Real Estate

March 5, 2012 4:33 PM

Housing Therapy

Marelien Exantus’ business card says he invests in real estate. More accurately, he invests in people. A general contractor and remodeler, Exantus buys boarded up and foreclosed houses in neighborhoods close to downtown Durham that show decay. He renovates the houses and makes them available to low-income first-time homebuyers. But a couple of years ago, when lenders all but cut off low-income borrowers, the families Exantus wanted to sell to couldn’t get mortgages. He discovered another market niche: small, high-quality rooming houses.

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