Friday, January 28, 2011

diversion for a snowy day

Let's play Where in the World! In this case, where in the world are the foreclosures? It will give you a great visual of what's going on in the housing market right now where you live. For a really accurate historical assessment, you'd need to be able to 'dial back' five or six years and do the same search, but by all measures, this is shocking enough.

Go to Google Maps. Type in a state, city or zip code. On the right side of the window, you'll see icons for the search menu. Scroll down and select 'Real Estate', then 'Foreclosures'. Deselect 'For Sale'.

For example, here's a screenshot of the current foreclosures in Kansas City, MO. Each one of those dots represents a lost dream for someone.

Then there's Detroit, one of the hardest-hit cities in the country. 

I'm finding it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that there are houses in Detroit that you can buy for eight dollars

I've read that a lot of artists from all over the country are moving in to homestead. That's intriguing to me, as an artist looking for community, but it will take thousands of people to build a safe place out of the some of those areas. The concern for me is the bottom-feeding investors swooping in and buying hundreds of these to rent out and recreate whole neighborhoods of absentee-landlord slums.

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