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.

Also see:
Detroit Mom Offers to Trade Her House for a Car
Vacant House Yields Late Owner's Stash of Cash
Vacant Home Targeted By Squatters, Scammers and Thieves

Buyer's Market: Homes for $75,000
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Detroit Mom Trades $96,000 House for Used Minivan

As home prices continue to look for a bottom and our economy slogs along at a snail's pace, people are understandably leery about committing to a home purchase. But living within your means as a homeowner doesn't necessarily mean settling for a mediocre house.

As these places demonstrate, a fairly modest sum can go pretty darn far in the way of dwellings these days. Click through our gallery to check out how much house $75,000 buys across the country, and see if you don't agree.

Location: San Antonio, Texas
Price: $75,000 
Beds/Baths: 2/1
Sq Ft: 993

This charming house may be a bit on the wee side, but it has everything you need, plus some neat, cheery landscaping and access to the community swimming pool. 

See the listing and more photos of the home.

The home's airy open floor plan compensates for its small size. 

Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 1/1
Sq Ft: 623

A unit in this Atlanta building, touted as "historic" in its listing description, recently underwent a price cut that makes it quite a deal. The home features hardwood floors, high ceilings and puts you close to nearby retail and restaurants.

See the listing for more details. 

While the building may have seen its fair share of days, the condo's finishes and decor render the dwelling positively modern. 

See the listing for more details. 

See more $75,000 homes in Atlanta, Ga.

Location: Omaha, Neb. 
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 3/1
Sq Ft: 878

This modest ranch house in Omaha offers three bedrooms, a one-car garage and mature trees dotting its perimeter.

See its cute interior

The home has a decent-sized kitchen, basement and laundry room.

See photos of the house

See more $75,000 homes in Omaha, Neb.

Location: Fairview Park, Ohio
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 2/1
Sq Ft: N/A

Boasting a recently renovated kitchen, this cottage-style ranch house delivers a porch and garage, along with a spanking-new exterior. 

See a slideshow of the home

The neat, well-proportioned interior was recently refurbished, with the kitchen receiving the most attention. 

See a slideshow of this home

See more $75,000 homes in Fairview Park, Ohio

Location: Kearns, Utah
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 3/2
Sq Ft: 1,176

This starter home gives you more size and one more bathroom than you might expect from its peers on the market. 

See photos of this home

In 2005 the home underwent a makeover with new paint and flooring, along with an updated kitchen. Why such a modest price tag, you ask? Like many bargain listings, this one's a short sale. 

See the listing for details. 

See more $75,000 homes in Kearns, Utah

Location: Cheektowaga, N.Y. 
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 3/2
Sq Ft: 1,731

It's a rare listing that offers 1,731 square feet for just $75,000. In addition to its generous interior space, this home also has a garage. 

See the listing for details. 

A fenced, lush backyard is also part of the deal. Just the place to let the dogs run free!

See the interior

See more $75,000 homes in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 2/2
Sq Ft: 720

We'll let the listing do the talking on this one:
"Take a drive down this nostalgic, brick paved, tree-lined street and you'll discover the cutest, most affordable home on the market."

While it may not be the most adorable , there's no denying that this sucker is pretty darn cute. 

The interior is cute too

The home puts you close to downtown, two state parks and a bike path, according to the listing. Having undergone renovations over the last few years, the interior boasts refurbished windows, hardwood floors and kitchen tile, along with a fresh coat of paint. 

See a slideshow of the listing

See more $75,000 homes in Des Moines, Iowa

Location: Caldwell, Idaho 
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 3/2
Sq Ft: 1,395

In addition to its overall bang-for-your-buck shine, this cozy single family offers 100% financing, jacking up its score on the bargain meter even further. 

See the listing for details. 

The family room and kitchen feature vaulted ceilings that enhance the open-floor plan's airy feel. 

See photos of this listing

See more $75,000 homes in Caldwell, Idaho

Location: Tampa, Fla. 
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 2/2
Sq Ft: 1,094 

This remodeled villa-style home just had its price slashed by $5,000, as the owner and bank continue to try and make a successful short sale. Community facilities include a playground, racquetball courts and tennis courts. 

See the listing for details. 

The listing says it all: "Short Sale -- Where there's a Bill, there's a way!" If that were only true... 

See the listing for details. 

See more $75,000 homes in Tampa, Fla.

Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 4/3
Sq Ft: 1,868 

Clocking in at just $40 a square foot, this home's low price is by no means unheard of in a market many consider to be ground zero of the housing bust. The interior features both a living room and family room, while the property's compact plot boasts a fenced backyard along with neat landscaping. 

See a gallery of this home

The gleaming kitchen has all-new appliances,  granite countertops and a storage-filled peninsula. 

See the listing for details

See more $75,000 homes in Las Vegas, Nev.

Location: Oklahoma, Okla. 
Price: $75,000
Beds/Baths: 2/1
Sq Ft: 858

This charming bungalow furnishes you with the basics at a fraction of what they cost in many other states. 

See the listing for details. 

Take respite from the frigid Oklahoman winters by cozying up in this snug living room. 

See the listing for details. 

See more $75,000 homes in Oklahoma, Okla.


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