Some houses in Detroit now selling for ... $100

A few weeks later, Cope e-mailed Brumit a photo of an abandoned home on his block. Its windows were boarded up and plywood was nailed across the front door. The huge hole in the roof was courtesy of the fire department. A neighbor said the house had been set on fire — twice.

Pricetag: $100. Brumit called a real estate agent with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who confirmed that bids on the foreclosed property started at $95 for the property, $5 for the house. There were no back taxes — no one seemed to be sure who once owned the house, it had been empty for so long, Brumit said.

Cope, also a designer and builder, and an inspector did a walk-through.

“Inspection was fine and Mitch told me the foundation was good,” Brumit said. “He just said, ‘If you didn’t mind scraping some peeling paint, doing some surface treatments, putting in new utilities, windows and repairing the roof … this could be pretty interesting.'”