NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — For most young adults, the American Dream involves growing up, moving out of their parents' house, getting a good job and buying a home of their own.
However, Michael Barry’s version is a little different. He bought his dream home at a city auction in Niagara Falls, and it's not far from his father's home.
“It was a house that I stared at for many years as a kid,” said Barry “It is directly behind my dad's house. Our backyards are touching. We're both corner lots."
The three bedroom, two bath home on 80th Street set him back $14,000 at city auction Tuesday night, but he'll likely have to shell out about $30,000 more in the coming year.
"It's a complete gut. Unfortunately there have been some squatters and things living in there," Barry said. "They've ripped all of the plumbing out; they've broken anything in there that was breakable, windows and everything. There was a small fire upstairs, they were trying to build coffee can fires to stay warm and stuff."
It’s all part of a project to get vacant, dilapidated homes into good hands. In all 10 city properties were sold for a total of more than $137,000.
"The first house, Frontier Avenue, was our highest price at our home ownership auctions, so we're excited about that,” said Seth Piccirillo, Niagara Falls community development director.
Once Barry and the other bidders close on the homes, they'll have to pay several fees, any owed taxes and the rest of their bid.
They also have to live there for at least five years and have a year to get the place up to code.
"I'm excited. I can't wait to pay for it and finally get in. And my dad is gonna be excited because the grass will actually be cut next door and not two feet tall,” said Barry.