I’m beginning this blog series to document a journey into the wilderness of the inner city of Highland Park, a small city within the city of Detroit Michigan.
As of October 26th, 2017 I became the winner of a 2,800 square foot duplex house which also includes second flat with it’s own separate address. It was won at it’s minimum bid of $500 including payment of it’s Summer 2017 taxes of $900, amounting to $1,400 in total. It is suspected that repairs could cost an additional 2K – 4K if I use thrifty and DIY methods (which I do). Built nearly 100 years ago in 1926, it is seated on a small humble 3,920 sqft lot with a few large trees, some bushes, and an old apple tree in the backyard.
There are maybe six houses on the block with mine on a far end with open vacant land surrounding it for about half the block.
Perhaps my aspirations of owning my own property with no mortgage, no land contract, no loans of any kind are finally becoming a reality. With only having to focus on paying the property taxes, utilities, and other living expenses I have dreamt to be able to focus on being an artist, an entrepreneur, and a dreamer. For the sake of saving time writing and for those of you reading this blog series, we’ll refer to the artist/entrepreneur/dreamer type of person as merely “Dreamers.” In today’s world for the Dreamer types, it feels exceedingly difficult to pull that off trying to afford to merely survive let alone crafting our passions.
When you have to focus on paying hundreds of dollars $300 – $800 dollars or more in rent a month, when you have to focus on paying $400 – $1000 or more in a mortgage or land contract a month, you usually find yourself working to pay these things that take you away from working on your crafts typically.
The Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction felt like a loophole to this enslaving high cost of living paradigm in our society. I learned years ago that 1000s of properties starting at a minimum bid of $500 in the Detroit area a real thing on the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction. Also, I learned that a good number of these properties never get bid on. From that point on I felt that it was a practical escape route to being able to live at a low cost of living and to actually be able to afford to invest more time in crafting my dreams.
After learning that Highland Park’s crime rate was significantly lower than Detroit’s averaging about 100% lower crime than Detroit, and having a similar crime rating as the up in coming neighboring city of Hamtramck, it felt like Highland Park was a good place to invest in. Living in Detroit over the period of 2012 – 2016 I noticed that Highland Park police actually are more responsive and accountable than Detroit police force too.
Property wise, Highland Park still has property that is abundant and affordable. Areas that seem to have better police accountability and lower crime rates like Hamtramck and areas of developing Detroit are very difficult to buy without spending tens of thousands of dollars minimum. Highland Park feels like one of the few remaining refuges for the Dreamer class to own property in Michigan, I might boldly state the U.S.A. When you think about it, you might be able to find low cost property deals in the more isolated areas, but what you don’t get is access to amenities you find in the more urban areas. Things are further away which means more driving and more money on gas. In urban areas, you might be able to get along without a car at all with bikes, buses, and other public transportation systems. Owning a car becomes more of a choice than an obligation. Living in more isolated areas it becomes more difficult to access cultural activities which are often very important to the Dreamer class. I’m sure we could go on and on so I’ll digress. This whole story is getting very long for this little blog entry alone so I will aim to continue more dialogue around this in the coming blog series about the journey of winning, restoring, and moving into the house…. I do want to say, I hope to help to be an example for others looking to find a way to live with the low cost of living to invest more time in being and living a full life as a Dreamer. Here are some pictures that were taken from our scouting trip after the house was won on the auction.
Click Here For To Read the Next Part of the Series > > “When Your Dreams Literally Appear to Align with the Starts” – Urban Restoration & Occupation for the Dreamer Class – Vol. 2