BROOKFIELD – The Brookfield Public Library has sold a home in the 3500 block of Arden Avenue, which was purchased by the Board in 2007, for a $105,000 loss.
The Board closed the sale on Aug. 14 when it sold the home for $295,000. It was purchased in 2007 for $400,000. The home was put on the market in June for $329,000.
"They purchased it at the top of a really overheated real estate market," said Jennifer Perry, Brookfield Library Board president, who was not part of the board when the house was purchased. "Unfortunately, right after that the market collapsed."
The home's purchase was part of a plan by the Board to create a location for a new library in the Hollywood section of Brookfield. The home was the first of five planned purchases to create the space for a new library on the corner of Washington and Arden avenues.
In addition to the recently sold home, the Board obtained options for three other homes on the market. The plan dissolved when the owner of a fifth home refused to sell.
The home was bought at the top of the housing market, and its value decreased significantly when the housing market collapsed. Instead of selling, the Board decided to rent the home for $1,800 a month. In that time, the library had three tenants in the home, one of which had to be evicted for not paying rent.
According to the library, a little more than $89,000 was collected in rent since the home was purchased.
Because the last tenant had recently moved out, the Board decided to put the house on the market again in June.
"Considering what the market had been like, this was the proper time to sell the house," Perry said. " ... We don't like the loss, but houses have to be lived in."
The Board is currently working on a three to five year plan for a new library, which started with the purchase and demolition of the Brookfield United Methodist Church building last year.