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Sometimes it’s tough to see the good in Michigan, especially when there appears to be no light at the end of the economic tunnel. Or when company after company picks up and moves elsewhere. Or when the state’s largest city’s mayor is being indicted for perjury and a slew of other offenses.
Moreover, it’s hard for us here at BTL to focus in our Spring Home Guide on the upside of being a homeowner or renter in an area filled with vacant buildings and foreclosed homes. But, somehow, we did it.
Sure, we could present fact upon fact that paints a picture of despair, and there would undoubtedly be plenty of locals whose stories would back it up. But then there are people like Ann Perrault and Jackie Victor of Avalon International Breads, who live, work and play in the city of Detroit. Or Brad Kenoyer and Jordan Medeiros, who bought and renovated their home in Detroit’s historic Indian Village, investing time and money to beautify a celebrated part of the city.
The point is, for every naysayer who puts Michigan or Detroit down and is eager to get out, there is someone who couldn’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And what’s more is that there is no better time than now to purchase a home in Michigan. For anyone who is planning to stick around for at least a few years, buying a house could not be easier or cheaper. The LGBT community could stand to profit from this immensely, creating rich, pride-filled, accepting neighborhoods where entire blocks of houses are for sale.
And for diehard city dwellers and those who enjoy the nightlife, downtown Detroit’s lofts and condominiums are cheap and provide tax and interest rate benefits. Some, like author and urban studies theorist Richard Florida, believe that a gay community in a city like Detroit could be just what it needs to become vibrant and prosperous again. The creativity of a tightly-knit LGBT community could breathe life back into the tired Motor City, just as it has in areas like Royal Oak and Ferndale.
This isn’t realtor talk; this is community talk, and the LGBT community is alive and well in Michigan, no matter what the state of the economy is.
It may take a while for Michigan to make a comeback, but have faith. There are still plenty of things to appreciate in our state.
Feeling pessimistic? Just think about eating cherry pies, lounging by numerous lakes and biking around Mackinaw Island. Remember going cross-country skiing, ice fishing and skating. Visit the Henry Ford Museum. Drive up north in October. Go Christmas shopping and Frankenmuth and spring wardrobe shopping at Somerset. Let long winters help you appreciate summer and tough times make you stronger. Enjoy Motor City Pride and West Michigan Pride. But whatever you do, don’t give up on Michigan. There’s still so much here to love – and for BTL and so many other people and businesses, it’s where we call home.