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Cheap House Detroit: motive, make art
October 11, 2012 3:57 PM   Subscribe

I want buy a cheap house, make art, and not die in Detroit. What are the right zipcodes to plug into Zillow? FWIW, white male, older but street smart, handy, commute some and sell in California, love vintage architecture (and ruins, and access to cheap, plentiful materials).
posted by wallstreet1929 to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
We have friends who just bought a place in 48125. Amazing woodwork / architecture and safe (but gritty) neighborhood. They paid 15k for a 2500 sq foot bungalow.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 4:04 PM on October 11, 2012


I can't speak to the real estate situation in 48027, but it's got the Heidelberg Project, which is the ne plus ultra of arty Detroit.
posted by Etrigan at 4:08 PM on October 11, 2012


Oh, I want to do this too!! There are neighborhoods that are "bad," but border good ones. I think the closer you are to a "good" one is where you want to be. You want to be in a blue area but near the the red areas.
posted by wandering_not_lost at 4:17 PM on October 11, 2012


You might want to look into Allen Park, a bordering suburban city. It was recognized in 2011 as one of the best small cities. My brother bought a home there for under 30,000. It needed some work but it's safe and the area seems to be on the upswing.
posted by The Deej at 4:34 PM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


(wandering_not_lost: I've lived in places where that would be pretty bad advice, actually. If you're worried about car theft or burglary, for instance, that's often concentrated right along the borders between rich and poor neighborhoods — since, you know, the rich people tend to be the ones with the nice cars and the nice stuff in their houses. I don't know whether that tends to be the case in Detroit. But it sounds like you don't either, and this seems like a situation where guesses aren't useful.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:44 PM on October 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


48208, 48216, south end of 48212 (north hamtramck), eastern side of 48209, south end of 48202.

wandering_not_lost, that is bad advice IMO. I would stay away from the Detroit border. Stick to the core-ish neighborhoods.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 4:46 PM on October 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I disagree about staying away from the border neighborhoods. They are the ones that will turn around fastest. A lot of Detroit is wasteland. It depends on your perspective. If you want to live in an urban prairie with no neighbors, there are parts that you can do that. But if you want to get a cheap house and still be able to have something of a viable life, you want to live in a border area. I speak from experience. As for crime, it exists, I have experienced it, and if you want to live like this, you need to expect it.
posted by fifilaru at 5:34 PM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I disagree about staying away from the border neighborhoods. They are the ones that will turn around fastest.

Downtown is where most of the gentrifying just-out-of-college kids are settling. They want to be in "real Detroit," not along the edges.
posted by Etrigan at 7:16 PM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


hey no fair, I can't mark any of these as best answers, coz these are all great answers - thanks everyone! fantastic, can't wait to start researching.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:53 PM on October 11, 2012


I was thinking of this too! If you're interested in urban farming, I collected a bunch of info which I can memail to you, if you want.
posted by windykites at 2:36 AM on October 12, 2012


I disagree about staying away from the border neighborhoods. They are the ones that will turn around fastest.

Boy, is this not always true.
posted by goethean at 8:48 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Detroit is very block by block, so zip codes aren't granular enough for your search. You really have to drive the area, preferably with someone who knows how to read Detroit.

I'd also suggest that your behaviour after moving in might be more important to your safety than where you are. If you don't chat with the neighbours and hang out on your porch a bit, you aren't going to be part of the neighbourhood. Urban etiquette is very different than what I was raised with out in the Detroit 'burbs.
posted by QIbHom at 11:59 AM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


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