As part of its battle against blight, the city of Detroit has developed a website to auction off 15 vacant homes for opening bids of $1,000 at the rate of one property per day. The homes are part of the inventory of 16,000 vacant homes the city owns, all of them the result of tax-lien foreclosures.
The auction begins May 5 on Buildingdetroit.org and is open only to Michigan residents. The winning bidders have a series of deadlines to meet: They must present the 10 percent down payment within 72 hours and close with full payment within 60 days if they purchased the property for under $20,000, or 90 days if the price was over that amount.
In addition, the new owner must renovate the home and make sure it is inhabited within six months or forfeit both the home and the money.
Better to save than raze
The first home up for bid is a three-bedroom, one-bathroom colonial built in 1941. It has 1,431 square feet and needs a new furnace and water heater. It is located in Detroit's East English Village neighborhood. So are 11 of the other homes.
"We're laying another huge piece in place in Detroit's strategy to fight blight," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said during a news conference. "It is not enough to just demolish. We have a lot of great houses in this city that I believe can be occupied. These are beautiful homes, and we're going to see how many people believe in the city and want to come in and take these homes."
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