SEMINOLE, Fla. - Neighbors who live in one Seminole community are thrilled a house that has been an eyesore for years is now finally renovated.
10 News first brought you the story in November 2011. Neighbors had been complaining about the property along the 11000 block of 111th Place North, which was left empty after the owner died. He owed more than $35,000 in violation fines. It was surrounded by overgrown brush, infested with mold, rodents, and insects, and had huge holes in the roof.
Neighbors were also concerned about the property being a safety hazard. Because of that, Pinellas Commissioner Norm Roche came under fire last year for paying for a sidewalk cleanup with his county credit card to clear some of the overgrown brush.
The county was able to auction the house off a few months ago, and Derek Harms bought it back in May. After six weeks of renovations, the house now has a re-done lawn, a new roof, fixtures, and floors. It's seen tens of thousands of dollars worth of work. The house was completely gutted.
"The whole neighborhood, the whole block, everybody's property values may inch up a little bit cause this house is now better. The new buyer will have a beautiful house. My company will make a little bit of money, and everybody wins in this kind of situation. So it's a philanthropic feeling. That's for sure," said Harms.
"I just love it. I just come by all the time and I walk by and I can't help but look at it," said neighbor James Peterson.
Harms does plan to sell the newly renovated house. There is an open house scheduled for Sunday.