Tuesday, May 28, 2019

National Hamburger Day

Today is National Hamburger Day. Today is a day set aside to celebrate one of the most American of all foods and one of the most popular food items on the planet - the hamburger.

The hamburger is both a historic piece of Americana and an economic powerhouse. The History Channel reviewed the centuries-old history of the hamburger on a bun on their website. As for the financial side of the pattie, I would simply mention that nearly 50 billion hamburgers are served in the United States every year, according to an article published in 2012 by PBS.

In Michigan alone, there are 2,783 restaurants that serve primarily hamburgers. Those eateries have almost $2.6 billion in annual sales, according to a survey of American businesses that was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. All of this translates into roughly $155 million in sales tax revenue for the State of Michigan.

Locally, there are several places that serve a top-notched hamburger in the Warrendale neighborhood. Chilli's (5707 Southfield Rd.), Red Robin (18505 Ford Rd.), and Wendy's (18430 Ford Rd.) probably serve the most. The Ford Road Patio (18490 Ford Rd.) is a gem that gets forgotten about all too often. Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) and Nick's Detroit (16807 W.Warren Ave.) are both sentimental favorites.

Happy Hamburger Day, everyone!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day 2019


American cemetery in Normandy, France. - Creative Commons photo by RGY23/Pixabay

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Good bye, Warrendale. I'm going to Mars.

Frank Nemecek's boarding pass for traveling to Mars - Image by NASA
I love the Warrendale neighborhood. I love Detroit and the entire state of Michigan. In fact, I love this entire planet with the possible exception of Ohio.

But no matter how much I love this place, it's time for me to leave.

I got my boarding pass from NASA. I'm going to Mars.

I won't leave until July of next year. This means that there's plenty of time for me to wrap up my affairs in Detroit before moving on.

I got my boarding pass from NASA. I'm going to Mars.

Or at least my name is going to Mars. It'll be etched into one of the microchips aboard the rover that will go to Mars in July of next year. That's basically the same thing, right?

Anyway, if any of my readers would like to join me on this voyage to the Red Planet, you can get your boarding pass from NASA by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Property values up in Warrendale, according to the Detroit News

Warrendale neighborhood at Christmas - Photo by Frank Nemecek
A report in the Detroit News this morning showed that while crime is still in an issue, the Warrendale neighborhood is on a rebound. Their full article is available online here. In my opinion, there are two key takeaways from this story.

While crime in the Warrendale neighborhood is still higher than in the suburbs of Detroit, it is down in almost every category from where it was a few years ago. I would add that this improvement in public safety has been a fairly consistent one and that there is nothing to suggest that it won't continue to improve.

It's also worth emphasizing that property values in the Warrendale neighborhood have increased by an average of 38% per year over the past five years. This is according to city officials in Detroit who compared MLS data from 2014 with the present day.

Both of these things combine to indicate that the Warrendale neighborhood continues to be an outstanding place to live, work, and invest. Although, for the benefit of any real estate investors who find this page, I remind everyone of what I mentioned about real estate investing in Detroit.

Detroit is a great place for real estate investors. It is, however, a terrible place for real estate speculators. (Please see my post here for more details.)

Monday, May 20, 2019

Friends of Rouge Park to meet tomorrow

Rouge Park sign - Photo by Frank Nemecek

The non-profit advocacy group the Friends of Rouge Park will have their next general meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, May 21. This meeting will start at 7:00 pm and is expected to last approximately one hour.

The group will meet in the Westside Christian Academy (9540 Bramell St.). This is near West Chicago Rd. and Outer Drive.

Everyone who is interested in the future of the largest park in Detroit is welcome to attend this meeting.

Open letter to Detroit real estate investors

Detroit homes under construction - Photo by Frank Nemecek

Normally on Mondays, I would publish a Tip of the Week that offers my readers some helpful advice regarding their home, money, or life. Today, however, I want to pass along some friendly advice to those who wish to invest in real estate in Warrendale or elsewhere in Detroit.

A friend of mine works with investors on a professional basis quite frequently. She noticed a mistake that was frequently made over and over by would be real estate developers - especially in the Detroit market. With her permission, I am including her comments below with only minimal editing on my part.

Her comments originally appeared on her personal Facebook page. I am publishing them below in italics.

Dear Detroit real estate investors:

Please, please, please read and ingest this information.

Buying a house that is in decent condition, sitting on it, and waiting for it to inflate in value does not work as well as buying it- putting in new electrical, plumbing- and getting it back on the market.

I promise you...

This is especially true if you’re not here helping the neighborhood you bought in to stabilize. You’re not increasing your value as much as you are paying taxes on a property that will be worth nothing after it’s firebombed or the roof collapses.

Investing is more than buying and sitting on a property. Invest your energy and expertise along with your money.

Thank you!

With this said, I will say that I have shown her thoughts to several people who have made a good living investing in Detroit's real estate market. Every single one of them agreed with this sentiment. Simply holding onto a piece of property isn't going to make its value climb. The financial gains come from getting the property back on the market as a rental or for sale.

With that said, I will simply add that my normal Tip of the Week will return next week.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Detroit to use speed humps to deter speeders

Speed humps on a street in Detroit - City of Detroit photo
One of the most frequent complaints that I hear is about cars traveling through residential streets in Warrendale at a high rate of speed. Those speeding on residential streets cause collisions and endanger residents, especially young children.

One way to solve this is by installing speed humps to calm the traffic. The Department of Public Work has begun installing these speed humps in Detroit's neighborhoods. Priority is given to locations that are near an active school. Residents who would like to have one installed on their street to deter speeding cars can request to have one installed.

More details about this traffic calming program are available on the City of Detroit's website. The application that you will need to complete is online here.

Please share this with any residents who might be interested.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Volunteers needed for Rouge Park clean up this Saturday

Volunteers are needed to clean up Rouge Park this Saturday - File photo
Rouge Park Appreciation Day, which is the largest local park clean up of the year, will happen this Saturday, May 18. This volunteer event is organized by the nonprofit Friends of Rouge Park as well as each of the other groups who utilize the park on a regular basis.

During this daylong event, volunteers will undertake multiple projects to maintain the largest park in Detroit and a valuable resource for the Warrendale neighborhood. This will include invasive species removal, picking up trash, planting, painting, and more.

All volunteers are appreciated, even if you are only able to help out for an hour or two. Anyone with questions about this event is asked to email RougePark@gmail.com. Volunteers can sign up to help by filling out this Google Form here.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone in advance who is able to help out at this event. Your efforts truly make a huge difference in the Warrendale neighborhood as well as surrounding parts of Detroit.