PONTIAC (WWJ) – About 500 pieces of land are on the block at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac in a two-day auction that will continue on Wednesday.

Oakland County auctioned off properties — from houses to land — that have been lost due to back taxes.

Treasurer Andy Meisner said that the deals aren’t quite as good as last year, and that’s a good thing.

“Even in some of the communities that have been really challenged, Royal Oak Township we just went through for instance, we had some double-digit prices in that community,” Meisner said. “That signals to me that we’re past the bottom.”

Lots in Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield sold for $1,000 and less, while homes in Ferndale went for a few thousand dollars.

A 1,900 square-foot home in Hazel Park sold for $23,000 — well below the assessed value.

Experts warn, though, that although they may seem cheap, there are sometimes hidden fees and a lot of work that needs to be done and that buyers should do their homework first.

Royal Oak resident Chris Smiley bought two homes and an empty lot in Tuesday’s auction.

“There’s a lot of people that watch these programs on TV about flipping houses and they make huge mistakes without doing their research,” Smiley said. “You could be paying more in existing fees and assessments than what you’re paying for the house, so it’s crucial to do your research and know what you’re buying.”

Smiley said that he makes sure to visit the properties he is bidding on before he makes any commitments.

“It’s an enormous amount of work,” Smiley continued. “People think that they can redo a bathroom in a weekend; a bathroom takes several weeks, same thing with the kitchen.”

Find more information about Oakland County 2013 Land Sale Auction – HERE.


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