This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Buy a $1 House in Detroit?

By Leigh Held

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in our country's history a little over a week ago. Many questions remain unanswered about the future of the city's infrastructure from pension plans to public schools. It seems new questions pop up every day. While many of us struggle to save towards paying down principals on mortgages or for a down payment on a primary residence it is possible to find a house in Detroit for $1. A consumer can even find a five-bedroom house for $10,000.
[Read: <a href="" data-add-tracking="true" target="blank"><em>Get 'Floored' in Real Estate: What's wURKEN?</em></a>]

But before you get too bug-eyed and lick your chops at the prospect of your very own Motown manse, take a prudent step back.

"The truth is that no one knows if Detroit is a 'deal' at the moment, because it has been drowning in a steady downward spiral for the last 60 years," said Jason Abrams, co-founder of the Abrams Team national real estate firm and host of the HGTV show Scoring the Deal. "40 years ago, people said 'it is a deal, now is the time to buy.' Then they said it again 30 years ago, then again 20 years ago, then again 10 years ago. So far, it has not been such a great deal."

There are roughly 80,000 empty buildings within Detroit city limits, Abrams added, but many of them are crumbling and unappealing.

"Once you get into the higher priced homes - $15k to $25k - then the answer is 'yes, many of them are very much livable,'" he said. "The problem is that there are very few people who really want to live there."

Habitability, indeed, is the crux of the matter and with nearly one-third of Detroit abandoned, Abrams describes the 138-square-mile metropolis as "latterly devolving."
[Read: <a href="" data-add-tracking="true" target="blank"><em> Oklahoma Relief Efforts Feature Small Businesses and Local Heroesl</em></a>]

That means there's a dovetail effect on the community ammenities surrounding the real estate.

"There are roads that need to be repaired, there are poor schools and there are no funds within the city budget to make those improvements," said Leslie Piper, a consumer-housing specialist for

The properties themselves are often derelict, even if the price is right.

"When there are six houses that have been on the market that have not been cared for that is going to effect what comes on the market," Piper said. ""Many of the homes in Detroit are so dilapidated they have to be torn down and built from scratch."
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $111.92 0.29%
FB $95.02 0.81%
GOOG $650.93 0.66%
TSLA $221.30 2.70%
YHOO $32.76 -0.30%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,138.67 +6.81 0.04%
S&P 500 2,014.89 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,840.6980 +2.0550 0.04%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs