Peter and I moved to Allegan 39 years ago. We bought a house that had been vacant for 5 years and hadn't had a thing done to it for many years prior.
We worked like little doggies to spruce the joint up. Scraped and painted the outside and started stripping wallpaper off the inside. It didn't cost a fortune for the transformation - just a lot of elbow grease and a fair amount of swearing.
This memory brings me to the topic of this particular blog.
I was chatting with a friend this morning - a life long Alleganite who loves this town like I do. A person who takes pride in her home, business and surroundings.
We share a sadness for un-cared-for properties.
We started naming off houses around town that had once been beautiful and now look very, very unloved.
Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled to see the opposite happen as well. It's been great watching some wonderful transformations happen around town. Empty houses and old businesses getting a new life brings a smile to my face as I drive/walk around town.
The frowny face happens when I walk/drive past a house that I remember from my youth or simply 20 years ago that had been a beauty and now looks like a neglected soul.
Where does the responsibility lie (I have issues with the lie/lay thing so ignore it if I'm wrong)? Well, the home owner is responsible, of course.
Am I asking the new owners to start popping thousands upon thousands of dollars to breath new life into a structure right away? No. But do something!
Am I asking the landlords to step up? HELL, YES!!!
We have hundreds of rental properties in this small town and many, many, many of them look horrid.
Those are the people I want to take responsibility.
I think I'm done.