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The Opulent, Luxe Mansions of Down-on-its-Luck Detroit

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With the national economic downturn added to an auto industry already in decline, Detroit, Mich. has certainly seen better days, but there is perhaps no better place to scoop up an opulent Gilded Age mansion for less. After all, the long-gone industrial titans built some lavish abodes here, like this utterly amazing 5,300-square-foot manse on Van Dyke Place in the city's West Village. Built in 1901, the place boasts six bedrooms and untouched—if somewhat worn—historic details. Though the house is said to have once served as a restaurant, the existing kitchen looks more than a little bare bones, with just a couple of porcelain sinks and cracked tile flooring. Normally, that is to say in a city not quite so hard done by, this place would be asking several million, even with the condition issues. Thanks to a foreclosure proceeding, this stunning bit of history is listed for just $145K, down from $375K a year ago.

? The grand homes in the suburbs have fared better than most, in both price and condition, like this extravagant Tudor in Grosse Pointe Shores. Listed for $1.295M, the seven-bedroom spread was built in the 1920s by the department store-funded Webber family. That price is quite a steal when you consider the family spent the equivalent of $6M building the luxuriant pile. Highlights include exceptional hand-carved woodwork and a barrel vaulted ceiling in the living room.

? Built in 1922 for industrialist Charles Van Dusen, this brick manse is one of the most expensive in Detroit proper, but here you'll get a lot for your $750K. The house encloses 10,400 square feet, with seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, extensive woodwork, some potentially original tiling, and grand entertaining rooms, including a bordello-like billiards hall. That price means a big profit potential for the flippers, who purchased in 2008 for just $242K.

? The leafy Indian Village neighborhood is home to this grand columned mansion, built in 1904. Here, the history has been messed with a bit, both in color and style (see the kitchen), but the price, at $429K, is downright amazing for 11,000 square feet of luxury. The eight-bed, six-bath manse sits on more than an acre of gated greenery, with nanny's quarters and formal gardens.

? Also in Indian Village, and asking substantially less, is this brick Colonial, with seven bedrooms and 5.5 baths on 0.36 acres. Aside from the tile in the kitchen, the house is exceptionally well turned out, but not well enough to overcome the housing slide in these parts. The price is $275K, a $75K discount on what the owners paid back in 2002.

· 649 Van Dyke Street [Realtor.com]
· Van Dyke Place Mansion: (Decaying) Interior Decadence [Curbed Detroit]
· Amazeballs Bank-Owned Mansion For Jaw-Dropping Price [Curbed Detroit]
· Opulent 1920s Home for Nephew of Department Store Founder [Curbed Detroit]
· 1830 Balmoral Drive [Zillow]
· 1771 Seminole Street [Zillow]
· 2450 Burns Streets [Zillow]