DETROIT -- "One dollar can get you a large soda at McDonald's, a used VHS movie at 7-Eleven or a house in Detroit.
The fact that a home on the city's east side was listed for $1 recently shows how depressed the real estate market has become in one of America's poorest big cities.
And it still took 19 days to find a buyer.
The home, at 8111 Traverse Street, a few blocks from Detroit City Airport, was the nicest house on the block when it sold for $65,000 in November 2006, said neighbor Carl Upshaw. But the home was foreclosed last summer, and it wasn't long until "the vultures closed in," Upshaw said. "The siding was the first to go. Then they took the fence. Then they broke in and took everything else."
The company hired to manage the home and sell it, the Bearing Group, boarded up the home only to find the boards stolen and used to board up another abandoned home nearby.
Scrappers tore out the copper plumbing, the furnace and the light fixtures, taking everything of value, including the kitchen sink.
"It about doesn't make sense to put the family out," Upshaw said. "Once people are gone, you're gonna lose the house in this neighborhood."
Tuesday, the home was wide open. Doors leading into the kitchen and the basement were missing, and the front windows had been smashed. Weeds grew chest-high, and charred remains marked a spot where the garage recently burned.
Put on the market in January for $1,100, the house had no lookers other than the squatters who sometimes stayed there at night. Facing $4,000 in back taxes and a large unpaid water bill, the bank that owned the property lowered the price to $1."