Detroit Mom Trades $96,000 House for Used Minivan


A disabled mother of six who took to Craigslist last month to swap her family home for a car has finally gotten what she wanted: trading her four-bedroom house in the Detroit neighborhood of Russell Woods for a 6-year-old minivan.

The city values the house (pictured above), located in an area where Diana Ross and the Supremes once lived, at $96,000. The vehicle valuation company, Kelley Blue Book, puts the worth of this kind of van, a silver 2006 Chevrolet Uplander with 85,000 miles, at between $5,000 and $8,500.

Despite a number of perhaps better offers that flooded in from across the nation -- including a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette and a 1996 Bentley Brooklands -- LaWanda Flake, 36, said that she made the decision from her heart.

"I took one of the first offers I got because I felt like it helped us both," Flake told The Detroit News. "They needed the house more than anyone I spoke with. I really feel like I made a good decision."

Though some might beg to differ, it seems that the unique deal may have worked for Flake, whose "desperation" for a vehicle to drive her kids around in led her to post the Nov. 7 Craigslist ad. Additionally, though Flake had purchased the 2,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom home for a mere $3,500 at a tax foreclosure sale, she claimed that she had no more money to invest in the repairs and renovations necessary for the home.

Flake says that the new owners are "excited" to begin renovating the house, which lacks a water heater and furnace.

Since the swap, Flake and her family have moved into another house in Detroit, a three-bedroom which she picked up on a bargain $4,000 land contract.