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County Tax Auction Offers a Few Gems

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Photos via <a href="https://www.waynecountytreasurermi.com/AuctionPropertyDetails.aspx?AI_ID=150901063">Wayne County Treasurer Auction</a>
Photos via Wayne County Treasurer Auction

Some properties famously sold by Wayne County in its annual tax auction include the Jam Handy building and Woods Cathedral. This year's auction includes homes, vacant lots and commercial property all over metro Detroit, moving south to Downriver. One interesting property up for sale in the 2015 auction is 1520 W. Boston. This 1916 Georgian revival house sold in 2003 for $260K but then again in 2008 for just $15K.

These numbers an the home's presence on the foreclosure list suggests a really interesting backstory. The $15K sale and the home's foreclosure seem to suggest that the most recent sale was an attempted flip gone awry. Boston Edison is a hot place to buy these days, and if this house's interior is in decent-to-salvageable shape, perhaps we'll see it go for the far more that the $58.9K State Equalized Value (SEV) assigned to it by the county.

120 Seward aka Gramont Manor


Another interesting auction property is a condo at 120 Seward, known to Curbed readers as Gramont Manor. This attractive 1920s building offered really cheap condos—$28K got you a 2-bedroom there in 2012. The interiors of those condos were a bit lackluster, with cheap-looking laminate floors and new kitchens done on the quick-and-dirty.

While the condos themselves weren't spectacular, the lobby of this building is stunning yet simple, with a massive skylight. It's a welcoming, expansive space with an intricately tiled floor. The unit is listed as occupied, so the new owner will be entering a fairly complex set of circumstances. Given that M-1 hadn't been approved when Gramont condos were going for $28K, we wonder what units in this building might be worth these days, especially after real renovations.

535 Arden Park

Arden Park boasts a number of 1920s mansions, including one purchased earlier this summer by Limp Bizkit's Wes Borland. The 1922 brick Tudor up for auction Sept 11 has handsome stone embellishments and actually sold in 2000 for $260K.

Starting on Sept 11, the county will auction over 25,000 properties, making the Wayne County tax auction the biggest municipal property auction in US history. The county has aggressively marketed the auction. According to Huffington Post, the campaign is part of the county's attempt to make as much as it can off the foreclosed properties, using the money raised to stave off emergency management. To bid in the auction, you need to pay a fee of $35 and put down a $2500 deposit. The first round of auctions runs from Sept 11-24. The second takes place Oct 9-22.

· [Wayne County Treasurer Auction]
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120 Seward [Wayne County Treasurer Auction]
·535 Arden Park [Zillow]
·New Center Offers Albert Kahn Living on the Cheap [Instagram]
·1520 W Boston [Wayne County Treasurer Auction]
·1520 W Boston [Zillow]
·Preview: 2015 Detroit Tax Foreclosure Auction [Huffington Post]
·Scoring a Building at Auction [Curbed Detroit]