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Carriage Town | Manolo for the Home

A Downturn Can Be Your Upturn

If you can put up with a lot and invest yourself in your neighborhood, buying in an economically depressed area can mean getting more bang for your home-buying buck. An article in the NYT profiles economically hard-hit Flint, Michigan’s Carriage Town neighborhood, which has its issues, but is for all intents and purposes on the upswing. Once the area with the highest crime rate in the city in the 80s, it has benefited from the presence of urban homesteaders and people with a talent for renovating the many Victorian-era houses still standing on its streets.

Economic Downturn

That’s good news for buyers looking for a deal, though like I said it takes a certain degree of commitment to live in Carriage Town.

Ms. Caudell, 31, a horticulturalist, has focused her search on Carriage Town, the neighborhood where she leases a blue two-story house with pink and purple trim that she shares with three friends, paying $300 a month for her rent and utilities. Ms. Caudell hopes to find a home that won’t cost more than $50,000, including renovation expenses.

No more than fifty thousand? Makes me wish I hadn’t been so picky when it came to deciding where to live!

Economic Downturn

Then again, the new Carriage Town is still recovering from a lengthy downturn, which means that those with the fortitude to find the perfect (read: renovation-ready) home have to fend off speculators, cope with more than a few abandoned houses, and accept that code-enforcement isn’t a priority because the money just isn’t there. That said better days are obviously on the horizon for Carriage Town, as more and more dedicated neighborhood fixtures are making it their life’s work to take back the area’s former glory.

Inspiring, no?

3 Responses to “A Downturn Can Be Your Upturn”

  1. Phyllis August 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    Maybe – the article also points out in the very first pargraph that the unemployment rate in Flint is 28.6%

  2. Never teh Bride August 27, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    Ouch!

  3. class factotum September 1, 2009 at 6:22 am #

    My former landlady, who was also my real estate fairy godmother (she looked at houses with me and found the house I bought in Memphis, telling me to pay the asking price, it wasn’t worth risking losing the house and she was right — I made $40,000 when I sold it after 7 years), said that one should buy when the gay men start buying in a neighborhood. Not lesbians — they drive down property values. (Hey! I’m quoting!) But gay men improve property values.