It has been a busy few weeks for my family and I, hence the silence on the blog. We are in transition, moving from our dearly loved handmade home into a new property. It has not gone as smoothly as we hoped for, we have been bidding on auction sites for foreclosure properties and still have yet to be the winning bidder. We have made offers on homes the regular way but the market is saturated with buyers and often our offer is put second or even third or not considered at all.
We have found the auction process is tricky. Here is how it works in the State of Michigan:
A home is entering foreclosure. During the beginning of foreclosure the home is put on and taken off auction sites before the owners redemption period is passed. These are called live auctions and the time and place is at the county court house. These are frequently cancelled because the owners still legally can redeem themselves and are still occupying the property. Once the redemption has passed the mortgage company sends letters of eviction and eventually takes possession of the property. The property is now available for resale. The mortgage company will list the home for sale and frequently the property will not sell because their asking price is high and the home has actually decreased in value. It's a fixer upper. Many reasons why. They were never maintained well by the previous owners or they are in need of repair because a renovation was started and not completed. Also, if the mortgage company is slow to take possession and list the home it sits and rots. Or gets vandalized. The whole process of foreclosure I just described can take 1-2yrs. So they still want their money they were out but the property's value has decreased dramatically. We have noticed a lot of potentially nice homes sitting around here rotting, but unless the mortgage list the house for sale it can be nearly impossible to find the right contact.
So the house being the way it is the mortgage company is left to auction it off to cash or special financed buyers, who buy the property as is - not contingent on any inspections. Sometimes they will allow inspections to be done before the auction date so you can at least know ahead what you are buying. Other times they do not allow people to even enter the property at all. So you have no idea what you are buying really until after the auction. You just get what you get.
On all auction properties you have the option to buy title insurance, which will give you a clear title making you not responsible for tax liens. There are auction fees the winner bidder is responsible for as well. Which I don't understand really. It seems like you as the winner bidder now have to pay for the auction that took place.
The auction will happen online, or the old fashioned way, onsite with an auctioneer. I personally like the old fashioned way where even if someone jumps in the auctioneer still looks at all participating bidders to see if they will continue. With online auctions time is the referee so even if you want to continue you can't. If you weren't the last click and the time is up then you lost.
Frustrating not to know who you are competing with and if someone is just waiting to out mouse click you. Errg! Added frustration is the sale can be declined if the mortgage company's reserve price was not met. The reserve price is sometimes undisclosed.
We are currently waiting on an auction date to be announced for a property we really like. It is listed as a Hud home and we were able to visit the property. I took pictures to share with you. As you can see it is rough (like all foreclosures) and needs work (like all foreclosures). My favorite things about this home are the old wood work, wood flooring under the old carpet padding, large rooms that echo, and an outdoor pergola.
Will this be our next home? Will we win the bidding? It has lots of potential that we would love to make happen and share with you a new handmade home story. Stayed tuned. . .
We are doing our best to stay positive, knowing that the right house will come as soon as it can. It was hard for us to make the decision to move. I loved sharing our remodeling story with you. Sometimes in life you have to be brave enough to follow your dreams. Our hard work and persistence will yield us great gain if we do not give up. Don't give up, but sometimes we do have to move on in order for dreams to spread their wings and fly.
In the mean time we are staying with family and we can't complain. This is the view we wake up to every morning.
I have to say thank you to my mom and my mother-in-law who have intermittently been letting us stay with them. They have each been so gracious and hospitable to us we can not thank them enough. We also have very good friends caring for some of our personal belongings. We are so grateful.
- I will be finishing a project soon that will be available on Amazon.com.
- My next blog post will be about Art Marketing and improving sales.
- Color Design Theory blog post. Why is color important to all design plans?
Until then, if you have any advice about buying auction real estate or moving please comment below. I would love to hear from you!