Detroit’s housing market is ridiculously cheap and promising.
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Starting today, nearly 15,000 Detroit properties will go up for auction with a minimum $500 bid.
But sorting through nearly 15,000 Detroit properties is impossible for any prospective homeowner or well-intentioned investor.
Enter Loveland Technologies, a Detroit-grown software start-up that has launched a free mobile app that allows users to upload photos and information about every property in Detroit. Called “Blexting” – a combination of blight and texting – it’s simple, user friendly and incredibly useful.
And best of all, it enables anyone with a cell phone to play a role in revitalizing Detroit’s neighborhoods.
“Many speak of the tens of thousands of structures that sit vacant and blighted across Detroit, yet there is limited understanding of where these structures are, who owns them, and what their condition is,” Loveland said in a press release. “With community action and tools like Blexting, this can change.”
In a city where homes and buildings can be occupied and intact one day and abandoned and gutted the next, well-intentioned investors and prospective homeowners are often discouraged from buying property because of the lack of up-to-date information. For those relying on Google Maps, the images are more than two years old – an eternity when fires and scrapping are rampant.
The information also will be shared with community groups, government agencies, contractors, philanthropists and others interested in Detroit’s future.
Loveland Technologies already got the ball rolling with the successful launch of Why Don’t We Own This?, an online mapping tool that provides a host of information about each Detroit property, from annual taxes to the property owner.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.