- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Even at $1, buying a home in Detroit, Mich. can be a rip-off.

Those who are hoping to capitalize on Detroit’s future by purchasing cheap homes online often can look forward to hollowed-out housing with aluminum siding and furnaces missing, high taxes and threats to life and limb.

“This is actually the property we’re coming to see — the one that says: ‘Stay out. You will be shot,’” said John Lewis, of Max Broock, realtor to a Business Insider representative on a tour of the city. “It would take a developer to purchase the whole neighborhood, including plans to have stores, shops, grocery shores — in my opinion — to come back and thrive. It’s too far gone to be able to do one property or single properties.”

Mr. Lewis went on to tell a representative from Business Insider that when homes are inspected, it’s often an “at your own risk” scenario.

“The homes that you see online that are in the $1 to $5 to $100 range, you have to be very careful with those, because often they’re in a neighborhood that is pretty blighted. They look from the outside to be OK, but on the inside they’re pretty gutted,” said Dan Elsa, President, Real Estate One, Business Insider reported.

Mr. Elsa went on to say that individuals who think they’re buying a home for as little as $5,000 can still end up paying $2,000 or $3,000 per year in taxes because the homes are assessed at $60,000.

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