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Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500
BuzzFeed ^ | 01/14/2014 | Drew Philip

Posted on 01/12/2014 11:07:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind

My first job out of college was working for a construction company in Detroit.

“We’re an all-black company and I need a clean-cut white boy,” my boss told me over drinks in a downtown bar when he hired me. “Customers in the suburbs don’t want to hire a black man.”

When a service call would come in, we would ask, “Does he sound white or black?” If it was the former, I would bid the job. If the latter, my boss would. Detroit is one of the most segregated metro areas in the nation, and for the first time I was getting what it felt like to be on the other side of that line. In contrast to the abstract verbal yoga students at the University of Michigan would perform when speaking about race, this was refreshing.

And terrifying. I couldn’t hide behind fancy words any longer.

I grew up in rural Michigan, 45 minutes away from any freeway. I’m the first male member of my family in three generations never to have worked in front of a lathe, and aside from one uncle, I’m the oldest with all of my fingers intact. The university had given me some grandiose ideas like “true solidarity with the oppressed,” and I figured “the oppressed” lived in Detroit, never mind the patrimony. I thought I was making a sacrifice. I thought moving here was staying home when everyone else was leaving the state. I thought I was going to change the world and had some vague notions of starting a school. I cringe at how naive I was. I first rented an apartment in the city, sight unseen, that didn’t have a kitchen sink, so I did my dishes in the bathtub.

Aside from bidding jobs, I spent my days like everyone else: sanding floors in cheap rentals for $8.50 an hour, which got me thinking: I could buy a house and fix it up myself. Not that I was sure how to go about buying, let alone renovating a house. It was just an inexplicit dream, some trick that would keep me from leaving like everyone else, make me a true Detroiter.

CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE REST ( AND WATCH THE PHOTOS OF THE HOUSE AND HIS NEIGHBORHOOD )


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: detroit; housing
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1 posted on 01/12/2014 11:07:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
"Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500"

First guess: because he's a liberal afflicted with white guilt?

If he plans to live in that $500 house, his lilly-white a** is going to be a target for burglars, "polar bear hunters", carjackers, and just plain ol' hateful murderers. God forbid should that stupid white boy have a white wife or girlfriend...she'll be the real prize

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

2 posted on 01/12/2014 11:16:29 AM PST by wku man (We are the 53%! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUXN0GDuLN4)
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To: wku man

“First guess: because he’s a liberal afflicted with white guilt?”

Yup. He’ll move out once the homeys ransack his place when he’s out to work. That’s why he got the dog in the first place as insurance WHEN his idiotic feel-good experiment fails.


3 posted on 01/12/2014 11:20:51 AM PST by max americana (fired liberals in our company last election, and I laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: wku man

If you read the story, it looks like he walks the walk, liberal or not. So quit yer whinin’.


4 posted on 01/12/2014 11:25:03 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: cripplecreek

ping


5 posted on 01/12/2014 11:25:39 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: wku man

About 25 years ago, me and a buddy bought a 2 unit rental house in Detroit for $2000. Tenants were vendor paid by the state so the rent always got paid. But they were total crack whores. As landlords, we tried to do right. They stole stuff, lit a room on fire and one was turning tricks in my house. We got out and slid the place when they destroyed a new kitchen floor the day after we installed it.


6 posted on 01/12/2014 11:28:04 AM PST by cyclotic (Hey BSA-I'm gone. Walk Worthy-traillifeusa.com)
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To: SeekAndFind
Nice story SaF.......He's got guts, I hope they manage to take back their neighborhood...thanks for posting this
7 posted on 01/12/2014 11:33:17 AM PST by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: wku man

When were you at WKU? Any affiliations on College Street?


8 posted on 01/12/2014 11:35:05 AM PST by Bartholomew Roberts
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To: wku man
"Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500"

Because you like Chinese people? China is buying up abandoned homes in Detroit at a record rate. Thousands of them, comrade.

9 posted on 01/12/2014 11:46:23 AM PST by Zuben Elgenubi (NOPe to GOPe)
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To: 1rudeboy

One thing that struck me, was that while he rightfully acknowledges the corruption that brought down the city, he then laments the fact that the voters who elected those corrupt politians because of their race and political party, now don’t have as much say in who gets elected.

He seemed to like the protestors, and their cause, but then gets miffed because he didn’t do his homework on just who and what those protestors really are.


10 posted on 01/12/2014 11:46:35 AM PST by digger48
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To: wku man
A very telling passage in the story.

"He purchased the house for $3,000 from the son of a woman who had died. It had been abandoned for years, but there was an upstairs room full of her possessions — steamer trunks, furniture, family pictures. Some of her photographs still hung on the walls, including a portrait of the first black mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young, and a painting of a white Jesus Christ. She had them arranged so the Christ appeared to be praying to Young."

She thinks a deified rabbi needs a black man as his god? I wonder how many black households have the rabbi praying to Obama?
11 posted on 01/12/2014 11:49:36 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: SeekAndFind

Detroit in RUINS! (Crowder goes Ghetto)
http://www.buzzfeed.com/drewphilp/why-i-bought-a-house-in-detroit-for-500


12 posted on 01/12/2014 11:53:38 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Ooops! Try that again.

Detroit in RUINS! (Crowder goes Ghetto)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hhJ_49leBw


13 posted on 01/12/2014 11:54:15 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
Because you like Chinese people? China is buying up abandoned homes in Detroit at a record rate. Thousands of them, comrade.

That is true, but only Chinese who can't get Visas to come and see the property are buying, probably expecting some return on investment. Those who managed to get Visas and actually toured the city refused to buy anything. If the Chinese owners actually came to occupy the houses, it would be an improvement.

14 posted on 01/12/2014 12:03:51 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: 1rudeboy

Conservatives are really missing what is happening in Detroit. Rather than seizing control and creating a success, many would rather sit back and point fingers.

If I had the money I would be snatching up property in the Delray neighborhood. Its one of the worst neighborhoods but is going to be one of the most valuable when the new bridge goes in. The property will be taken through eminent domain but Michigan has decent ED laws and a good attorney could maximize your gain.


15 posted on 01/12/2014 12:05:40 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

How sad is it that this guy, probably a flaming lib, has more of the classic American pioneering spirit than others here who can’t recognize it in the first place?


16 posted on 01/12/2014 12:12:59 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Agreed. People like that kid are probably going to inherit that city, so my hat’s off to him and his willingness to take a risk with his own life.


17 posted on 01/12/2014 12:13:08 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: 1rudeboy

True. Of course it would help if they actually read the whole article before dismissing it as the product of a “lib” therefore not worth their time.


18 posted on 01/12/2014 12:21:42 PM PST by Hugin
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To: cripplecreek

I bet the taxes are a killer.


19 posted on 01/12/2014 12:21:51 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Why is that allowed? Are we allowed to buy land in China? I highly doubt it.


20 posted on 01/12/2014 12:22:55 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: cripplecreek

A paragraph from the article:

“There was no way I could live in the house when I first bought it, so I moved out of Will’s to Forestdale, a verdant block in Poletown that was walking distance from my new home. Twenty-five years ago, a wild and virtuous teacher named Paul Weertz bought a house on Forestdale after his downtown home burned down. Through the years, he’s transformed the block into an arcadian oasis on Detroit’s east side, where old Poles and young white artists live next to black doctors and immigrant mothers from Hungary or Mexico. He raised his now-grown children there, convinced friends and colleagues to move in, and saved the block from crack houses, fire, and neglect. Nearly all the homes still stand, a rather incredible accomplishment considering much of the rest of the neighborhood looks like a mouth full of broken teeth.”

This could be an opportunity for FReepers to move in and fix up the place.


21 posted on 01/12/2014 12:25:12 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: max americana

That happened to my friend’s brother in Detroit. He is a recluse but had to leave for a few hours once and his house was ransacked and vandalized.

Thankfully, he is in the process of moving down to Ga.


22 posted on 01/12/2014 12:27:24 PM PST by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Chinese money rushing into U.S. residential real estate
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3110969/posts


23 posted on 01/12/2014 12:31:09 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: SeekAndFind

He must want to play the Knockout Game.


24 posted on 01/12/2014 12:31:25 PM PST by kaehurowing
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To: SeekAndFind

His next article....is likely to have a slightly different tone...I’d imagine.


25 posted on 01/12/2014 12:35:35 PM PST by MeshugeMikey ( Help fight The Neo Stalinists! Donate to your Free Republic)
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To: 1rudeboy

I don’t love any cities but once I got to know a few Detroiters it was hard not falling in love with their attitude. A whole city full of people who have Gone Galt. All those petty little laws go out the window in Detroit.

Its an urban wild west ideal for conservative pioneers.

I challenge anyone to find a freer large American city.


26 posted on 01/12/2014 12:40:11 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: 1rudeboy
I read the excerpt. He sounds like a guilty conscience-ridden white boy. You have a problem with that?

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

27 posted on 01/12/2014 12:41:34 PM PST by wku man (We are the 53%! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUXN0GDuLN4)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
I bet the taxes are a killer.

They are but political change is afoot. The fact that the city just elected their first white mayor in nearly 5 decades is telling. Also they now have a police chief encouraging people to be armed.
28 posted on 01/12/2014 12:44:18 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: wku man

Again, he might be a “guilty conscience-ridden white boy” who has balls. You have a problem with that?


29 posted on 01/12/2014 12:45:03 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Bartholomew Roberts
Actually, I lived on Chestnut Street, and later on Center Street, just at the bottom of the hill, not too far from Lennox Books and the Jr. Foods. It was a fun place to be when I was back in my 20s...probably not so much now that I'm middle aged. Are you a BG survivor, too?

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

30 posted on 01/12/2014 12:45:05 PM PST by wku man (We are the 53%! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUXN0GDuLN4)
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To: cripplecreek
Its an urban wild west ideal for conservative pioneers

And now you can buy and carry guns! Maybe the single best first step back to civilization.

31 posted on 01/12/2014 12:45:40 PM PST by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: cripplecreek
Its an urban wild west ideal for conservative pioneers

And now you can buy and carry guns! Maybe the single best first step back to civilization.

32 posted on 01/12/2014 12:45:41 PM PST by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: cripplecreek

Wow! You are right about that. Blacks ran the city into the ground from 1974 - 2014. Now it’s Whitey McCracker-Honkey’s turn.

New mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Duggan


33 posted on 01/12/2014 12:47:33 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: jdsteel

Violent crime was down 14% last year and murder was down 7%. The police chief says that its largely the result of armed citizens.

I think there is a very interesting experiment available here. NY is going one way and Detroit is going the other and I think the results will become pretty obvious in a few years.


35 posted on 01/12/2014 12:57:40 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: 1rudeboy

Have you seen this in weekend WSJ?

I found it very interesting

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303848104579308612337146296?KEYWORDS=hong+kong&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303848104579308612337146296.html%3FKEYWORDS%3Dhong%2Bkong


36 posted on 01/12/2014 1:03:46 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: cripplecreek

I think what we are seeing is the turning point for the city to the positive.

I’m sure if FReepers got together and purchased blocks of houses together that way they could all help keep an eye out for one another.


37 posted on 01/12/2014 1:09:09 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

Thought so. Obviously they’ve been watching the guy. There’s a reason why most white girls who live downtown in our blue city have Rottweilers, pit Bulls, german shepherds for pets. All the ‘shadows’ come out at night..


38 posted on 01/12/2014 1:19:59 PM PST by max americana (fired liberals in our company last election, and I laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
China is buying up abandoned homes in Detroit at a record rate. Thousands of them, comrade.

Doesn't bother me. What are they gonna do with them? They can't move them to China.

39 posted on 01/12/2014 1:36:17 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: Jack Hydrazine
This could be an opportunity for FReepers to move in and fix up the place.

Well, living and voting there, one would have a better influence on what goes on there.

40 posted on 01/12/2014 1:39:09 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I’m strictly small town rural but I do know some people who have moved to Detroit in the last year or so and really like it.

My neighbor’s grandson was transferred from NY by Quicken loans and he really likes it. He says it was like tripling his pay. He bought a decent house at rock bottom prices and the empty lot on either side of it. He also says its nice being to drive an hour and go hunting, plus a SWAT team doesn’t show up if a neighbor sees his gun.


41 posted on 01/12/2014 1:41:56 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Great article. I especially liked his comments about the Occupy group that came to town.


42 posted on 01/12/2014 1:45:26 PM PST by Slyfox (We want our pre-existing HEALTH INSURANCE back!)
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To: SeekAndFind

As soon as the clean cut white boy came out of his mouth I would have been gone.


43 posted on 01/12/2014 1:46:39 PM PST by RetiredArmy (I am proud to be a Christian and follower of my Lord Jesus Christ. Time is short for U to know Him!)
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To: SeekAndFind

People should not be allowed to comment on an article they have not read.


44 posted on 01/12/2014 1:46:45 PM PST by Slyfox (We want our pre-existing HEALTH INSURANCE back!)
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To: cripplecreek

Is open carry legal there?


45 posted on 01/12/2014 1:47:00 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: SuziQ

Think of it as a Free City Project instead of a Free State Project.


46 posted on 01/12/2014 1:50:04 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
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To: SeekAndFind

interesting story, worth reading the whole thing...


47 posted on 01/12/2014 1:50:35 PM PST by Reverend Wright ( FORWARD !)
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To: Slyfox
People should not be allowed to comment on an article they have not read.

LOL that would reduce the post count on FR by about 80%.

48 posted on 01/12/2014 1:51:19 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The only way this would work would be to buy a whole block and build a fortress.


49 posted on 01/12/2014 2:00:06 PM PST by matt1234 (Hitler blamed the Jews. Obama blames the Tea Party.)
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To: wku man

Yea, I started at WKU in ‘79. Left in ‘84. Lived in Barnes Campbell, PF Tower, North, East, Sigma Chi house(s) and apts on Kenton, Center and 13th Avenue.

Worked at Howard’s Cycle Shop and at Rafferty’s when they first opened.

What I remember of it, it was a good time!

I was amazed at how different it was when I was through there a few years ago.


50 posted on 01/12/2014 2:10:52 PM PST by Bartholomew Roberts
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