In Season 3, Episode 1 (Motown Funk), Clarkson, Hammond, and May buy a house for two grand instead of staying at a local hotel. But, did they really buy a house?

Just now catching up with The Grand Tour episodes and on Season 3, Episode 1 titled Motown Funk our triumvirate (mostly Hammond) claims instead of spending Bezos bucks on a weekend stay at the Hilton, they bought a whole house for $2,200.

Here are screenshots from the episode of the house in question.

Cheap houses with a big catch.
There’s literally nothing left in these houses.
No wiring or plumbing left.

While I’ve contacted a TGT rep, as of this blog post, they’ve yet to give me a response.

Regardless, around 2018 (when that episode was filmed) and somewhat true today, houses in Detroit, MI could be bought for $2,200, and in several cases, even cheaper!

Not quite 2018 but in 2009 this Buzzfeed reporter bought a house in Motown at live county auction for just $500.

And in 2019, /u/SoyBeanCola1933 asked the /r/RealEstate subreddit why there are so many $1,000 houses in Detroit still for sale and, most importantly, what’s the catch?

The Detroit real estate market has been full of cheap property for a long time.

It’s very well possible and is likely the case that The Grand Tour management actually bought a house for that little just for a day or two of shooting.

Why exactly are Detroit houses so cheap?

To put it in layman’s terms, there’s a large supply of dilapidated and unmaintained houses and very little demand to live in Detroit.

Detroit in the ’20s was once the richest cities…in the world.

But, with a city once so reliant on its auto industry and with the inevitable decline and collapse of the Big 3, there was little reason to move to or live there.

Detroit now is a shadow of its former self.

Put two and two together and you have real estate agents and counties practically giving houses away.

What’s the catch?

Yes, you can buy a house for between $500-$1,000 and even cheaper but the catch is, as of 2018, you have to bring the property up to code within 6 months.

Even prior to 2018, if you want to have a livable home, your cheap house will need thousands in renovations.

Most of these cheap houses have been sitting for years exposed to the elements, structurally deficient from the basement up and, thanks to thieves, most likely have all the electrical wiring and plumbing stripped.

If we’re talking about code and bringing that cheap Detroit house up to the bare minimum that means possible foundation work, electrical work, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and repairs to windows and doors.

Conservative estimates three years ago was you’d need between $60,000-$100,000 to bring everything in a dilapidated house up to code.

With prices of materials and labor significantly more today, you can double that.

So yeah, The Grand Tour probably did buy a house for that cheap.

I honestly don’t think they lived and slept in it because it looks like they had no running water or electricity.

I think they only bought it to film a bit and eventually went to a hotel.

But, if they actually wanted to own and live in it, they’d need to bring everything up to code, an investment The Grand Tour didn’t plan on doing.


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