Detroit’s old housing stock is unbeatable. And that’s evidenced by some of the spectacular homes that went up for sale in 2019.
This year, buyers could purchase some of the Detroit’s most historic homes, some of its largest, and even the most expensive in the city’s history. But there were also tastefully done renovations, eccentric estates, and some that need work.
Even as the home prices continued to climb, it was still possible to find affordable, move-in ready, well-designed homes. We’ve also included a few from the suburbs that are more than worthy of this list.
And now, in no particular order, here are the 13 homes that made us stop and admire.
There’s lots to admire, both inside and out, about this five-bedroom home off W. 7 Mile Road. The second story has a layer of stucco broken up by brick accents around the windows and exposed wood framing over the attached two-car garage. Also check out the stucco walls and ceilings, exquisite hardwood floors, built-in shelves, multiple fireplaces and chandeliers, ‘Medieval’ doors with strap hinges and other original pieces of hardware—should we go on?
An award-winning home that was added to the National Register of Historic in 2013, the Balogh House in Plymouth was designed by architect Tivadar Balogh for his family in 1958.
It’s a masterwork of midcentury modern architecture. Nicknamed the ‘Cube,’ the home looks much bigger than its 1,905 square feet thanks to its expansive, covered outdoor living space. That and other features, like the skylights and wood siding, beautifully integrate it with the surrounding nature.
Architect C. Howard Crane is best known for his “theater palaces” like Orchestra Hall and the Fox Theatre. But he also designed homes, including this beauty from the 1910s in Indian Village. The 4,251-square-foot beauty has a tasteful color scheme on the exterior, as well as two floors of bay windows, a dormer, and a wide front porch.
The sheer size of the home is imposing: over 20,000 square feet, 14 bedrooms, 10 fireplaces, garage space for nine cars, six full bathrooms, two carriage houses with their own apartments, all on an almost four acre property that takes up two-thirds of the block. The S. S. Kresge mansion in Boston Edison is easily the the largest residential property for sale in Detroit. At $3.25 million, it’s also one of the most expensive.
This home on Biltmore Street is one of many brought back to life by a couple that does designer renovations of modest homes in Detroit neighborhoods. Listed for just under $70,000, the interior comes with smart decor and color schemes, as well as brand new kitchen bathrooms. Like all their homes, the furniture could be purchased for just $3,000 more.
People went bonkers over this untouched gem designed by Carl Habermas. The wild 5,361-square-foot home in the Hollywood Regency style has fascinating asymmetry in the room dimensions, rounded edges, and surprising shapes. Now listed at $975,000, it still has all its original appliances, cabinetry, and wallpaper.
Opulent, ornate, historic. This nearly 10,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance home, designed in 1917 by famed Detroit architect George D. Mason for the eldest Fisher Brother, has it all.
There’s far too many notable features in this home to mention, but we’ll just list off a few: limestone exterior, Pewabic tiles, masterful woodwork and metalwork, stained and leaded glass, panel paintings on the ceilings and walls.
This home from 1900 on Avery Street made our list because of the incredible renovation required to bring it back to life. Prior to being purchased by Woodbridge Neighborhood Development, its wood siding was falling off and the entire interior had to be gutted. The transformation complete, it’s now a move-in ready 2,058-square-foot beauty. Also, proceeds from the sale go towards local home-repair grants.
The first thing you notice about Patti and Fred “Sonic” Smith’s former home in Saint Clair Shores is the street-facing turret. But inside the Medieval theme continues, from the embrasure windows, iron staircase, and knight’s armor in the second-floor hallway. Oh, and there’s even a secret door behind a bookcase that leads to a “dungeon” wine cellar.
Not to be outdone by his fellow rockers, the former home of White Stripes legend Jack White went up for sale this year.
The gorgeous mansion built in 1914 was designed by C. Howard Crane and has hardwood floors, intricate plasterwork, a grand foyer, a bright sun room, a checkerboard floor in the kitchen, multiple fireplaces, four bedrooms—each with their own bath, and extra living space in the basement.
We loved this 2,583-square-foot home, built in 1904, on the peaceful Van Dyke Place block near West Village. It’s warm, inviting, and filled with wood on the inside. There’s also a cute little third-floor balcony, and some nice landscaping in the backyard with a fire pit, brick patio, and detached garage that looks like a miniature version of the house itself.
There’s lots of smart little details throughout this home, carefully renovated in the early 2000s. Check out the gap between the molding and the hallway ceiling that gives the impression the ceiling is floating. There’s also a “jacuzzi nook” in the expanded attic—one of the more unique features we’ve seen in a Detroit home.
This dreamy home on the Detroit Golf Course was commissioned and lived in by the Feigenson Family, who founded Faygo. Inside you’ll find a handsome brick fireplace surrounded by built-ins, two family rooms, a wet bar, a mix of travertine and teak flooring, scalloped tile in one of the half baths, and an impressive foyer with views to the backyard.