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Open Thread: Stories from the Wayne County Tax Auction

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

Welcome to Friday Open Threads, wherein we'll pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, etc. Have something you want discussed? Let us know. This week’s topic: the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction.

The Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction is winding down for another year and this year has been kind of quiet, although some Curbed tipsters who’ve been actively involved in the auction say otherwise.

According to one tipster who was looking at commercial properties: "I'm pretty positive the main strategy "investors" use is to wait until they see action on a property and then bid it up, this being done under the assumption that if someone is willing to pay $ XX,XXX for a property, SURELY someone else will be willing to pay $ XX,XXX+$1. Also, the tax auction website's SSL certification went down intermittently on chrome, which was pretty crazy. I get that payments occur on a separate server but, still, come on. I had my eye on 6 properties this year and every single one of them had 0 bids until 6 minutes left, then got bid up like 4x the starting price. I hope its people who, like myself, are looking to use them for their business but I can't help but assume its more bullshit speculators looking to hold down the market."

Another tipster reports that bidders are on the "crazy train" and that many were bidding on homes near Boston Edison (both north and south of the district), and that a warehouse near the new bridge went for 66k.

Two people mentioned 227 King, and that "it had some nice remnants of former grandeur inside. But the bidding went too high on that one early on, and it was too much house for me anyway." (it went for 54k)

Crain’s Detroit reports that,

"Eric Sabree, who has held the Wayne County treasurer job for just five months, says 14,248 properties were up for auction. Of those, 1,125 properties were sold to about 400 buyers for a total of $20.35 million, according to his spokesman.

The 11,100 that didn't sell last month moved to this month's auction, Oct. 14-28, where they can be purchased for as little as $500."

Did any of our Curbed readers have any interesting experiences with the auction this year? Were you tracking the bidding or bidding yourself? As always, let us know in the comments.