The gentleman needs to do his homework on locations if he is interested in purchasing properties. There is alot of information that he can get on line or from a Realtor familiar with the areas.
When you are a landlord, some points to consder: occupancy rate, rental rates, return on investment, in need of rehab or move in ready.
How much money do you have to work with for down payments and carrying costs (i.e.) insurance, utilities, mortgage payments when you have a vacancy.
You can write into your lease what bills the Tenant will pay and what the Landlord will pay.
Ask yourself, what do you want to get out of your investment. Are you looking to have just one property or more? Are you going to do the rehab (if needed) yourself or contract it out? Is the property close to you or far away? Will you manage the property and repairs yourself or hire a management company? How will you screen for tenants? Do you want a home in the city of Detroit or outside the city? If you are new to investing NETWORK with other investors. Learn from others mistakes. Join a local REI (real estate investment club) http://www.reiclub.com This is something that you can do alone but it is more beneficial not to.
Detroit public schools have not gotten a good rating lately. There are alternatve schools in the area.
I hope you find this information helpful.