Will Maple Heights come back?
Posted in the Garfield Heights Forum
#1 Dec 19, 2011
I noticed things seem to be changing. Over the last few years, the housing prices have gone down and there have been a lot of foreclosures. That means a lot of riff raff was kicked out of the city. The point-of-sale inspections make it too much of a hassle for trash to move here. Combine the point-of-sale inspections with rental inspections and this is not a good place for slumlords. All this means less trash. The irony is these same things trap some upstanding residents here too.
I don't think the change will happen overnight. But it is possible. I noticed a trend around the country where neighborhoods that used to have problems were saved by this housing mess. The riff raff left and slowly more worthy people started moving in.
#2 Dec 19, 2011
Maple Heights has not had one murder in 2011. Prior to that, we averaged three murders per year.
About two years ago, I took out an equity loan to replace a very old furnace. In that process, the bank insisted on an appraisal which of course, I had to pay for.
The appraiser valued my rental property at $99,000 which is about what I think it's worth. It is pretty much in line with what the county valued my property when it comes to taxation.
With the banks catching up on foreclosures, without a doubt, it sent the lowlifes back to Cleveland. This is a big help, but we still have a long way to go.
Hassling landlords had an opposite affect. Where I live, landlords discontinued renting their property which means less tax paying citizens in the city. It also lowered rental property value since investors in property would rather put their money where they are likely to have less resistance and problems from the city.
#3 Dec 19, 2011
Houses are going for $12,000 in the city. Let's not forget its appraisals that helped cause this housing crisis. Banks are trying to get things booming again. All of a sudden a home that was just sold for $15,000 is worth $60,000 because someone did $5,000 worth of repairs? Where have we seen that happen before? But in this case it may help.
Seems to me people are locked in. Which is good if they are responsible. How is my mother going to get what her house is appraised for when people can by houses for 1/3 the price on the same street?
Hassling landlords(you are rare) is having great results. The city is keeping slumlords out. Slum lords that would rent to trash for a quick buck. The strict requirements that lenders have keep trash from buying. It's true houses have now sat empty for years, but it is better than slum lords buying them and renting to trash.
Investors are steering away it seems. They tried to capitalize on the market and it didn't work. This seems like one thing Maple Heights got right. Empty the city of trash and rebuild.
#4 Dec 20, 2011
There is no evidence whatsoever that suggests empty rental units had anything to do with the lessening of crime, or the increase in property value. However, the lower crime rates are proportional with foreclosures.
If you watched 60 minutes last week where they did a story on Cleveland, and in particular, the Broadway Slavic Village area, they showed Cleveland tearing down vacant houses one by one. The theory is that vacant houses harbor crime and decrease property values for the remaining occupied homes. The longer those homes stay vacant, the more likely people will come in, steal everything in site including the siding, and fear drives even more people out.
Cleveland is trying to keep as many residents in the city as they can, and Maple Heights should do the same. You don't accomplish that by keeping people out due to landlords abandoning their rental houses or apartments. No home owner should live in fear of the government they pay taxes to.
#5 Dec 21, 2011
Not all landlords are like you. I am happy they leave the houses empty. Who needs "investors" buying the property and renting them out to section 8'ers? I'd rather have them empty and send a message that this isn't the place to invest in if you want rental property. If you want to get a starter home and save money, move here.
Maple Heights is keeping residents here. It's harder for xxx to leave and that is better for the community.
Unlike Cleveland, Maple Heights is small and it seems to maintain the homes that are left unoccupied. I think they are winterized and the yards are taken care of. Plus the police aren't that busy and can keep up with the vacants. Apples and oranges. Cleveland is where all the scum moved back to after their houses got foreclosed on.
I do understand your point. You are a landlord. But neighborhoods always start to go down with renters.
#6 Dec 21, 2011
$15,OOO PUT $4,000 IN IT SELL IT FOR $60,000 WHAT DRUGS ARE YOU ON THAT HOUSE WILL SIT FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE YOU SELL IT FOR $60,000.
#7 Dec 22, 2011
I was saying this has been done before. House flipping. So people who think they could buy a house for $15,000 and even put $10,000 in it and sell it for $60,000 have to sit on it.
#8 Dec 23, 2011
Your point is flawed. Maple Heights has no more rental properties than it did 30 years ago, yet, 30 years ago, the city was vibrant, financially sound, and one of the safest suburbs in the Cleveland area. Same holds true with Garfield Heights.
So if rental houses and apartments were always here, what changed in the last ten or fifteen years?
#9 Dec 24, 2011
My point isn't flawed. You weren't in school here when the decline started. The decline started in the 90s. It started with low-income renters from the inner city. All the "thugs" that ended up in school with me were from rentals.
People wanted to move to other suburbs and couldn't afford to do so. They would rent out their home here and move somewhere else. Of course they didn't care who they rented to since they weren't going to live here anymore.
Later on, the "house flipping" phenomenon took place. Every ghetto person had a hook up with a mortgage company. They would appraise the house for over what it was worth and then take out the zero down loan. They would split the money with the crook who put them in the house.
It's true that renters have always been here. They are in Strongsville, Westlake and other places as well. They just aren't low-income renters from the city. Once you have landlords that are desperate for profits renting to anyone, you risk your neighborhood.
If you look to Mayfield, they started to complain about renters too. Citizens wanted something done about landlords renting to trash. Same thing happened in Cleveland Heights. The city proposed classes for Section 8'ers.
#10 Dec 24, 2011
Yes, but it questions what came first? The chicken or the egg?
Landlords only get desperate AFTER the neighborhood goes bad. When I first purchased this place 20 years ago, I never had to advertise. If a tenant moved out, another good tenant would take in their place. It was usually friends or family of the former tenant. Very little vacancy time. A few of my tenants were here before I moved in as a renter, and stayed for many years after I took over.
Once the neighborhood went bad, all those tenants moved out. Few desired to live in Maple Heights renters or not. Yes..... the housing nonsense put fuel on the fire, but remember how the zero percent housing started: putting more minorities and poor into homes instead of apartments. That's what happened to Maple and Garfield.
On one hand, you have those who complain about who landlords rent to. But these are usually the very same who rally and support fair housing laws which force landlords into a corner. A complainant needs no proof to file a discrimination charge, and in some cases, there are groups willing to offer free legal help for those that level charges.
#11 Dec 25, 2011
It varies by city. In Maple Heights it was the landlords that started the decline. I remember clearly the influx of thugs. The same thing happened to Banbury in Warrensville. The condos were rented to low-income, single mothers. Next thing you know it was the projects.
I remember the rowdy thugs coming to the school from the city. This was around the same time all the gangs started to appear here. The real gangs. Bloods, Crips, Folks and Vice Lords. These gangs didn't exist here until the rental market opened up. I actually had to go to school during this time, so trust me, I know what came first.
The zero-down thing happened much later on. The ease of housing loans allowed people that couldn't afford to move out of Maple Heights the chance to move out. It also allowed people who couldn't afford to live here get in.
This is why Mayfield went after LANDLORDS. This was during the housing boom. They knew -- as do I -- all it takes is one landlord to start letting in scum and it's over.
If I look in the paper and see "Section 8 welcome", you know that means trouble. Look in cities that don't have a problem and you will see "No Section 8" and "background checks" and other things that trash don't like.
Your rental property is on the west side if I remember correctly. The problem started on the east side.
#12 Dec 25, 2011
Okay. I don't know your line of work, but obviously, in order to have a business, you need customers. Now, if given a choice, do you choose pain in the azz customers, or easy to work with customers? Do you choose customers that pay their bill late, or customers that pay their bills on time?
Well..... if you absolutely have no choice, then of course, you take any customer willing to pay for your services. But if you had a choice?
Landlords are no different. I have never met one landlord who would choose an untrustworthy, irresponsible, low income tenant over a responsible, trouble free tenant. Problem tenants means problems for landlords. Every landlord knows this. And I come from a family of landlords.
So there are only two reasons a landlord would rent to a lowlife: one of course is that they have no choice. The unit remains empty, and that's a major loss to small time landlords. They can't wait forever. Or two, they are pressured from laws and fear to rent to such people.
So I don't buy into this philosophy that the problems of a failed community are the landlords. Again, any landlord wants respectable tenants who pay rent on time. Apartment buildings? That's a different story. My nephew's fiancee rents apartments in Broadview Heights. She and my nephew get a free apartment on top of commission for every unit she rents out. She doesn't make the decision on who gets to rent at her apartments, that's made by the company who owns the apartments.
So why would apartment building owners rent to lowlifes? Do they care about down time of an apartment? No. They are incorporated, so they write-off those losses which they expect. According to my nephew's fiancee, 90% rented is considered full. So that only leaves us with the other reason which is to protect themselves from discrimination charges. By law, you can't make a personal evaluation of a potential tenant. If they have the job to pay for an apartment, descent credit, then you rent to them hands down. When it comes to larger multi-apartment complexes, they never even meet the potential tenant. They have a minimum criteria which is set forth by law and lawyers, and they rent their units to those who meet those minimum standards.
Can they tighten up those standards? Sure they can, but in the process, increase their chance of being dragged into court. Apartment complex owners don't go to court. They have to hire lawyers to appear for them, and that gets very expensive. What evidence is needed to make a discrimination claim? Nothing. Not one thing. Only the accusation is needed to start a court case.
#13 Dec 25, 2011
You are making this too complicated. Slum lords exist. That can't be disputed. Slum lords don't care about the community or the people that they rent to. Back when this started Maple Heights didn't have these laws in place. It was easy to be a landlord. It was easy to be a landlord that didn't care.
Landlords know that section 8 is guaranteed money. That's how a lot of this started. Low-income renters and new age slum lords.
We see now that making it harder for the same thing to happen again is helping the city. It's basically a poor man's gentrification process. I am sure you know what gentrification is. The city is attempting to keep one element out and move one element in.
#14 Dec 26, 2011
You are absolutely incorrect. When this city was thriving, nobody advertised section 8 apartments. That started after the city went to hell. Again, landlords got desperate because they could no longer find good tenants interested in moving to Maple Heights.
When I used to advertise an apartment 15 years ago, all of the applicants were suburban white people. How many of those do you suppose answer my ads today? None!
I had an issue with the city a few years ago. The then Mayor (Incorvia) requested a meeting, so I attended. Prior to being the Mayor, he was the city prosecutor here for ten years. After we discussed my issue, we BS'd a bit where the conversation led us to crime in our city. He told me that statistically, over 90% of the crimes were not committed by residents of Maple Heights. They were committed by non-residents. Of course, he used non-residents as a code word, but we know what he meant.
#15 Dec 26, 2011
We been over this non-resident issue before. Cleveland trash had people coming in and out. The trash wasn't visiting here before.
And what are you talking about. I was in school with people on section 8. This was in the 90's. This was when I only new of one black person on the West side. This was when people were getting robbed for tennis shoes by Cleveland thugs brought here by the low-income people. I am absolutely 100% correct because I witnessed it first hand. You weren't in the school to see how quick things changed.
I was at the school to see all the people coming in with GD, BD and VL Tattoos. And here you are telling me I am incorrect. They didn't have fathers and a lot of their mothers were straight ghetto. It got so bad that Maple Heights police didn't know how to handle the gangs. They would just sit outside and take videos.
I remember it clearly because I never he knew that people rented houses. I thought only apartments were rented. All of these people were low-income renters. I remember going to one house and they had lawn chairs and crates as furniture.
None of this was on the West side.
#16 Dec 27, 2011
But it dispels the notion that the crime came rental units. If over 90% of the crime committed was (is) from people from Cleveland, then those are people that don't live in Maple Heights rental houses.
During the time you were in school, Maple Heights had to create an investigative panel to check out student eligibility. It seemed that ten or fifteen kids lived with aunt Selma. This is what you witnessed. And yes, it was lower income people. But HUID purchases homes as well as rent them from private landlords. They attend Sheriffs auctions downtown to get the lowest possible price.
My neighbor decided to go with HUD several years back. You just don't rent to HUD tenants. Your units have to be inspected and certified by HUD agents before this can happen. Unlike Maple where they give you wiggle room to repair any violations, they come out once, and if you don't pass, you don't get certified. Plus they come out from time to time to re-inspect your rental units. It's a real pain in the sss. Back then, it was much easier to just rent outright to non-HUD people.
Where the decay came from before the housing collapse were the visitors of people who managed to move up to Maple Heights. Unlike white people, blacks don't separate when they advance themselves. They pull along their lowlife family and friends. This is where the 90% statistic comes from. And trust me, it still goes on today. Most of the time when the police call in a name and ID number over the radio, it comes back to a Cleveland resident.
To Lansky's credit, one of the first measures he took was to meet with HUD and make arrangements to remove trouble HUD residents. HUD agreed. And that's why in Maple Heights today, HUD residents are least trouble according to police statistics. Don't believe me? E-mail your Council person and ask him or her. I got that information from my Councilman when I assumed that all the trouble was coming from HUD.
#17 Dec 27, 2011
But even if you have the money, it is easier to rent than to buy. Tax time comes and they can show up with rent and deposit and they are in. It started with low-income renters. These renters were mostly female. They had males from Cleveland visiting. They had family visiting. All these people wouldn't have visited had the low-income renters not showed up.
Where were they early on? When Jordans first came out, you could walk the streets with the shoes on. When I was in High School they were robbing grade school kids to high school kids. It all started when low-income renters flooded the area.
And you are correct. They brought kids with them. Everybody's kids. This wasn't going on prior to me seeing these people. If the kids didn't sell dope, they were dusty as h3ll.
Your argument simply doesn't hold up. There are dope houses where the woman works and doesn't even do drugs, but some boyfriend sets up business there. Technically he doesn't live there. He has people in and out from Cleveland. So as you can see, the people are the problem even if they don't make up 90 percent of the arrests. They are the ones bringing those people here.
I don't have to email a councilman. I was in school with kids that would bring half of Kinsman up here to raise h3ll. So that one low-income renter was responsible for 3 car loads of troublemakers coming to the city.
#18 Jan 6, 2012
I been noticing in the last year that it seems like there's been a lot more white people driving around in Maple Hts. And I see more and more blacks that don't have their pants dragging on the ground with their a/cracks showing. Like you guys all here been saying, looks like the section 8ers' seem to be getting booted out of the city. So the 'plan' to let them live in decent homes here must have backfired. Someone thought that by giving them a nice home cheap, they'd act more civilized. Didn't work out too well now, did it?
There's still a few that need to be cleaned out of here though, like the family that hid that 17 year old roach in their closet in their Maple Hts home that killed someone at a party with a gun. Well, the cops got him through his cell phone calls, the idiot, and now the friend that helped hide him is in trouble and so is the kid's mother. Good! Send them all to jail!
#19 Jan 6, 2012
Yes. The Maple Heights plan does seem to be working. Slum lords don't want to set up shop. The empty houses are maintained and aren't boarded up eyesores like in Cleveland. It's better to have an empty, maintained house than a family full of inbreds from Cleveland. There is hope after all.
#20 Jan 6, 2012
Don't give so much credit to Maple Heights. Where were they during the heart of the housing purchases? What's happening here is the very same that's happening to all nearby suburbs of Cleveland: Garfield, Maple, Bedford, Bedford Heights and so on. The banks are almost caught up with their foreclosures, so most of the credit goes there.
Remember it was government that promoted all this in the name of giving minorities and lower income access to credit they didn't deserve. Most all problems start with government.
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