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Buying property in Detroit-Is it a good idea?

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posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:15 AM
Hi folks.
I am a resident of the UK,with a meagre amount of savings and zero hope of ever owning any land or property in my home country due to extorionate prices.

Like many,through the internet I have seen the sad decline of once proud Detroit into what looks to me like a post apocalyptic wasteland.
However,I have been looking at property for sale in the city-and have found some"too good to be true"places for sale...
We are talking 2-3 bedroom houses for $100-1000 !
Now,not being from the area I have no clue as to any hidden costs or even if I would be allowed to buy such a house being a UK citizen.

Here is one of the properties I looked at,followed by my silly questions:

Lots more here:

So silly questions for folks who know the city/buying houses in the area:

Why are the houses so cheap?

Do you think Detroit will rise from its present state-if so how long will it take?

Some of the houses are tennant ocupied-does that mean I charge them rent as the owner?

Could I buy up a cheap house,then get it boarded up solid,and wait out the bad times then sell at a profit?

Would I have to pay the city anything just for having a boarded up property?(Like a council tax in the UK)

A lot of the properties are bank forclosures-does that mean if I bought one,I would be kicking some poor family onto the street?
(I wouldn't be comfortable with that.)

Is the whole idea stupid?
It would not be my first stupid idea,and probably not be my last-but I do have a few good ideas inbetween-at least I think I do.

Thank you in advance for any comments and tips!

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:21 AM
I don't know much about it, but I do know to check for liens against the house.

Whether they are for taxes owed, a loan secured against the house value, work done on the home, or any other things.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by superman2012

Nice one Soop-thats probably just one of many bits of knowledge that could turn my idea into a living nightmare.
Never would have known about that-cheers!
I shall look into it.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:31 AM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

as you have already guessed - your plan depends on weather Detroit continues to decline - or makes a turn around .

I cannot answer that

but :

boarded up houses are a money sink - they deteriorate , get vandalised , need to be insured etc etc

I would look at land in Detroit - if anything - not buildings - own the land then you can build whatever is needed on it later

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:34 AM
Do you want to buy a house in Detroit to live there, or to collect rent? Because jobs are tough to find, which is why the whole place is imploding. The crime rate is as high as anywhere in the U.S. and your chances of collecting rent long distance are almost nil. And those $100 houses are stripped of utilities, copper, appliances, etc. and probably don't have windows any more. How much rent do you think you can charge for that???

If you want cheap housing in the United States (how are you going to stay past your Visa time??) look into any number of small towns not far from bigger cities. There's plenty of cheap housing in the US, especially if you're not picky about weather, although be aware that cheap houses are not cheap to heat or cool. There's a lot more variance in weather in the US than in the UK. I used to live in upstate NY and everyone new to the area was always marveling at how cheap the housing stock was. Until they got their first winter's heating bill... My advice to anyone is pick a place ~30 miles or so away from a big enough town/city to offer some culture and entertainment options, but far enough away so that if the SHTF you'll have a buffer zone.

Maybe it'd be a lot cheaper to stay in your home country and get roommates and share housing expenses since that seems to be the biggest part of people's budgets. If you pick roomies right, it will be a win-win and not just a loss of privacy, or worse yet, a trial of personality differences.

Edited to add: Go onto Google Maps, take that 'little yellow guy' and plunk him down in your desired area; then drive around town virtually. You'll soon see that Detroit is hell on wheels, and why those houses are so cheap. They're firewood waiting to happen...Detroit will NEVER recover economically.
edit on 26371011amTuesdayf37Tue, 05 Nov 2013 10:37:26 -0600America/Chicago by signalfire because: addendum

edit on 59381011amTuesdayf38Tue, 05 Nov 2013 10:38:59 -0600America/Chicago by signalfire because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:37 AM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

You may want to look at the crime rate in Detroit, and any neighborhood you might be interested.
Or just pick a safer location, such as Syria.

Seriously, I would personally look at farm or ranch land in less populated areas. You can find nice land for $1000USD an acre.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by signalfire

The idea is to buy something which will go up in value over a decade or so,maybe popping by for the odd short stay-I know its an unlikley holiday location,but I would love to have the opportunity to take photos and vids of the city(Maybe I should hire some protection for that).

I am starting to think its not one of my greatest ideas..

reply to post by Silcone Synapse

You may want to look at the crime rate in Detroit, and any neighborhood you might be interested.
Or just pick a safer location, such as Syria.

Seriously, I would personally look at farm or ranch land in less populated areas. You can find nice land for $1000USD an acre.

Oh man..I shouldn't have,but I laughed at the comment abount Syria...
Yeah,I know its bad-Even for that house in my OP,they had 16 crimes in the area,and ONE was non violent!
I was thinking long term though,for resale value.
A nice bit of farmland sounds very appealing though-Just somewhere to have to be able to go and grow food and relax...Although having read all about the black helicopters,federal swat raids on cows and tomatoes I am not sure it would be that relaxing.

Oh well,at least you have given me another idea-Syria!

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:04 AM
If you want a 10 year return on investment, look into Mexico, Uruguay and Ecuador; they all have rather progressive governments starting to make a difference and I know plenty of people who have ex-patted there and are very happy with it. The land values there will probably continue to rise as the babyboomers age and retire. Does the UK have ex-colony islands that you could buy into cheaply? Something besides Bermuda, in other words?

Trust me, the U.S. is one blink away from complete fascism, and Detroit might as well be Berlin two minutes before they started building the wall.

There's other issues involved than simply dirt cheap 'housing'. Most of the NE of the US is rustbelt territory, the far north is too freekin' cold at least for me, the SE is bible-thumper, mosquitoes and humidity-land, the eastern seaboard is where all the government and consumerist types are (need lots of money or you're not 'cool' enough...), the center of the country is okay except for boredom and tornadoes, Pacific NW rains all the time but with glorious summers; New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona are deserts with Republicans, and finally there's California. They may be broke and it's too crowded but it's crowded for a reason; great weather. Pick a town outside the beaten path and it may be perfection. Except for fallout from Fuku, dealt with in another thread around here somewhere...

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:06 AM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

Well, if you don't mind living in a town modeled after mad max...

Detroit will have limited to no emergency services, that includes fire, police, and ambulance.

It's no longer the murder capital I believe bit that's caused by no one moving there so that number was bound to fall.

You will still have to pay taxes that are high as the more people leave the more they raise them.

All around not a good idea, but there's always a chance, federal or private intervention could happen who knows.

Remember robocop? The original it was deemed to dangerous to film in Detroit that many years ago and it's only got worse.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:13 AM
reply to post by signalfire

Hey thanks signalfire,you have a very effective way with words.
What a description of the USA today...
You should write a book.
I would love to buy somewhere in South America,my main problem with that is language issues,but easier to learn Spanish than get stuck in the US whirlpool when it goes down.

At least I am beginning to realise I have mistaken a real stinker of an idea for what I first thought was a good one.
thanks to you.
Lucky I consult the ATS hive mind before any impulse buying.

Shame really,I found a wonderful address name:

Oh well.

edit on 5/11/2013 by Silcone Synapse because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:16 AM
I wouldn't touch Detroit ... You could hand me the keys to a middle class house for free and I'd hand those keys right back to you. The infrastructure is a mess. It's a dangerous place. It can't be fixed. I wouldn't want to be there for anything.

That being said .. if you think you can make a go of it ... go ahead.

But I wouldn't be trusting tenants or anything like that. Not in Detroit.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:43 AM
reply to post by FlyersFan

Thanks FF-I get it now,it was one of my worst ideas.
Just glad I didn't jump the gun and buy a house there.

I was just reading that even the cops will rob you there...Wow,no thanks.

I said it was post apocalyptic,but this really shows the fact.
Really sad.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

Hi I live in Detroit and people from all over are buying up property here. Detroit is very ragedy in some places but very nice in other places. We are electing a new mayor today so that might help revive the city somewhat. A lot of people from the suburbs are moving to downtown Detroit. Maybe try to get some property downtown, rosedale park, or the edison district.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 01:23 PM
reply to post by Teeky

Hey thanks Teeky,
Good to hear from a local.
I doubt I could afford to buy up anywhere in the sought after districts you mention,but I hope you get a good new Mayor and your city gets back on the road to prosperity.
It does not seem fair what has happened to Detroit,but I know nothing.
The world is upside down now.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 06:21 PM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

Havent heard anyone mention this yet, but also you have to look at the taxes for the property you purchase. You arent going to pay taxes based on the 100$ or 1000$ you spend, you're going to pay based on the estimated value of the home.. Yearly. And that can "value" could be anywhere from 25k and up depending on the average price of other housing in the area. Then on top of that, you gotta pay home owners insurances (ugh what a mess!)

But you've already heard most of this from others including FF

posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 10:57 AM
Been there, done it!!!

I have done PRECISELY this and own Detroit real estate bought for peanuts.

Here is how to do it and how to avoid the pitfalls.

1. DO NOT BUY HOUSES - To try to stay a float, Detroit bills and fines for EVERYTHING. If some crackhead chucks a used condom on your lawn, you can wake to a city inspector giving you a $16,000 fine in the morning. Additionally, the city can block you even registering your property until it is up to 5th Avenue standards. SOLUTION: ONLY BUY GARDENS AND EMPTY PLOTS.
2. BEWARE THE LAND TAXES - They are laughably peanuts...I pay $5 in the WInter and $40 in the Summer, BUT the City administration is #. If you don't pay on time, you could face a massive and punative law suit. Consider, after 5 years, NOT ONCE have I ever had a bill from the City. SOLUTION: Always pay INSTANTLY and NEVER WAIT. Do not wait for a bill from the city.
3. Try to buy near Auburn Hills and near the boundary. I own just 90 feet from the municipal boundary. The presence of Police from functioning municipalities that neighbour Detroit, keep crime down and will allow you to visit in safety and leaves no risk of a body being found on your land and no chance that it will be forceably purchased by the city.
4. BUY UNDER A COMPANY NAME - If you sell, you will have to deal with the IRS and this could be costly. SOLUTION: Buy as a company then you can always just sell the entire company. By having a foreign registered company, there is no tax as the land will remain under the same company name, but with new owners of the company.

posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 04:58 PM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

No! Im in the area now. Long distance...youre only getting one picture. There ARE cheap, beautiful homes dirt cheap...but on a dont see that across the street, on the next block, around you, behind you....are complete streets with boarded up houses, burnt out houses and lowlifes walking the middle of the unlit streets with zero cops and slow fire and er response times...if they come at all.

Am I painting the correct picture? Am I over exaggerating? Yes and no. There are whole blocks of emptiness and that "great house and deal you saw online" maybe one of three or two or ten in a row. You dont see the rest of the "hood".

There is a map of all the boarded up-burned out houses in the city and the ones scheduled for demolition. You can get it by searching on line. Find a house, then ck the map. And realize this. The 1st grocery chain store recently opened in Detroit! Can you imagine?

Night time gas stations and stores are ways out from your neighborhood. Very few actual neighborhoods exist anymore. Not like with stores, churches, schools (oh god, forget the schools who need everything including toilet paper and have nothing)...where yoy know all your neighbors and its a safe and pleasant place to bring up your kids.

No wonder why Detroit is the way it is. Everyone gets out, scrappers strip the buyers like you start fixing it up and before you can do anything...the scrappers come back in and take off all the aluminum siding, water tank and copper they can. Its a never ending battle.

There ARE a few neighborhoods were they are trying hard. By with slow or no police/fire/ambulance response, delapidated or outdated schools, no chain stores unless you head to the suburbs...why buy something because to you...AND IN THE UK NO LESS...see a "deal" online?

Search online for everything Ive said. Seek statistics and maps and city planning ideas. 2 neighborhoods really trying are Brightmoor and the Blight Busters fixing it up...and Grandmont with their beautiful Tudor type homes (but still surrounded by all of the above).

I sadly consider myself from Detroit but live 6 miles away in one of the nicer suburbs. I had sold a home in Detroit 7 years ago that needed everything done to it...everything. Took $35000 for it, and it was surrounded by burned out lights, crackheads and hookers on the streets at night, burned out and boarded up houses everywhere around my "nice property-what a deal".

The house is now online...after selling for 35 g's, all fixed up, roofing, interior, landscaping etc...its for sale....for $5,000 dolllars. I could buy back my own house, all fixed up, for $30,000 LESS than I sold it for.

Dont be fooled by newstories and pretty ads and pictures online. Search out everything about the NEIGBORHOOD these houses are in. Ask questions. And dont invest in anything...until you take a trip here to see in person. Just dont stay here.

Because of where youre writing from, your thread here made me worried for you, hence my long reply. But, it is all true. We have a new mayor coming, so maybe things will start to change.

Our old mayor is in prison and took all our money.

God Bless....
edit on 09-22-2013 by mysterioustranger because: spelling

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