Would anyone buy an $18,000 house in Detroit?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by steviem, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #1
    Just wondering, I saw a story about the average house price in Detroit is $18,000. Whilst I'm from London (raised in East London/Essex borders) I'm taking interest in the whole situation because, well $18,000 is amazingly cheap - no mortgage would be required!

    Although I guess with that price tag job opportunities in the area are probably non existent (what about in the IT industry?) and the area would probably be quite destitute at the moment.
     
  2. suprdave1 macrumors newbie

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    #2
    $18,000 for a house that would go for probably $100k+ in any thriving city is certainly intriguing. But, as you said, lack of job opportunities (or really anything else, either - I wouldn't bet on having a lot of people to hang out with, haha) is what prevents me and probably anyone else from following through.

    But, wow, I COULD just write out a check for a HOUSE. I only imagined millionaires doing that, but now I could!
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #3
    Location, location, location...

    If the area is tolerable and at that price it's a steal.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Firstly, there's a reason why a house costs $18,000 in Detroit (with a median price of $7500, according to the other thread). The reason is simple.....Detroit is done. Forget it.

    Saying that, if there has ever been a gamble worth taking, perhaps this is it. If the market picks up and jobs do come back to Detroit, then being able to sell your house for more, even if it's only $50k or so (still cheap for a house), will mean that you make 3x the cash if you sell.

    If the market goes down even more, and your house loses 30% of its value by next year, then what do you lose? Around $5400, which isn't a lot if you want to gamble on an investment.
     
  5. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

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    #5
    Lol

    LOL

    I'm surprised no one has said "DETROIT? DO YOU WANT TO GET KILLED?"

    Now.... yes, like any city, not all areas will be quite as bad, but perhaps since you are from overseas you do not know as much, but detroit is quite possibly one of the most destitute, dirty and dangerous cities in the US.

    My dad grew up there, and it wasn't even quite as bad when he was a kid, but the stories from living there (and the times we visited his dad before he moved) are crazy.

    18,000 is probably still a steal, but chances are that house is in the WORST area of detroit, in horrible condition (could be just painted to look nice, but under it's falling apart) or some murders took place there.

    Once again, I'm sure there are outskirts and areas of detroit that aren't that bad... BUT with the US economy and the bailout on the auto industries, you have to remember, THAT is why the market is that much worse there.

    DETROIT WAS FOUNDED ON THE AUTO INDUSTRY. Without it, since it's doing SO SO SO poorly, Detroit, (founded on american cars.. like GM - Cadillac, so dying a bit already over the last few years) is essentially dying.

    Yet another reason why the house is so cheap.

    Perhaps abargain, but 18k that you would have an almost impossible time getting back for the next .. oh... 5 or 10 years depending on economy if/when you decide to sell. Not to mention you could rent, but renting in that area would be a nightmare of repairs and skipped rent payments.

    Yes... Detroit is in general, not friendly.
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #6
    18k dollars for a stripped home in a sewage pit, what a steal.

    Only thing that home is lacking in that wasteland of a neighborhood is zombies.

    Though the remaining meth heads looking for cash should suffice as a replacement, and be more dangerous and exciting as a source of adrenaline producing situations.
     
  7. Galley macrumors 65816

    Galley

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    #7
    It's the same reason why a home in rural North Dakota will sell for $1,500. No one wants to live there.
     
  8. edgew8 macrumors regular

    edgew8

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    #8
    actually I would, I make all my money online..as long as they can get broadband out there, I would love to live there and save on rent.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #9
    ^^^What? Life is about more than saving on rent. If I had to live in North Dakota and be bored to near-death, I'd rather pay more and live.
     
  10. Galley macrumors 65816

    Galley

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    #10
    My sister sent me photos yesterday of 20 foot tall snow drifts in Fargo. Are you sure you'd still wanna live there? ;)
     
  11. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #11
    Keep in mind as well that you'd be paying property taxes on the assessed value, not the sale value, so it would cost you much, much more than the initial cost in only a few years.
     
  12. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    I think you only need look oop North in those ex-coal miner houses selling for a few thousand for a similar experience.
     
  13. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

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    #13
    Hmm, $1500 for a house in North Dakota?

    Well, if you're lucky enough to have a job that you can work from home - heck, all I need is a decent internet connection and I can work anywhere - then the middle of nowhere, North Dakota, sounds mighty fine to me!
     
  14. eldy macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Since you live across the pond, you're also going to need a reliable person/company to maintain the property for you.
     
  15. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #15
    US$18k? That'd buy you pretty much the best house in Detroit right about now wouldn't it?

    Gawd, no thanks.

    Reminds me of a bit in 30 Rock where you hear on the TV in the background that "a tornado has ripped through downtown Detroit, putting out several fires". Made me laugh...
     
  16. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

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    #16
    I meant move to the US and live in rural North Dakota. Snow, I can shovel it.
     
  17. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #17
    I lived in a nice neighborhood in London and a not so nice one. There was certainly a difference.

    My good friend lives just outside of Detroit, and it's a pretty decent area, however, in the city center itself is not so good. This can usually be said about Oakland, DC, and Boston, too where inner city crime is pretty bad and very hard to avoid. I had a friend who taught in Oakland and he noted the incredible violence from end to end, including unfortunately once safe areas in the hills. My best friend lived in Boston most of his life, moved out to California, and when he went back to Boston, he couldn't find one good area anymore and areas of his youth once safe were no longer there. DC, I will get to that later. :)

    Some cities, also noted for crime (remember this is America where guns are legal), there are cities with entire good sections in the city center and bad sections like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and there is "some" distance between good and bad neighborhoods. Your safety in those cities, not unlike London, is greatly increased than the earlier cities mentioned.

    And then there are major American cities with unusually low levels of violent crime like San Jose. That being said, it's still an urban city and there is crime/gangs you won't find in a nearby outlying area like nearby Mountain View or Woodside. If I had to live in the city limits of a major American City, San Jose would frighten me the least.

    While Detriot, DC, Oakland and Boston are in my opinion places I would never live if anywhere near downtown/city limits, you may want to search for a good real estate deal in a US city where it's not infested with crime. Of course, these areas are known and that explains the higher prices you will find in a nicer NYC, San Francisco, or Los Angeles neighborhood, being just far enough away from a really bad area. The first cities I noted do not generally have large enough isolated pockets of safety and are ones I would avoid at all costs.

    My brother just moved out of one of those terrible cities, DC, and moved from the city center quite a bit a ways out in a safe neighborhood in Virginia. Big difference. While there may be a good block in the first cities, there is that chance you can get attacked or worse with a short walk from there and in too many cases, the violent crime comes to you.

    In the end, if low price and home ownership in the US is what you really desire, better off with a suburban or rural property and unless you have been in a large American city, stay away from the more notorious ones. Don't just do Google searches on crime rates, but be in correspondence with people who currently live in those major American cities to get a realistic picture. I get my picture from having lived in the city, or know families and friends from every city I mentioned. In no way am I saying the people of one city are superior than the people of another city, but violent crime is a reality in some major cities more than others.
     
  18. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

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    #18
    That's not just an American thing though. It's the same everywhere. I live in a town in the North of England with a population of 50,000, and there are some areas I wouldn't dream of entering after dark. And certainly the town centre and an area surrounding it is to be avoided on Friday and Saturday nights.
     
  19. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #19
    I hope guns and homicide haven't invaded your cities in the UK.

    My friend who taught in Oakland dealt with weekly shootings on campus. The Port of Oakland is one of America's top seaport intake sections of drugs coming in on the West Coast.

    My Boston friend got shot at, stabbed, and knocked out cold several times in just a few months. There was never a night without the sound of gunfire.

    And DC, our nation's capitol, has violent crime so bad that Obama put it in his agenda to attack violent crime there as a priority. Sadly, even if he succeeds in all areas of his Presidency, cleaning up violence in DC could never possibly be one of those. Obama would be FAR more likely to make Baghdad safe than DC. There is a reason previous US Presidents would not touch DC crime with a ten foot pole.
     
  20. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

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    #20
    Not guns so much (although our nearest city, Manchester, is the gun capital of the UK, and has a nickname of Gunchester), but knives. Mix knives with drugs and gangs and you get the usual sort of urban crime.

    So true, DC has a problem, but DC also has nice areas. Same for NYC, London, etc.

    But getting back to this thread, RURAL North Dakota, with nothing but farms and hills, etc, sounds ideal. So long as I can get broadband and cable TV :cool:
     
  21. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #21
    Those nice areas in DC are not in the city limits. My brother lived in the nicest section of DC and he is far safer outside of DC altogether is now a half hour into Virginia. What is really a damn shame is that the violent DC crime has bubbled over into areas outside of DC proper and into Maryland and Virginia closest to our nation's capitol.

    My wife is from NYC and like I said, I lived in London, so I will agree with you there about nice areas in those two.

    Nice and (safe) areas are not put into the same sentence when talking about DC.

    A nice major US city is one where you can live and work, and have a section where it is known to be safe after dark, too. Anyway, avoid cities where is is dangerous at night, and especially if it's dangerous at night and during the day. The South Bronx would be and example most closely related to DC and the location of the OP's possible future house, Detroit.

    By no means are all major US cities equally dangerous in violent crime, but Detroit raises a red flag with me and many Americans regardless of whether that city has boom or bust.
     
  22. LeahM macrumors 6502a

    LeahM

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    #22
    Hmm Canada isn't sounding so bad right about now. :)

    But on the other hand, maybe a bunch of (good) people began purchasing the lots, it could change block by block.
     
  23. suprdave1 macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Hills? North Dakota has hills? Well, I guess if you go to a specific area. It's mostly flat.

    Rural Broadband? GOOD LUCK. :p
     
  24. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

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  25. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #25
    Um, have you every personally been to Boston?

    I have a lot of family out there and it is one of the nicest, safest cities in the country.

    I am nearly speechless seeing it lumped in with Oakland, Washington DC and indirectly Detroit in regard to crime. I have been to all of these places except Detroit and there is a world of difference between Boston and the others.
     

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