Where to Buy?

There are “good areas” all throughout the city, but you probably want to focus on the more stable areas, where there’s a high rate of homeowners, like University District, Grandmont, and the Warrendale area.

Google Maps has saved us hours and gas money to go look at homes that aren't worth our time.
Google Maps has saved us hours and gas money to go look at homes that aren’t worth our time.

I don’t know a whole lot about the Eastside of Detroit, as we do most of our work on the Westside and the western Detroit suburbs.

But I do know that the northeast corner of Detroit tends to have some pretty solid neighborhoods.


Quick Way to Analyze Detroit Blocks

A few years back, my mentor taught me a little quick way to say “yay or nay” on a property in Detroit…

…simply drive past the block of the home you’re analyzing, and as you do, take a glance at the lawns up-and-down that block, as well as those one each side of the home.

Usually, if it’s sitting a neighborhood where you’re going to feel comfortable flipping a house on, the lawns are going to look fairly manicured.

I use that same tactic when we’re looking at property leads for our wholesaling business.

When a prospective seller calls us about a house in Detroit that they want to sell, one of the first things we do is pull the property up on Google Maps and take a look at the lawns on the block it sits on.


Solid Zip Codes

The Detroit zip codes we’ve had good luck with are 48228, 48227, 48235, 48221, and 48219.

Now with that said, each of those zip codes have some bad blocks that I would avoid if I were you, so choose your properties wisely.

Simply having a boombox playing in your vacant home can help keep vandals out.  (Image: _sarchi/Flickr)
Simply having a boombox playing in your vacant home can help keep vandals out. (Image: _sarchi/Flickr)


Areas to Avoid

You probably already know if you’re familiar with Detroit, but you want to avoid the Brightmoor area.

It’s a high crime area, so you’re going to have major problems finding buyers over there.

On top of that, most of the houses in Brightmoor aren’t brick, which is going to make it even tougher to find buyers.


Have a Plan for Protecting the Property

Even if your house sits in a “good” area or block in the city, you’d better have a plan for protecting the property while it’s being rehabbed.

Your contractors are going to leave that property at the end of the day. You’d better make sure those contractors understand how you want the property secured at the end of their working days at the house.

The last thing you need is someone coming in there and vandalizing it. That’s just going to eat away from your money and profits.

Let me reiterate that:



They are to help you implement your plan, not create it.

No one’s going to care about the protection of that property like you. Never forget that.

Related: How to Protect Your Detroit Vacant Homes

Next: The Best Detroit Properties to Invest In, Taxes/Insurance in Detroit