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Detroit Home-Buying Nightmares

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What have you gone through to move into your home?

Michelle & Chris Gerard

Welcome to Friday Open Threads, wherein we'll pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, etc. Have something you want discussed? Let us know. This week’s topic: buying a house in Detroit.

Outsiders might look at Detroit and think buying a house would be easy because the prices are so low. Ha! We know better.

We know that if a house is move-in ready in a good neighborhood, it goes fast. A lot of people pay cash for their homes. A lot of houses are listed for more than they’re worth, then have to go through appraisal hell. And if you’re buying a house that needs renovations, getting a loan for that can be incredibly difficult.

A couple stories we’ve heard:

Recently, a friend found a perfect University District house. The price was good and the location was great. The appraisal took over a month, then came in under the offer because it included housing on streets that shouldn’t have been included. The buyer then had to go back and renegotiate, and the process took a couple stressful months.

A Curbed reader told us that he tried to buy a home this spring. The house was listed at $250,000 and the realtor told them the taxes were $1,500 and there were no HOA fees. After being in process for two months, the home appraised at $156,000, the taxes were $6,000, and the HOA was $300 a year.

What have you dealt with in trying to buy a home, Curbed readers? What was your experience? What were your expectations going in compared to the reality? How much money did you invest into your "reasonably priced" home? What would you tell someone who’s buying a home in the city? Share your thoughts in the comments.