Wanted: urban pioneers (TV crew optional)

Jul 13, 2016

Before and after photos from a project on HGTV's "Fixer Upper" renovation show
Credit Rachel Whyte/HGTV

It costs more to build a house than it used to, but Duluth's challenging terrain makes the numbers - and your head spin.

Blasting through bedrock to put in utilities and other infrastructure can add $80 thousand dollars to a project right off the top.

Solution?  One of the ideas identified at the 2014 Housing Summit was a page right from HGTV's book: fix up, renovate and modernize aging houses and get existing, foreclosed and condemned properties back on the market.

But how do you get a lender to give you an extra hundred thousand or so on a property valued at half that?  That is where the out-of-the-box thinking comes in.