For years now, Italy has been attempting to revitalize certain towns by offering up historic buildings for just $1. Now, it seems some struggling US cities might be jumping on board with the idea too. Detroit recently announced that it would be placing 663 homes for sale with a listing price of just $1,000 each.
The once-bustling destination has faced challenging times over the past few decades, with nearly half the population leaving since 1950. Over 15,000 houses were knocked down starting in 2014, but many are still left. Another solution was proposed to avoid vast vacant land, with hundreds of remaining homes put up for auction, starting at $1,000.
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Each home goes up for bid for a fixed time. You'll see the countdown clock and the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the neighborhood on the listing. Interested buyers can schedule a time to see the homes before making a final purchase.
While this seems very alluring to many, the process does come with many restrictions. First, it's important to note that many homes have discontinued water service, which could cost up to $10,000 to reconnect. That's in addition to closing and title fees of $450, recording fees of $30, tax certification fees of $25, and title insurance that starts around $322.
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You'll also have to meet specific eligibility requirements like proving you're a Michigan resident or that you will live in it after it's renovated. You also can't have code violations, back property taxes in the county, or have a home in foreclosure in the county. If you pass those stipulations, the winning bidder must also provide photos of the house within 15 days showing that debris from the home was removed and then show progress every 30 days. By 180 days, the owner must show "proofs of completion and occupancy."
Ultimately, the goal is to make steps towards becoming a booming metropolis again.