Discuss Detroit Ľ Archives - Beginning January 2007 Ľ Whats Happening to Boston Edison? ę Previous Next Ľ
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanoutdoors
Member
Username: Urbanoutdoors

Post Number: 115
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 12:41 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I drove down Chicago Blvd today when I was figuring out my detour to work and it seems like every time I drive down it there are more and more abandoned mansions. I understand why, the prices are (semi)-Resonable but the taxes are outrageous. But I still can't figure out why an area as prominent as this is not being kept up like Indian Village, Palmer woods or Sherwood Forest what makes it possible for this area to be deteriorating when the others seem to sustain themselves?
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4014
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 12:52 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Few can afford to maintain such huge homes. Those that can usually move to GP or Bloomfield. BE is surrounded by some really bad areas as well. Thats not the case with IV or Palmer Woods.
Top of pageBottom of page

Focusonthed
Member
Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 838
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 2:23 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also, a lot of the rich boomers and pre-boomers that owned those homes for a couple generations are dying now. As was said, they may pass them on in the family, but no one else can afford to keep up on the maintenance and/or taxes.
Top of pageBottom of page

Exmotowner
Member
Username: Exmotowner

Post Number: 83
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 9:35 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I was living up there, all the houses on Virgina park were already abandoned but BE was fine. Are the homes on VP still boarded up for the most part? It s a shame its not feazable and/or safe to live there. There are some beautiful homes througout.
Top of pageBottom of page

Quinn
Member
Username: Quinn

Post Number: 1116
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 9:52 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

IV has some really bad neighborhoods just at it's borders too.

I'd argue that the difference with IV is the strong community...the yahoo groups, the hack parties, the constant communication from security and community leaders. Having said that...our proximity to the river, belle isle and downtown is priceless and probably has more to do with it than anything.

BUT...take a drive down Fisher or Maxwell. You'll see the similarity we share with BE.

I feel everyone's pain though, it's hard to keep our house. The heating bills are ridiculous, and it's still chilly, not to mention the tax bill, etc. etc. etc.

I while ago I urged a fellow poster to consider the lifestyle changes it requires to own a century-old home (as well as a larger home). I think alot of people don't plan ahead and can get surprised or beleaguered a year or so after buying.
Top of pageBottom of page

Magnasco
Member
Username: Magnasco

Post Number: 219
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 10:57 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

People are not choosing to put $200 K into a house they need to put $200 K of repairs into, especially when so many of the other houses around them may not make it.

That and the heating bills are helping buyers realize that 3000 sq ft is too much, and that 1600 to 2500 is really the ideal number, depending on household members.

Which also brings up Children. Who has a need fro 6 bedrooms anymore, in Detroit. Until the school system is under control, few are moving in with a handful of children.

Larger homes are still selling, but as was pointed out about IV, they are the areas that are more insulated. That is one of the reasons that East English Village has continued to do well.
Top of pageBottom of page

Thewack
Member
Username: Thewack

Post Number: 208
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:16 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Could the homes be split into multi-unit? This would solve the space and heating issue as well as increase density.

My guess is zoning laws forbid this.
Top of pageBottom of page

Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2404
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:17 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

But if someone values the significance of the homes in B-E, then paying to 200-300k to get it and then putting in 200k of work is worth it. Now, most of the payoff over the next 5-10 years will be merely satisfaction and joy (because you love the house and the architecture), but 10-15 years down the line your costs will probably be covered as the market will improve. It is only logical that the resurgence of Detroit's core will slowly creep along the Woodward corridor.
Top of pageBottom of page

Magnasco
Member
Username: Magnasco

Post Number: 221
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:20 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, the historic district is one of the problems to doing that. While it serves a great purpose in trying to hold things together, it may need to adapt or...

One of the things people have seen more of is group care facilities in those homes. Which kind of makes sense, that the only reason we house 7 to 10 people together anymore is if they can't care for themselves in a smaller environment.

And I think there is a code somewhere that no more than 3 people without the same last name can live in a house together. It was something like that.
Top of pageBottom of page

Brandon48202
Member
Username: Brandon48202

Post Number: 140
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:24 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Paying a mortgage in Detroit is quite often the lowest cost of home ownership, especially in neighborhoods like BE. A mortgage on a 100K house will be around $600/month. Insurance, taxes, heating and mantainance are much higher than the mortgage.
Top of pageBottom of page

Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 102
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:26 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"And I think there is a code somewhere that no more than 3 people without the same last name can live in a house together. It was something like that."

Are you serious? That's a pretty draconian law if that's true. Is that just in Historic Districts or what?
Top of pageBottom of page

Apbest
Member
Username: Apbest

Post Number: 418
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 1:58 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've heard of that..they want to prevent lots of unrelated adults sharing a house in what is supposed to be a family neighborhood. I think it's probably a good idea, i didn't know it was based on surname though
Top of pageBottom of page

Quinn
Member
Username: Quinn

Post Number: 1117
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 3:24 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I IV, you can have one non-family relation renting in either your house or carriagehouse/garage.

I can't imagine there's any law that specifically talks about last names...my brother and I have different last names but we're brothers and the reason we have different last names is really non of the city's or state's (or whomever) business.
Top of pageBottom of page

Focusonthed
Member
Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 840
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 4:02 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As I recall, there is a similar ordinance/law in Chicago...from what I remember hearing, there are no sorority houses at DePaul because any house with more than a certain number of unrelated women living there was considered a brothel by law, and thus illegal.
Top of pageBottom of page

Jimaz
Member
Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1524
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 4:10 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

... there are no sorority houses at DePaul because any house with more than a certain number of unrelated women living there was considered a brothel by law, and thus illegal.

That would be presumption of guilt, wouldn't it? If that really is a law, it needs to be rescinded!
Top of pageBottom of page

Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2407
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 4:15 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agreed. I'm all for sorority houses.
Top of pageBottom of page

Peanut757
Member
Username: Peanut757

Post Number: 267
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 4:33 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Before I moved back to Virginia I lived in the Boston Edison area and the home itself was affordable but the taxes as well my pimp (DTE) made it kinda hard...LOL
Top of pageBottom of page

Bob_cosgrove
Member
Username: Bob_cosgrove

Post Number: 463
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 10:27 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The City of Detroit R-1 Zoning Ordinance covering single family homes such as those in Indian Village was revised about 15 years ago allow two umrelated adults to live together and a relative of one or the other for a total of 3 adults not of the same immediate family. Fpr example, a son and his wife and the mother of one of them.

In Indian Village the rental of carriage houses has been allowed since before Detroit enacted Zoning laws in late 1941 and may be grand-fatered, although it is not in accordance with the Zoning laws unless those in the carriage are in the employ of the home owner, such as maids, butlers, chaffuers, gardeners, etc.

Exceptions are the Indian Village homes along East Jefferson which were re-zoned commercial c.1941 although they are still in the Indian Village Historic District. There is one duplex built that way at 3417 Seminole, which is the sole exception to single family occupancy within the Village proper.

Bob Cosgrove
Top of pageBottom of page

Limafin
Member
Username: Limafin

Post Number: 6
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 10:31 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My grandmother lives in Boston Edison area. When I moved here in August, I asked about all of the "For Sale" signs. She indicated too many people moved in without really understanding the costs of keeping up a house of that size. She said most of the people couldn't afford their heating bills (mortgage companies probably didn't factor that in when approving mortgage loans) and there were a lot of foreclosures in that area as well as people trying to sell.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4020
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:09 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It seems like one has to have a 6-figure income just to maintain one of these grand old mansions. not including sinking a few hundred grand into them for repairs. Look at the Seigel (sp) house. It has been for sale for years. At right under a mil it will never find a buyer.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gene
Member
Username: Gene

Post Number: 12
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 6:26 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Section 125.3206 of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act of 2006 clearly states that adult foster care facilities are allowed in residential zoning districts. Things have changed.
Top of pageBottom of page

Citylover
Member
Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2122
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 1:01 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No no no no no to adult care in Boston/Edison; unless you want it to look like Grand blvd......... Not that Grand blvd is horrible but originally what was an elegant blvd is now, at least egb near belle isle a hodge podge of rooming houses, nursing homes and dilapatated houses.

It is sad if B-E is becoming more abandoned.Back in the 80's those houses sold for 30-60 thousand dollars. Are they really worth as much as is being asked now? Of course not.There is something wrong here. A few years back there was a supposed boon of sorts.Detroit was coming back.New buildings. A superbowl. Downtown was waking up a bit..........but what really changed?

Taxes are still high and crime has never dropped the way it has in other cities especially new york.The huge increase in housing prices are not in line with the modest changes.

How much different was it in neighborhoods; including B/E? So how is it that these houses are now worth 10x what they were twenty years ago? I agree they are worth more but not that much more.

(Message edited by citylover on February 11, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Beavis1981
Member
Username: Beavis1981

Post Number: 170
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 1:29 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

heating bills aside, whatever you think you are going to spend on repairs double or triple it. Just wood floors alone are a pain. The most common today is 2 1/4in red oak. At the turn of the century it was 1 1/4 hand nailed white oak. Since most of the timber of that day was from virgin stands it is impossible to match. Unless you find 100yr old wood. Even in a well maintained home there will be rot by windows and radiators that needs fixing.
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanoutdoors
Member
Username: Urbanoutdoors

Post Number: 116
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:21 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So are there any solutions? It sounds like removing certain ownership would increase occupancy but at the same time undermind the integrity of the area but something has to be done to stop the epidemic of beautiful abandoned houses in the city. Anyone have any solutions that would change this mentality?
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastside_charlie
Member
Username: Eastside_charlie

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:29 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit has the highest tax rate percentage % in the United States! Ive looked; higher than NY, NJ, Mass.
I pay 4.1% of my assessed value. or 8.2% of my SEV.
If the tax rate doesn't change, Detroit will continue to slide down down down, guaranteed!
Thats over 8,000.00 a year on a 200,000 property.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bob_cosgrove
Member
Username: Bob_cosgrove

Post Number: 464
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:49 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

whillle Adult Care and Nursing homes are permitted in R-1 single family neighborhoods under the present City Ordinance. they must be a certain distance apart, I believe it may be as much as 1 mile.

Bob Cosgrove
Top of pageBottom of page

Quinn
Member
Username: Quinn

Post Number: 1121
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:57 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's all these crazy mills Eastside_charlie. If you live in EEV, you're on the NEZ list and should have applied last year. It will reduce your mills to 52 (from the 70's) or something like that.

There's only so much voters can do until these mills expire or we vote on them.

I'm not too sure about this, maybe Bob can chime in, but I think we pay for dumb stuff too like Wayne County Parks, including those not even in the city.
Top of pageBottom of page

Yelloweyes
Member
Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 38
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 3:57 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, Detroit taxes are f*&?ed up. The high property taxes are ruining Boston Edison. I think that neighborhood qualified for the new NEZ tax reduction. Maybe that will help BE.
Top of pageBottom of page

Swiburn
Member
Username: Swiburn

Post Number: 46
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 11:17 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Historic District houses have to have their windows and any streetscape views of the house subjected to commission approval, i.e. doors, garages, facades. And I imagine that many heating systems still have boilers or have old gas furnaces.
The upkeep is enormous, the taxes are high, and the neighborhood is not so hot, to put it mildly.
There are no decent restaurants and coffee shops nearby, so you have to drive everywhere.
Top of pageBottom of page

Darwinism
Member
Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 597
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 12:33 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is sad, but unfortunately good solutions are rather limited.

The cost of maintenance is not going to become any lower. Taxes can be lowered, but it's gonna take a lot of politics involved. Neighborhood appeal can only occur if a collective sense of urgency and development takes place. With the economy the way it is right now, most families can't even keep up with basic needs such as gas bills, electric bills, medical bills, mortgage bills and so on. The type of homeowners with wads of disposable cash Boston-Edison needs just isn't many. Even investor-types are threading their real estate portfolio cautiously.

The magic bullet, in my opinion, will be the economy in general. Shatter the unemployment rate, and when people have jobs, they are able to pay their bills and help their neighborhood commercially. They will be able to spend money on home improvement projects. Business owners will be willing to open stores in the neighborhood. And many other positive outcomes will snowball.

In short, it is a very difficult problem to solve, even when you know what exactly it is.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4030
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 1:10 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The good thing is that many of these homes were built with such high quality and design that they will hold up. I am not saying that these homes need no maintenance but look at how a Mcmansion would fare if it was left empty for 15 years.


How would BE have fared had it been a closed off development like Palmer Woods?
Top of pageBottom of page

Dougw
Member
Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1544
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 1:57 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Citylover is basically right that getting rid of R-1 zoning would actually do a lot more harm than good. Short-term, you might fill up a few houses with boarders, but you'd quickly lose the cohesiveness that resident homeowners bring to the neighborhood, and you'd start to see more run-down homes, etc.

The R-1 zoning rules might seem strict, but only a very small portion of the city is zoned this way (probably 2 or 3 percent?), which seems fair to me. If you don't like R-1 zoning, don't live in an R-1 area, you've got a huge number of other neighborhoods to choose from.

To me, it's telling that in a lot of areas in the city, you'll see an R-1 zoned neighborhood which is fairly intact, surrounded by non-R-1 neighborhoods which have pretty much destroyed themselves. (This is an exaggeration, but not a big one.)
Top of pageBottom of page

Dougw
Member
Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1545
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 2:39 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eastside_charlie: The tax rate you quoted sounds like the non-homestead rate. If you own a rental property or business, it's around 4.2% (85 mills) of assessed value, but if you live in the house, it should be around 3.3% (67 mills) of assessed value. Granted, it's still pretty high.

On the plus side, Boston-Edison did get the NEZ tax break starting in 2007, so their tax rate will be around 2.6% (~52 mills) of assessed value. So, high taxes probably aren't the biggest problem for B-E at this point. (At least, I definitely would not expect taxes to go down again anytime soon.)
Top of pageBottom of page

Yelloweyes
Member
Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 42
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 4:02 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If I had the money BE would be the last neighborhood I would look for a mansion. BE is surrounded by bad areas. IV, Palmer Woods and Sherwood Forest all have some decent neighborhoods around them. Indian Village is close to the river/Belle Isle/Downtown and Palmer Park is somewhat closed off.

I think one solution for BE would be to somehow help revitalize the areas around it. I'm not sure how that would be done though.
Location, Location, Location
Top of pageBottom of page

Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2411
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 4:29 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To the east of BE is pretty rough, I'll give you that. To the west though, it's not awful. I don't see how it's that much different than IV. IV has West Village near it, but after a couple blocks, once you get west of Van Dyke, it becomes fairly rough. I'd take IV because I prefer the waterfront and I like the breadth of different home types there. Redevelopment and increase in land values is also more promising along the east riverfront. But B-E is about as close to downtown, has some incredible houses for the price, and, all in all, is surrounded by neighborhoods that have more of their urban fabric remaining (i.e. less urban prairie).

Palmer Woods has incredible homes, but it is pricier, and it is kind of like a piece of Grosse Pointe Farms placed in the middle of the city...in other words, it is very suburban looking (with golf courses to boot) but lacks the benefits of a suburb, such as top notch city services. I still think it is beautiful and an asset to the city, don't get me wrong.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedog
Member
Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 902
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 5:21 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agreed Yelloweyes. BE is an island. IV on the other hand is becoming more and more connected to the riverfront and downtown as redevelopment progresses West of it (hundreds of units of new and rehabbed housing in West Village & Islandview -- both luxury housing and affordable). South of IV, more and more retail is opening up all the time on Jefferson. Plus the redevelopment of the riverfront makes IV much more desirable than BE. When the Riverwalk is done you will be able to comfortably bike, rollerblade, or run right downtown from IV. It seems that BE is getting sort of outdone by what IV offers. That's too bad for BE. On the other hand I bet some great bargains can be had in BE if you are willing to stay for a long time and put up with the drawbacks.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedog
Member
Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 903
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 5:23 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mackinaw, you talking crap about my neighborhood?
Seyburn is a pretty nice street.
Top of pageBottom of page

Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2412
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 5:26 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nothing along the Woodward corridor is an island. Five years ago we could have called Midtown and New Center islands, because the area between them and downtown were pretty much bombed-out. There was little Brush Park redevelopment to speak of, as there is now. Now there is a better feel of continuity along Woodward from downtown to New Center, with residential and retail developments widespread in each of these districts... and there is nothing precluding this from spreading up to B-E sometime soon, making B-E a good investment.
Top of pageBottom of page

Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2413
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 5:30 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ESD, I love West Village. I can't help but think that the NW parts of it, going towards St. Charles' church, are a bit iffy, but with the new rowhouses around the church, even that area is gentrifying. The best thing about West Village is the density. Plenty of townhouses/rowhouses and mid-size apartment houses.

You know the area better than me, though, so I will defer all my judgement.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedog
Member
Username: Eastsidedog

Post Number: 905
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 6:02 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jk Mackinaw. :-)

Agreed about the density. Much of WV actually "feels urban." If only there was a little more street-front retail right in the neighborhood (there's quite a bit on Jefferson). Building rowhouses in the area is all the rage right now but I would like to see more apartment buildings, maybe built on the lots at Agnes and Shipherd. They could even use the parking behind the houses south of Agnes and west of Van Dyke.

Really though, WV and Islandview make IV homes a lot more valuable (and vice versa). BE doesn't really have anything like it adjacent to it. Perhaps BE should look into establishing a similar popular and dense area (although these places usually happen naturally).

Nearby Highland Park is also likely percieved as a huge negative for prospective BE buyers.
Top of pageBottom of page

Yelloweyes
Member
Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 46
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 7:12 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Indian village also has Waldorf School located within the neighborhood, a big plus.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4033
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 7:42 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I drive through BE several times a week and every time it feels like a ghost town. Many homes look empty or like they havenít been occupied in ages. Itís a creepy feeling in a way. I had the same feeling on several of the walking tours in the summer. One was on a Saturday and no one was out except one guy cutting his lawn. It seemed more like the back lot of a Hollywood studio.
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2509
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 8:14 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Haven't been there since 1998 when I went there to meet someone on a Sunday morning. As I got there on Boston, one of its occupied mansions on the north side of the street was afire and its inhabitants were outside while the FD was putting out the blaze.

It looked totalled to me, but I never checked afterwards. It was a block or so east of Linwood. Didn't notice any "For Sale" signs back then.
Top of pageBottom of page

Swingline
Member
Username: Swingline

Post Number: 706
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:09 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit, just like the rest of the region, is reeling from a huge increase in foreclosures. The demographic that has really been hit hard with foreclosures is the "move up" group that often took advantage of the super cheap intro mortgage products to move up into larger digs. The west end of Boston Edison fit the bill for a lot of move up folks. It had the right price point, $175K - $250K, and the homes are pretty large, 2500 - 3500 sq ft. These folks were not moving into Boston Edison because it is a historic district or because they were preservation minded.

If a "move up" person shrugs off doing the due diligence needed when one buys a big old house, they will be unpleasantly surprised to see their annual Mich Con/DTE bill go from $2000 per year to $6000. They are also going to choke on $10,000 roof repairs. They will face issues like whether they should pay the bill for the SUV lease or should they hire the plaster guy to make the $2500 repair to the living room ceiling after they already paid $1000 to the plumber to fix the leaking shower pain upstairs. When a move up person stretches financially to get into the largest house/mortgage possible, the "old house" expenses will eat them alive. It's only my opinion, but I think that the west end of Boston Edison is experiencing this and unfortunately a lot of properties are deteriorating because of it.
Top of pageBottom of page

Rhymeswithrawk
Member
Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 234
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 8:46 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd like to weigh in here because I am looking to buy my first home, and many of the homes I have looked at are in Boston-Edison.
I've looked all over the city, in every neighborhood south of Chicago Blvd.
Even though some of these B-E homes look nice, I have pretty much decided not to buy one.
Here are the reasons:
1) The neighborhood is old. And I don't mean the homes. Everyone I talk to says, "It's quiet. The man across the street is 75. The widow next to him is 80. There's a 70-something couple over there." What happens when 75% of your neighborhood's population dies within five years of each other? People aren't dying to get into B-E as it is. What happens when there are hundreds of homes in the neighborhood on the market at once? Blight. Scavenging. An invitation to ne'er-do-wells. And say goodbye to your property values.
2) Size of the homes (i.e. heating costs).
3) Renovations. Most of the homes I have looked at have had some horrendous remodeling done, mostly in the 1960s or 1970s. Some have huge, wall-size mirrors up over the plaster. Shag carpeting (anyone know where I can find a shag rake?), seafoam-green showers, drop ceilings. You can buy a 3,500-square-foot home for $150,000, but it's gonna cost you another $150,000 to make it livable.
4) Few of the homes for sale are east of the Lodge. To me, the Arden Park and the section of B-E east of the Lodge are where the truly gorgeous homes are. Not knocking the west side, but the homes are not as nice and not as well-kept over there. Check out Atkinson between the Lodge and Rosa Parks sometime to see what I mean.

Right now I'm leaning toward EEV or Hubbard Farms. The EEV's big drawback is that the property values have seemed to level off there. If I drop $200K on a home, no matter how nice, is that an investment? HF's big drawback is the proximity to the Hotel Yorba and its patrons and the fact that many homes over there need work. That said, the homes in HF are waaaaaaaaaaaaay cheaper.

Anyone else out look to buy in Detroit right now?
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanoutdoors
Member
Username: Urbanoutdoors

Post Number: 117
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 9:41 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am looking to buy in detroit but have a limited income so I can't go over 130,000 that being said I have been able to find alot of nice homes in Rosedale grandmont and EEV that I like for the right price. I want to buy in like a year or so and every week I see homes dipping by about 10,000 because people are desperate to sell. I live in Corktown now and Love it but the price of housing in the area has sky rocketed. Unfortunately the houses I say I loved, I have only seen the outside and look at what all needs to be repaired because in that range in historic areas are forclosed homes. My great grandparents lived on boston and my mom grew up there. I have looked at HF some but have been not sure about the costs of renovating a victorian. The hardest thing about looking right now is knowing that on top of what ever you pay you will have to shell out improvement expenses.

I can only imagine what people are going through if they are just buyin in BE it is a huge expense to say the least.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastside_charlie
Member
Username: Eastside_charlie

Post Number: 16
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:57 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The illegal trash tax imposed on the voters $300.00 Which taxpayer voted for that? Does anyone know how the class action against the city on that tax is gong along?
re: buying a house, I would wait until later this year when another 12,000 people move out and more foreclosures come online, you may get a better deal.
Top of pageBottom of page

Barnesfoto
Member
Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 3029
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 12:41 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rwh, I would urge you to buy in HF...While there has been a spike in crime,(break-ins, car theft mostly) residents there have been banding together (as they have before in times of trouble) to organize a volunteer radio patrol. There are a lot of houses on the market in HF right now, which means that you have more leverage as a buyer.
While the Yorba has always been a trouble spot, a former crack infested apt building on Hubbard and Porter is currently being renovated as affordable housing for artists...
As for shag carpeting, drop ceilings, panelling and other mid-century "improvements" they are easily ripped out...A few cases of beer, a few pizzas, a few friends and zap! They're gone!
Urban, would you consider a rehabbed 4br townhouse
(old concrete block exterior, completely new interior) for 90k? Bagley Housing has one for sale on 18th St in Hubbard-Richard, which is in between Hubbard Farms and Corktown...
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanoutdoors
Member
Username: Urbanoutdoors

Post Number: 119
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 8:25 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Whats the cross street? is it online at all?
Top of pageBottom of page

Billpdx
Member
Username: Billpdx

Post Number: 27
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:26 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am looking to buy into Detroit right now. When my wife and I first planned to move back to the midwest a year ago, we always thought it would be Ann Arbor. But then I got a job in Detroit, and here we are. Checking up on this forum over the past year has been extremely helpful in learning about different areas of Detroit. We have been looking at a ton of houses in IV, Palmer Woods, and Sherwood Forest... For various reasons, we opted not to look into B/E.
Top of pageBottom of page

Barnesfoto
Member
Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 3036
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 2:44 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Urban: x streets are Vernor and Bagley...
do a google for Bagley Housing for more info!
I should also mention that the property comes with tax abatements- The BH folks can give you the details.
Top of pageBottom of page

Jallen
Member
Username: Jallen

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 5:20 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Urban, also look on Hubbard, between bagley and porter- 2 homes for sale by owner. One is a brick home that has lots of potential, previous owners kind of chopped it up a bit inside, the other is ready to move in. I will be posting pictures of them on the new hubbard farms community forum, which you can check out at: http://hubbardfarms.informe.co m
Top of pageBottom of page

Crash_nyc
Member
Username: Crash_nyc

Post Number: 760
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 1:46 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Limafin:
"...too many people moved in without really understanding the costs of keeping up a house of that size."

You hit the nail right on the head. I used to spend a lot of time in the house at 670 W. Boston when my friend lived there, and I remember some of the costs that his father incurred the second year they lived there:
$11,000: annual heating bill
$30,000: to have the chimneys re-lined
$6,000: to have all of the chandeliers cleaned
$10,000: security system upgrade

That's $57,000 just in one year, and that's only what I can remember, not including property taxes, electric, water, landscaping, etc, etc. I also recall a bill that ran into the thousands to have all of the windows cleaned annually.

The security system was a huge issue, because they caught people jumping over the wall in the backyard a few times, trying to break into the house. The street right behind the house is Glynn Ct., which was a notorious crack street at the time. We used to sit in the house on Saturday nights and hear occasional gunshots from Glynn Ct.

It's a rare combination to find someone with the financial means to properly care for houses of this size, who is also willing to live so close to a dangerous area. Many with the money would rather spend it on a McMansion somewhere north of 8 Mile. Let's hope that there are enough wealthy Detroit-loving Preservationists out there to keep these beautiful homes in pristine condition.

I have another friend who used to live in a house 2 blocks over, also on W. Boston, but under very different circumstances. It's a 7500 sq ft house that the owner couldn't really afford or properly care for, so instead of selling it, he rented it out to whoever was willing to pony-up $400/month for rent. My friend was among 9 people living there at the time, all in their early 20's, all partiers, so you can imagine the state of the place. Granted, it was a great house for parties, but it was sad to see such a beautiful home falling into such disrepair. The owner was nothing short of a slum lord, and did the bare minimum to keep the house in liveable condition.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4053
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 2:51 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is a dumb question..can the homes in BE be bought, dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere? Can this legally be done?
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4054
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 3:03 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It would cost over 100K a year to live in 670 W. Boston and that is just to live there. It doesnt include all the BS changes and fixes you need.

http://realtor.com/FindHome/Ho meListing.asp?snum=2&frm=bymap &nearbyZp=&lid=Enter+MLS+ID&pg num=1&ss_aywr=&st=MI&mls=xmls& mnbed=0&js=on&mnsqft=10000&fid =so&vtsort=&poe=realtor&mnpric e=800000&ct=detroit&zp=&primar yZp=&mxprice=99999999&typ=1&ex ft=iaoh51plus&exft=0&exft=0&ex ft=0&mnbath=0&areaid=2959&sid= 0811EA779EFEC&snumxlid=1059139 605&lnksrc=00002
Top of pageBottom of page

Zephyrprocess
Member
Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 254
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 6:20 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, but we're talking about 14,000 square feet selling for $1,200,000.
Top of pageBottom of page

Swingline
Member
Username: Swingline

Post Number: 713
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 8:35 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Comparing the cost of living in the Charles Fisher mansion to the cost of living in one of the west end Boston Edison homes is comparing apples to oranges. That said, even the latter kind of home is still going to have expenses that you aren't going to encounter with a recently built home in Canton. The problem in Boston Edison is that too many purchasers aren't doing their due diligence. They're stretching too far financially and when that happens, maintenance costs are the first thing that gets eliminated.
Top of pageBottom of page

B24liberator
Member
Username: B24liberator

Post Number: 14
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 12:19 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with swingline-- People fall in love with these grand old homes, and too often buy them not understanding the costs that can and often do 'pop' up. It's true, when one is or becomes strapped financially the first thing to fall by the wayside are maintenance issues. An aging populace on fixed incomes also adds to the lack of upkeep-- Or health issues, as older people become less able to climb that ladder, or trim those hedges, etc..
Top of pageBottom of page

Crash_nyc
Member
Username: Crash_nyc

Post Number: 768
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 - 4:36 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Patrick:
"Here is a dumb question..can the homes in BE be bought, dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere? Can this legally be done?"

Sure, there's no law against it. The only requirements are the desire and means to make it happen. However, I'm against 'moving' any of these homes.
Top of pageBottom of page

Swingline
Member
Username: Swingline

Post Number: 716
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 - 8:29 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Crash, actually there is a law against dismantling homes in Boston Edison. The neighborhood is a local historic district. State law and local ordinance require that the dismantling/demolition of any structure in the neighborhood would need approval of the Historic District Commission. Unless a home was fire damaged and in danger of collapse or something like that, there's no way the HDC would approve the dismantling of a perfectly sound house.
Top of pageBottom of page

Magnasco
Member
Username: Magnasco

Post Number: 222
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 - 9:10 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Billpdx, take a look at East English Village as well.

I did a long rant in another thread about an across the board tax cut so I won't be long-winded. It seems that we need to start marketing the City as a whole and make it a first choice for people. Not just the special neighborhoods we want to try to prop up, but every one in the city. The millage is too high and every person knows it.

We have also have a problem with the taxable value of our housing stock. A majority of the homes in the city are valued at $20,000 or under. We need to sell these properties to uncap their value, if we can help create the market for them.

We need to do something drastic enough that when someone is thinking where are they going to buy their next home, they think they have to get one in Detroit.

What about the loss in revenue? it will be made up for by the uncapping of the property values. For simple math purposes, one third of $45,000 is still more than one half of $20,000.

I know those aren't realistic tax numbers, but they support the idea that can decrease percentages if you match it with a rise in values. And that rise in values is almost inevitable for most of the homes in Detroit if we can just get them to sell.

Alright, I didn't keep it short, but there it is.
Top of pageBottom of page

Yelloweyes
Member
Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 70
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 - 9:25 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote:
"We need to do something drastic enough that when someone is thinking where are they going to buy their next home, they think they have to get one in Detroit."

We need to do something drastic so the people are here want to stay. Then maybe people will want to move in. Crime, Schools, Taxes.
Top of pageBottom of page

Patrick
Member
Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4057
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 - 11:53 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just drove down Glynn and saw the rear fencing of each of these homes. Most houses have tennis court-style high fencing that is 20 feet tall. Guess it is to keep the barbarians out.
Top of pageBottom of page

Rhymeswithrawk
Member
Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 266
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 - 1:04 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Guess it is to keep the barbarians out.

Arrr! WHAT'S IN YER WALLET!!!?!??!
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanoutdoors
Member
Username: Urbanoutdoors

Post Number: 123
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - 11:42 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So does anyone know if Kwame's Neighborhood plan will help Boston/Arden Park with anything? If so what specifically?
Top of pageBottom of page

Bostonedisonrocks
Member
Username: Bostonedisonrocks

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2007 - 8:18 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would like to take the opportunity to say: BOSTON-EDISON is THE place to live in Detroit. We are the geographic center of the city - with easy access to all freeways. We have over 900 homes built with the highest craftsmanship and materials - that demonstrate a wide range of architecture - that are still reasonably priced. The homes are reasonably priced AND will require an investment in money and sweat equity to rehab / renovate. But then, what would you expect of a house built from 1900 - 1925? I moved here in 1998 and have never second guessed my decision to do so. My property value has increased dramatically, I have met some of the most dedicated neighbors, and I live in a wonderfully diverse neighborhood (age, race, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and professionals).

RE: R-1 Zoning: It does not rule out group homes in our neighborhood Ė as long as the homes are licensed with the State of Michigan, meet the State guidelines, and house 6 or fewer residents. What R-1 Zoning prevents, is our big, beautiful homes from becoming flop houses, boarding houses, and /or divided into apts. We are an historic residential neighborhood and R-1 zoning supports our efforts to remain such. There is nothing draconian in trying to preserve our quality of life. Boston-Edison has a rich history that needs to be preserved. R-1 zoning assists us in this effort.

Maintenance, taxes and insurance are indeed a major concern when buying in BE. Older, historic homes are costly to maintain and rehab. But then, you are getting the home for a great price. To think you can move into a 3000 sq ft house (built in the early 1900's) for $200,000 and not have to invest any other money to maintain or rehab it is extremely naive. A house of this quality in the suburbs would easily cost you double, and still require the investment of money and sweat to rehab. Taxes are a problem, city-wide. We are fortunate enough to now have NEZ designation which will provide some tax relief to those folks who purchased homes since 01/01/98.

Yes, we have our share of vacant homes due to foreclosures. This, however, is not only happening in BE. This problem is State-wide. I work in the suburbs and my route to work is littered with foreclosed, vacant homes of all sizes and prices. Yes, it is true, many people in Michigan have purchased more house than they can afford. They purchased homes when their personal finances were at their best - and no, they didnít plan for future adverse changes or unemployment. The only way to combat vacant homes in ALL OF MICHIGAN is to improve our economy.

ALL I CAN SAY - FOR THE INVESTMENT OF MONEY AND TIME AND SWEAT EQUITY, YOU WILL NOT FIND A BETTER VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY ANYWHERE IN THE CITY. ADD TO THIS - WE HAVE GREAT NEIGHBORS - AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY WE CHOOSE TO LIVE IN BOSTON-EDISON.
Top of pageBottom of page

Granmontrules
Member
Username: Granmontrules

Post Number: 31
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2007 - 8:46 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice post Boston. While I am partial to Granmont I have to say that we in Detroit have a lot of beautiful neighborhoods for great deals.
Top of pageBottom of page

Irish_mafia
Member
Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 751
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 03, 2007 - 9:27 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great post Boston

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.