Reading OKs Program To Sell Off Blighted Houses

Needing a way for the city to sell off the blighted houses it has begun taking from property owners, City Council on Monday approved an agreement to use a special program by the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors.

Part of a statewide effort, the Realtors’ Community Reinvestment – or CORE – program will try to match the homes with buyers and mortgage companies and rehab contractors.

There are several advantages to the buyers, top among them a 10-year graduated property tax abatement – no taxes the first year, scaling up to 90 percent in the 10th.

But there’s also potential help with closing and rehab costs and even the price of the home, as well as cutting in half the 5 percent real estate transfer tax and discount permit fees.

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