However, the city of Rochester says the home at 33 Bartlett Street is a mess.
"The property has been out of code for probably about 12 years and for whatever reason the owner could not or would not keep the property up," said Gary Walker, the spokesperson for city of Rochester.
It has taken the unusual step of agreeing to purchase the property from a lien company which presently owns it.
"We're just trying to be a little proactive here and, frankly, the neighborhood has suffered enough," Walker stated.
Walker says the city's actions will clear up legal questions concerning title and access to the property. The purchase must first be approved by city council.
"Once we have the title then we're going to go in and see what we have there. We don't think it's a safe place for people to live, and we don't know if the property is even salvageable at this point," Walker continued.
Lee and Mary Windom Bey lived at 33 Bartlett Street for decades and still consider the property home. They're confused by all that's happened, and are being assisted by take back the land, a group which helps families fight foreclosure. Their hope is the city will work with the Windom Beys to resolve years of code violation fines and help them move back into their former home. One way or the other, the city saw no better outcome than to act.
"What we didn't want to do is keep the neighborhood in that state for much longer. It was going to have legal issues anyway and at the end of the day the city would've had to take responsibility one way or another. We'd rather be proactive," Walker concluded.
The Windom Beys wouldn't comment for this story. They're planning to release a statement through take back the land tomorrow.