Yesterday evening, Curbed Detroit founding editor Sarah F. Cox finally managed to purchase a Detroit home after only 13 months of blogging about how great Detroit homes are. What took so long you may ask? Everything. Cox found the (already gutted) home listed while researching properties for this blog last November and placed an offer after touring the building. Eleven months to close? Yep. That happened. Said her partner in the deal, Mark R. Beard, "if this had taken any longer, I'd be dead."
The home, completed in 1879, was one of five homes built by Thomas Beck. In the mid-twenties the building was used as a church and then became an art school in 1934. After a period of vacancy, it became a single-family residence again and then several apartment units. Currently, the second and third floors are stripped down to the studs. The previous buyer intended to renovate the home, but was unable to complete the process after putting a lot of effort into demo. Upon touring the property she now owns for the first time, Cox said, "this place is a dump. I am not showering here."
The 3,200 square foot home will be renovated into apartments and hopefully ready for move-in in 2013. Zac Cruse has been hired as the general contractor and David Knapp (a resident of Midtown on Alexandrine Street) has been hired as the project architect. Real estate agent Ryan Cooley of O'Conner deserves much credit for keeping the deal on track and for being extremely patient and professional with the hundreds of emails it took to complete this purchase. Cox will be living nearby on Second Ave while the project is under construction.
The home was purchased for $115,000 cash, and will require an extensive loan to renovate. The team hopes to get started in the next few months. While Cox has certainly had moments of jealousy watching others buy move-in ready condos and homes over the last few months, she feels that the fixer-upper route has more to do with the original reasons she moved to Detroit. "I lived in that famous $100 house for four weeks the first time I came here. It was fire-burned and I got to hang out while the owners turned it into something pretty great. There's something about seeing real estate totally transformed that feels essential to my experience of the city" she said to herself before vowing never to conduct another awkward self-interview again.
· 3890 Second Ave [Trulia]