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Biggest Eyesore Investigation: Why fixing problems takes so long

Our investigation into the biggest eyesores in the Bluegrass has drawn an overwhelming response from you, our viewers. Thanks to you, we've been able to track problem properties across central Kentucky, and one close to home gives us an idea of why some of these eyesores take so long to fix.

American Avenue in Lexington is home to a number of brand new houses, many of which will be home to students like UK sophomore Brooke Nemec, who just moved in to start the Fall semester. But if you ask neighbors, one home gets a failing grade. "Having that next door, it is, it's an eyesore," Nemec said.

The city agrees. After inspections and orders to fix problems went unanswered, the property went into foreclosure.

Dennis Anderson's company, Anderson Communities, owns about thirty homes in the area, including Nemec's, so buying this one and fixing it is important to protecting property values. "It devalues the whole neighborhood," Anderson said, "It's a blight on the whole neighborhood, not only value but lifestyle."

But buying it won't be easy. Anderson says the realtor who had been trying to sell the home couldn't find the owner. "Many of these properties have been abandoned by the owners or the heirs, have lots of liens," Anderson said.

Anderson's first step was to buy the tax lien. That gives the owner 45 days to respond. "After that we have to wait one year," he explained, "At the end of that period, we will start through the legal process and ask the master commissioner to sell the property."

At that point the property goes up for auction, and Anderson can bid for it. Then there are demolition permits and building permits to get and a major mess to clean up. "And then finally you get to start, like a lot that you could go out and buy in suburbia and get started this week, so yeah, it's a little bit difficult."

Once all that is complete, Anderson says it only takes about 120 days to turn something like this into something like the home Anderson built across the street.

Anderson admits the lengthy process can be frustrating, so why does he do it? "This is going to sound hokey," he said, "but our company's guiding philosophy is to create a better place to live. I think there's a great opportunity here."


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