For those who’re new to Detroit and hoping to buy a home, you can buy one for as low as $1,000 through DLBA (Detroit Land Bank Authority) auctions. Founded in 2008, the Land Bank hopes to convert run-down vacant properties to productive use. Ever since then, they’ve been auctioning off thousands of properties through its public platform.
Anyone who successfully bids on a property are required to renovate them after which, a compliance officer checks the home whether it’s habitable or not. Ownership is given to the bidder once it’s deemed livable.
One Detroit resident, Vicent Orr, bought one of these properties at auction for $2,100. After winning the bid, he spent $40,000 to renovate the home for 9 months which he would eventually give to his mom.
“When I first purchased the house, it was in complete shambles,” according to Orr. He also added that neighbors claimed that the home has been vacant for almost 10 years. From a roof about to cave in to windows missing, the home didn’t seem to be a likely candidate for living.
The living space was in pretty bad shape as well. Walls were torn down exposing plumbing and electrical systems that would surely pose a hazard if it wasn’t addressed. Most of the utilities and fixtures has been worn down and some of them have even been missing.
Kitchen before renovation
Bathroom before renovation
Orr managed to do most of the renovation work. He installed all windows, doors, and even the furnace. He hired workers and contractors when it came to parts of the home that required professional assistance such as the heating systems and roof repairs.
Orr was driven by the fact that he grew up in the neighborhood where he bought the home. “My family roots in this neighborhood run pretty deep. I wanted to stay around and bring it back to the level that I remember it at when I was a child,” he said.
As soon as the home was completed, his mother moved right in. Will all of the necessary renovations done, they’re now focused on decorating.
Newly renovated living room
Kitchen with newly installed cabinets and countertop
Functional plumbing systems were installed successfully
Orr needed to update the home renovation process by sending pictures to the DLBA. “For the final inspection, they didn’t have to come out, because I documented everything with photographs and sent it to them. They had been following the process along the way,” said Orr
After passing it over to his mom, he bought the house next door by winning the bid for $1,200. He’s now renovating it.
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