Detroit properties

New to the market, my credit is not all that great. I have some money to invest. My question to the experienced investors on this site is:

Would Detroit be a good place to start investing in properties.
I came across several properties in good shape under $15,000 grand that i could hold a and rent for a couple of years and wait to the housing market in Detroit returns.

However, I don’t live their, but have family that does.

Interested in hearing what would your suggestions be moving forward


The population in Detroit Has been falling every year for the last 34 years! Detroit was originally built and in the early 1970's had a population of 2.7 million people, unfortunately Detroit's population has been falling by about 50k people roughly every year. (The exodis started in 1975)

I owned properties in Detroit at one point until I realized that the number of potential renters and buyers was decreasing drastically each year, and at some point there just won’t be people to rent or buy properties. There has been a revitalizeation effort going on in Detroit since 2004, however the population of detroit has still fallen by over $200k people in the last 6 years.

There are a bunch of classic architecturally unique homes and buildings in detroit, many of which are rotting and decaying drastically each year which may never be preserved and unfortunately there does not seem to be a solution to turning Detroit around.

The housing market will probable not come back in our life times as it would take provided there was enough jobs and industry to support a much larger population 35 years to reverse the exit trend and move back to a growth trend that would exceed the early 1970’s population and industry levels.

If you have never been to Detroit it is a very interesting city, however don’t drive through there at night at all as it goes from bad to worse day to night, the streets are layed out like a wagon wheel with downtown Detroit as the hub and main avenues headed out from due north all the way around the west and clear around to the south east, and of course Canada is just across the river.

There is a great Hotel (I think it’s a Radison) directly across the street from the General Motors (Government Motors) building and a restaurant just south of the GM building that serves steak and seafood with tables overlooking the river. Make sure you go into the GM building as they have a glass walkway in the building up three or four stories as I remember, it circles the central core of the building and is a real experience to walk on!

But the main thing about Detroit is it looks like a war zone, you can litterally drive for miles and miles and all you see are decaying buildings, trash and refrigerators, washers, dryers, old beds, couches, tables and personal items in the streets, fronts of homes and buildings collapsing and the smell of sewage and rotting wood, decaying animals and garbage. Then of course you go another block and see a street of homes that look like there right out of the 1950’s with manacured lawns, signs of life, electric on and kids playing in the streets, this is Detroit Michigan.

For those of you who do not know or remember the industrial city of Gary Indiana which was once a busiling City with a huge population is now a ghost town as the steel mills that used to support that population have gone under and now left it a standing ghost city, with vertually no inhabitants.

I personally will never again buy property in the City of Detroit, and although I got out ok years ago, I would never invest there again.

Good luck,


The key to any market is jobs. Ask yourself where are these people going to be moeny from to pay me rent or buy my house. If it is not an obvious answer keep looking.

I have been bullish on Houston for decades. Houston has a diverse employment base ( I don’t have any of my tenants that work directly in the oil business) but still heavy into oil. I am keeping my eye on the oil market in light of recent developments.


A huge part to real estate investing, no matter what form or technique or objective, is to know your market. I currently live near Portland, OR but I grew up in the Detroit area and lived in Michigan until I was 22. That being said, that area is my hometown and I hope that it turns around. It is true that houses can be purchased for $15k and below in Detroit, but the sad truth is that I think it would be really hard to find good tenants. Even if you are investing primarily in hopes of future appreciation, being an absent owner to property in Detroit may be a liability risk due to crime and other things that could take place on the property.