March 23, 2007

Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit. ...says the headline. But in actual fact, houses are cheaper than used cars. A boarded-up bungalow on the city's west side brought $1,300. A four-bedroom house near the original Motown recording studio sold for $7,000. "You can't buy a used car for that," said Izairi. "It's a gamble, and you have to wonder how low it's going to get."
  • $1300!! I've had 13 bills in my wallet.
  • Well, let's see: High crime city that for a very long time had the distinction of being the murder capital of the US. Highly industrial city with lots of factories -- i.e., unhealthy air to breathe. Shit schools. Major industry is automotive, but a combination of mediocre management and shit design led to losses that made those companies lay off thousands of workers. It's colder than running your balls through an ice cream maker in the winter. So those who can, leave. Only the poor and the very rich are left behind. And now property values in the city are in the toilet. Yeah, that sounds about right.
  • for a very long time had the distinction of being the murder capital of the US Beaten only last year by where? ST. LOUIS! Booyah, Michigan lusers! Your houses are cheap because they aren't fortified, duh.
  • Well, the Cards beat the Tigers too. Detroit loses at EVERYTHING.
  • damn straight.
  • It's colder than running your balls through an ice cream maker in the winter. *shivers*
  • That seems like a great investment, at least for the land value, if you can sit on it for 20 or 30 years. Crackton can't stay around forever. A shift in the economy could make the land valuable again.
  • It would take quite a shift for things to change. When I look across at Detroit from the Windsor waterfront, I see GM's Renaissance Centre standing proudly, surrounded by a few shorter skyscrapers, and many more boarded up buildings. Main industry in decline, loss of high paying jobs to the US south, and violent history. That's a lot to overcome, even before getting into the climate.
  • Americans think of Detroit as cold, while for Canadians, Windsor is about the warmest climate you'll find east of the Rocky Mountains. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess. Both cities suck equally, however. When I lived in Windsor, the locals had a saying that the best thing about Windsor was that it's close to Detroit...and the worst thing about Windsor was that it's close to Detroit.
  • Crackton can't stay around forever. More Cracktons coming to a neighbourhood near you. I was trying to imagine what a neighbourhood would be like where the prices are this low. I couldn't....
  • Urban decay will yield to urban renewal. 1. Buy now. 2. Wait for the inevitable reclamation. 3. Sell. 4. Profit. And I even know what no. 3 is!
  • This is true. If you're patient/young enough to live until gentrification.
  • Would not have worked so well in New Orleans.
  • For some reason, my thoughts are not about the possibility of future profit at the loss of others - but the continuing inequalities that are stuffed down the throats of individuals who stake their lives on the so-called American Dream. The sub-prime mortgage market wasn't manufactured to "help" those struggling with their bills and credit ratings.
  • I followed this discussion on Meta... and was a bit disheartened by it. I live about 30 miles from Detroit, and spend some time there once in a while. Detroit is a very sad place, not much hope for those that live there, but a tremendous future if those in power had some vision, however that hasn't been the case for a while. Living on the fringe, and working with young people that can't see the falsehoods being planted by the idea of living in the "D", becomes a bit of a downer... but...there has to be hope, or else there isn't anything.. I hate articles like this, the ones that pick up on the worst and sell it like crack...
  • The media often talks about the housing market bubble as if it's some freakish, mysterious occurrence. Another way to look at it is that it's a perfectly normal result of supply and demand. People want to live in cities like Seattle and San Francisco. They do not want to live in cities like Detroit, or rural areas like Nebraska. It's not entirely without hope, though. 20 years ago, Seattle was not such a nice place to live. I remember when downtown was a scary wasteland on weekdays after 5:30PM, and on the weekends. (Murder Capital of the World, though - I must disagree. That title is forever held by Santa Carla, CA.)
  • The roads in and around Detroit are terrible, so I'm not surprised that some houses are cheaper than cars. They can't be pulling in enough in property taxes to keep the roads decent, and you don't have to drive those houses over those potholes.... (This is a little tongue-in-cheek, of course, and doesn't take properly into account the fact that I bet many people in Detroit can't actually afford newer cars.)