A real estate pro in Chicago is trying to help the owners of an iconic pink and white house on the city’s West Side to stay in the place they’ve called home for 30 years. The Victorian home is in need of some major fixes and listing agent Jeanne Keating isn’t so sure a new buyer is the answer for the home.
Keating has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the repairs needed on the home so that the owners can stay. The fundraiser aims to raise $300,000 to restore the house, which is in need of a new roof, porch, and other work.
“We’re going to try and rally together and keep them in their home, and have contractors that I know come in and put on a new roof, do a new porch, put in a new kitchen,” Keating told Block Club Chicago. “I thought little by little we could get this done.”
The house was built in 1894. The home had been neglected prior to the Anderson family taking ownership in 1986. The family had painted the home its signature pink color, which has become widely recognizable in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.
However, after two recent fires, the cost of maintaining the home has become too much for the family.
Yolanda Anderson, one of the home’s owners, says she wants to protect the house from being demolished from a buyer swooping in who would care more about the property than restoring the house itself. She says her father had worked hard to restore the home throughout his life, but since his death four years ago, the home has fallen into disrepair.
“The house means the world to us as it is also full of memories of my father….We would hate to see it fall into further disrepair or worse, torn down because we are not financially able to continue,” Anderson told Block Club Chicago. “So many of Chicago’s historic places have been left to degenerate into further disrepair or have been torn down. We thought we would try as a last effort to appeal to our community to help since the house has seemed to become a landmark of sorts. We believe in preserving history which is one of the main reasons my parents took on this project several years ago.”
Keating says she had been trying to find a buyer for the home. The home’s list price dropped last month to $160,000. But after learning more about the family’s story and their love for their pink-and-white home, Keating says she wants to help them stay. She hopes the GoFundMe campaign can raise enough funds to help with needed repairs. In its first week since being launched July 12, the campaign raised $1,105.
“If you know the family and you know the history and the love and the kindness of them, it just makes it so much easier to take the money out of it and just do the right thing so that maybe they can stay,” she says.