Several neighborhood groups have filed nuisance suits against Go Invest Wisely, a Utah company that bought foreclosed homes in the urban core of Kansas City in 2007 and 2008.
Legal Aid of Western Missouri filed the suits on behalf of Ivanhoe, Blue Hills, Palestine and other neighborhoods in which Go Invest Wisely purchased homes for as little as $4,500. The suits say the homes are not being maintained and have become "blighted and dangerous eyesores."
The neighborhoods want Go Invest Wisely to "abate all nuisance conditions" or sell.
Go Invest Wisely is a bulk buyer of what the company calls "distressed property." In Kansas City, Go Invest Wisely purchased houses on the cheap with the hope of selling or renting them.
But as a Martin column described last fall, Go Invest Wisely's business model may need some adjustment.
Turns out, people aren't rushing to buy or rent $7,000 homes on East 24th Street. Go Invest Wisely continues to own most of the 50 or so homes it purchased when it turned a speculative eye toward Kansas City.
Last fall, Legal Aid sent a letter to Go Invest Wisely describing the shoddy condition of its properties. "The decay, the vandalism, and destruction that these properties suffer when they sit vacant and unmaintained for such a significant period of time is devastating to any neighborhood," the letter said.
The letter warned Go Invest Wisely that a lawsuit was coming if the company continued to act indifferently. Last week, the threat became a reality.