Re: Not Just Elgin Anymore

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Yikes. The $400 single-family home was especially depressing. Apparently there's mold, so they're selling the lot, basically, and you'd have to tear down the house and build a new one, but it's still sad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:03 PM
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Some of them sounded like they did have mold but others sounded like just a general disclaimer. Or am I reading them wrong?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:06 PM
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And what's causing all of this mold? Was there a flood in Detriot or something?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:07 PM
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We North Dakota realtors are fucked. It seemed like such a great business when we got into it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:07 PM
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Negroes. Mold and watermelons follow them everywhere they go.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:08 PM
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Some googling shows that all HUD homes have that disclaimer because HUD homes are frequently in disrepair for a long time, leading to leaks that aren't caught quickly, mold ensuing.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:11 PM
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That, and the Negroes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:13 PM
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So for less than a thousand dollars I could have a moldy house full of starving horses?

Hot diggity dog! I'll be livin' la vida Equus!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 9:39 PM
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What's the catch?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:13 PM
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Thanks for the mention! Roost is displaying information direct from the local MLS in the Detroit area. So you can be sure it's comprehensive and accurate. Good luck!


Posted by: Drew Izzo from Roost.com | Link to this comment | 11-18-08 10:36 PM
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Mold can be treated for less than the cost of rebuilding a house.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 1:30 AM
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Wow. For a pocketful of loose change I can get a house easily twice as large as my current abode in the UK. (For comparison, we paid ~USD300K for 2 beds, 2 living rooms, 1 bath in a close to University location). Does anyone know Detroit? Are these houses in really bad neighbourhoods, or is Detroit really that cheap?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:15 AM
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Detroit doesn't have jobs. There are beautiful brownstones in Detroit--comparable to stuff in Boston's South End-- that are really cheap (more than $10K but still), but the neighborhoods are in disrepair. I keep hoping that gentrifiers might move in, but that would require some people willing to leave the burbs.

You'd also need some employers who weren't the auto companies.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:32 AM
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And shockingly, an infusion of casino gambling once again fails to have an appreciable impact on reviving a city.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 5:50 AM
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||

Won't amount to owt, but it's quite fun.

|>


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:32 AM
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All those dot-cons that are going belly-up while splashing VC money around SF should move to Detroit. Of course, that presupposes that the intend of said dot-cons is to make money.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 6:56 AM
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15: Would be like getting Capone for tax evasion.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:04 AM
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10: thanks, Drew! Stick around and participate in the sex toy thread!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:05 AM
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That occurred to me. But they did get Capone. Steve Benen explains why it won't happen this time.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:07 AM
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I keep on thinking that a community of people who work remotely -- writers, programmers, anyone who can do their work online without going into an office -- should organize to colonize some neighborhood with cool housing stock in Detroit or someplace else similar. It'd be a brute to organize, but if you could get a critical mass of people, you could get some lovely houses very cheaply, and create a workable neighborhood.

This is really not practical, but I wish it were.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 8:58 AM
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20: Maybe the government (state or fed) should buy them all up and have the 21st-century equivalent of the Oklahoma Land Rush.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:02 AM
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The jobs thing is true enough. Most people need to live near where they can make some money. Imagine that. This also explains the so-called immigration 'crisis' the US is currently facing.

Global economic development sez - push people off their land so it can be used more efficiently (meaning by a corporation) and then wonder why the people don't simply die, quietly, in place, now that they can't earn a living. Stupid people keep trying to go where the jobs are. Stupid people.

You want cheap living? John represents ND, of course, but in northern Minnesota there are tons of properties that are really nice selling for almost nothing. Not lakeshore property, but if all you want is 10 acres of unfarmable farmland surrounded by trees and the nearest town 45 miles away then take your pick. In SW MN many small towns are also drying up as fewer and fewer farmers are around to support a grocery store or cafe or hardware store in town. No farmers, no merchants, no schools, and the town dries up.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:06 AM
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20. On a smaller scale this happened with the town of Hebden Bridge in England, where in the early 1970s you could buy "interesting" property for next to nothing. Consequently the place was largely taken over by youngish DFHs who knew a good thing when they saw it, and now you can't move for boutique houses, boutique restaurants, boutique art galleries and boutique boutiques. You couldn't afford to live there.

But I suspect Detroit is too big to do this with.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:08 AM
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LB,

Sounds like you are talking about Scalzi, but he has already made his choice in rural Ohio and I can't fault him for that. He's got a child to raise.

And from what I can tell the GlobalCorps have already decided where the communes of programmers will live and it is in Beijing and Bangalore. At least for now.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:12 AM
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20: I read about a similar thing in Baltimore a few years ago -- a group secretly picked a block in a really bad part of town and started buying up houses. The article in the WaPo came out when they were still in the secret stage, and they told the paper that people interested in joining them would have to go through some kind of vetting first to make sure they were serious before they were given the secret location, to avoid speculation. Not sure how it worked out in the end.

A friend of mine bought a place in Baltimore for $19k when we were in grad school. Not the worst neighborhood in the world, either, but there was a lot of work to do on that house.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:13 AM
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in northern Minnesota there are tons of properties that are really nice selling for almost nothing. Not lakeshore property, but if all you want is 10 acres of unfarmable farmland surrounded by trees and the nearest town 45 miles away then take your pick

Something like this is my retirement plan.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:17 AM
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CJB,

Be a little careful though. Sometimes the taxes can kill you because the county has you and a couple other retirees for a tax base and that is about it.

Also, make sure you check the well and septic, because many places will NOT allow you to repair an existing system, you'll have to build new to satisfy the latest zoning requirements, and septic systems have a lifetime of maybe 30 years or so.

My first house had a polluted well from farm fertilizer runoff and we had to use bottled water for six months until we got on city water and sewer which pissed off my neighbors cause we all had to pay for that coming in. Still it is a much better long term solution.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:33 AM
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Also, make sure you check the well and septic, because many places will NOT allow you to repair an existing system

Considering my retirement won't be for at least another 20 years I am not to worried about detailed planning as of right now, but thanks for the advice.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:34 AM
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Seriously, I know two people who have retired to North Dakota for that reason.

Someone willing to live in a Wobegon farmhouse outside town could get one cheaply just by driving around and looking for abandoned houses that haven't fallen apart yet. They aren't always listed because they're so cheap. If they come with land you could have a big garden and lease out the rest of it, or make a kind of game park.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 9:57 AM
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Someone willing to live in a Wobegon farmhouse outside town could get one cheaply just by driving around and looking for abandoned houses that haven't fallen apart yet. They aren't always listed because they're so cheap. If they come with land you could have a big garden and lease out the rest of it, or make a kind of game park.

This is our vacation property plan, but western PA. A year ago I thought I'd have the cash to actually start looking, then, well, things fall apart.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 10:02 AM
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JRoth,

I know what you mean. The trick is to have the money whilst few other people do. But everyone is trying for the same thing. Many of my big plans have been deferred because of 'other priorities.'

When the market is down I am down. When the market is up I can't afford what I want. Bummer.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-19-08 10:18 AM
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Hebden Bridge is weird. It should by rights be just another down at heel Calderdale mill town with a thriving amateur Rugby League scene, a couple of bizarre and recondite engineering plants, and a depressingly serious but well concealed heroin problem.

But it's not. It's like Stepford if Bruce Sterling had been the art director. The big question - where is all this wealth coming from? The turnover of an average organic tchotchke boutique, even multiplied by their considerable numbers, will not support a small town.

Local theory suggests it's a nontrivial cannabis exporter to the rest of urban West Yorkshire. However, with direct overnight ferries from Hull to Rotterdam, I have to say I doubt that this is so. Further, my memories of it mostly date from the 1980s and early 90s (i.e. before I could get out of going organic tchotchke shopping with my parents there); that was before the hydroponic/bypass the electricity meter urban dopefarm boom hit, which sets hard limits on production.

These days, I believe the secret is the number of Leeds-based bourgeois who moved into it, or perhaps that the founding generation eventually joined corporate Britain.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-20-08 8:42 AM
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