Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Place To Call Home

Take a look at the beautiful house above. It is called a craftsman bungalow. These houses can be found all around historic downtown Atlanta neighborhoods and around parks. Most of the craftsman bungalows in Atlanta were built in the early 20th century. Back in the day you could purchase one of these homes from the Sears catalog. They typically have 2-5 bedrooms and 1-2 bathrooms. They typically have hardwood floors, brick fireplaces and very unique craftmanship inside and out...

For as long as I can remember I've wanted a craftsman bungalow. Now that I'm in a position to do so I'm definitely looking to purchase one of these beautiful homes.

I can already see myself filling my home with beautiful original African American art and sculptures. I can already imagine the art deco furniture I will purchase to fill the home. I can already imagine the grand black piano I plan to purchase for my living room. I can already imagine the tall maple wood bookshelves I will have built in my study. I can already imagine the large oak wood master bedroom set I will purchase for my bedroom. I can imagine the beautiful landscaped front yard. I can imagine my vegetable garden full of okra, green union, tomatoes, and  bell peppers in the backyard.  Everything is already mapped out in my head.

I've been doing my research...

The westside of Atlanta is filled with houses like the one pictured above. These houses are all around Spelman, Morehouse, Morris Brown and Clark in the area known as the west end. I had to tell myself to stop looking at the area as the ghetto and start looking at the diamonds sitting in the rough. I had to force myself to stop looking at the forest and focus on the trees. Once I did, I was quite startled.

The west end has potential. White folks recognize it, which is why they are moving back to the city. They are renovating the boarded up bungalows that black people either abandoned or lost to the bank. Developers are going into the west end and building apartments and upscale condos. Elderly black people, who have lived in the area for the last forty or fifty years, are either being driven out due to rising property taxes, higher cost of living (as market value increases in the community so too does the cost of living), crime or they are selling their property to developers for a good price. In short, the area is SLOWLY becoming gentrified. 

The bungalows in the west end are rundown and many are boarded up because the black people who still live in the area let their homes and community go to shit. There is no homeowner association in the area. Most of the people have lived in their homes for decades, and the only renovations they've ever done is throw some bars on the windows and doors. The thought of city ordinances hasn't even crossed their minds because everyone's house is equally as tore up and run down as their own. Trash litters their yards, area schools and even the front yard of the local public library. The crime rate in the area is probably one of the worse in Atlanta. Still white hippsters and developers are coming in and turning houses like this...

 into this...

Yes, this is the same house. Can you believe it???

White people are going in and scooping up homes like the one above for $5-30k and renovating them. They either live in them or they flip the houses for a profit. If they can do it why the hell can't I? I want to purchase this home or one similar to it...

The house is currently selling for $29k. However, the real estate agent is entertaining offers. I bet I can get him to accept 10k. I will have to renovate the house from top to bottom, which will probably cost somewhere between 25-40K. I still consider this a helluva deal because I'm getting a nice home for 50k in the heart of Atlanta. This is beneficial because if the city ever makes good on the idea to revamp the beltline this home (which sits on the beltline) will probably triple in value. So, my little 50k home will probably be worth 150k in 15 years. I can sell it for a profit.

So, what's stopping me from making this happen?

One word: Niggas!

The ghetto is still the ghetto.

Yes, the area is changing, but it's far from changed. Niggas are still robbing, killing, stealing, and raping. I am a single woman who lives alone. While I would love to buy a bungalow, and renovate it, I can honestly say I don't want to live in a community full of poor, unemployed, disillusioned, uneducated, morally bankrupted black men. That would be like me sticking my foot into a hornet's nest. If shit ever pops off and niggas start rioting and looting I will be right in the thick of it.

I don't even know how some of these white people are doing it. But then again, niggas will rob another black person before they will even think about fucking with someone white. They know the whites here in Georgia don't play that shit. They will put niggas under the jail! Maybe the influx of whites will prompt APD to make more patrols in the area. God knows they don't give a damn about the law-abiding blacks in the area.

Don't judge me for keeping it one hundred.

I would hate to renovate a beautiful home just to be robbed at gunpoint the day after moving into my new home.

So, until the niggas, who make the area dangerous are gone I don't think I'm going anywhere near the area.
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