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Buy a $1 House in Detroit?

This is really an unprecedented situation due to the size of the bankruptcy, the amount of abandoned property, the amount of violent crime and the $443,818,881.92 owed in overdue taxes and penalties.

And even if you want to throw caution to the wind and get in on the Rust Belt real estate trend, you might find manuevering the logistics rough sailing.

There are 384,861 properties in Detroit, and of those, around 100,000 are owned by various government agencies, banks and mortgage companies, according to Jerry Paffendorf, CEO of Detroit-based Loveland Technologies, which develops crowdfunding and social mapping systems in the area.

"Most of those properties are technically available for application and purchase, although the formal processes are currently difficult to navigate and the bankruptcy has put a freeze on the city selling properties,"

Paffendord said.

Paffendorf highlighted concern over Detroit's Gini coefficient, which measures income and wealth differences within a population. Detroit may be bankrupt and devolving, but Paffendorf sees it as a symptom of a much larger problem for the middle class--one that make you hold the trigger finger on that real estate purchase.

"I think Detroit is at a very different scale than most other cities and municipalities going through this," Paffendorf said. "It honestly makes me think more about the future of the country as a whole rather than other individual places. Where's it going to go?"

--Written by Leigh Held for MainStreet

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