Pathfinder shows off first rehabbed home The home had suffered foreclosure-related damage, but it now is ready for a new family

The house had been a victim of foreclosure during the national financial crisis of 2009. Electricity had been turned off, so sump pumps didn’t work, leaving the basement flooded and moldy.

You’d never know it by looking at the home in New Haven now, which Pathfinder Services just finished rehabilitating and putting up for sale.

Pathfinder and New Haven officials celebrated the result of their partnership with a ribbon cutting Thursday morning at the house at 4762 Zelt Cove in Pinestone subdivision south of Seiler Road.

Pathfinder, which is based Huntington, rehabilitates foreclosed homes and sells them as part of its community development work, President John Niederman said. The nonprofit, social-service organization, which also serves people with developmental disabilities, has rehabbed and sold about 80 homes over the past five years in northeast Indiana.

Profits from sale of the homes goes to support Pathfinder programs, Niederman said. Pathfinder doesn’t use any government funds for the home rehabilitation program.

New Haven City Councilman Steve McMichael, who is a Realtor and had volunteered with Pathfinder’s home ownership training program, said he invited Pathfinder about two years ago to talk with New Haven officials about rehabbing homes in New Haven.

Pathfinder acquired the Zelt Cove home late last year and started rehab work in January, Niederman said. Because the basement had flooded, the home needed a total mold remediation, and Pathfinder had to install new drywall and paint in the basement.

The two-story home, which was built in 2006 and contains 3,184 square feet of finished space, has four bedrooms, two full bathrooms, two half-bathrooms and a finished basement. It now is for sale for $235,900.

The home had worked its way through the foreclosure process to the National Stabilization Trust, where banks refer homes they foreclosed on during the 2009 economic crisis, Niederman said. After organizations such as Pathfinder acquire a home from the trust, the organization typically must resell it to people whose income is 120 percent or less of the area median income for the community where the home is located.

New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald and New Haven Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Charlie Hatten praised Pathfinder for making an unlivable house livable again.

“If you look around, the value of every one of these homes around us has risen,” Hatten said.

Pathfinder’s home rehab program also keeps foreclosed homes from being bought by companies that want to turn them into rental properties, Niederman said.

The nonprofit currently is rehabilitating six homes, three in Fort Wayne and one each in New Haven, Huntington and Marion, he said.

The collaboration with New Haven has progressed quickly, he and McMichael said, with a family planning to move next month into a second home in New Haven. Pathfinder also in the process of buying another New Haven home to rehabilitate and sell. <br>

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* For more information about the house at 4762 Zelt Cove in New Haven, contact Steve McMichael of Imagine Real Estate at 748-2500 or 602-6606.

* For more about Pathfinder Services in Huntington, call 1-260-356-0500 or toll-free 1-800-833-1571, or go to www.pathfinderservices.org.