Housing shortage? Where are the buyers in this housing shortage?

January 13, 2015

Dear Zenith News:

Thanks for the good article in the recent Zenith News [“Advance to Boardwalk, December 23, 2014]. I keep reading articles about the “housing crisis” in Duluth and trying to figure out why I can’t sell a low-cost quality home in Duluth when there is so much need out there. Yes, this is all very complex and confusing. I am emailing because I want to talk to anyone that will talk about this so-called crisis.

I own a rental property (duplex) at 519 East Seventh Street in Duluth. I do not live there. Six years ago, I decided I was tired of struggling to collect rent from the same low-income struggling people you talk about in that story. Long story short, after six years of trying to sell this place with four different realtors, my own ads on Craigslist and on ForSaleByOwner.com, I just can’t find a buyer.

And there is nothing wrong with the house. Look at the photos. Drive by and see the awesome garage, and then help me understand how there is a housing crisis in this town and I can’t sell the place for $70,000. I’m serious here, Josh. I just can’t figure this out and I’m beyond frustrated.

And soon the bank will be taking it back from me. I couldn’t keep it filled with low-income people that could consistently pay the rent so I could consistently pay the mortgage and other bills, and I can’t sell it to anyone as either a home, owner-occupy, or rental property. With all the housing experts you talked to for your article, if any of them have an answer hear I would love to hear it. Thanks for listening, Josh.
Brett Ballavance

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