About six years ago, Paul Koenig and David Kohlenberger concocted a plan to build hundreds of "Dream Homes" throughout the Twin Cities, but primarily in north Minneapolis. Approximately 80 such homes were built before a moratorium on new construction in north Minneapolis was put into place. For once, I can say, "Thank GOD they were committing fraud and lying to each other and their investors about the income streams associated with the properties." That helped put a stop to these housing atrocities.
As the Eurythmics song referenced in the tile says, "I've traveled the world and the seven seas." I've shoveled out homes that were filled with dirt in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch. I've been in huts made entirely out of cow dung in Tanzania. Don't even get me started on El Salvador. And never ONCE have I been inside a dwelling as dreary as a Dream Home. Pictures are after the link, if you dare...
|Just off of the kitchen, we have a dining room/living room area. Note the baseboard heat. That's the only heat source in the house.|
|Off of the "dining room" is a small (okay, ALL the rooms are small) area that supposedly serves as both the living room and a place where you can go when you want to hate your life.|
|In the night, parts of the kitchen cabinetry sneak away out of shame.|
|Pictures do not adequately describe how cheaply made just about every single item in this house really is.|
|My camera went out of focus here. Its software couldn't conceive of a bedroom this small. This is what Obama wanted to outlaw, calling it "cramped confinement torture," where one is placed in such a small box that they cannot fully stand, sit, or lay down. Seriously, isn't there something in the Geneva Convention about this?|
|The closets aren't much better.|
|All of the "wood" doors in the house are made of the same compressed wood material as the cupboards. I asked what the primary construction materials were for this house and was told, "Particle board and misery."|
|I've also noticed a pattern in many poorly-kept rental houses, where the area around the door handle is covered in smudges, dents, and even shoe marks. This is the first time I've seen this on the INSIDE of a property though.|
|The listing says there are six bedrooms, which is misleading. Harry Potter could stay here, making it seven bedrooms and even MORE rental income!|
|Psychological studies have shown a direct correlation between staring down such hallways and deep, crippling depression.|
|I know this is minor, but the door frames are covered in poor paint jobs like this. If the people BUILDING the place couldn't be bothered with basic pride in their craftsmanship, then what do you expect from the renters?|
|Back to Harry Potter's room: Dream Homes have no basement, but apparently there was a crawl space. I had to peek around. If I were in a horror movie, you'd all be yelling at the screen, "Don't go in there! The monster's going to get you!"|
|Photo taken from the opening; I didn't go all the way down.|
|Aaaand this is when I decided that there was a rather high likelihood that something that looked like Gollum but could crawl on the ceiling would come scampering towards me and drag me into the abyss, never to be seen again.|
Let's contrast that with how the previous listing, back in 2007 described this property:
"Great Single Family Home W/6 Bedrooms 2 Baths- Formal Dining Room- Light woodwork and neutral decor- Laundry and bedroom in main level, recent and immaculate THE HOUSE IS A TEN!." (Both the exclamation point AND period were in the original text.) This was apparently done with no level of sarcasm, because the house was listed at...wait for it...$323,000. Man, why didn't anyone BUY it?
The current listing is still overpriced, seeing as how they are not offering you cash money or their daughter's hand in marriage if you just please take this property from them. Even more insulting, part of the slideshow has pictures of various Minneapolis landmarks and parks that aren't anywhere NEAR the house. On these grounds, why not add photos of the Basilica, the famous cherry and spoon, or a Prince concert at First Ave?
I have a proposal that makes some money off of the sale of these houses AND gets them demolished. Remember those college fraternity fundraisers where someone bought a clunker of a car and charged $5 for a few swings of the sledgehammer on the piece of junk? We could do that here. And no worries; if you miss out on this one, there's still 79 more to go.