When former Flowery Branch resident Randy Carlisle passed away in June 2014, he left behind a house originally fixed up for him by the city.
Today, the house remains vacant and ownership of the property is still up in the air.
The house at 5202 Railroad Ave. was refurbished in 2012 with grant money from the Community Home Investment Program, through the state Department of Community Affairs.
Through grant requirements, it was “necessary for Mr. Carlisle to have legal possession of the property before the city demolishes the existing home,” according to a document City Manager Bill Andrew gave City Council members in 2012 before they voted to refurbish and sign over the house.
Carlisle died with no will, and his stepsister Lori Head became the executor of the estate. As executor, she technically has to sign ownership of the house back over to the city before officials can decide on the property’s future.
As of Feb. 11, Head has not done so. Earlier in the month, Head said she expected to speak with City Attorney Ron Bennett to begin the process of signing ownership of the house over to the city.
Head had expressed interest in occupying the home, and said she has mailed in an application.
Because the house was refurbished using grant money, the city can move forward to foreclose on the property and sell it. Any proceeds from the sale would have to be returned to the state per the conditions set forth in the grant application.
“We’re going to see if she’ll (sign over) the deed in lieu of foreclosure and, if not, then we’re going to start a judicial foreclosure process to regain ownership of the property,” Andrew said. “And then the council will move forward from there in making a decision as to how to dispose of the property.”
The terms of the grant meant Carlisle lived in the house with a $116,800 lien, being forgiven over a 16-year period. When he passed away, there was $102,200 left on the lien.
Andrew has said it’s the city’s preference to have someone occupying the home; however, there is some reluctance to continue being involved with the future of the house. Selling the house and paying back the state would dissolve the city’s involvement.
Andrew added there are others interested in the house, including another relative of Carlisle’s.