Italy has become famous for attempting to boost its population and economy by offering homes for $1. Now the strategy is coming to the US, with Detroit trying it out for itself. Motor City has announced that it would put 663 homes up for sale, listed at just $1,000 each. Sure, it’s more expensive than a $1 home in Italy, but it’s still quite a steal.
Detroit’s new housing offer is an attempt to reverse troubling population trends. The city has lost nearly half of its population since 1950, and over 15,000 houses were demolished starting in 2014. To avoid creating vast stretches of empty land, hundreds of houses were put up for auction starting at $1,000. Each home goes up for bid at a specified time, designated by a countdown clock. You’ll be able to view the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the neighborhood in the listing. If you’re interested, you can schedule a time to see the home before purchasing.
Much like the Italian offer, however, Detroit’s $1,000 homes come with a caveat. Closing and title fees could cost around $450 to which you need to add recording and tax certification fees, as well as title insurance. Also, since many homes have discontinued water service, you’ll have to pay to reconnect it, which could cost up to $10,000.
To purchase one of the $1,000 Detroit homes, you must also prove either that you’re a Michigan resident or that you will be living in the home after it’s renovated. Winning bidders must provide photos of the house within 15 days of purchase, showing that debris has been removed, and continue to document your renovation progress every 30 days. By 180 days, owners need to show proof of completion and occupancy.