The residence had been vacant and falling apart for close to three years after it caught fire. People were breaking in and staying there.
Neighbors worried someone was going to get hurt – or worse.
“I thought it was going to be demolished,” said neighbor Mark Rudolph. “One of the guys that were cleaning up, the company that came in, said, ‘I see this being demolished.’”
Rudolph could not envision any other solution.
“Not in my wildest dreams,” he said.
However, Mary-Domenica Geronimo, the head of a company called Geronimo Property Solutions, saw potential after the Fox 2 News report. She bought the house and is transforming it into a five-bedroom, three-bathroom beauty; completely gutting the place and rebuilding anew.
There’s now a new deck, new windows, new flooring, walls, wiring, and roof in place of the hole-filled roof, burned wood, broken glass, and boarded up window and door openings. Hope has replaced the feeling she first felt when setting foot in the place.
“Fear,” Geronimo said. “I was scared coming in here by myself. You walked into the kitchen, there were pill bottles, bottles of alcohol, and doors wide open. It was unsafe…even when we began construction, I was getting calls from my contractors and neighbors, ‘Just so you know, people are still here.’ The neighbors had come over into the house and they basically said, ‘Please buy this house.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ So, from that point on, I really saw the opportunity for a really big change.”
“This is a good Christmas present for me and the neighbors…I have 16 grandkids. Hopefully there will be some kids for them to play with over there,” Rudolph said. “It really makes me feel good.”
Geronimo said she thought the initial report motivated the former owner to finally sell where condemnation, nuisance, and code violations had failed.
It should hit the market in the next month or two and list for about $200,000.