Ain't it grand: Detroit selling homes for just $1,000

The Motor City has a deal for you - classical homes with a starting price of just $1,000.

The online auction for abandoned, but sturdy homes is the latest plan by city leaders to fight blight and boost property values as Detroit crawls its way out of bankruptcy.

“Every house you see that’s boarded up does not have to be torn down and this is a great example,” Detroit City Councilwoman Brenda Jones said during a tour of the homes earlier this week.  “[The goal is to] save a house, put someone into that house, put it back on the tax roll and stabilize the neighborhood.”


The city isn’t hiding the fact that nearly all of the homes up for auction will require a lot of work to repair.

“You could not just move right into this house. You'd have to do some work,” explained Alexis Wiley, spokeswoman for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Repairs involving a lot of both structural and cosmetic work, as well as installation of appliances, hot water heaters and furnaces.

“You've got to make it a livable place, but when you consider what you're getting for that - you're getting into a great neighborhood with great neighbors,” Wiley told Fox News.

While the starting price is $1,000, officials anticipate most of the homes will sell for at least $20,000.

Winning bidders are required to rehab the home and bring it up to code within six months of closing, and either live in it or rent it out.

Scott Northway was among more than a thousand potential buyers who toured the homes earlier this week, and among nearly 4,000 who’ve already registered to take part in the auction.

“It could be a great opportunity to get a great home in a great neighborhood for a great value,” Northway said.

The auction kicks off Monday on, with the first of 15 properties, though the mayor’s office expects at least several hundred more to be added in the next several weeks.