I’ve decided that, for now, I am going to keep my neighborhood nameless.  It is in Richmond, Virginia and would qualify as a transitional neighborhood.  But, the tips and wild stories that are to follow, while taken from my hood, are applicable to many in similar situations.  Since buying a home here, my neighborhood has provided a very entertaining, and sometimes frustrating, year.  I could write a book on this year alone, but I decided a living blog would probably capture the moments better.  

Let me clear the air on the greater societal implications of gentrification: I am very studied on the matter.  I know there are pros and cons to gentrification, and that there are very wrong ways to go about gentrifying a neighborhood.  Relatively, those ways are only wrong if one is inclined to feel the burdens of innocent people who are forced out of an area during a transition.  While there are those who feel that “a few eggs need to be broken to make an omelet,”  I am not one of those people.

In closing, I hope my blog is informative and entertaining, especially for those who get to the point of “why the hell did I move here?”  We all have those nights.  About five of my neighbors had that moment last night after random gunfire broke out within a block of our house.  I hope that there continues to be fewer of those nights, and more of the days when we see the positive change that we are helping to create.


3 responses to “inspiration

  1. I have lived in nieghborhood that has been changing for number of years. The only eggs that I have seen broken during gentrification here has been the people that have been causing issues in the community.

    There have been some people of color that had to sell their homes due to varity of reasons: moving to nursing home, estate settlement and just not being able to keep with maintence due to the cost of older home. These people actually benefited from gentrification cause if was not for gentrification then they woul have had to sell these home for alot less money.

  2. Good point, Mark. For every newcomer “gentrifying” a transitional neighborhood, there is a former property owner who, for whatever personal reason, decided to sell. And if you sell, you naturally want to sell for as much as you can. Real estate markets rise and fall, and all things considered, a moderately rising market causes fewer problems for neighborhood residents than a falling one, as recent events illustrate.

    The bottom line is, you can only sustain a neighborhood in the long run if the people owning the houses have the resources to maintain them. People can move, but houses can’t easily, so the only sustainable option for the neighborhood is to attract owners with enough resources to maintain the houses. Fortunately, there are many older neighborhoods with a variety of housing sizes and types that should be able to accommodate a mix of income levels.

  3. I’m so happy I stumbled upon this blog. I just read through all your posts and they’ve made me both excited and nervous about my house hunt. I’m currently looking for houses in the same neighborhood and this has opened my eyes quite a bit to both the good and the bad. I’m definitely going to keep a close watch on your future posts. I might have to come back and ask some questions, too…I have a million.

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