Derek Slocum smiles broadly while he cuts the blue ribbon wrapped around his new front door. Walking up the steps for a tour, he can only mutter one word: Beautiful.
Soon, he and his wife will move out of Slocum’s childhood home in the District into a home in Lanham.
“This is considered to be the first home that we will own as husband and wife,” he says.
It’s a new chapter for the Slocum’s in a neighborhood that has seen hard times. The home sat as a vacant eyesore for a year before a Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development program bought and renovated the foreclosed home. The once crumbling 2,000 square-foot house is now worth $250,000 and features energy efficient appliances.
In June, the Slocum’s won the deed in the first Prince George’s County housing lottery and will pay just $190,000 for the home.
“Change is good, especially good change, and this represents a characteristic of change and the opportunity of a lifetime,” he says.
“This is why I ran for office, to see neighborhoods like this come back to life and this is going to help do it,” says Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.
Slocum hopes to bring faith into the home good fortune gave him. He’s already picked up a large closet for his prayer room.
He and his wife plan to move into the new home in January and hope it will be a gathering place for loved ones.
“Friends, family, church members can enjoy it. I think a home has to be shared to really appreciate it,” he says.