The next time someone on the street asks you for a dollar for a refreshing adult beverage, humbly suggest they use the provided funds to purchase a home in another state instead.
For less than what it costs to buy a cup of coffee, there’s 10,000 or so abandoned homes that may soon be available in Gary, Indiana, a city that despite losing more than half of its population retains a certain zombie apocalyptic charm.
The mayor of the Michael Jackson’s home town, Karen Freeman-Wilson says the $1 home program works. She should know, she bought her first home for $1 more than 20 years ago and just look at her now.
Freeman-Wilson wants to sell 50 homes a year, but successful home buyers have to jump through a few annoying hoops.
One onerous requirement is that all $1 home purchasers have a verifiable income of at least $35,250. It seems to me that a person making that kind of coin will be looking at the $500 houses in Detroit. Unlike Gary, Detroit has a really good hockey team, can file bankruptcy, and is the home of RoboCop.
Those who wish to live in Gary must also “bring the property up to code” in six months. This open-ended requirement pretty much puts you at the mercy of a bunch of bureaucrats that can’t even run a successful city.
Taxes? Well sure, there’s always the chance a place teetering on the brink of ruin will want you to pay more.
And, there’s always the neighbors. With that many empty houses, it seems arson has become Gary’s hobby of choice. Prospective homeowners should stock up on insurance, fire extinguishers and flame retardant pajamas.
Still, if you’re living on a fixed income and like a challenge, Gary could be quite the retirement adventure.
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