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Condos and Community Under $100 K: Consider Chateaufort

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This post was authored by Alexis Zimberg.

It can be hard to be known as "that co-op community next to the one that Mies Van Der Rohe built." Detroit's Chateaufort Place Co-ops are in Lafayette Park just like the Mies townhomes, but residents lack the luxury of getting to name-drop a famous architect. But don't count them out! With Mies townhomes now selling for more than $100 K (like that one that was only listed for five days) it's time to consider the up-and-coming-ness of Chateaufort.

The diverse CF co-op community was established in 1962 and many residents settled in for the long term which, in recent years, may have had you thinking the place resembles a retirement community. But now that some of the original, more elderly tenants are moving out, the place is attracting a youthful crowd of buyers that bring fresh facelifts to the somewhat outdated units. Just ask the self-defined Ladies of Lafayette Park who hold rotating, monthly potlucks where they can drink martinis and swoon over one another's renovations.

CF units sell at lower prices than the Mies units. We were intrigued with Chateaufort Place Co-op's Unit #1504 back in January when the three bedroom, two bathroom condo was listed at $95,900. When we heard that the 1500 square foot unit price-dropped to $78,000, we had to check it out for ourselves. The home overlooks the park with its walking paths, city views (a current resident told us that one can comfortably enjoy the Friday night Comerica fireworks from home), playground, and abundance of greenery.

Steps from Eastern Market and the Dequindre Cut, each Chateaufort Place unit comes with a slew of amenities: floor-to-ceiling windows, a full basement, air conditioning, an enclosed back patio, and parking for residents and guests. The $769 monthly association fee might sound steep but therein lies the difference between simply buying a house and buying a house in a cooperative community. The fee includes: Guardian Alarm, a night-time security guard, maintenance to any unit's exterior (including windows, fences, street lights), landscaping services, sprinkler system, water costs, annual community get-togethers, and all property taxes.

A few weeks ago another unit hit the market via O'Conner Realty. Unit #1703 on Orleans Street is a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 1,500 square foot space listed at $89,900. This was pretty exciting news for resident Katy Locker who move in June of last year after six years in Ferndale and is itching for another young neighbor to whom she can show off her just-refinished patio (top). You might think of her as the spokesperson for young Lafayette Park, but she assures us that she is not alone. She reports that the chair of the CF cooperative board moved in just three years ago. Oh, and speaking of architect name-dropping, Katy's unit was redesigned by Patrick Thompson, who we've gushed over before as the guy behind this midtown unit and the Skidmore office renovation.

· 1504 Chateaufort Place [Trulia]
· Chateaufort Coop Lists for Under 100 K [Curbed Detroit]
· 1703 Orleans Street [Realtor.com]