Detroit's Home Auction Program Expands to Historic Neighborhood

Monday, May 12, 2014

By David Cassleman

An architect for the Detroit Land Bank Authority is leading a group on a tour of a 90 year-old house on West Boston Boulevard.

It’s a real fixer-upper, with an old-school galley kitchen and bathrooms with little else besides a bath tub and a toilet.

The Boston-Edison neighborhood along with the Osborne community are the next two targets of the online auction initiative which began earlier this month.

Lifelong Detroiter Larry Gaines knows something about renovating historic homes. He moved to Boston-Edison about two years ago with his wife to live out their dream of restoring a house in the city.

He says it’s been a rewarding experience so far -- although challenging.

“Owning a historic home it’s not always an easy proposition. A lot of the homes … especially the home that I live in … it’s a hundred years old. It turned a hundred years old this year. So a hundred year old house has problems that are sort of specific to older homes.”

Gaines says he’s done much of the restoration work himself, including plastering, installing new windows and bringing a stairwell up to code.

The Detroit Land Bank Authority has 13 historic homes in Boston-Edison listed on their auction website.

The authority will host tours of the houses that are listed this Saturday.