A mother living in Detroit has traded in her four-bedroom home for a 2006 minivan.
LaWanda Flake, a 36-year-old, disabled mother of six traded in her four-bedroom, three-bath house, located in one of the city's better neighborhoods and valued at $96,000 for a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander with 85,000 miles, valued at between $5000 and $8,500.
"I had a lot of good offers, some from out of state. It turned out 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. They kept telling me it was a blessing to them. I really feel like I made a good decision."
Flake said she posted the house offer on Craigslist because she needed a new car in order to get her children to school on time because the city's bus system was proving unreliable. Flake has an irregularly updated Twitter account, where you can see some of her complaints about the bus system.
Now, there are a couple of details that make this story far less crazy than it sounds at first. Number one, Flake and her six children are not living in the minivan. They've relocated to a three-bedroom home nearby that she was able to purchase on a $4,000 land contract.
And even though the house was once home to Diana Ross and the Supremes, Flake purchased it last year at a foreclosure sale for $3,600, not its near six-figure retail value. The house reportedly has several thousand dollars worth of necessary repairs waiting for the new owners, including a new furnace and water heater.
The family who purchased Flake's home has decided to stay anonymous for now. Flake agreed to not mention their names in the story, but she did note that she received several more lucrative offers for her home, including a Montana couple who offered Flake her choice of one of their four vehicles. And a man who recently moved back to Detroit from Las Vegas offered in trade his 1996 Bentley Brooklands luxury sedan, valued at about $20,000. A third trade offer was for a 1996 Corvette.
"I said, Oh wow! What am I going to do with a Corvette? I can't do anything practical with a Corvette," Flake said.
Of course, with the current state of property values in Detroit, it sounds like Flake could have traded in one of those cars for another two or three houses.
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