Detroit Creates eBay for Abandoned Houses

By IAfrica
In World News
Apr 19th, 2014
0 Comments
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Detroit should probably have just used eBay, but considering eBay’s rather generous return policies, it didn’t want to go there.

Sure that Tudor house may look nice, but it won’t look as nice when the gang bangers come through the front door and you realize that you’re not in a zone of police response.

For Sale: A spacious 1,600-square-foot, three-bedroom Tudor-style home built in 1929, with one-and-a-half baths, glass block windows, hardwood floors, crown molding and custom fireplaces. Within walking distance of restaurants, playgrounds and public schools.

And it’s being offered next month for as little as $1,000.

Just one catch. The single-family house on 5500 Kensington Ave. has a zip code that makes listing agents wake up in cold sweats: 48224.

For the uninitiated, that’s the center of Wayne County, Michigan. Otherwise known as Detroit.

But it isn’t a turnkey deal. Many of the homes lack water heaters and furnaces, need new roofs and windows, not to mention kitchen appliances and fixtures, and could do with a new coat of paint. Rehab on the properties must also begin within 30 days after getting the deed and the front door keys.

So would flipping the house, even if you bought it for a few thousand dollars, turn a profit? Given that the average sales price of homes in the English Village neighborhood on Zillow.com is just $48,000, one veteran “flipper” says no.

Buyers also need to be aware that they could be on the hook for as much as $5,000 to $10,000 in property taxes a year even though the properties are distressed, said John Dingell III, a scrap metal dealer in Detroit and the son of former Michigan Congressman John Dingell, in a phone interview.

So if it looks too good to be true… that’s because it’s Detroit. There’s a reason people are fleeing Detroit and it’s not just the high crime.

Most of Detroit does not pay property taxes which means the bankrupt city relies on the limited number that do.

But they do have an ad campaign.

“Have you ever thought you’d see the mayor and council working together?,” says the voice on a Detroit radio ad.

No, we didn’t. But this ad, set to hit Detroit radio airwaves April 21st features both Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones.

The ad showcases the website buildingdetroit.org which features 12 city-owned properties in East English Village, each home waiting for an owner as long as they are willing to rehab the property and move in.

Mike Duggan: NOT REALLY. THIS IS MIKE DUGGAN AND IT IS A NEW DAY IN DETROIT. INSTEAD OF JUST KNOCKING DOWN OUR VACANT HOMES, WE’RE SAVING THE BEST. DETROIT LAND BANK IS SELLING THEM TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN DETROIT’S FUTURE AND OUR WEBSITE BUILDINGDETROIT.ORG

Nobody will buy that. Not even for a dollar.


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