by Maureen McDonald, Neighborhood News Hub
Latawn Crocker lives in Southfield, works in Detroit and hungers to come back and live in the city. With that in mind, he and his family came to the 10th Grandmont-Rosedale open house in search of a new home on the city’s northwest side.
The Crockers joined nearly 500 home shoppers who rode chartered buses to see 15 homes on display. Some were rehabbed by the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp. (GRDC). Others were sold by individual buyers and still others were distressed properties offered by the Detroit Land Bank.
They fell in love with a beige brick colonial rehabbed by the GRDC listed for $120,000.
The 1,600-sq.-ft., turn-key house at 16200 Rosemont has three bedrooms, two baths, granite counters and cherry wood cupboards in the kitchen, a fireplace in the living room, sculpted plaster in the dining room, and wood paneling in the basement. The neighborhood also has terrific ambiance. Looking up and down the street you’ll see families pushing babies in strollers past mowed lawns and flowering trees.
“The market for Detroit homes is turning around,” says Tom Ridgeway, programming manager of the Grandmont Rosedale Communities Neighborhood Open House. “Appraisal numbers are rising to the highest point since the crash of 2008 and banks are willing to loan money.”
During the open house representatives from PNC bank, First Merit, Bank of America and Talmer had tables at the Rosedale Community House to answer questions from potential buyers. Residents were on hand to explain why their community is one of the most active, enjoyable places for people to live. Visitors also learned a 15-year tax abatement is available to new buyers.
“People wait in line to put bids on some of these homes,” Ridgeway says. “Mayor Duggan has been a great friend of our organization. He is working out financing so people can buy a fixer-upper and finance their repairs along with the auction price.”
And the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp. has been a great friend to the Detroit. Created 26 years ago, the nonprofit organization has one mission … preserve and improve the Grandmont Rosedale Neighborhood. It looks for grants and donation as well as volunteers to help accomplish that goal.
“The house next to me was horrible,” Ridgeway says. “It was a nest for trouble. The police cars and fire trucks rode up regularly. The family left the house a wreck. My wife and I watched the GRDC come in and renovate the house 25 years ago. Three families came and went, each time selling the house at a higher price. Each took good care of the property. I grew up in the neighborhood and decided it was time to get involved.”
Since it was created, the GRDC has rehabbed 100 homes. Efforts moved faster in the last five years with the help of funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Kresge Foundation.
The next priority is getting legislators in Lansing to approve special assessment districts. The GRDC has big plans for making its streets more inviting. It seeks funds to remove snow, take down dead trees, plant flowers on the boulevards and provide 24-hour security.
The welcome mat may be rolled out once a year to attract new buyers, but Grandmont Rosedale’s residents work every day to make the neighborhood better. For information contact (313) 387-4732 ext. 100 or (313) 909-0760.
– This blog originally appeared in a new publication, Neighborhood News Hub. Detroit Unspun is a partner in that venture.