I stopped by the auction for 180 North Street at noon, today, and watched it go to the bank at its own opening bid of $3.1 million. There were two other people there who had come with the required certified check in the amount of $367,500 and thus were qualified to place a bid, but they declined. Presumably, they were hoping to snare a bargain, and didn’t see one at $3.1; neither did I.
Late yesterday the debtor filed a motion to reopen the judgement against him, and that will be heard on August 11th. Assuming the bank prevails and the court approves today’s sale, the bank’s title will be complete and the house will be fully theirs, lucky bank. My prediction is that they’ll spend money to clean up the house (the debtor stripped it of appliances and left it looking pretty bad before he left), then put it back on the market at some dumb figure like $3.675 million, where it will stick around until someone at the bank gets real and orders the the place to be dumped for $2.5-$2.7. Check back next year.
The debtor bought the swampland this was built on for $1.850 million back at the height of the market in 2007, and paid Steve Mariani to build a spec house on it for him. That he thought he could pay Mariani’s profit and pay an additional profit to himself can only be ascribed to the irrational exuberance of those heady days, and it was a doomed business plan: it started at $5.495 million in 2007, and dropped all the way to $3.4 this year, before the bank took it back. Someone dodged a bullet back in 2009 when his offer of $4.1 was rejected, another, later, when $3.75 failed, and two years ago, my own clients had the same lucky escape when we couldn’t even get a counter offer to our bid of $2.9. Between having a swamp for a yard and, now, the condition of the house itself, this isn’t worth more than $2.5, if that, in my opinion.