Built in 1917, this Detroit Land Bank home up for auction next week is a sly, sneaky old girl—she's somehow evaded scrappers, and maintains many of her old-school charms: hardwood floors (in terrible condition, but still there), original tile, six-panel doors, French doors (with actual glass still in place), a marble-fronted fireplace, wainscoting, old radiators, and many original doorknobs in brass and crystal. The 5-bedroom, 2.5 bath Tudor hid her candy very well indeed, given that many homes with these lovely old touches have had every molecule of wood, glass and tile spirited away, only to reappear in the suburbs as "shabby chic." Even the basketball hoop on the detached garage remains, waiting for kids to come enjoy it again.
This house is gorgeous on the outside, with its period brick, classic Tudor stucco, and a large, deep front porch. The house next door is pretty, too, The area is hot these days, and homes in the neighborhood go for respectable prices, many ranging from the $100K to $200K range. Given the comps and this house's size and remaining fixtures, it looks as if it could re-sell for a very tidy profit if someone invested in a good, thorough, historically accurate renovation. The starting bid for this home, like all homes offered at auction by the Detroit Land Bank, is just $1000. No doubt it will go for much, much more than that, but chances are you'll make your money back and then some. Um, or acquire a character house you can restore into a grand old place to live in forever.
UPDATE: A Curbed reader pointed out that the Land Bank actually sold this house in May for $80K. That it's back up for auction suggests that the deal fell through. Not uncommon with Land Bank sales, it seems. As Curbed has reported, the program has had problems with sales failing because some bidders can't get financing on houses the city's dysfunctional appraisal system assesses far lower value than the winning bids—and the market—show that they have. Not to worry, though. Potential bidders on this house should know that financing is available, per the Land Bank's listing on the house.