Thursday, January 30, 2003

Lately I've been looking at houses - I'm planning to sell the tiny house I own in South St. Louis's Marine Villa neighborhood, hopefully to somebody who will do a little better job of actually rehabbing it. My carpentry and general construction skills are quite limited, like my motor skills.

My plan is to buy a two-family "flat", as we call duplexes in the local vernacular, and rent out part of it, living in the other unit. Seems feasible, especially if the rent payment I get is more than the mortgage payment.

In this process, I've noticed a few things:

-Many of the local financial institutions have their mortgage division offices in St. Louis County or other suburban locations. So it's tough if you don't own a car, to be able to get access to capital to buy a house in the City of St. Louis.

- Urban insurance agents seem to focus on marketing car insurance, much more than suburban agents, who seem interested in homeowners insurance as much as car insurance. That's not always true for either group of course - but I guess that reflects the higher percentage of renters in urban locations.

- There sure are a lot of properties available throughout the City. However, they ain't always in real great shape.

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