Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Big houses for small bucks in Detroit

Last week's post wasn't one of my most popular. Not exactly record-breaking page views and my property choices prompted the description "butt ugly!" from US Wreck reader Charles.
He offered to find me some prettier - and cheaper - 'wrecks' from Detroit, his birth city.
Detroit has been hammered of late and property prices have taken a particularly vicious kicking with homes failing to sell even at $1.
Charles (who runs Helmar brewing and collectables business) found me some fine examples and I had a bit of a trawl too.

First up is this Detroit version of a bungalow, above. Three bedrooms, bathroom, basement, garden, built in 1926. It's on Edsel Street, south of the river, and is on the market at $50.
Yes, that's right - $50. Details here.
Leaping upwards to a whopping $850 is the three-bed below - one of dozens of fire-damaged foreclosure homes I looked at. More details here.

Also bank-owned and damaged is the four-bed house below, with garage, garden, and bathroom. Some rooms untouched, some others stripped or water-damaged. Sad and lovely. On the market at $999, details and more pictures here.

What if we decided to spend a few bucks more and ditch the 'wrecks'? Say - $5,000 for the four-bed home, below, with garage and a pretty garden, on Canton Street. Sweet - if a colourful approach to interior decor (pictures here).

Positively bounding up the price range, how about this 1925, colonial-style, four bed (below) on Balfour Road. Hardwood floors, big rooms and fab original features. Looks like a bit of copper-stripping has gone on, but a handsome building for $18,500.
Details and more pix here.

Should you decide the 'burbs might be a better bet - the five-bed detached, below,  is one of Charles's picks and it is stunning! Hardwood floors, gorgeous staircase and windows, three bathrooms. And only $38,500. Details and more pictures here.

Trulio produce an area price 'heat map' for Detroit.
Finally - Charles picked the mansion, pictured at the very top of this post and also below, to show us the type of "high-end" property Detroit offers.
The pictures on the website are pretty poor, but the house is extraordinary: seven bedrooms, four bathrooms - a French Regency-style mansion surrounded by gorgeous gardens. Plus marble fireplaces and a chandelier that was gift from Mrs Ford. It's on the market at $499,999 - just under £308k in the Queen's money.
The house, in upmarket Indian Village, embodies Detroit's better days.


Extra bit: After I posted this piece, Wreck reader Mick sent me a link to a story in the The Detroit News - 'Bidding discouraged on derelict homes at Wayne County auctions'. The County sells off hundreds of derelict homes in an annual auction, but this year is trying to stop speculators who buy up houses and do nothing with them.