Here’s an update on the Detroit Housing situation:

-226 homes for sale at $1,000 or under;

-21 homes for sale at $1,00 or under;

-4 homes for sale at $1.


This caught the eye of regular TBP reader Byno, who asks (“What’s the catch?”):

Great investment opportunity with this 5 bdrm brick colonial featuring hrdwd flrs, 3.5 baths, full bsmt, garage & lots of potential. Needs some TLC. Bank Owned. Property sold in as-is condition. Buyer to sign ACR with City of Detroit prior to closing. Earnest Money Deposit to be held by listing broker and be certified or cashier’s funds. Mortgage approval or proof of funds required.

I figured out the catch — if you buy it, you own a house in Detroit!




Detroit Houses = $1 (August 13th, 2008)

Detroit Housing = ~$0 (February 27th, 2008)

Category: Credit, Data Analysis, Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

26 Responses to “For Sale: 5 BR Detroit Manse, $8995”

  1. DL says:

    “I figured out the catch — if you buy it, you own a house in Detroit!”

    That is probably the biggest “catch”.

    But liens on the property may be another.

  2. Marcus Aurelius says:

    What’s an “ACR” with the city?

  3. swede says:

    Can one buy one of those just for entertainment as a foreigner? Or are there plenty of hidden fees/taxes?

    I get “Oops, there’s been a glitch!” every time I try and open one of the ads with, unfortunately.

  4. If you bought the house, would that mean you’d also have to root for the Lions? Talk about an organization in need of a bailout.

    I think “ACR” means if you would please pay the taxes, or at least just keep the property from becoming a crack den, we’ll help you out with the mortgage interest.

  5. mlomker says:

    Sounds like an ACR is a promise to repair something that doesn’t comply with current building codes. Given that this is a home from the 1920′s there could be all kinds of things that aren’t up to current code (plumbing, wiring, etc).

  6. Chief Tomahawk says:

    I think it was Kentucky Fried Movie which spawned the immortal line:


  7. leftback says:

    The bricks have got to be worth that much, Bazza….

  8. swede says:

    ACR = “An ACR is Acceptance of Compliance and Responsibility. The City of Detroit and several others in Michigan require an inspection of every home when it’s sold. If there are any structural problems, peeling paint, non conforming or permitted electrical or plumbing, or little things like missing floor tiles the owner is sited and must perform repairs and have a repeat inspection. All electrical, plumbing, and heating items require a permit and repair by a licensed contractor. “

  9. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    Whow! that is unreal even in Modown City….

  10. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    or is that Mowdown City?

  11. that ACR has got to be worth ~U$D 50 000 min.

    the mtg. approval/proof of funds required phraseology would be laughable at a fee simple ~9K..

    a swag..

    though, if those ‘crats really wanted to revivify that area, they’d smooth out the ‘Building Codes’ and issue blanket permits/variances to certified/bonded retro-fitters/’developers’..

  12. bluestatedon says:

    If you go to and enter the address, you’ll see some interior shots. Looks like you’d be faced with a significant paint/patch job at the minimum, but jeebus, what potential.

    My wife grew up fairly poor in Detroit in the ’50s and early ’60s, and her folks used to go for Sunday drives along Chicago Blvd., which to them was one of the well-to-do areas of the city. Currently there’s a neighborhood association struggling mightily to keep the neighborhood together, but they’re faced with trying to keep a large number of abandoned/foreclosed homes from falling into total disrepair and ruin.

    I don’t know what the crimes rates are in that area, but given that it’s Detroit it’s probably not what most would call “safe.” However, if someone didn’t have to worry about children and schools, and was willing to be a pioneer and bust ass on the sweat equity side of the ledger, this might be a hell of a deal. I agree 100% with Mark that building code simplification and relaxation should be a primary tactic to get people in there who have a stake.

  13. AGG says:

    For what it’s worth, I went to the place with Google earth. The google earth picture is from april of 2007 and looks quite nice (lots of foliage and big yards. It is 633 feet above sea level and a couple of blocks from the first Motown Records studio.

  14. Che Stadium says:

    “All electrical, plumbing, and heating items require a permit and repair by a licensed contractor.”

    I’m sure that’s all on the up and up.

  15. Dan says:

    Wonder what the salvage value is?

  16. Pat G. says:

    I couldn’t resist. I Mapquest it and determined that the high school I graduated from is only 6 miles from the house in the ad. Lived in the burbs in ’96 when I left Michigan and I’ve never looked back. Went back once since then.

  17. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    So I see that they are going to grow the grass even taller in MowTown…(big bailout again), can we begin the coutdown?

  18. aerodynamichaircut says:

    Something sounds screwy with that one. Maybe its high levels of radon gas, the land sinking, presence of pestering ghosts… or a rash of weird crime lately, like leaving a pair of Lions football tickets on your car dashboard one evening only to discover the next morning that somebody smashed the car window and broke in- and left another pair for you….

  19. bcasey says:

    I figured it won’t be long until the rats from the sinking ship of New York would turn their eyes this way.
    And of course they would first be interested in mansions. Welcome to Detroit! You might have to say hi or bye to the people you meet, or at least make eye contact. After that, you are on your own.

  20. Where was I reading recently that the average house price in Detroit now was $18K? That’s getting mighty low

  21. CJ says:

    @AGG said:

    “.. looks quite nice (lots of foliage and big yards).”

    ROFLMAO. There’s lots of foliage because Detroit is returning to nature as civilization collapses. Check it out here. Some pictures really are better than a thousand words.

    Why is this place going for $9K? Because you’d be crazy to go there unarmed, and preferably with bulletproof clothing and your own security detail, that’s why. And if you managed that, then you’re dealing with a city government that is essentially a crime syndicate. Plus the line on the prospectus that says School District: DETROIT – surely that speaks for itself. Hey, there are literally millions of middle-class people in southeastern Michigan who are passing on this deal.

    I discovered this blog about a year ago, and that discovery literally saved me a bundle. It was what I read on here that finally prompted me to get almost all my money out of stocks last spring. I am seriously grateful, both to the proprietor and to many of the commenters. That is why I am all the more amazed at some of the unworldliness and political naivete of some otherwise very intelligent and savvy posters. Do they never get out of New York?

  22. That is why I am all the more amazed at some of the unworldliness and political naivete of some otherwise very intelligent and savvy posters. Do they never get out of New York?

    There’s a reason why this classic New Yorker cover is as funny as it is…

    Then again, after riding cross country earlier this year (recapitulating a childhood family trip solo) I found that many places were pretty darned homogenous, but at least the folks were friendly (especially when I ran into trouble out of ATT Wireless range :p)..

  23. CJ:

    to your point, see:

    “The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen….At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually runs the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties.” — New York City Mayor John F. Hylan, 1922

    sometimes, when it’s woven into the Fabric, one doesn’t comment on every thread..

    like this:

    in re: nearby thread..

  24. via a local:

    Regarding your post on the Detroit Mansion I thought I would share a few things given that I grew up across the river in Windsor, Canada and now reside here in Lansing Michigan. The home sits in the shadow of the old GM HQ’s and is where the executives and monied families of Motown lived. The homes there are spectacular to say the least, like you have been in a time machine.

    That said. 2 blocks east is the interstate and 2 blocks west is Woodward Ave containing an assortment of burned out, boarded up and blighted storefronts. Oh and the liquor store. Unfortunately since the riots and Coleman Young the fate was sealed.

    Also many of these homes were gutted for their ornate fixtures etc. which now that the horse has left the barn is illegal.

    The caption should read, Prisoner in Your own 5 BR home for only $8995.

    Hope all is well and all the best for the holidays and New Year to you and your family.

  25. bobb says:

    Detroit is on an irreversible course to ruin. There is a reason why people visit the ruins of Rome and Athens, those cities died and then were rebuilt. When GM and Chrysler finally go bankrupt, then you’ll see the beginning of the end for Detroit… the sports teams will leave as will Ford and any other business in the area. A good idea would be to turn the city into a nature preserve after all of the houses have been razed.

  26. matt wilbert says:

    I can understand why people wouldn’t want to buy a house in Detroit. I can understand why people wouldn’t want to live in Detroit. However, people who want to comment about it should try to be accurate. The “local” Barry quotes doesn’t seem to understand where this house is–it isn’t particularly near the old GM HQ, nor is it between Woodward and the freeway–it is on the wrong side of the Lodge freeway about a half-block from 12th street, the epicenter of the ’67 riots. There are some nice houses over there, but that house is nothing special by Detroit standards, and the neighborhood isn’t particularly good.

    The Detroit area and Detroit in particular have way too much housing. Unsurprisingly, some of that housing is really cheap. That doesn’t mean it can’t get cheaper, and it certainly means that a lot of neighborhoods are essentially going to be abandoned. It also doesn’t mean that the city is going to disappear–I think that is very unlikely. But it is very likely to shrink a lot more, but probably not in a uniform fashion–it has been anything but uniform up until now. There will be winners and losers, and as with any investment you want to spot the winners. A lot of buildings in Detroit are more like options than actual properties.