Aretha Franklin’s Detroit Mansion Sells For $300,000

Aretha Franklin stretches her arms out and winces to carry a note.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

One lucky Michigan home buyer was able to land a historic bit of property thanks to the recent acquisition of Aretha Franklin’s Detroit home.

USA Today reports that Franklin’s estate sold the 5,600-square-foot abode she once owned just south of 7 Mile Road to a Northville local last month. The party that made the purchase now gets to decide on whether to furnish and settle into the slate-roofed brick structure — along with the sprawling half-acre lot that was included in the deal — or to flip it for whatever they can get on the strength of its intangible value.

With its location adjacent to the Donald Ross-designed Detroit Golf Club, the 90-year-old mansion boasts five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and three fireplaces. From the outside, it is adorned with leaded glass windows and plenty of vehicle space in a three car garage. But for the $300,000 it cost the buyer, the bargain and lasting value may have been in knowing that it was the only house that Franklin had left in the city that reared her.

“There are no other Detroit properties” personal representative of Franklin’s estate, Sabrina Garrett-Owens, reportedly told the Detroit News via email on Friday, November 23. The Hamilton Road home was the last of several that she bought and sold throughout the course of her famed life as a Memphis-born transplant who helped to keep Motor City on the map after the Motown music era.

Prior to it being turned over in October, the property had belonged to Franklin since 1993. According to the Detroit Free Press, there did come a point one decade ago, in which she nearly lost it to foreclosure, but within a year’s time she was able to pay the up what was owed to the IRS to recover possession. At the time, Franklin claimed that by virtue of error her attorney had failed to pay nearly $20,000 in property taxes.

As it stands, there may no longer be any Detroit homes in Franklin’s name, but her estate does still possess other properties. Included among them is a Colonial-style house that takes up 4,148-square-foot in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Township. That property too is expected to eventually sell. It is currently listed for $800,000.

Interestingly enough, when Franklin lost her fight to pancreatic cancer this past August, she indeed happened to be in Detroit. But she had been residing in an apartment she leased on the Detroit Riverfront at the time. The iconic crooner was 76-years-old.