County tax foreclosure open house expands to Ypsilanti Township
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Editor's note: The open house is Saturday, July 13. An earlier version of this report had the incorrect date.
A program allowing residents to take a look inside foreclosed homes prior to the Washtenaw County Tax Foreclosure Auction has proven to be a success in Ypsilanti.
Now, that program is expanding into Ypsilanti Township.
Potential buyers will have the chance to inspect three township homes on Saturday, July 13 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The opportunity to take a closer look has boosted buyer’s confidence in Ypsilanti and resulted in more sales there over the last two years.
“What we discovered when we collected the data is that we sell more properties for greater than the minimum bid, and we believe it's because prospective buyers got to go through the house,” said Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary.
In 2011, six of 10 houses that were part of the open house program in Ypsilanti sold, while only of 14 that weren’t part of the program sold. In 2012, a similar number of homes sold, but those in the open house program generally sold for above the minimum bid.
“If you only get to look through the windows you wouldn’t see if the copper plumbing had been stripped by the previous owners,” McClary said. “And if they did do that it would affect how much you would pay.”
Residents not having to bid on the unknown has increased the final sale price, which includes back taxes and any other fees associated with the property.
The program also has proven beneficial to local investors instead of out-of-town speculators. While local investors tend to be more interested in quickly rehabbing the properties, speculators have been known to purchase homes and sit on them.
Ypsilanti Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy-Roe said the township is hoping the program will attract more homeowners.
“It helps to stabilize the neighborhoods and increase home ownership, which is good for the neighbors, residents and community at large,” she said.
County properties will be available during the July 16, July 23 July 26, Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 16 and Aug. 23 auctions. A list of all the auction properties can be found on the county’s auction website.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the AnnArbor.com news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.