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jbr12

Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit

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This story is amazing-

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070319/ts_nm/...Ot1WQcYJ1QDW7oF

DETROIT (Reuters) - With bidding stalled on some of the least desirable residences in Detroit's collapsing housing market, even the fast-talking auctioneer was feeling the stress.

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"Folks, the ground underneath the house goes with it. You do know that, right?" he offered.

After selling house after house in the Motor City for less than the $29,000 it costs to buy the average new car, the auctioneer tried a new line: "The lumber in the house is worth more than that!"

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There are houses cheaper than cars in almost any city you can think of. You're being just a bit over-dramatic, don't you think? lol

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Huh? Any city? My grandmother's POS house is for sale for $60,000 in down-and-out Laurium, MI. Probably the last place on the planet you'd want to buy a house. If you are talking about high end luxury cars, okay I can agree with that. Also, the rent my housemants and I pay is collectively $40,000 for just one year!! But 29,000 for a house is incredibly low. Saying amazing is hardly being over-dramatic. More like remarkable. These are houses I can actually afford to buy fresh out of college.

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I'm talking about most all older, established cities. And, we're talking about forclosed homes at an auction, here. Perhaps, I'm missing something, but houses are sold, all of the time, here in Lansing for dirt cheap in sketchy neighborhoods. I'm getting that feeling, again, that we're talking about completely different subjects.

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Eh, I read the article. It's a bit sensationalized... stating that "at least 16" houses sold for under $30,000 isn't particularly compelling. However, I'd bet money that the proportion of Detroit housing stock that is selling for bargain-basement prices is exceptional compared to other cities. The housing market in SE Michigan is a serious problem, and it's only going to get worse as we continue to bleed jobs...

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Ok, I think I see where my confusion is coming from. I'm in complete agreement that Metro Detroit's housing market has to be one of the worst (if not the worst) in the country. However, the fact that houses are selling for less than cars is hardly surprising or unheard of. And, I'm not going to back off the over-dramatic statement, especially considering the number shown in the article.

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Perhaps I was being 'over dramatic', but to me, this is still mind boggling. You say it happens all the time, but it is news to me, which is why I posted. Where I grew up (Boyne City, MI) a piece of crap house easily goes for 100,000 or more/ I mean, the article doesn't just reference crappy, run down houses in terrible neighborhoods. Look at the example of a house that was listed for 525,000 in Bloomfield Hills go for only 125,000.

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In virtually every core city there are houses avaialble for less than $30,000 the only exception being maybe the west coast. For instance, even in lansing there are at least 35 houses listed for $30k or less and 131 for $50k or less.

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I'm just speculating here, but I think maybe some of you have become numb to the condition of the Michigan housing market....the fact that it seems sensationalized in the local context ignores the national perception. Remember, the article was written for a national audience, I believe that most of the nation (like I was) were appalled how cheap things are. To put things in perspective, here in Boston, I did a search of all "lots" for sale. The cheapest lot in the entire city, which of course is in the city's most violent neighborhood, is $79,000. The cheapest single-family home, also in the sam neighborhood, is $199k. There are only 2 lots in the entire city for sale under $100k, and only 11 for sale under $200k....so I think that 16 houses selling at one auction for under $30k is shocking to many people not familiar with the woes of the Detroit economy.

My first thought was when I heard those prices is buying these houses for their materials alone. Like the auctioneer said, the lumber is probably worth that, and certainly would be with the copper wiring, solid doors, etc.

All in all, it's really sad. Detroit has such great urban form, tons of amazing houses and other buildings, and it just can't seem to jump start things. I ask this as an outsider, but what is the problem? Is the government incapable of turning things around, or is there just too little civic pride among the majority of the residents?

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I'm just speculating here, but I think maybe some of you have become numb to the condition of the Michigan housing market....the fact that it seems sensationalized in the local context ignores the national perception. Remember, the article was written for a national audience, I believe that most of the nation (like I was) were appalled how cheap things are. To put things in perspective, here in Boston, I did a search of all "lots" for sale. The cheapest lot in the entire city, which of course is in the city's most violent neighborhood, is $79,000. The cheapest single-family home, also in the sam neighborhood, is $199k. There are only 2 lots in the entire city for sale under $100k, and only 11 for sale under $200k....so I think that 16 houses selling at one auction for under $30k is shocking to many people not familiar with the woes of the Detroit economy.

My first thought was when I heard those prices is buying these houses for their materials alone. Like the auctioneer said, the lumber is probably worth that, and certainly would be with the copper wiring, solid doors, etc.

All in all, it's really sad. Detroit has such great urban form, tons of amazing houses and other buildings, and it just can't seem to jump start things. I ask this as an outsider, but what is the problem? Is the government incapable of turning things around, or is there just too little civic pride among the majority of the residents?

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A boarded-up bungalow on the city's west side brought $1,300. A four-bedroom house near the original Motown recording studio sold for $7,000.

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Indeed this article is absolutely shocking and very sad for a city with such huge potential and what I perceive to be civic pride. I think an explanation for Detroit's woes lies in our globalized economy. Massive job losses at Ford and Chrysler are a direct result of their inability to compete with foreign automakers in quality and gas economy. I think that the only solution is for the state to provide economic incentives for companies to relocate. I think with a staggering 7% unemployment rate this will be next to impossible. I think there is an upside to all this, as housing prices continue to outpace income in much of the country (Like DC and NYC) Detroit maybe viewed as bargain for starving artist and others from the creative class. As has been seen in many communities this has led to a dramatic turnaround as artists, web developers and others of this ilk make formerly decrepit cities (Brooklyn, NY) hip and cool they are usually followed by Yuppies. This "grassroots" redevelopment has assisted other struggling cities (Cleveland, Pittsburgh etc.) in stabilizing their economies. I hope there is some solution to saving what is one of America's premiere cities.

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Is the government incapable of turning things around, or is there just too little civic pride among the majority of the residents?

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These stories always remind me of the episode of the Simpsons where Bart buys an abandoned warehouse. :lol:

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In virtually every core city there are houses avaialble for less than $30,000 the only exception being maybe the west coast. For instance, even in lansing there are at least 35 houses listed for $30k or less and 131 for $50k or less.

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This whole situation is no surprise to me at all. There are houses in the worst parts of Birmingham (Alabama) that have been appraised to be only $11,000 in value. Greater Birmingham basically on the same path of what is happening here in Metro Detroit, city versus suburban infighting, no alternative form of transportation other than by automobile, and lack of regional cooperation.

This whole situation is something that we here in Birmingham should fear happening, but a wake up call to Detroit City Hall and all the suburban government officials that something is HORRIBLY wrong with this picture.

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This whole situation is no surprise to me at all. There are houses in the worst parts of Birmingham (Alabama) that have been appraised to be only $11,000 in value. Greater Birmingham basically on the same path of what is happening here in Metro Detroit, city versus suburban infighting, no alternative form of transportation other than by automobile, and lack of regional cooperation.

This whole situation is something that we here in Birmingham should fear happening, but a wake up call to Detroit City Hall and all the suburban government officials that something is HORRIBLY wrong with this picture.

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Yes I'm not suprised I just came from Detroit a few weeks ago, there seems to be some effort of redevelopment but there is so much work to be done the little that has been done is overshadowed by the work that needs to be done.

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I think that is making light of a lot of quality redevelopment going on in the hoods. I'd hardly call the neighborhoods redevelopments as having "virtually not effort." Sure, neighborhood redvelopment is a daunting task, but a lot of being done, and its significant.

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Did a quick search and there are at least a dozen single family homes (some in the 2000+sf range) for sale under $30,000 in Durham, NC. The neighborhood, East Durham, has seen better days (this weekend alone a 14 year old girl got killed by a stray bullet, and in a separate incident a 14 year old got hit in the stomach by another stray bullet) but many of these houses were once quite grand, and have a lot of potential as historic renovations.

And remember that this is in the NC Triangle, which is anything but a down-and-out region (We're growing like mad.) It's all about location, location, location. Every region has its good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods.

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Here in Chicago you can find tons of houses for under $30,000. They will mostly be on the south side, or west side, of course. These houses and their prices reflect their neighborhoods and only indirectly reflect the economy of the city of Chicago, which is doing quite well. But when people talk about Detroit they will link any bad news in the neighborhoods to the state of the city, the metro region, and the state. The person who wrote the story knows this and doesn't care if it's over-sensationalizing.

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