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  1. #1

    Default Detroit (metro) is Most Affordable Market for Middle-Class Families

    https://www.housingwire.com/articles...class-families

    Rounding out the top 5 are Rochester (NY), Dayton, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, PA.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by 313WX View Post
    https://www.housingwire.com/articles...class-families

    Rounding out the top 5 are Rochester (NY), Dayton, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, PA.
    While not enough, on its own, affordability is indeed an attractant/advantage.

    Living in a city, as I do, where a 1bdrm apt of no particular appeal can run you over 2k per month; and a entry-level 1bdrm condo can set you back 600k USD.........

    The community that can offer splendid, large home for 1/2 that price has something going for it.

    The key, of course is having the employment quality and quantity as well.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Visitor View Post
    While not enough, on its own, affordability is indeed an attractant/advantage.

    Living in a city, as I do, where a 1bdrm apt of no particular appeal can run you over 2k per month; and a entry-level 1bdrm condo can set you back 600k USD.........

    The community that can offer splendid, large home for 1/2 that price has something going for it.

    The key, of course is having the employment quality and quantity as well.
    Bingo to the bolded.

    I believe a lot of Detroit's problems would solve themselves if there was an abundant supply of good-paying jobs and a healthy diversity of growing industries.

    It's one city that can really use another Henry Ford or Jeff Bezos right now.
    Last edited by 313WX; August-23-19 at 09:55 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 313WX View Post
    Bingo to the bolded.

    I believe a lot of Detroit's problems would solve themselves if there was an abundant supply of good-paying jobs and a healthy diversity of growing industries.

    It's one city that can really use another Henry Ford or Jeff Bezos right now.
    Don't forget the educated workforce.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    Don't forget the educated workforce.
    It has (or at least produces) that.

    It just offers nothing to keep it.

  6. #6

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    This is understandable, given RE prices are largely driven by supply & demand. This metric will keep Metro Detroit RE "affordable" into the foreseeable future. Geographic land limitations drive up values in locales like the Bay Area, Seattle, SoCal, Manhattan, and Miami Beach. This limitation doesn't exist in SE Michigan. Land is easily build-able & plentiful, so the Metro area could expand up to The Thumb or Lansing with no obstacles.


    In other locales like Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Atlanta, there isn't necessarily a geographic limitation. However, there tends to be a higher density concentration of quality jobs, education, & desirable housing in select geographic areas (sometimes, but not always, a "downtown"). The proximity to those areas drives up the RE values. This is true on some scale in Oakland County, which is the closest thing in the Detroit area in terms of job opportunity, housing stock, and concurrent RE values.


    "Affordable" and "good investment" shouldn't be misconstrued as interchangeable terms, either. Unlike high-demand areas, buying a house in Metro Detroit is more like buying an automobile than an investment. You own the asset and don't have to pay rent (good), you can create a larger cocoon exactly to your own liking to live in (good). The downside is that (even when holding the asset for several years) the appreciation is historically minimal. The lack of RE appreciation is especially problematic when considering a job opportunity in a high housing demand city.


    A colleague, who relocated from Vancouver to London to San Antonio said his fellow transplants from expensive urban areas dub this the "Texas Trap". It's a great trip to cheap bang-for-the-buck housing, but that trip is also one-way. It all but closes the door to any opportunities in expensive metro areas in the future.
    Last edited by Onthe405; August-23-19 at 01:56 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onthe405 View Post
    This is understandable, given RE prices are largely driven by supply & demand. This metric will keep Metro Detroit RE "affordable" into the foreseeable future. Geographic land limitations drive up values in locales like the Bay Area, Seattle, SoCal, Manhattan, and Miami Beach. This limitation doesn't exist in SE Michigan. Land is easily build-able & plentiful, so the Metro area could expand up to The Thumb or Lansing with no obstacles.


    In other locales like Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Atlanta, there isn't necessarily a geographic limitation. However, there tends to be a higher density concentration of quality jobs, education, & desirable housing in select geographic areas (sometimes, but not always, a "downtown"). The proximity to those areas drives up the RE values. This is true on some scale in Oakland County, which is the closest thing in the Detroit area in terms of job opportunity, housing stock, and concurrent RE values.


    "Affordable" and "good investment" shouldn't be misconstrued as interchangeable terms, either. Unlike high-demand areas, buying a house in Metro Detroit is more like buying an automobile than an investment. You own the asset and don't have to pay rent (good), you can create a larger cocoon exactly to your own liking to live in (good). The downside is that (even when holding the asset for several years) the appreciation is historically minimal. The lack of RE appreciation is especially problematic when considering a job opportunity in a high housing demand city.


    A colleague, who relocated from Vancouver to London to San Antonio said his fellow transplants from expensive urban areas dub this the "Texas Trap". It's a great trip to cheap bang-for-the-buck housing, but that trip is also one-way. It all but closes the door to any opportunities in expensive metro areas in the future.
    Out of curiosity, why would one be concerned about that door closing if they moved to a city for the cheaper COL in the first place?

    IMO, the perfect balance is living in a place that has a diverse economy, big city amenities and is also affordable. Such places still exist.
    Last edited by 313WX; August-23-19 at 02:51 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onthe405 View Post
    In other locales like Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Atlanta, there isn't necessarily a geographic limitation. However, there tends to be a higher density concentration of quality jobs, education, & desirable housing in select geographic areas (sometimes, but not always, a "downtown"). The proximity to those areas drives up the RE values. This is true on some scale in Oakland County, which is the closest thing in the Detroit area in terms of job opportunity, housing stock, and concurrent RE values.
    Toronto has a development green belt. That is the biggest factor in the cost there. It is one of the most expensive places in North America, but the median income in Toronto isn't much higher than Metro Detroit. The other expensive places on the list also have strong anti-sprawl controls to keep the value of land high.

    Chicago is actually more similar to Detroit, in that it is a city that you would expect to be more expensive based on its size. But, like Detroit, it has a ton of abandoned and under-utilized property within the central city. Inertia has helped there a little, but the city still suffered massive population losses last decade due to people flowing to new suburban developments.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by 313WX View Post
    Out of curiosity, why would one be concerned about that door closing if they moved to a city for the cheaper COL in the first place?
    As is the case with this guy, many people are driven by seeking ever-improving career opportunities, which is an entirely different motivation than looking for a place with the intent of reducing the cost of living. While this may not be true for you or me, career comes first to these folks, locale second.

    Because lower COL is usually accompanied by lower salaries, the longer the career-motivated types spend in a cheaper place, the more difficult it becomes to negotiate the ever-increasing salary gap to jump back.

    The key to side-stepping the "Trap" in his case might be to resist the temptation to spend the entire windfall of the Vancouver proceeds on a more extravagant residence in TX, and invest a portion elsewhere (there might be capital gains penalty associated with that strategy, though).

    Ultimately, "quality of life" is an extremely subjective & personal phrase. To each his/her own.
    Last edited by Onthe405; August-23-19 at 04:05 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onthe405 View Post
    As is the case with this guy, many people are driven by seeking ever-improving career opportunities, which is an entirely different motivation than looking for a place with the intent of reducing the cost of living. While this may not be true for you or me, career comes first to these folks, locale second.

    Because lower COL is usually accompanied by lower salaries, the longer the career-motivated types spend in a cheaper place, the more difficult it becomes to negotiate the ever-increasing salary gap to jump back.

    The key to side-stepping the "Trap" in his case might be to resist the temptation to spend the entire windfall of the Vancouver proceeds on a more extravagant residence in TX, and invest a portion elsewhere (there might be capital gains penalty associated with that strategy, though).

    Ultimately, "quality of life" is an extremely subjective & personal phrase. To each his/her own.
    I understand that everyone has their own preference, but it's unusual for one to move from a high COL place to a low COL and then yearn to move back to the high COL place. Even though the salaries may be lower (not always the case, if you internally transfer in companies, they sometimes let you keep your high COL salary), the idea is that you'll have more disposable income to take trips more frequently, own more expensive cars, own bigger homes, etc.

    Still, it's interesting to hear more about that perspective.

    As far as career growth, this can be achieved in any large city with a sizeable/diverse corporate presence as long as you're not in a niche area of tech or finance.
    Last edited by 313WX; August-23-19 at 04:26 PM.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for posting.

    The U.S. is in a serious housing crisis and Detroit's living affordability really shines. We would do well to tout that.

  12. #12

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    I read a stat some years ago that 1/2 Detroit's population is on fixed income (SSI, unemployment, pension)

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeLemur View Post
    Thanks for posting.

    The U.S. is in a serious housing crisis and Detroit's living affordability really shines. We would do well to tout that.
    I was in the city a few weeks ago and went down I-94/Michigan and Cass and Mack Streets. Over half of those stretches were boarded up buildings and vacant land. I kept wondering, why don't the city build parks or landscape on the vacant land; what about putting murals on the buildings. There's a lot of beautification the city can do while waiting for development.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago48 View Post
    I was in the city a few weeks ago and went down I-94/Michigan and Cass and Mack Streets. Over half of those stretches were boarded up buildings and vacant land. I kept wondering, why don't the city build parks or landscape on the vacant land; what about putting murals on the buildings. There's a lot of beautification the city can do while waiting for development.
    The answer is the same answer to most everything - money. The city has been putting its emphasis on demolishing vacant houses. It's just now getting on financial footing to be able to maintain its parks. Building more/landscaping requires initial $ plus more for upkeep. What new parks are getting built have been with corporate assistance.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    The answer is the same answer to most everything - money. The city has been putting its emphasis on demolishing vacant houses. It's just now getting on financial footing to be able to maintain its parks. Building more/landscaping requires initial $ plus more for upkeep. What new parks are getting built have been with corporate assistance.
    And more importantly is the source of the funds to do the teardowns.

    The city received money from the federal governments Hardest hit fund to do the tear downs. The Feds are not handing out that money to upgrade or make new parks. They are only handing it out to teardown houses.

    That source of funding is about to run out. The city will have to find new sources of money to fund further demolitions.

    Duggan's proposed a bond vote to continue to fund the demolitions.

  16. #16

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    Also, don't forget this survey is based on metropolitan markets. Detroit's market includes the city and all of the suburbs. The Region's average house cost is dragged down by the City. If you dropped the city out of the comparison, This market would not be near as affordable.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeLemur View Post
    Thanks for posting.

    The U.S. is in a serious housing crisis and Detroit's living affordability really shines. We would do well to tout that.
    Agreed

    If we look at what drives movement and useing California as and example,there are two types.

    One is homeowners that purchased long ago and are cash poor but house rich,they can sell locally but only purchase like for like,but the COL increases and taxes pushes them out.

    The bigger group are the ones that are simply priced out with zero opportunity to ever dream of homeownership or spend a majority of thier income on housing which leaves little left to actually enjoy what the city has to offer,so the perks become non issue.

    If I was going to relocate to Detroit for better opportunities,the near future of potential homeownership box could be checked off,it appears to provide the urban feel requirements,that box gets checked off.

    The biggest motivator would be where would I work and would it be enough financially to improve my current situation.

    That covers a diverse group of people on all wage levels and is probabley the million dollar question for any city.The only thing the city can do is work on providing and encouraging employment diversity.

    Detroit has been on that uphill slow climb in doing that and is getting there.

    So what does it take to encourage others to relocate there en mass like they are doing in Texas,Arizona,Florida and Portland.

    One can say no snow but there are a lot of mid westerners also stuck in small towns etc.

    So what would be the deciding factor in choosing Detroit over Cincinnati?

    Which I personally think the two are comparable,verses comparing Detroit to New York or Chicago or Atlanta.

    Those other cities had the jump many years ago.

    I think the biggest deterrent to Detroit is a public image one that is based largely on negatives.

    I see people posting negative stuff on the internet about Detroit that has not even applied for over 5 years,it is a quickly evolving city,that is not to say that things happening there are not real to the citizens,but a lot of what is happening is no different then any other urban situation in any other city.

    It has been mentioned that the city has an uneven amount of a skilled labor force,that leaves two choices.

    Train the workforce or import enough residents to overwhelm the math.

    But there are programs that have been implemented concerning workforce training both public and private.

    So that leaves getting people to move thier.

    Honestly in the past Detroit was not on my radar,outside of the automotive and helping save the world aspect,I never gave it a second thought and all you heard was the negatives blasting in the news.

    So how do you plant that seed in ones mind in order to put Detroit and what it has to offer on thier radar so they stop for a second and give it a serious look.

  18. #18

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    I've lived in my house in St. Clair Shores since 1990. One of the nice things about the 1994 passed Headley Amendment to the Michigan constitution was the reduction of the property taxes, and increase of the sales tax (only non food, non medicine) from 4% to 6%. Locked into this amendment was that annual property taxes could only increase by the home value increase, or 5%... whichever is lower.

    The drawback (or in my case good fortune) about this taxation level is that people who stay put and don't move keep lower taxes. It's those folks who move around within the state that pay a significant increase in taxes. For example, I pay about $2000 in annual property taxes. If my neighbor (similar home value) were to sell his house, the new owner would probably pay closer to $3000 annually.

  19. #19

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    ^ we have the same or similar in Fl,adding a reduction in school taxes after a certain age,I think that was a part of the whole neighborhood stability thing.Encouraging long term homeowners to stay put.

    It does not work very well down here though,neighborhoods have a 10 year or less cycle,you can buy a new house in a nice neighborhood but in 10 years or less it becomes a crappy neighborhood.

    The reverse of that is to buy a house in a crappy neighborhood by timeing the cycles,but most want it now in regards to new housing,which brings unchecked sprawl.

    I would not be sure if that is the answer for the actual city,the dependence of increasing population by encouraging in state movement or in essence robbing from Peter to pay Paul.

    Not everybody is into the unique urban experiences,I guess in a perfect world the urban and suburban aspect should really be like one big happy family,but we know that is not the case anywhere.
    Last edited by Richard; August-26-19 at 01:06 PM.

  20. #20

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    Richard, you can add a new item to neighborhood values in Florida... and that is thanks to the rising sea level and global warming. I've been reading that the poor part of Miami called Little Haiti is suddenly being bought up by developers at a rapid rate... reason? It's 9 ft. higher elevation than most of Miami.... new location for high rises should the polar ice melt faster than anticipated.

    Here in Michigan we have no worry about that... 579 ft. above sea level is our lowest point!!

  21. #21

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    LMAO Gistok you may be on to something there.

    Little Hati is and always has been what it implies and the city of Miami did not do what Detroit is doing now,which is taking steps while it progresses to insure an element of affordable housing in the future.

    Progress is its demise.

    Throw a shed in the back yard and you can get $700 rent from it,they are doing the same thing in San Francisco with tents.

    I took a wrong turn in little hati back in the early 80s and landed in the middle of a riot,luckily I was in a rental so the damage was covered.

    You cannot touch any property that touches or even views any kind of water front property in fla under the $600k minimum most tear downs are over a million.

    Not many concerned about sea levels checkbook wise anyways.

    Where I am at the houses I bought in what some refer to as the ghetto,and where I live,in 2010 for $6000 are now valued over $120,000 blocks away a vacant lot is $150k.

    Soon it is time for me to cash out.
    Last edited by Richard; August-26-19 at 01:34 PM.

  22. #22

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    Richard,

    I think we need to be bold to pull in the sort of population numbers we need for a turnaround. I think a blue-green city would really help.
    We have vast areas of land that need low maintenance biodiversity. Bring back the plants, and I don't mean manufacturing (would like that too but that's another story). Bring back the canals and tie in the abundant fresh water Great Lakes to our Detroit image and Detroit becomes a green to the eye city. We can make some serious strides in green city structures with the availability of land and not just lots who's speculators probably want too much money, but all the right of ways and busted sidewalks the city still owns. Fill them with plants, trees and ponds. Make some comfortable bike paths that go through these semi-park lands, not silly ones on the edge of E. Jefferson.
    Detroit is trying to be a normal city and be what successful cities are. That's good but to be a successful city we have to jump past (in ideas and projects) other cities and we can offer city living with the fecund vibrancy of the earth. Not only will our image become more steeped in the future than the past (currently our comeback story), but supply will diminish and a green density will begin to take place.
    Yes, you'll need some money to do this but Detroit needs to make a splash. Otherwise we'll just be a cute, mediocre city who had a nice edge in the 2010's. What's our next story after this turnaround story is over?

  23. #23

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    I thought you guys already went green with the new weed laws,just kidding.

    Outside of taking into account a year round experience,that is alot of funding for seasonal results.

    Not saying that to me anyways there are lots of good ideas in there but some like the bike paths and green spaces were popular within the city when it was first laid out,like many other cities were,with the advent of the car,not many stopped to smell the roses.

    A lot of cities have worked the green aspect already,again not saying that they should not be implemented in Detroit,more so a game of catch up.

    My thoughts,and in no way or form am I trying to turn this into a political debate.

    I view/compare Detroit as a business of sorts,when one starts a small business ground up,it gets built up to a point of stall,it comes to the point where it either needs a cash infusion to take it to the next level or continue at the same level building slowly.

    So my thoughts are geared towards the cash infusion aspect in order to speed the process up a bit in Detroit.

    A lot of cities and states in this country would be in no different of a position then Detroit,had there not been a natural disaster that pumped billions of federal dollars into the local economy in order to quickly rebuild.

    So the concept of using federal funds in order to quickly put things in order is already in the minds through actual experiences in millions of people,you are not looking for a hand out but an investment that shows a return.

    My idea is this.

    2020 like it or not can provide a path.

    It is a 50/50 risk assessment and it is totally not based on which way one leans in the realm of politics.

    One just needs to decide if the ends justify the means,most large businesses re frame from taking a political stance and will support both parties in a bid to not burn bridges to the point,or remain neutral.

    My view is why not use the same politicians that are using us and turn it around.

    Politician A is already in office and could use the benefit of an example of his platform,like it or not Detroit is perfectly staged for that and can be used front stage and center.

    Politician B is not in office and the 50/50 odds come into play,granted if Politician B wins the push will go to green across the board albeit on a smaller scale because the resources will be spread across the county.

    It is that uncertainty that we are hedging against,like I said which way one leans has zero relevance and no requirement to change sides,it is simply pitting two parties in order to obtain an objective.

    That way no matter which way it goes Detroit still comes out on top.

    Detroit citizens in the past years have taken their city back and like it or not and it is not an MAGA thing but an American thing,why not put the differences aside and use it to your benefit,it is not something that there is shame in it,you should really be proud of what you guys have done,maybe it is time to capitalize on it.

    Put a plan together that encompasses a mixture of green,manufacturing,advanced technology etc. which are all things that we all know will not only help the city but lays out a path for the rest of the country to follow.

    That is taking setting the city apart from the rest of the country to the next level,submit the plan and allow it to be used as an example,you really do not have to go any further then that.

    We can hate the players but play the game to put the ball in your court.
    Last edited by Richard; August-26-19 at 04:14 PM.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    I've lived in my house in St. Clair Shores since 1990. One of the nice things about the 1994 passed Headley Amendment to the Michigan constitution was the reduction of the property taxes, and increase of the sales tax (only non food, non medicine) from 4% to 6%. Locked into this amendment was that annual property taxes could only increase by the home value increase, or 5%... whichever is lower.

    The drawback (or in my case good fortune) about this taxation level is that people who stay put and don't move keep lower taxes. It's those folks who move around within the state that pay a significant increase in taxes. For example, I pay about $2000 in annual property taxes. If my neighbor (similar home value) were to sell his house, the new owner would probably pay closer to $3000 annually.
    I will be honest here. In fairness this shit is and was designed to be complicated.

    The Headlee Amendment is not 1994 Proposal A. They are different legislative acts from completely different decades.

    https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/what_i...ct_local_taxes

  25. #25

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    ^ not by design but the way it works out.

    Say you think every house should be green in color,so you submit the green house color proposal.

    Then people oppose that so you work out a compromise,okay let’s settle on the first 3’ of a house must be green in color.passed.

    Then the next year you submit another proposal but you have to figure out how to name it without useing the green color proposal that you used the first time so people that opposed it the first time do not realize it is actually the same thing.now the green colored house must be painted 6’ up in green.passed

    You continue through the years until eventually you get a completely green colored house.

    Then during the course of that process there are others that will say,I do not agree with your green colored house proposal,but if you throw a little cream trim requirement in there for me,I could be persuaded to agree.

    So you end up with a cluster of bits and pieces thrown together in order to achieve a result,then a bunch of tweaks piled on top.

    I guess the lawyers would have a by design aspect to it,because they make it so you need one to interpret the thing by the time they finish the original intent.

    Then just when you think you have it figured out,somebody comes along and changes the whole thing,that is how government works,they are exempt from the KISS theory.
    Last edited by Richard; August-26-19 at 10:55 PM.

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