Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Attention Real Estate Investors: NoMi Neighborhood Associations Will Put Your (Expletive) Head On A Pole...

Stock Photo By John Hoff

I guess I've been subscribed to some sort of real estate auction mailing list, because I get junk mail notices every so often advising me of auctions. Yesterday, a little canary-colored card told me about an auction taking place June 20th, 2009 through "Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction."

Oh, gee, it's "sell absolute" and there is talk of "nominal opening bids" that start at $1,000. And--surprise, surprise, NOT--a few of the addresses listed are in North Minneapolis. Sounds like a slumlord's dream date with destiny!

OK, I guess what I need to do, here, is first list the addresses (so they will turn up in search engines when would-be investors HOPEFULLY research the properties) and, secondly, say how our North Minneapolis neighborhood associations treat slumlords which hit our radar.

Then there is a third thing...

First, here's the list:

2415 Bryant Ave. N.
2023 Queen Ave. N.
2939 Newton Ave. N.
1339 Upton Ave. N.
1510 44th Ave. N.
3927 2nd Ave. N.

Now, then, in regard to how we treat slumlords who hit our radar--including scum who try to act like they are creating an "owner occupied" but, in fact, they're just playing games and intending to create a run down, slummy rental--I would suggest using the internal search engine for this blog and plugging in terms like "slumlord" and "head" and "pole." I'll let history speak for itself in a bloody, graphic way, but here's the ultimate message: DO NOT THINK YOU CAN COME TO NORTH MINNEAPOLIS, BUY UP PROPERTY CHEAP, CREATE SLUMMY RENTALS, AND GET AWAY WITH IT. Neighbors are pissed off and we are ORGANIZED and we have the ear of public officials.

We will get your name. We will get lists of your properties. History shows that juicy stuff will end up on the internet, kicked this-a-way by anonymous sources. And, oh, gee, there is history of neighborhood activists PICKETING YOUR HOUSE, wherever it might be, some swanky suburb.

On the other hand, real and true "owner occupieds" owned by decent people who aren't involved in criminal behavior will be welcomed with open arms and maybe even (what's the word?) SLACK.

It's our neighborhood, and we're not angling for awards in moral consistency. We're just trying to live in a safe, decent environment. Owner occupied housing usually contributes to a better quality of life. (Not always, lord knows) Slumlords, on the other hand, tend to tear down our environment. It becomes pretty easy to pick a side. Around here, a landlord is a slumlord until proven otherwise, and sometimes even then severe backsliding takes place.

I do not SPEAK on behalf of any neighborhood association when I say this stuff. No, rather, I am just saying what I have frequently seen, spitting out my observations in an oh-so-truthful and frank way. See, me being a blogger whose blogging is in the employment of nobody (though I am the grateful recipient of small, infrequent donations) I can say this stuff. And this is stuff "investors" need to hear before jumping in with both feet. So, would-be investors, take this blog post and print it out for your "due diligence" file, because YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

STAY THE (EXPLETIVE) OUT OF NoMi. Take your scummy real estate wheeling and dealing elsewhere. Here we take slumlords and put their head on a pole.

Oh, yes, the third thing...

Residents of NoMi committed to changing this place for the better need to buy up and get control of as much property as possible. Dig deep in your bank account. Take out a loan. Sell your extra vehicle. GET CONTROL OF REAL ESTATE AROUND YOU FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR SAFETY AND SECURITY.

No, you can't buy up EVERYTHING. But you can buy something nearby, something where new slummy neighbors would impact your quality of life, but here and now there is an opportunity to prevent that with a little decisive action. The forefathers of this nation pledged their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor." Idealistic NoMi residents could, at the very least, scrape up a grand or two!


Anonymous said...

Good points, John. I have to disagree though about buying up properties to keep them out of the hands of slumlords. Now you previously suggested that I should have bought 2515 and 2519. I'd have loved too, but for a start I'd have needed to buy both to keep our DIY baby backhoe operator off my block. 2515 is probably too far gone and would have to be demolished, adding another $20,000 to the tab. 2519 is a good rehab candidate, but Minneapolis would give me only three months to bring it up to code. I can't afford to bring in contractors to do that, the only way I can afford to do the rehab would be DIY, and that'd take me a year or so. Then add on Minneapolis' $6000 a year "boarded building" fee for 2009 and 2010. By the time we've added in all the Minneapolis' created charges the numbers don't work and I'd run out of money before I could finish the rehab.

So if the city dropped the "boarded building" charges, gave us enough time to do rehab, and helped with the cost of demolishing unrehabable buildings we could rehab these buildings. But for now, buying a foreclosed home in NOMI is inviting the city to clean out your savings account.


Anonymous said...

Any update(s) on the "Baby Backhoe" houses or it's tenacious owner?

Anonymous said...

Is it an option that the city could waive that fee and help with demolition costs?

Anonymous said...

Since my post yesterday I received word that one of our neighborhood's best landlords has lost his building to foreclosure. This guy did everything right- put a fortune into rehabbing the building, screens tenants, and he promptly evicts any tenants involved in drug dealing or other crime. He's involved in the neighborhood organization and lives right here in the neighborhood. He volunteers a lot of time on neighborhood projects and has helped maintain the homes of elders on fixed income gratis.

In short, this guy did everything right. He was a model Minneapolis landlord. Minneapolis rewarded him with sky high taxes and slow police response times- he was beaten by gangbangers he refused to cower to. Having taken on a mountain of debt to rehab his building, Minneapolis hit him with taxes so high that the rent from one unit in his 5 plex goes entirely to pay taxes. And thanks to Minneapolis well deserved reputation for crime, he had difficulty finding enough good tenants to keep the building half full. It ain't rocket science that you can't service the debt from rehabbing a 5 plex when it's half full and the rent from one unit and then some goes just to pay the taxes.

John, you and others in the NoMi movement argue that the Northside has reached a "tipping point" and it's safe to invest here. Granted, most of our criminals have been evicted by foreclosure and are busy regrouping in the suburbs and the streets are halfway safe again. But we've seen these lulls in crime before- Clinton's 2nd term comes to mind, when high employment brought in good citizens and the gangbangers were forced out. True, property values have dropped to the point where housing is even cheaper on the Northside than it is in North Dakota. But unlike North Dakota and most sensible places, as soon as you become "owner of record" of a Minneaplis property the city of Minneapolis will make your life miserable. That's a deal breaker for me, and given how few Northside properties we're seeing rescued by home owners and decent landlords, it's a deal breaker for almost every potential buyer.