Blog: Travis Millward

From Utah to Motown, Travis Millward bucked tradition and decided to 'Go MidWest'. The founder of Patriot Properties Group, he purchases and rehabs vacant Detroit-area homes. Travis will be writing about the foreclosure epidemic, entrepreneurship in a down economy, and Detroit’s real estate investing market.

Travis Millward - Post 4: If we fix it, they will come…

I would like to elaborate on Post #1 and its comments and turn it into an open discussion. What I want to know is; what are the top 4 things that need to be fixed in order to make the city of Detroit (everything south of 8 mile) a healthy, desirable place to live again? 
  1. Vacant houses
  2. Employers
  3. Public school system
  4. Public transportation
The way I see it…vacant houses are the root of the problem. Just imagine if there were no vacant houses in the entire city of Detroit. Crime & drug activity would be significantly less and no blight! What a beautiful place to live. 

For example, let’s say we have $5 million to invest. With that amount of money we could purchase and rehabilitate 175 residential single-family houses. Let’s assume there are 5,000 vacant houses sitting on the market right now. So we would be fixing 3.5% of the current inventory. Would this make a difference? Could we stabilize concentrated neighborhoods and make them safe again? 

What if these 175 houses were completely rehabilitated tomorrow and ready to move in, would there be a waiting list of people to move in? Would they prefer to rent or purchase? 

By rehabilitating vacant homes and occupying them with families, blight is eliminated, crime is drastically reduced and now we have safe, clean neighborhoods. 

Where could we get the $5 million for this project? Let’s face it, there is a lot being done right now to rescue Detroit but I have not heard anywhere, of anyone wanting to address the vacant house epidemic in an organized collaborative effort. The population is at an all time low but it is ever-increasing thanks to groups like Open City, which are encouraging businesses and people to come to Detroit. The need for safe clean neighborhoods is increasing!

The motto that I want all of us to adopt is, "If we fix it, they will come." 

That type of money will come from various private investors located here in South East Michigan. These private investors could be business owners, professional athletes or perhaps angel investors. He or she will have an affinity for Detroit and they will want to have a positive impact on Detroit’s housing dilemma and the cities future. Not only will it be a sound financial investment but a very profound investment in taking that next step that Detroit needs so desperately. 

An incredible author Marianne Williamson
once wrote, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

That great power of which Williamson wrote is within all of us and I urge you to get involved, however you are able. I’m calling you to action.  

Fellow Detroit advocates – all cities have experienced times of defeat. It is times like these, when people like us, who care and actually want to have an impact in this great and abundant world; come together. We have identified the problem…let’s stop talking about it and start fixing the issue at hand. It’s needed. 

The Detroit as our forefathers knew it, has been a figurative "Field of Dreams" where for many, those dreams have come to fruition and with collaborative effort coupled with determination – will soon be a place where many more dreams can again be fulfilled. 

Please email me to get involved.