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Falling in Love on Valentine

April 15, 2024 Projects

When you fall in love with the Birmingham neighborhood, you save a house on Valentine.

Lisa Van Dootingh, a local realtor, wasn't just looking for a house to sell, she was searching for a project that resonated with her. Dismayed by blight but amazed by the people of the Birmingham neighborhood in east Toledo, Lisa took on a renovation project with the Land Bank.

The house, with good, 100-year-old bones and original hardwood floors, reminded Lisa of her own childhood home. Despite its neglected state and hidden surprises, there was potential everywhere. The warmth of the close-knit neighborhood, where generations of families, including many immigrants to this country, made their home sealed the deal.

Lisa and her whole family embarked on a labor of love. They became immersed in the renovation, tackling everything from crown molding to a long-overdue roof replacement. Challenges like hidden damage and stubborn drop ceilings were met head-on, with Lisa's unwavering vision guiding the way. Some of the nastiest projects were left to her son, Zack (thanks, Zack!)

Respect for the home's history played a key role. The original cast-iron sink was retained, and the kitchen cabinets were meticulously chosen to complement the period style. The once-dilapidated house blossomed into a charming haven, perfectly positioned near downtown, the riverfront, and the iconic Tony Packo's.

Lisa's dedication didn't go unnoticed. The neighbors, ecstatic about the revitalization, readily embraced the project. "People here look out for each other," she said.

The listing, complete with a detailed historical brochure, attracted immediate interest, resulting in multiple offers within 48 hours. Lisa was proud to share with the neighborhood that the house will be sold to a new homeowner, who will add their chapter to the neighborhood's history.

Lisa's journey with the Land Bank wasn't just about selling a house; it was about reviving a piece of Birmingham and fostering a sense of community.

Would she do it again? "I would! We spent a lot of money on this house, and we learned a lot from it, but I would never cut corners. It was exciting, and I'm excited at what the Land Bank is doing."