A Warsaw man intends to purchase a condemned house and make the estimated $60,000 in repairs. Gene O’Hara appeared before Warsaw Code Enforcement Officer Larry Clifford today to say he plans to close on the house in the next two weeks and begin the repairs “as soon as possible.”
The house at 1405 Ranch Rd., Warsaw, was ordered to be demolished because the current owners, Mark and Donna Shaffer, have failed to make any improvements to the dilapidated property over the past 6 to 7 years. The city has been working with the Shaffers since some time in 2012, but the matter only came into the public eye when neighbor Michael Alspaugh asked the Warsaw Common Council in May about the city’s policies for dealing with unsightly properties.
Since then, Clifford has held four public hearings regarding the property. Today, he gave O’Hara specific timetables to make the improvements or have the house demolished. The first deadline is Nov. 4. If the roof is not repaired and the tarp covering it removed by that date, Clifford ordered city building inspector Todd Slabaugh to begin demolition.
O’Hara said he expects to close on the sale of the house by late next week or the following week, noting he is working to clear one final lien from the title. During today’s hearing, he also learned about the $5,000 civil penalty that has been issued against the Shaffers, which serves as an additional lien. However, Clifford said if O’Hara completes the rehab of the house by the final deadline of Feb. 1, 2014, that penalty would be waived.
Initially, Slabaugh and Alspaugh, a contractor, estimated the cost of making all of the necessary repairs to the house would be about $40,000. O’Hara provided a break down of the work that he will have completed by Shawn Bruner Construction that totaled $60,000. O’Hara said he is purchasing the property for $10,000 and plans to market it for sale at about $107,000.
To allow him the opportunity to move forward, Clifford ordered the demolition to be on hold until Nov. 4. The demolition order is currently active in regards to the Shaffers, but will transfer to O’Hara on the date of the closing.
O’Hara said he has successfully rehabbed four other homes. Slabaugh, noting he is familiar with at least one of those properties, did not feel a cash performance bond was necessary in this matter. A cash performance bond is used as a guarantee that the work will be completed. O’Hara was simply asked that, if he decides to not go through with the purchase, he is to notify the city so demolition can begin.