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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bargains on the auction block

Source: Detroit Free Press
By Greta Guest

Michigan's rough economy and oversupply of homes has created the backdrop for a September auction of nearly 400 new homes and lots owned by 20 local builders and developers.

"From one person's pain comes another person's opportunity," said Larry Cohen, president of Cohen Homes in Southfield.

Cohen Homes is auctioning the last three build-ready lots in the Hills of Bogie Lake single-family homes development in Commerce Township. And next door to that, the builder is offering a bulk sale of 85 developed lots for condominiums, Cohen said.

The auction for all properties is to begin at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 20 at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion and at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi.

The auction includes 27 single-family homes, 91 condominiums, executive golf course lots and 250 subdivision sites throughout metro Detroit. Two other properties in Harbor Springs and Higgins Lake also are on the list.

Highlights include:

• Ashby Preserve condos in Harrison Township, developed by Brody Homes, that were originally priced from $219,975 to $286,997 and range in size from 1,317 to 1,706 square feet.

• Prospect Pointe East in Superior Township with three single-family homes developed by Diversified Properties Group that were priced from $213,740 to $242,990 and range in size from 1,570 to 2,155 square feet.

Property auctions have picked up in metro Detroit over the past year as the market has become bloated with foreclosed properties. Most of the auctions have been to move foreclosed property, but a number of auctions of high-profile, historic and luxury homes also have been in the mix.

What is unique about this auction run by NRC Realty Advisors of Chicago is that the homes are generally not distressed properties, said Laurie Tarver, senior vice president.

"These are great, brand-new homes for sale in a range of sizes and original price points that offer something for everyone," Tarver said. The Hills development now has 120 homes that were built over the past three years. While Cohen paid up to $150,000 per lot, the suggested opening bid is $50,000.

It's those kinds of deals that will attract several hundred people despite the sluggish economy, Tarver predicted.

"There is a lot of wealth in Michigan. There are enough people with enough financial wherewithal to buy property, and an auction brings them out," Tarver said.

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