Well that was unexpected. WFAA is reporting that Khraish Khraish, the West Dallas landlord threatening to evict hundreds of residents, is now offering to sell to them. Khraish credits what WFAA is calling a “change of heart” to conversations with Dallas City Council run-off candidate Omar Narvaez. Before the plan’s formal announcement, Khraish had already begun inking deals. The terms of the sales are the same for each house.
Khraish will provide 20-year mortgages at a fixed 4.75 percent interest rate. The new homeowners will pay about $425 per month, with an additional $150 in property tax, making their total monthly payment about $572, not too much more than what most are paying in rent alone now, he says. If a new homeowner decides to sell the home in less than 10 years, Khraish will have the right of first refusal to buy it back.
The tumult over these particular homes began more than a year and a half ago when Khraish reportedly announced he was unable to keep up with the City’s tougher minimum housing requirements. Khraish wanted out of the game entirely. Facing displacement from the homes they’d occupied for years, residents flocked to City Hall for a solution.
Now Khraish himself has come to his own solution which seems to please residents.
He says 130 residents have remained current on their rent and will be offered a chance to buy their homes for a neighborhood-wide price of $65,000 per structure. He values the land the houses stand on as worth $100,000 per lot because of a wave of gentrification rolling down Singleton Boulevard from the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge. Each structure is probably worth much less than the land, but many tenants haven’t been able to find low cost rental properties in the area.
Doubts Over the Details
But last October, when The Dallas Morning News reported on the evictions, the homes were valued at far, far less than $65,000 each. Try $50,000 less. Per The Morning News, one resident was offered a deal to own her home last year.
Ashton Elder, 30, said the Khraishes did recently offer her a rent-to-own deal: She’d pay $646 a month for 10 years with no money down and a 5 percent fixed interest rate. She said she could afford it. She pays $575 a month now.
The deal isn’t all that good on paper. The Dallas Central Appraisal District values her home at only $10,790 with an estimated tax bill of $293 this year. The Khraishes’ calculation values the house at $50,000 and states that property taxes would be more than $1,100 annually.
Looking at the numbers, Khraish’s change of heart is perhaps just change in profit stream. But those in the know seem to think Khraish’s heart is in the right place.
An Unexpected Path To Ownership
Even with ownership on the table, the physical state of the homes remains a concern. After all, that was the reason Khraish wanted out in the first place. WFAA reports that new home owners can expect some forbearance from the City in that regard.
Although most of the properties do not meet city code, city ordinances are not as strict on homeowners as they are on landlords, meaning that new homeowners could expect some leniency in bringing their properties up to standards.
Despite concerns over details of the deal, Khraish’s offer is being hailed as a happy-ending solution. This new deal offers a path to homeownership that many of the residents would not otherwise have access to. And in the end, ownership over eviction means that hundreds of people will get to stay right where they want to be.