I have heard the story time and time again: Families and individuals moved to Detroit for jobs, the thought of home ownership, and a strong working/middle-class society. My grandparents would tell me about this time. They worked at Chrysler and Great Lakes Steel, while my grandmother also “ran the numbers” in SW Detroit, and seemed to have an amazing social life (that included lots of Husdon’s and Montgomery Ward trips). They had a modest 3-bedroom home on Edsel Street, and eventually sought the entrepreneurial quest, which resulted in them owning many muti-unit homes around the City, a Sunoco gas station, and daycare center on Visger Road.
That story and spirit of having a vision/dream of owning your own, is something I see almost every weekend while managing the events for the Detroit Land Bank Authority aka Building Detroit. Our team has had the honor of exploring this lovely city, by planning and executing the showings and open houses. Essentially, potential bidders have the opportunity to view the homes, read inspection reports, and ask questions prior to them going up on auction (via www.buildingdetroit.org), which is something new to the other auction programs.
The joy is having neighbors come over and say that the house the Land Bank is auctioning has been vacant for over 6+ years, and they’re hopeful to have a great new neighbor. Then we have many others that range from renters in the area that are ecstatic at the thought of owning their own home, to others that are considering moving from other areas (even states) to purchase, and do DIY projects to the homes. Then there’s your very strategic investor who wants to see the inspection report, and wants to see the “bones” of the home.
My favorites are the young families who have a dream and vision of home ownership and see the opportunity of being able to purchase a home as low as $1,100 as their ideal scenario. All-in-all, I encourage everyone to at least check out the site and pass the link along to their friends/families who may know someone interested in purchasing in Detroit. I will say, many of the homes require extensive upgrades and renovations, but in the overall home buying process, is still advantageous.
Last (here’s my plug), there are Open Houses in Marygrove/Bagley on Nov. 1 and Warrendale/Warren Ave. Community on Nov. 2. Feel free to look at the homes and/or come to an event to learn more about the program, homes, and financing options that area available: www.buildingdetroit.org.