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Thursday, December 16,2010

Eyesore of the week

312 Mifflin Ave., Lansing

by Amanda Harrell-Seyburn

Property: 312 Mifflin Ave., Lansing


Owner: Entrust IRA #336


Assessed: $24,800


Owner says: Could not be reached for comment


Drive by 312 Mifflin
between Michigan Avenue and Kalamazoo Street too quickly and you just
might miss it. Unfortunately, this quaint little home is a bit harsh on
the eyes if you do notice.


The
inconsistent exterior features half of a rain gutter, one boarded
window and two different colors of bricks that crumble near the home’s
foundation. The city first tagged this house unsafe in June 2009, which
sits on a narrow parcel near a liquor store on the corner of Kalamazoo
and Mifflin.


— Andy Balaskovitz


Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: Living small and reducing your home’s footprint is the best way to live large, environmentally speaking. Join the movement that thousands have embraced and live in a structure less than 800 square feet. You can buy house plans and build your own or get a prefabricated one. Better yet — do the most environmentally responsible thing and renovate an existing one. Located on a street of model residences on Lansing’s east side, 312 Mifflin Ave., at a mere 700 square feet, is absolutely minute and the perfect opportunity. Adding a porch would be a great way to improve the exterior facade and create an outdoor room — an essential feature of a small house.


Less is more. By reducing your home’s footprint, you not only reduce the impact on the environment, but also the strain on your pocket book. Smaller living inherently restricts the accumulation of material goods. You simply need less — furniture, clothes, clutter. There are also smaller energy costs and insurance. Living smaller gives you the opportunity to invest in higher quality items.

Smaller living, especially in an urban setting like Lansing’s east side, simplifies and enriches life. Additionally, 812 Mifflin is in close proximity to public transportation — CATA’s route No. 1 on Michigan Avenue is just a short walk north. Public transportation certainly reduces expenses of owning multiple cars and also encourages a fit lifestyle. Imagine how many dollars and calories you would save by riding the bus to work everyday, or walking to the nearby Quality Dairy on Michigan Avenue or Dagwood’s on Kalamazoo Street?

For anyone who has ever longed to buy a fixer-upper but has never committed because the task is so daunting, an 800 square-foot project is completely achievable. It’s perfect for a young person or couple with small savings and big dreams, or a retired person or couple with the time to invest in search of simplicity.


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