Largest Tax Sale in Genesee County- By: Jacquelyn Marks
Genesee County, Michigan will be holding a record tax auction on September 16, 2011. Up for grabs will be 2999 properties that have been foreclosed upon for back taxes. This sale is the largest sale that the county has held to date. In addition to the size of this tax auction making the sale unique, the fact that many of the properties in the auction are outside of the city of Flint make it unusual.
Flint, the largest city in Genesee County, has been hit by very hard times, starting before the recession. With unemployment rates exceeding 30% at many times over the last 3 years, homes and properties quickly became abandoned as people were forced to leave their homes behind and search for work elsewhere. Increasing unemployment figures in the state, however, have forced people living in the suburbs of Flint to follow the same path.
This auction is the first of two scheduled auctions to be held by the county. Each year the county holds two distinct auctions to clear its books of foreclosed properties before the end of the year.
Bidders at the first auction are required to make a minimum bid of what is owed in taxes on the property. During the second auction properties can be bid on for as low as $100, with no reserve pricing.
The auction that is scheduled for September 16th will be divided into 1 large parcel containing over 1600 homes and lots that are in the worst condition and/or slated for demolition, 12 lots that contain groups of 10-15 houses each which are in a little better condition, and nearly 1000 individual parcels will be for sale.
It is the hopes of the county that people who come to the auction will be purchasing the homes to repair and live in, bringing the much needed vitality back to the area. While they realize that many speculators will show, they anticipate many people simply looking for a good deal on a home.
It is anticipated that the largest block of lots and homes will be sold to a real estate speculator or development company. Most of these homes are in such disrepair that it is unlikely that they are able to be made habitable. These homes will need to undergo demolition, the lots cleared and new homes built in their place. This type of venture is only affordable through speculators and developers.
Real estate speculators, however, usually hold-off until the county holds their no-reserve auction later in the year. These speculators come in, bid-low, and buy bulk properties to resell on the Internet. While this may be good business for them, buyers are often disappointed in the Internet purchase and the homes remain abandoned and back up for sale the next year. Currently there is legislation pending that would eliminate the no-reserve second auction.
The list of properties that will be available at the auction will be posted in late August for review by the public. The county is making every effort to encourage homeownership and repairs of these properties.
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