Auction going once, going twice

Interested homebuyers and savvy developers are expected to take part in the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s auction of about 400 properties today at the Westin Hotel.

PHA received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to sell the properties as part of 1,100 it can no longer afford to maintain or develop. The list includes scattered sites across the city, ranging from vacant lots to town homes and multi-unit buildings. The properties will be offered individually and in bundles of up to 25.

This will be PHA’s first auction and, given lower home prices, it is expected to draw plenty of interest from both mid-level and smaller developers and first-time homebuyers. Those looking to purchase a fixer-upper for themselves could get a nice deal, according to Bob Dann, chief operating officer of Max Spann Real and Auction Co., which is managing the auction.

“I think there’s something for everyone. There are lots of individual properties and there’s only one package of 25,” he said. “They’re rolling out another auction on [Dec. 7] that will have all individual properties — so if they don’t get one here, at least see how the auction works and be in better position to get one [then].”

The number of properties available in December has not been determined, Dann said. He recommended that those interested in making a purchase do their homework to know what they’re buying, set a price limit and stick to it.

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