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Metro West warns hospital rebuild causing neighborhood land grab

Posted at 11:07 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 14:23:35-05

CLEVELAND — The Metro West Community Development Corporation warns homeowners living near Metro Health Medical Center that they may be approached by companies looking to buy their properties.

Kris Harsh, Housing Director with the Metro West Community Development Organization, said the billion dollar rebuild of Metro Health Medical Center has stimulated properties values and has created a neighborhood land grab.

Harsh told News 5 homeowners need to carefully read all contracts before signing a sales agreement with one of these companies.

He said a homeowner on Marvin Avenue signed an agreement in Sept. 2019 with Ram Properties Group, which offered $75,000 to buy the home, but four months later the sale is still not complete.

Harsh said the contract gives Ram Properties Group 120 business days to complete the sale, a sale that is contingent upon Ram obtaining at least three other properties located across from Metro Health Medical Center.

He said it's a complicated set of deals that has left the homeowner in a frustrating waiting game.

“We always thought the Metro Health rebuild would lead to some speculators, well they’re here now," Harsh said.

"What Metro Hospital is doing is fantastic, but people are always going to try to take advantage of it by middle manning the property deals.”

The Marvin Avenue homeowner didn't want to be identified, but said after signing the deal with Ram Properties Group, he had an inspection and put money down on a home in Parma.

But he said the Parma deal failed as the sale of his Cleveland home dragged on, leaving him and the Parma homeowners in limbo.

The homeowner said Ram Properties Group never told him the sale of his home was tied into the sale of at least three other properties, a contingency that was not in the written contract.

“Oh yes, we lost a lot of time, we lost a lot of money, we had to put money down on a new home, we had to get it inspected,” the homeowner said.

“Oh I feel real bad because the Parma homeowners were depending on my home being sold, so I could purchase a house and they could purchase another home and it went on to hurt three other families.”

Julia Rankin with Russell Real Estate Services, who brokered the failed Parma, deal told News 5 it's critical homeowners understand all terms in a contract before signing.

“It’s a terrible feeling for my client, especially when they’re excited about moving into a new home and a new community,” Rankin said.

“Let alone the expense that the buyers have paid, not only in appraisals, but they also paid for home inspections.”

News 5 contacted Brandon Breeden with Ram Properties Group and he quickly responded.

Breeden said he verbally told the homeowner the sale of his home couldn't be completed until the other properties could obtained and that he went over all terms of the contract before the deal was signed.

"You can't develop one single family house," Breeden said.

"I told them from the beginning, they were only getting the price they were getting because it was going to be a development deal."

Breeden admitted the deal was complex and that he hadn't talked to the homeowner about the status of the deal for a month.

He agreed to reach out to the homeowner and offered to reimburse him $700 for home inspections if his company didn't complete the purchase of the home by March 1.

Meanwhile, Harsh urged homeowners to have a second set of eyes look at all home sale contracts before they sign.

“If anything seems a bit off talk to a Realtor, talk to a real estate professional, a council person, call Metro West, the community development corporation.”