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Coming Back Home

March 21, 2022 Projects

You can always come back home.

Larissa Sneider was born in Toledo, in the old Mercy Hospital. Shortly after graduating from Central Catholic High School, she made her way west to Wyoming and made a life there. But Toledo always held a special place in her heart. Her family was still here, and after coming back for her 50th high school reunion, she felt the pull to come home.

A couple decades after Ms. Sneider was born, a developer laid out plans for the Pacific Park subdivision in the Reynolds Corners neighborhood and the house on Ventura Drive was put up. Like most of the houses on the block, it had plenty of room and a big backyard. Good times came and went, and by 2016, the house was empty and tax-delinquent. It stuck out in a neighborhood with few other problems. A perfect opportunity for the Land Bank to help.

With the right kind of renovation, the Land Bank knew the house was a chance to grow home ownership in the neighborhood. The Land Bank team agreed to undertake a move-in ready renovation itself. From small problems to big upgrades, the whole house got the attention it deserved. A new roof, a new driveway, a new HVAC system, and completely updated plumbing were some of the larger items. New counter tops in the kitchen, new flooring throughout, and a decorative pergola to open up the backyard were also added. A repainted auburn front door welcomed visitors with a modesty that matched the quiet neighborhood.

When Ms. Sneider saw it listed for sale, she made it clear to her realtor that she really liked the house. "I said, 'Wow! That's kinda nice' and we got to talking about it, and [my realtor] told me about all the possibilities," she said in a recent interview. A lot of other people felt the same way, but Ms. Sneider made a strong offer and was ultimately the Land Bank's winning bidder. She moved-in this past December.

What are her plans for the property? "See that great big backyard there - what a space! I'm going to do some serious gardening. I haven't decided exactly where, but I am going to put raised beds and grow vegetables. A lot of herbs, lettuces, tomatoes, beans, peas, a ton of carrots, all that good stuff. Things that I could can and freeze. I've got the space - I might as well use it!"

It didn't take long at all for Ms. Sneider to settle in comfortably to the house. "There's a lot of things I really like that you did," she said when asked about the Land Bank's renovation. "There's a few things I'd have done differently, but your work lived up to the original architect's vision for the house."

Larissa Sneider and the project on Ventura Drive are proof that you can always come back home - and a home can always come back to life.