Does anybody have any experience working with them? What was your experience?
Would you do it again?
Your correct on the depth of this question. I obsessively researched many of the topics you address. I started attending many of the open houses that they have on the weekends. I have worked at Home Depot and Construction Inspection training, so I know a little about means, methods, and materials for building. I found most DBLA Cost of Repairs reports were best case scenarios . Being new to the Detroit Metro, I was very unfamiliar with the city as a whole. After going to these open houses over the last few months, I am way more familiar with the Neighborhoods of Detroit. Most of the homes that are solid are in horrifying neighborhoods. I was very open and optimistic about the possibilities of this adventure at first, now I am less. I don't think living in the city will be the best thing for me at this time. The City has way more challenges to over come than I ever imagined. I did notice as well a lot of people are wholesaling houses to rehab for rentals. Point being most are not moving into these homes themselves in order to live in these poor neighborhoods.
I am currently finishing up my 1st DBLA home, where I am personally doing all the rehabbing....and I look forward to doing it again! DBLA compliance team were great! As long as I communicated with them and was honest, they were understanding. I had NO idea what I was doing when I 1st purchased the 900 sqft home; but since then, this house has been my school. Because I did a total interior demo ,I've learned how to run electrical, plumbing, hvac, carpentry, and drywall.
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I feel like this is a super complex question and maybe why no one has answered! A lot of people I know have had a wide variety of experiences with the DLBA, but it's so much more than just them. It's very much about the house you purchase, understanding it's true condition and needs (vs what their assessment says), and whether you have the money, time, and contractors/personal skills to do the work needed to get it up to code in a timely way. I have heard from both sides on this timeliness issue: owners who say it's hard to get the work done in the DLBA timeframe and DLBA folks who say as long as you're doing work/talking to contractors and can demonstrate that, they'll keep giving extensions on the timeline.
Have you moved forward on this at all?