Convention Center holds foreclosure auction

RALEIGH The idea of scoring a discounted home for hundreds of thousand dollars less brought a lot of people to the Raleigh Convention Center at an auction put on by the real estate disposition company.

"Me and my wife, we're just checking out investments and what not," Home Shopper Charles Smith said. "So we've just come up for education, you might say."

They're learning about what it takes to buy foreclosed homes, once-pricey properties go for bargain prices.

"They're buying properties here for 50 to 60 on properties here and they're re-energizing the economy. So that's the upside to what we see as the negative," REDC Vice President David Lee said.

Like what happened to the foreclosed homes' prior owners.

According to a document, a house valued at more than $470,000 was sold to winning a bid for $200,000 less than that at the auction.

The bidder must come through with the money soon. That works out well for banks that put the foreclosed homes up for auction, which is their goal.

"Get the most money that they can for that asset, because it' really real-time pricing," Lee said. "It's what the market will bear, so that's what they're getting."

One lesson from the auction: check with a lender to see how much you can afford to bid before coming and signaling you're ready to buy.

"We're not really looking to get in debt, but if you see something that looks like a real good deal, can't afford to miss it," Smith said.

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