Foreclosed Homes Go for Rock-Bottom Prices

Thousands turn out for fast, furious bidding

The auctioneer's gavel hammered loudly Saturday as some 200 homes went up for sale at bargain-basement prices.

The bidding was fast, furious and competitive at Saturday's auction. Attendees had to be careful -- scratching a nose could place a six-figure bid.

"You'll see anywhere from 50 to 60 percent on the dollar against those previous values," REDC President Jim Croum said.

More than 2,000 North Texans attended the Real Estate Disposition Corporation Auction at the Dallas Convention Center in hopes of bidding on a bargain.

Mark Adams had his eyes on "dream house."

"(I) definitely couldn't afford it in the normal times and the normal economics of it," he said.

The home was $350,000 and was going for $119,000.

"But if it goes for what these other houses are going for, then it'd be a dream house," he said.

Tom Swark, another bidder, bid on a home as an investment.

"It was previously valued for $80,000," he said. "I bought for 20,000 (and) plan on using it for a rent house."

Steve Kite said he was looking at something to settle down in -- a home about eight miles from a lake. He was hoping to snag the property for 60 to 75 percent off its value.

The starting bids on some of the homes were as low as $1,000.

"We have more foreclosures this time this year than we did last year, and it's possible we'll see more in the future," said Dallas real estate agent Steve Secrest.

One Tudor near Dallas' Lakewood neighborhood that was once listed in the $700,000 range was on the auction block with a starting bid of $189,000.

"This isn't your typical foreclosure home, because it is an older home that is very desirable," Secrest said.

The house has original stained-glass windows and is more than 3,500 square feet.

A condo around the corner valued at $200,000 had a starting bid of $69,000.

Foreclosures are up 31 percent year-to-date. There have been more than 50,000 foreclosure postings this year in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according the Foreclosure Listing Service.

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