Harrisburg Apartments: Crunch Time

Just over five years ago I did The Adult Thing ™ and moved from downtown Harrisburg into a house in semi-rural suburbia.  This place was never a particularly nice home, nor was it really my style.  But it was cheap, had decent square footage, and endless potential for upgrades.  I paid down the house on an extremely accelerated schedule and made my final payment this past summer.  And just when I finally got around to re-doing the landscaping and making those renovations, when I was beginning to consider living with the shortcomings of my home (location and style being the two biggest) in exchange for cheap living, I had the sudden revelation that I didn’t have to live here if I didn’t want to.

So I sold it.

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Harrisburg Apartments, Day One: The Grayco

In Monday’s post I mentioned that I have successfully sold my house at about a $9,000 profit, sans realtor.  And I also mentioned that legally, I currently don’t own a home.  With February 1st (my deadline for new occupancy) fast approaching and my moving target of 1/22 – 1/25 just around the corner, I am spending every waking moment this week scouring Harrisburg for decent apartments.

The first place I checked out has the most checkered past out of all of Harrisburg’s complexes.  If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Grayco Associates sometime prior to the early- to mid-2000s, you already know exactly what I’m talking about.  If not, well … put simply, the previous owners let an otherwise-beautiful 1930s-era art-deco midrise decay into a dump.

This week I took a tour of the place just to see if anything had actually, you know, fallen in on itself.  I invited my friend Jamie along for the ride.  “If it’s such a dump, why are you even going to see it?” she asked.  “Same reason you test drive a Hyundai,” I replied.  There was an awkward silence when we were both expecting a clever second part to my reasoning that never came.  The best I could manage was “Look, there’s Firehouse.  We’re here.”

It turns out that back in 2000, a new owner bought the property as a distressed building.  They’ve spent the past ten years fighting to reverse the building’s decay, and they’ve made amazing progress.  I never thought I’d say this, but aside from a few shortcomings, Grayco may actually be the best midrise in downtown Harrisburg.

I know.  Read it again; I said what you thought I said.  I’ll wait while you ponder that.

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