Among the top 15 cities for buying a home for renovation are Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee; Toledo, Dayton, and Columbus, Ohio; Lansing, Mich.; Indianapolis and St. Louis, RealtyTrac said.
Also on the list are Jacksonville, Fla., Birmingham, Ala., Phoenix, Ariz., and Philadelphia, the firm said.
A good supply of older bank-owned inventory is one clue a city is ripe for the handyman to step in and make over a home. Low average market value also helps.
RealtyTrac also tracked the median distressed sales price annual change.
In Detroit, for example, bank-owned inventory of homes built before 1960 and valued at less than $100,000 -- the basic target for a bargain-hunters with a tool belt -- came to 3,773. The average market value came to $41,503.
Detroit had the highest number of older, bank-owned homes up for sale valued at less than $100,000.
Detroit was followed by Chicago with an inventory of 1,649 pre-1960, bank-owned homes -- average value $71,659.
Cleveland has 1,318 bargain-basement fixer-uppers on the market with an average value of $59,800.
St. Louis with 1,021 and Cincinnati with 1,016 rounded out the top five.