Detroit's Real Estate Diamonds

  • Detroit Diamonds

    Once upon a time, Detroit – a.k.a. Motor City and the birthplace of Motown – was a glittering jewel in American’s gleaming crown of industrial and industrious cities. Tall towers were a testament to hardworking citizens and a booming economy. The streets of leafy, residential downtown neighborhoods were lined with well-kept homes and massive, elegant mansions. Beginning in the 1950s, the dwindling auto industry, violent riots, and court-ordered busing contributed to the “white flight,” a powerful economic vacuum that sucked many middle and upper class residents out to the suburbs. Detroit became better known for its horrific urban blight than its cars. As a result many of the historic homes in pristine downtown neighborhoods fell into a desperate state of neglect and disrepair. The poverty and drugs that reigned supreme in many areas of the city in the 1970s and 80s caused the price of housing in even the most elegant of Detroit’s urban neighborhoods to plummet to shockingly low levels. It seemed as if the glory days of Detroit were long gone. Although the car industry continues to languidly limp on, the turn of the century has brought a slow but steady economic shift and urban revival to downtown Detroit and its surrounding neighborhoods. There are new sports stadiums, a trio of casinos, and an ongoing revitalization of the city’s riverfront. Once swank but long shuttered hotels have reopened and a whole lot of historic houses and mansions, ripe for the picking, can now be snatched up for pennies on the dollar compared to most other urban centers. Savvy shoppers take note. Photo Credit: FemaleTrumpet02
    A Ford Family Cottage
  • A Ford Family Cottage

    Indian Village, one of Detroit’s oldest and best-preserved historic neighborhoods, sits just 3 miles from the newly up and coming downtown Detroit. The streets of the tight knit community are lined with gracious and well-maintained homes such as the  “Ford Honeymoon Cottage,” currently listed at $499,000, about the price of a studio apartment in a decent doorman building in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Donna Barlow / SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty
    A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)
  • A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)

    The brick-built home sits on a double-wide lot and was previously owned by Edsel and Eleanor Ford of the Ford car dynasty. The 3-story house measures just over 5,000 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a 29-foot long, window wrapped living room with original hardwood floors and a fireplace with a massive carved wood surround. Photo Credit: Donna Barlow / SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty
    A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)
  • A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)

    The updated home has a modern minded if not gourmet kitchen that includes original features of the home such as the icebox cabinets that line one wall. Listing information also indicates the roof is new as well as the heating and cooling systems. Photo Credit: Donna Barlow / SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty
    A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)
  • A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)

    At least one of the home’s 3.5 bathrooms retains its vintage charm with honey-bee tile floors, white subway tiles on the walls, a porcelain soaking tub, separate shower, and a double basin pedestal sink. Photo Credit: Donna Barlow / SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty
    A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)
  • A Ford Family Cottage (cont.)

    There are a myriad of entertainment and relaxation options in the back yard where multi-level terraces extend from the back of the house and an expansive grassy area on the side is large enough for a swimming pool. Not surprisingly, given the home’s provenance, there is a large motor court and detached 4-car garage at the back of the property. Photo Credit: Donna Barlow / SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty
    Tudor Affordability
  • Tudor Affordability

    Just a few blocks from the historic and private Detroit Golf Club, a charming, 1930s Tudor with approximately 3,300 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms is listed at $219,000. With a traditional 20% down payment, that amounts to a wee bit over $1,000 per month, far less than an itty bitty, crappy 2-bedroom apartment in most urban centers. Photo Credit: Edward Bowlin / Real Estate One
    Tudor Affordability (cont.)
  • Tudor Affordability (cont.)

    The interior spaces include a large living room with bay window, wood burning fireplace and refinished hardwood floors, formal dining room, sun porch, and eat-in kitchen. Many original details remain intact such as the leaded glass windows. Photo Credit: Edward Bowlin / Real Estate One
    Brush Park Brownstone
  • Brush Park Brownstone

    Until recently, the Brush Park neighborhood, once home some of Detroit’s hoitier-toity types, was ravaged with blight and chock-a-block full of deteriorating mansions. Recent years have seen a new wave of urban pioneers move into the neighborhood and restore many of the elaborate, Victorian-era homes and convert crumbling buildings into luxury condos. One such conversion contains a 3-story brownstone from the 1890s with 2,500 sq. ft. and an asking price of $179,000. Photo Credit: Edward Bowlin / Real Estate One
    Brush Park Brownstone (cont.)
  • Brush Park Brownstone (cont.)

    There are 3 bedrooms, 2.25 bathrooms, a brand new gourmet kitchen, 2-car garage with bonus room above, a private courtyard, and a 3rd floor balcony with city views. Listing information indicates the brownstone is offered as a short sale, so some patience might be required by the buyer. Photo Credit: Edward Bowlin / Real Estate One
    Rare River Front Residence
  • Rare River Front Residence

    At the upper end of the downtown Detroit real estate scene is stately Colonial style mansion with direct frontage on the Detroit River and an asking price of $700,000. The approximately 6,000 sq. ft. residence stands three stories tall with an elegant row of 8 columns that stretch across the wide width of the front porch and a trio of Gothic dormers with arched windows that jut out from the roof. Photo Credit: Coast to Coast Realty via Realtor.com
    Rare River Front Residence (cont.)
  • Rare River Front Residence (cont.)

    Listing information indicates that the grand mansion, which retains many original details, contains 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a vast 37-foot long living room with wood burning fireplace, large dining room, and a finished basement space that provides another 2,000 sq. ft. of living space. Photo Credit: Coast to Coast Realty via Realtor.com
    Not Your Average Triple Wide
  • Not Your Average Triple Wide

    A fanciful French Regency mansion, situated on a sprawling and lavishly landscaped triple wide lot in the desirable and historic Indian Village neighborhood, was built in 1909 by famed architect Louis Kamper and is currently listed with an asking price of $649,995. Photo Credit: Joy Santiago / Dwelling Unlimited
    Not Your Average Triple Wide (cont.)
  • Not Your Average Triple Wide (cont.)

    The deeply dignified dwelling spans approximately 9,300 sq. ft. and includes an impress the guests style entrance hall that features a mosaic tile floor with a Greek key pattern that runs round the edge, and a delicate, crystal chandelier given to the home’s original owner by Edsel Ford, whose former house also happens to be for sale and discussed earlier. Photo Credit: Joy Santiago / Dwelling Unlimited
    Not Your Average Triple Wide (cont.)
  • Not Your Average Triple Wide (cont.)

    In addition to the 7 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms, the mansion contains several reception rooms including a formal living room with a heavily ornamented marble fireplace and a formal dining room that displays some of the home’s more detailed moldings and intricate plasterwork. Photo Credit: Joy Santiago / Dwelling Unlimited
    The Bargain Basement
  • The Bargain Basement

    The biggest bang for the buck currently on the market in the coveted and historic Indian Village neighborhood is a chunky, 6 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom brick built Colonial with approximately 4,500 sq. ft. and a bargain basement asking price of $185,000. Despite the surprisingly low asking price, listing information states the property is not a short sale. The regal residence, built in 1911, includes a 30-foot long living room with fireplace, formal dining room, sunroom, eat-in kitchen, and a master suite with attached sitting room.Photo Credit: Betty Warmack / Real Estate One
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