Markets & Economy

Austrian investor schooled on Detroit housing market

Owner was willing to take iPhone 6 for home that sold for $125,000 in 2008

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An Austrian man who bought a foreclosed home on Detroit’s east side in 2010 to rent it out recently found himself with no tenant and a $6,000 property tax bill. Owner Andreas Gindelhuber hired real estate agent Larry Else to put the three-bedroom house on the market for $5,000 in June. After a couple of price reductions, there were still no takers at $3,000. So Gindelhuber offered to trade the home for an iPhone 6. That got the attention of the local Fox News affiliate, which ran a story that helped generate publicity that resulted in a sale to a buyer down the street who reportedly paid less than $1,000, Zillow blogger Emily Heffter reports. According to public records posted by Zillow, the home sold for $125,000 in 2008, was foreclosed on the following year, and last sold for $10,500 in April 2010. The website's "Zestimate" puts the current value of the home at $48,782, and Zillow's algorithms figure it should rent for $744 a month. Gindelhuber would have been ha...