Archive for January, 2013

Abandoned Racine

Posted in Tales of the 262 on January 4, 2013 by treasuresofthe262

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The affordability of homes in the central city of Racine drew many people into Racine’s core neighborhoods. Even people who made little money were able to afford to buy homes for under $30,000. Prices often ranged from $5,000 to $30,000, and often the quality of the homes for the price was exceptional. Even while the city was experiencing long-term economic decline, the low cost of living gave even the poorest of residents hope that, one day, they could, too, be homeowners.

During the economic crisis of 2008, the value of homes continued to fall, allowing many more people who were previously unable to afford homes to buy. Homes became available on the market for under $5,000 and the median price dropped from $15,000-$25,000 to $10,000-$15,000. People were eager to buy and escape the challenges of renting, as slumlords from Chicago and Northern Illinois began buying up every rental complex in town, only to leave them to sit and deteriorate.

As time went on and more people fell victim to the economic crisis, people lost their only sources of income and were unable to pay their mortgages. The amount of foreclosures went through the roof and soon there was at least one available property on every block. Boarded up and stripped of their dignity, they were being sold off for next-to-nothing. The first person to show  up with cash ultimately would become the new owner, and life as we knew it in innercity Racine would change forever.

Slumlords from larger cities bought up entire sections of the city and began renting them out for twice the price. Homes and apartment complexes were no longer maintained up to the same standard. But the value of homes continued to fall, even in the nicer areas of the city.

Today, $9,000 can buy you a nice historic property in relatively decent condition. But with a boarded up home (or two or three) on every block, you never know just how low the prices may fall in another year or two.

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