A reader sends me this story of a couple who thought they would buy a cheap roomy house and renovate it, plug into Detroit’s urban vibe, et cetera, et cetera.
Many residents of high-cost areas entertain the dream, at least occasionally: Give up the rent or mortgage grind, liquidate assets and start over someplace cheaper, perhaps one that could use a few spirited new residents.
Amy Haimerl and her husband, Karl Kaebnick, fell hard for Detroit and thought they could make their own dream of financial freedom come true when they moved here in 2013. But this is what happened: They put more than $400,000 (including all of their retirement savings) into a 3,000-square-foot, 102-year-old home in the city’s West Village neighborhood that was most recently appraised at just $300,000.
I wish them well, but, from here, most of the talk-talk-talk about Detroit’s recovery has the sound of empty hype.