Buyers' Homes Accidentally Demolished

January 14, 2013

Purchasers of 12 properties in Detroit got an unwelcome surprise when they visited their new places: The homes were nothing but a pile of dirt.

Kristine Diven and Micho “Detronik” McAdow say they purchased a home at auction and went to check on it weeks later to find it completely demolished. The couple paid $500 for a two-story townhouse, with intentions to renovate the home and then move in by the spring. But when they later visited the home, it was “a pile,” says Diven. The couple was refunded their money. 

Eleven other properties were also mistakenly demolished by Michigan’s Land Bank Fast Track Authority, according to Detroit’s planning and facilities department. The agency had marked to demolish all 12 properties as part of its program to eliminate neighborhood blight near local schools. The agency says the homes were never to have been sold at auction and had been identified by the fire department as “vacant and dangerous.” 

City officials have been targeting neighborhood blight in Detroit with plans to tear down abandoned, deteriorating homes throughout the metro area. Gov. Rick Snyder launched a pilot program earmarking $10 million for demolishing about 1,200 abandoned buildings near schools in three Detroit neighborhoods. 

Source: “Demolition of Dreams: 12 Detroit Homes Razed by Mistake,” The Detroit News (Jan. 5, 2013) and “12 Detroit Houses Demolished Accidentally, Including Couple’s Newly Bought Home,” AOL Real Estate (Jan. 11, 2013)

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