Butler County’s rundown Georgia property finally sold for $1,001

The asking price was $1, but the Butler County commissioners did a bit better than that, finally disposing of a rundown house in Georgia it was forced to acquire under state nursing home laws.

The commissioners sold the house at 235 Dooley St. in Hawkinsville, Georgia to John Sutterfield on Monday for $1,001. This was the third attempt to unload the unwanted property. The county received four bids, but only Sutterfield’s bid and one other bid for $575 were acceptable, according to Administrator Judi Boyko. The Pulaski County, Georgia website lists its value at $13,820.

The commissioners put the home out for bids in the fall of 2015 with an asking price of $8,000. One bid came in at $1,000 after the county advertised for bids twice.

The house sale fell through the cracks until the state of Georgia came calling in the summer of 2018 with a foreclosure notice. The commissioners decided to let the process run its course, but Boyko said no one bid for the property in the sheriff’s sale.

How did the county come to own a home in Georgia? Former Butler County Care Facility director Chuck Demidovich said it’s a unique story.

RELATED: After 4 years, Butler County to get rid of dilapidated Georgia home it listed for $1

A woman moved to Butler County to live with her daughter, and three years later she was admitted to the county-run care facility but denied Medicaid because she still owned her Georgia home.

When her nursing home bill reached about $50,000, Demidovich said a deal was made to buy the house in 2004 so the woman would qualify for aid, and the county got about $40,000 of her bill paid. Under Ohio law, nursing homes are supposed to take people’s property when they enter a facility.

“It’s a strange thing,” Demidovich, who retired late last year, previously told the Journal-News. “The thing is the law says I’m supposed to collect these people’s property. I really don’t want to do that, and this is an exact example why. If I get somebody’s house that nobody wants, I might as well become a land bank.”

The county paid $18,000 for the Georgia home, and Demidovich said he couldn’t find anyone to buy it so the county continued to pay the $200-per-year tax bill on the home.

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