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Despite objections from neighbors, the City of Burlington on Monday sold a house on the 1300 block of Angular Street to someone who will renovate it.

The city had received three $500 bids for the project, with one of those bidders, Yasir Abderlrahman, who owns S&H Home Repair and Home decoration News, eventually raising their price to $700, securing the property.

“There is quite a bit of work required,” Parks and Development Director Eric Tysland said of the property.

The property for sale consists of 1323 Angular St. and an adjacent vacant lot at 1325 Angular St.

The house was still listed at the standard price of $500 for both lots. Like most city-owned homes, it needs upgrades to its electrical and plumbing systems. Additional needs for this home include siding and installing all new siding.

But a neighbor said the house’s problems are far greater than what the city had mentioned.

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“I don’t know if anyone is aware, but there are a lot of unseen problems,” said Jonathan Cooper, who lives in the house next door.

According to Cooper, the house at 1323 Angular St. has a failing septic system, leaving previous residents at one point without running water. Cooper said attempts to fix this resulted in holes being drilled in the siding of the house, which is now home to a swarm of bees.

Cooper said he and his wife wanted to buy the house and the lot next door, choosing to eventually adjoin the three lots.

Tysland said if the city had a choice, they’d rather renovate a house than think the house would be torn down. Demolition of a house decreases the value of that lot and a previously vacant house that is being renovated gives the city more housing options. The vacant lot next to the house has an estimated value of approximately € 4,200. The lot with a house on it has a total value of $17,000.

If the house were to be refurbished by someone who wants to live there without increasing the value of the house, the tax difference between this and the demolition of the house and the joining of the lots to the Coopers plot would have been small, with a less than $20 difference in the tax dollars received by the city.

It is not the intention of the buyer that it becomes an owner-occupied home, but that the property is refurbished and used as a rental home. Even if the home’s ownership value remains the same, using it as a rental home would mean that the tax dollars owed on the home would essentially double because the home’s tax credit is out of place.

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In light of these factors, Tysland said it makes no sense for the city to sell a house for demolition when it could be sold for rehab.

Councilors said they would be willing to sell the property to the couple if the deal with Abderlrahman falls through. The city does not officially transfer ownership of any property it sells unless work is completed on it.

City-sold homes are required to begin work within 180 days and substantially complete the work within 12 months. If these two deadlines are not met, the city would retain ownership.

People who lose their property in this way will not get their money back and will not be reimbursed for any work done on the house before the city took the property back.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Tysland said the city recently acquired another property that will be sold at a future meeting. The building is on May Street, but was not yet on the city’s website on Tuesday afternoon.

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