Detroit is in a bit of a pickle. They’ve recently declared bankruptcy after decades of population decline due to a collapsed auto manufacturing industry, unchecked suburban sprawl and “white flight“. Many mayors, council members and businesses have tried to turn things around with no success. It’s one of the most complicated issues facing the state and possibly the future of the country and there’s no single cure to rebuilding this failed city short of simply starting over. It involves a complete tear-down of many portions of the city, a condensing of the existing population, eminent domain laws, a massive eviction of long-time holdouts in the outskirts of the city and billions of dollars of relocation and community revitalization programs.
Or, maybe, all it really needs is Bitcoin!
Bitcointalk Member bbit recently discovered that crappy homes are cheap in Detroit! Of course he doesn’t realize that most of these homes are uninhabitable and it will cost more to tear them down then the land is worth, but you can solve all though problems with big dreams and a little bitcoin!
Here’s some choice quotes:
Crowdfund Homes in Detroit?
August 04, 2013, 03:23:41 AM
Was thinking the BTCitcoin community should snatch up some homes in Detroit after reading this article:
“Detroit metro home values are expected to rise 4.3 percent in the next 12 months — the current median home value is $89,600 compared with $161,100 for the U.S. — but more than 400 single-family homes are currently listed for less than $5,000.”
Could use BitcoinStarter to purchase a few with tier rewards being whatever we want to come up with as a community. Anyone think its a good idea??
There is a way to make money out of extraordinarily cheap housing but actually it does require quite a bit of investment (have seen it done in Australia before).
Basically you buy *every* property in a small street then end the leases for all existing tenants (in a legal and reasonable way) and after they have left rebuild all the houses (and later be very fussy about the new tenants that you let move in).
If you can do that well (and the street is not surrounded by other bad streets) then there is a good chance you can create a nicer new street for people to live in that will actually attract people to it (and then eventually reap the rewards as the property values increase).
It isn’t without risk and it isn’t so cheap but it has a much better chance than buying a single property in an area that already has severe problems with crime and bad tenants.
But if the taxes are too high then even this approach might not work (so sometimes what look like “bargains” are actually very far from it).
This could work in Detroit if the property taxes were not inflated. You could buy up neighboring bad blocks and knock em down for open space (and crime reduction) as well if you we’re properly taxed for the actual value of the land.
If the area turned around you could build new houses on the empty lots.
Either that or just demolish a block or two and farm it next spring and that would generate a lot of cash money at farmer’s markets while also help the community, which is what this city really needs. I live 30 mins west outside Detroit in a semi-rural area and the farm a few miles south of me has an open stand which is busy all day long. They easily make a couple hundred per day minimum so multiply that by product and the few months when ripe produce is available. Just an idea as I know that there is some urban farming going on down there. Or you could run a co-op where certain people put in the work as far as farming and then they get a cut of the yields and the rest is sold.
I’m trying to convince my wife to move to Detroit.
Got a lot of family there and would definitely welcome the cold climate… my mining rig would love to have a home in a basement.
The reason I had Detroit in mind is the transportation and infrastructer is already there. Mainly, we snatch up some land/property and convert into a bitcoin shanty town to start and spreading out as we go. At least that is my thinking.
I have a feeling this might be our only chance.
The infrastructure is very worn, but true that could be fixed more easily than building it all from scratch. It would be neat, but there are a few things that could break the project. First, we would need to create jobs so people could work and afford to live there. We would also need to repair the houses to liveable conditions. So while it may only cost $500 to buy a house, it would still cost many thousands to repair them. Then we would have to deal with crime. Those in areas that weren’t improving would be targeting the area that is. I have a feeling the few police officers left in Detroit would be hanging around our section, because we would be the only ones paying taxes, but security would still be an issue. I suppose its doable, but we have to first figure out how to recoup our costs so we can continue expanding.
As for property taxes, I’m sure we could just talk to the mayor and perhaps find some business loophole that would lower the taxes for our project while we were getting everything set up. I would think they would be more interested in a reduced tax rate, rather than none at all.
edit* Also, did a bit of looking into it, rather than aiming at the $500 houses, I’d say aiming at the $10,000-$20,000 houses is a better plan. There are actually quite a few of them that don’t look like they are in ghettos. Lets get this one.
I agree. $10,000 – $20,000 range houses. Property taxes could be talked down with a mayor I’m sure. I think jobs can be through some fashion of what we do from the houses that are snatched up. Bitcoin mining, growing stuff ( illegal or legal) ummm there should be way to supplant some sort of basic income. I think security is something we all would be good at . Libertarians are big pro-gun supporters so some would come along for it.
I thought most ppl here knew the golden rule of buying property. Location, then location, and finally location.
The second rule is buy quality for a good price. Not shit for cheap. There is a reason homes in detroit are cheap. It is due to the people who live there. No one wants neighbors that will take revenge on you and yours just because you try to better yourself. Fix up your home, drive a nice car, and take pride in yourself? You are now a target.
Detroit is not Boston in the 60s and 70s. That 5000 dollar home full of lead paint and abestos is there because the ppl in charge of detroit kicked the can down the road one too many times. Maybe in a generation or two the time will come for a rebound.
I’ve actually been giving this serious consideration.
1. It can’t get any lower price-wise; not much anyway when you’re talking about a $3000 house. Didn’t one of the Rothschilds say “Buy when there’s blood in the streets”? Sounds like Detroit.
2. Taxes – yeah, the assessments are high, but the city is so broke, they can’t afford to kick people out of their homes. Many people are way behind and have been allowed to keep their homes. Also, they’re losing the enforcement ability. The cops actually don’t answer calls after 8pm.
which brings me too
3. governmental collapse – it’s a good thing. The quicker they let the government of Detroit die completely, the better. There is already a private police force that has started up to good reviews. There is also a private bus system that is probably the best in the nation as far as service goes.
Well, I’ve convinced my wife, I think. We are looking for houses and crime rate. Most of my family lives north of Detroit in the safer areas.
We are looking to buy 4 or 5 houses in close proximity… could be fun. If not, then I can always bail and move to the safe zone in Sterling Heights
Also, it’s a relatively cold climate, and with an AC unit, a basement could be ideal for hosting miners. E-Commerce can be done from a basement as well.
Both of these things would help the Bitcoin community.
I agree. The less enforcement the more freedom the more we make it the way we want it. I’m not sure why people don’t think we can make this the way we want it.
1.] Our own protection service
2.] Our own jobs via whatever methods we develop in-house i.e., website development services , bitcoin mining I mean we are pretty smart people I think we can figure it out! I mean you all make it sounds like seasteading has a better chance then detroit! lol
Don’t know but there would be like one or two people who live there ( or whomever pledges can live there) so they will always be maintained.
If the idea is to refab cribs down there and live, I doubt the locals will take kindly to that as someone else has already pointed out. Most of these people don’t have jobs and consume from the public trough, so they have plenty of idle time to do whatever. Drugs and the associated lifestyles is very prevalent and there is a certain anti-suburb mentality down there and they certainly don’t want any white folk moving in any time soon. Also, police patrols are way down and they only respond to certain kinds of calls, murder is one of them however.
Even if this idea was a bust, it would be good publicity for Bitcoin. “Internet Crypto Currency Group Cleans up the Detroit Housing” – Article about people buying houses with Bitcoins, people reading then associate Bitcoins with real money, the investing group might lose out on a few thousand dollars, but if you are holding enough, a publicity price spike could offset that cost. If it succeeds, you have the publicity + houses which may or may not be worth anything.
I think the answer is building lowish income housing. If you have houses that are too nice, people will torch them. If you have slummy houses, you aren’t fixing the problem. So maybe provide lower middle class housing, so people can afford to live there, and you can keep expanding the project without making your tennants a target. (I’m assuming you plan on renovating and leasing out the houses so you will have some sort of income)
the biggest proponets against this think we’ll all be dead lol …
Why can’t we just have some armed guards outside wearing Bitcoin armour?
really interesting investment opportunity there has to come a point where Detroit will come back to life