A hair salon in Leslie, a 116-year-old historic home in downtown Lansing and vacant land in the Whitehills Lakes subdivision of Meridian Township are among approximately 80 properties seized in Ingham and Eaton counties that should be sold to the highest bidders.
The next two tax foreclosure auctions, scheduled for late August and September, include a variety of homes, vacant land and commercial properties.
They were seized by county treasurers for overdue property taxes dating back three years, rather than banks or mortgage companies. The starting offers for each start with the back taxes due on the property.
There are more properties up for auction in Ingham County, about 65, than Eaton’s, which offers just 15, but Ingham County Treasurer Alan Fox said foreclosures had been declining since before the pandemic.
“The peak of foreclosures was the big recession where people lost their homes because their credit was too stretched because lenders lent out too much money,” Fox said.
County officials are working with homeowners to avoid foreclosure, he said, helping them apply for federal funds to help keep their property. If they apply, Ingham County officials will not foreclose on a home, Fox said.
Because tax foreclosure is a three-year process, it takes time before a bad economic year affects real estate auctions, Eaton County Treasurer Bob Robertson said.
“The economy three years ago wasn’t doing too badly, so I think what we’re getting now are good foreclosure numbers that relate to how well the economy was three years ago. years,” he said.
Here’s a look at some of the homes and properties that will be up for auction, what you need to know if you’re considering bidding on one, and where the money will go.
About half of the properties slated for the Ingham County auction, scheduled for Aug. 25, are homes, Fox said.
Most will be auctioned off one by one starting at 10 a.m. at the Lansing Center.
Of note, Fox said, a century-old home at 921 N. Capitol Ave. It was built in 1906 and still retains much of its original floor and woodwork.
“It’s a beautiful, old Victorian house; very solid, with lots of architectural qualities,” Fox said, although it suffered damage from a water leak. “He hasn’t been busy for a few years.”
The starting bid for the house, which will be sold with a historic preservation pledge to maintain the character and history of the house, is $40,490.49.
A few of the Ingham County properties will be auctioned on-site on the same day as the scheduled auction.
Included is a two-story home “in a desirable neighborhood” at 2225 Pamela Place in Lansing, Fox said, with a starting bid of $28,557.73.
“It hasn’t been occupied for a few years, so some of the exteriors are run down, but it’s in pretty good shape,” he said.
Vacant lots in the Whitehills Lakes Subdivision of Meridian Township will be auctioned on site. The starting bid is $17,466.30.
Of the 15 Eaton County properties up for auction Sept. 15, less than a dozen are homes and only a few are in “reasonably good condition,” Robinson said. The rest are vacant lots, he said.
“But these are properties that people will come and buy,” Robinson said.
This auction will take place at 6 p.m. at the Eaton County Government Complex in Charlotte.
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“The auction’s first priority is to pay taxes that have not been paid by owners,” Fox said. A property’s minimum bid covers these, he said.
If a property sells for more at auction, those with a “legal interest” in each can file a claim to receive “auction proceeds in excess of what was needed to cover taxes,” Fox said. “Some of these applicants include the IRS, some of them are mortgage holders.”
Both treasurers urge individuals to do their own research on a property before showing up at an auction.
“Properties are being sold as is,” Fox said. “We know some things about them, but we can’t guarantee much about them.”
“I think the best way to do that is to call the local government unit,” Robinson said. “They’ll probably have more information about the property than anyone else because they’re the ones who put it on the tax roll.”
Open houses will be scheduled at some of the properties the week before the auction, Fox said. If you’re thinking of bidding on a house, it’s a good idea to go there, he added.
It’s also wise to decide how much you’re willing to bid on a property before the auction begins and stick to that bid, Fox said.
“People have to be careful how far they can go to make something work,” he said.
To view the Ingham County Auction Catalog, visit https://online.flippingbook.com/view/851441034/.
View the Eaton County Auction Catalog at https://online.flippingbook.com/view/829488756/.
Contact Rachel Greco at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ.