VIDEO: Montcalm County land auction properties go for $50

Posted by Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 12:23 pm on Monday, October 24 2011

Judy Guevara of Stanton smiles after realizing she won a bid she thought she had lost. Guevara bid $550 for property in Stanton.

STANTON - A condemned property failed to sell at the annual Montcalm County minimum bid land auction in September.
The foreclosed building at 102 E. Elm St. in downtown Carson City was listed at $16,158.11 last month.

On Thursday, Larry Jordan of Carson City snapped up the property for $50 at the county’s no minimum bid land auction.

Montcalm County Building Department Director Scott Minard deemed the property – including several apartments - dangerous and unsafe. Jordan plans to demolish the building, which is located next to his home.

“I want the eyesore gone,” he said. “The only real purpose I had of purchasing it was to get rid of it. There’s a couple of nice lots right there, but you can’t even see them.”

Jordan, who owns Crystal Family Hair Care with his wife, hopes someone can use and recycle concrete and other materials in the building.

“I’ve been talking with the city about different avenues for the property,” he said.

Wayne Johnson of Edmore had the distinction of bidding the most funds Thursday. He spent $4,700 to purchase property in Home Township adjoining his current land.

“I was hoping I wouldn’t have any competition,” he said of the fierce bidding war. “I don’t know where they all came from.”

Johnson has very specific plans for the decrepit house on his new property.

“I’m going to call the Home Township Fire Department and they’re going to have a free-for-all on it,” he said.

Montcalm County Treasurer Marcia Sawdy hosted Thursday’s auction, which featured 23 properties that didn’t sell during last month’s minimum bid auction of 54 properties.

The county received $318,135.49 in September and $12,850 Thursday for a total of $330,985.49. The total amount needed to cover all delinquent taxes came to $160,614.02, so the county made a profit of $170,371.47.

“I was very pleased with the number of people that turned out for the auction today,” Sawdy said. “It seems that every year now we keep getting more and more interest in the no minimum bid auction. It used to be that we only had a handful of people present.”

One hundred eight bidders attended September’s auction, while 45 attended Thursday’s auction on the third floor of the Montcalm County Administrative Building.

Of the 23 properties for sale, 10 were parcels at Honeymoon Heights in Cato Township. The Honeymoon Heights properties are notorious for going into foreclosure, being purchased at auctions, then going into foreclosure again.

Kevin Allen of Belding purchased two of the Honeymoon Heights properties for $50 each, as well as land in Greenville for $150 and land in Douglass Township near Six Lakes for $200.

“No plans for now, but at least they’re close to the lake,” he said of the Honeymoon Heights parcels. “Once I get a visual on them, then we’ll see.”

Sawdy said she has consistently been able to get every foreclosed property back on the county tax roll since the Michigan Delinquent Property Tax Foreclosure Public Act 123 took effect in 1999.

“My goal every year is to get all of the foreclosed parcels back on the tax roll and into the hands of people that will put the property to good use and hopefully it will not come back to us through foreclosure again,” she said.

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