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Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 03:16 pm

URBAN PIONEER HOUSE TOUR

Steve Combs is not a real-estate agent, and the first-ever Urban Pioneer Tour set for Saturday in Enos Park is hardly a street-of-dreams showcase.

“We’re looking for people who, first of all, aren’t afraid to walk into a house where there’s lots of yellow tape around so they don’t fall into the basement,” says Combs, who is president of the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association.

Fixer-upper is an understatement for the seven properties Combs and other neighborhood activists plan to spotlight Saturday. The properties are among 42 parcels in the portfolio of Enos Park Development LLC, an entity controlled by the neighborhood association that has been battling blight for years.

The asking price ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, and representatives from banks, Habitat for Humanity, the Springfield Art Association and Robert Morris University will be on hand to field questions about financing, opportunities for low-income housing, design standards and revitalization efforts. Prospective buyers must demonstrate financial ability to fix up properties and show experience in renovating old homes. Property buyers must also agree to complete exterior work on agreed-upon schedules, follow design standards and use finished homes as owner-occupied residences.

“Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean it’s for everybody,” Combs said.

Properties will be open from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., with tours starting at the Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St.
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