I got this email yesterday:* * * * *
Hi, * * * * *
My name is Christopher _____ and I stumbled upon your blog today. I am a real estate investor and I recently turned my attention to Detroit as an area with a lot of potential.
The housing stock in Detroit is very strong and I think with time, patience, and the right investment, the area can return to its former glory. I am at the very early stages of research and am trying to familiarize myself as much as I can with the area before I take a trip to Detroit to see the place myself. Corktown is an area that immediately stood out as an area with great architecture, access to downtown, green space, and lively nightlife. I was hoping you could take a few minutes and give me your opinion on the area. As someone who has been there since 2005 you have firsthand witnessed the crash and now slow rebirth of the city. How greatly was Corktown affected by the recession, and has it started to recover? What are the demographic trends you see in the area?
Are young professionals moving there? Artists? What kind of businesses are starting to pop up in the area?
I realize this email is quite random but I thought maybe as someone who appreciates old architecture like myself, you might have some insight you are willing to share. Any info you can give me is helpful. I appreciate your time.
Please feel free to reach outanytime.
Thanks very much.
This was my reply:* * * * *
Now is not a good time to invest in Corktown due to a lot of issues affecting our properties over here. One problem, for example, is that a lot of absentee owners from outside of the area buy up land or buildings and sit on them, doing nothing, and waiting for a big windfall profit after expending no investment in their properties. While my neighbors work their asses off and take on big financial risks building businesses and renovating homes, these speculators are content to let their own property rot, only waiting for a big work-free payout day when the neighborhood improves (due, of course, to no effort or innovation of their own). You probably don't want to buy in an area with those kinds of speculators ruining everything for the rest of us.