Neighborhood turnaround

7 Replies

Is it possible to get a neighborhood to turnaround? I have two four unit properties in a low income area that is extremely close to a better area. My fourplexes are in the vicinity of a high school that doesn't have a good reputation. I was thinking of getting involved in the community, finding out if there was anyway to better the neighborhood. It seems like it could have potential. Anyone ever had any experience with turning a neighborhood around? Am I just wishful thinking?

Its possible , but not probable .  Unless the good area is highly desired and starts pushing in to the lower income area . But the that lower income area could also expand into the nicer area . Getting involved in the community can help , but thats a uphill battle.  

Neighborhoods are people not houses . people are hard to change 

@Wendy Diaz good question but be careful who you listen to. Many love to celebrate their failure or the failures of others.

I've written extensively on the topic over the years here on BP. My revitalizations were called nice and dismissed as gullible and non-profit-ish.

However no one who come by my rentals today will say such things. I'm called lucky. My area has a high demand and my rents are higher than the "good area" of town.

There are too many article to list, but a good start is to search "8 Habits of Highly Effective Inner City Landlords" here on BP.

I've also written a book on the topic to save you heartache and quicken your neighborhood's turnaround. Don't start from scratch.

I've witnessed modest improvement where the people get involved and make it happen.  They are able to get greenspaces and make them a wonderful enviorment for their families to gather and enjoy.  They organized a neighborhood watch themselves.  It may be difficult to do but can be done. They actually took back their area and make it a nice place.  When I reluctantly purchased there (at my spouses request) I was skeptical.  There were burned out boarded up homes and over grown lots.  These have since been torn down and parks with garden spaces installed. If you can find some locals and help them understand the resources they have available you could help them make a difference!  It's quite impressive to see when it happens.

there is plenty of examples of neighborhoods turning around based on the demand for affordable housing and the efforts of early movers like yourself, Harlem in New York City Park Slope Brooklyn,etc , fremont street Las Vegas  its led by the vision of investors like yourself  good luck

Neighborhoods turn around all the time.  But I think it is usually the result of big economic forces, rather than something that was intentionally done.

That is not always the case, but I do think in your case that it probably has mostly to do with the nature of the good area nearby that you mention.  If real estate in that area is going up, and the economy around there is improving, then it is likely to spread.

It sounds funny, but the best leading indicator that I have seen for s neighborhood about to improve is the presence of artists and other young, trendy people.  For some reason they tend to find the up and coming areas first.

Originally posted by @Max Galka :

Neighborhoods turn around all the time.  But I think it is usually the result of big economic forces, rather than something that was intentionally done.

That is not always the case, but I do think in your case that it probably has mostly to do with the nature of the good area nearby that you mention.  If real estate in that area is going up, and the economy around there is improving, then it is likely to spread.

It sounds funny, but the best leading indicator that I have seen for s neighborhood about to improve is the presence of artists and other young, trendy people.  For some reason they tend to find the up and coming areas first.

I agree it tends to be large trends that revitalize an area.  If the economy in the area is improving chances are that the desirable areas will spread.  

Is there something that clearly divides the nice area and the low-income area?  If you have a gated community of mansions, the desirably is less likely to spread to run-down apartments even if they are located nearby.  School boundaries can also significantly influence property values and desirability.

I think the young trendy people are a good indicator since they are looking for a relatively cheap place to live but also looking for an area that has more than that going for it.

Wendy, Al Williamson's book is great for exploring the issues and brainstorming tangible things you can do.  My neighborhood was making great strides, then stalled out with community group infighting.  I still use my resources and influence to help them get grant money and keep moving forward.  First, I'd research to see if anyone else is working on revitalizing the areas; community groups, grants, the city.  I'd also research what the options are to choice into a school with a better track record, at least for the short term, as a possible marketing point to attract a stronger tenant.