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Can You Buy a Starter Home in Detroit for $42K?

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Not really

Pallister Street, New Center, Detroit
Michelle & Chris Gerard

Curbed.com recently compiled a comprehensive look at starter home prices across the country. Zillow provided a great deal of information for this report, including the median prices of homes over the past 20 years, which we’re providing in this handy, interactive chart below.

Detroit, unsurprisingly, came in as the most inexpensive place to buy a starter home. The report says the median price for a starter home is $42,200 in Detroit. Over the past 20 years, the number has hit a high of $85,700 in 2005 to a low of $38,200 in 2012.

So can a first-time home buyer get a starter home in Detroit for $42,200? It depends on where they want to live and how much work they want to put into it. Rehabbed & Ready is a program that rehabs houses mainly in northwest neighborhoods like Bagley and Crary-St. Mary’s to get them ready for new owners. They even do bus tours of available houses sometimes, with info available on how to finance. Their homes right now are listed between $50,000 and $115,000.

And first time home buyers should know that when buying a house that needs renovations in Detroit, it’s very difficult to get a loan to cover that. The new Detroit Home Mortgage program was created earlier this year to help people get into their own houses.

But of course, first time home owners should keep in mind that property taxes here are out of control. Also, ask around because buying a home in the city isn’t always easy.