Je voudrias une translation from French

Some people from our neighborhood were interviewed for a French television newscast pertaining to the mortgage crisis–the video is here (it’s about 2:20 long, plus an advert), and we’re dying to know what the newscast is saying. Unfortunately, it’s just a video, with no transcript, and my three years of high school language class are completely inadequate to follow spoken French.

Can anyone help me out with a translation? (Into English, for you smart-aleqs.)


Very rough transcript with some literal translations and I’m not checking for spelling and/or grammar!

I’m glad I’m not a Detroit homeowner!

According to, bicoque is a feminine noun: (familiar) dump (colloquial), house.

Holy crap. I just searched a random Detroit realtor site, in a random area, and found this 2-bed house on the market for $400. I thought it meant $400,000.

No. It is genuinely $400.

“Estimated Payment: $2 Per Month”

ETA: can a foreigner get some of that action?

Ah, that’s what he said. Thanks! I don’t hear that word often (it is somewhat less used in Québecois French!)

I didn’t hear it clearly and didn’t try too hard. My method was “hear a sentence, pause, type, hit play, hear a sentence…”. Not exactly top-level translations here! There’s something else in the bit about medical bills that I didn’t hear well either, and so just typed the point of the phrase rather than what was actually said. I didn’t feel like going over it again… I’ll admit, I did it quickly because I just didn’t want someone else to reply before I did! :slight_smile:

Excellent! Thanks!

Well, we got nailed with the double hit of the mortgage crisis and the auto industry going down the tubes, so it hasn’t been a good time to sell, that’s for sure. However, there’s some anecdotal evidence this is starting to turn around, as people are having exactly the same reaction that jjiimm did: the prices look artificially depressed, and if you want to buy low, now might be the right time. That’s not helping people who bought high five years ago, though.

“Slow descent into Hell.” Sheesh. Figures the media would opt for lurid prose.

eBay, man.

IANA Realtor but I don’t see why not. OTOH you’d want to make sure there were no back taxes owed or other clouds on the title, no lead-based paint, no asbestos, etc. You’d have to pay property taxes on it, probably not based on a$400 valuation. And IANAL but as I understand it, if squatters moved in, well, they may eventually earn the right to live there unless you chase them off.

In a related issue, my mom just bought four cemetery plots in my podunk Midwest home town. They usually go for $500 each but some guy wanted to sell, and I guess they’re adjacent to some that we already have.

I’ve read that there’s a movement to buy these abandoned houses, demolish them, regrade and restore the soil, and start gardening. Apparently there are enough areas with contiguous abandoned lots that quite-large urban gardens can be started.