48208: A Depressing Tour Of America's Cheapest Zip Code

detroit abandoned house

Photo: Google Earth

In the 15 cheapest zip codes in the U.S., the median price of homes currently on the market is less than $15,000.And in the cheapest — a block of south-central Detroit that falls into zip code 48208 — the median home price is just $6,388.

48208 is just one neighbourhood in Detroit that has been largely abandoned, thanks largely to the struggles of the auto industry, on which the city is so dependent. The city has tried to lure new residents with incentives like renovation money and forgivable loans.

What’s life like within the confines of 48208?

Click here to tour 48208 >
40 per cent of households had an income under $15,000 last year, compared to 12.5% of households making under that sum nationally, according to CLRSearch. And 18% of the households in the area had an income between $15,000 and $24,999.

The crime rate is extraordinarily high. The murder risk is more than eight times the national average, and the robbery risk is nearly six times the national average, according to CLRSearch.

30-one per cent of residents over the age of 25 did not complete high school; twice the national average.

And the size of 48208’s population has decreased nearly 33% since 1990. It’s forecasted to dip another 9.9% by 2014.

Now find out what life looks like within the borders of the nation’s cheapest zip code.

48208 is located in south-central Detroit. 40% of households in the area earn less than $15,000 per year.

The zip code is home to the Motown Historical Museum, also known as Hitsville, USA.

It was once home of the Detroit Olympia, where the Detroit Red Wings played until 1979.

But the building was torn down after it sat vacant for years. Here's what the corner looks like today.

There are lots of used car lots.

And auto repair shops. Not surprising, given Detroit's reputation as the car capital of the world.

Home sales are slow in 48208. Fewer than 10 homes in the district have sold every quarter since early 2010.This funeral home is on sale for $185,000, and it's been on the market for nearly three months.

Source: Trulia

This church, complete with organ, is on the market for $175,000. It's gone unsold for nearly six months.

Source: Trulia

Some homes on the market in 48208 are in foreclosure. This bank-owned four-bedroom is being sold for $22,000.

Source: Realtor.com

This three-bedroom is on the market for $10,000.

Source: Realtor.com

This foreclosed home (on the right) has four bedrooms. It's listed at $1,500.

And this two-bedroom, located in the heart of 48208, is listed for $1. The city can't give away homes in some abandoned neighborhoods.

Northwestern High School is the biggest high school in the area, with around 1,230 students. 76% of the student body is eligible for the free/reduced meal program.

Source: Detroit K-12

The high school, which is the largest in the area, has good sports facilities, including a track and several baseball fields. It's known for producing stellar student athletes, and alumni include TV personality Casey Kasem and Rep. John Conyers.

This is the 48208 post office. Fortunately, it wasn't on a recent list of 10 Detroit locations the USPS is considering closing.

Source: CBS

Lots of buildings are boarded up or burned out, like this brick structure on Warren Ave., a main drag.

Decaying homes, like this one on 15th Street, also abound.

There's still some commerce in the area. Motown Market on W. Grand Boulevard sells almost everything.

This church, on the corner of Tillman and Magnolia Streets, provides free meals to those who need them. It also runs a daycare centre.

Cell phone payments, check cashing and grocery shopping, all in one place.

This Family Dollar store is one of two located within the boundaries of 48208.

Harold's, the local hair and nail salon, has great reviews on Citysearch.

Source: Citysearch

There are also a few restaurants in 48208. Woodbridge Pub, which sources ingredients locally, is just down the street from the Wayne State University football field.

The Yelp reviews say the food at Vicki's BBQ and Shrimp is great, but the location is pretty dangerous.

There's no hospital within 48208's boundaries, but Henry Ford Hospital is located right nearby, in zip code 48202.

Now check out 48208's extreme opposite

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