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Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Deadline approaching for Sasol’s Volunteer Property Purchase Program

Last Modified: Saturday, September 28, 2013 1:28 PM

By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Mossville-area residents have until next Friday to receive an early sign-up bonus if they choose to participate in Sasol’s Volunteer Property Purchase Program.

Launched last month, the program seeks to buy homes from residents in Mossville and Brentwood for what has been described as above fair market value. Residents who sign up for the program before 5 p.m. Friday become eligible for a $1,000 bonus, which will be paid at closing.

“The program has been received positively by a lot of the people in the affected areas,” said Michael Hayes, Sasol’s public affairs manager for U.S. megaprojects. “Signing up just means that they’ve signed up for Sasol to do an appraisal on their property. They haven’t signed up to sell; it doesn’t commit them to anything.”

Hayes added that about half of all Mossville homeowners in the “affected areas” have signed up.

Under the program, residents are given a list of nearly 40 appraisers culled from the Louisiana Real Estate Commission’s website and ask three to appraise their property. Residents can also hire appraisers who are not on the list provided they are licensed in Louisiana, practice full time and are local.

Residents turn in the first two appraisals to representatives from Community Interaction Consulting at the former Mossville Elementary School on Old Spanish Trail. If the amounts of the first two appraisals are within 10 percentage points of each other, an average of the two will be taken to calculate Sasol’s offer. If the difference in the appraisals is greater than 10 percentage points, CIC will order a third appraisal and average the two highest amounts.

CIC pays for all appraisals done in the program.

The program also has a minimum appraised price of $100,000 for all owner-occupied homes. Rental property owners will be given a minimum appraised price of $75,000. Owners of unimproved properties will receive a minimal appraisal of $5,000.

If the average appraised price for a home comes in below the minimum amount, CIC will begin to calculate Sasol’s offer at the minimum and owners will get a percentage of the average appraised price.

Hayes said renters who will need relocation assistance are also eligible for the early sign-up bonus.

“Renters who qualify for the program not only get the $1,000 sign-on bonus, they also get a $4,000 moving allowance to help them find a new place to live,” he said. “But if they want to take that $1,000 and $4,000 and put it towards a down payment on a house, Sasol will pay up to $5,000 of their closing costs for a renter who wants to become a homeowner.”

Interested residents can call CIC’s Westlake office at 310-8200 or visit www.sasolvppp.com.

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