeling paint, and a hole in the roof. But house flipper Tyler Haug says, "These are the types of homes we look for."

He calls similar properties treasures. "That's what gets our blood boiling in the business – I guess you would say. We look for houses that are in disrepair."

Haug said it would only take him two months to have one house looking like new. But the bottom line is money and Haug says he'll make a tidy profit – selling the hoe for four times what he bought it for.

House flipping has become popular in many Dallas and Fort Worth neighborhoods. But in North Richland Hills, economic development director Craig Hulse says opportunities are being missed.

"What we are trying to do is raise our voice," he said. And nothing 'speaks' louder than money.

The $10,000 rebate is for those who renovate a home in some of the city's oldest neighborhoods. The renovations must increase the home value by at least 40-percent.

Since moving to south North Richland Hills seven years ago, homeowner Brandi Avery says she's watched as several homes up and down her street have deteriorated.

She said others homes in her area have been empty for months. "It's supposed to be booming, but I don't see no booming across the street."

Avery says she would love to see money put into her neighborhood, but is not convinced – even with the added incentive - that it will happen.

"I'd like to see it," Avery said optimistically, adding, "Show me. Get someone in there. Fix it up. Make it nice."

NRH officials admit the program is new and is being done on a trial basis – so they're not exactly sure what to expect.

The city did provide CBS 11 News with a list of 10 homes that have already been renovated and sold. In several cases home values more than doubled.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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