Man Buys 650 Foreclosed Homes in Suburban Detroit

For this week’s Fall Through the Cracks Friday we bring you the story of Bill McMachen, the millionaire who recently purchased every foreclosed property in Macomb County, Michigan (just north of Detroit).

The cost for such a purchase – $4.8 million, or just under $7,500 per property. The sale included 403 single family homes, 120 lots zoned for residential dwellings, 14 condos, and 9 commercial buildings.

The sale is a great thing for Macomb County, which unloaded the properties for the amount of back taxes owed on them. The other potential bidders, however, are not as pleased. From the New York Daily News article:

One Canadian buyer told WJBK he spent weeks researching the real estate market before traveling to Michigan, and was prepared to shell out plenty of money.

But Macomb County officials announced at the start of last Tuesday’s auction that all 650 of the foreclosed homes could be had at once for the cost of the back taxes owed on them.

McMachen bit, thwarting hundreds of other buyers.

“If we knew it was going to happen like this, we wouldn’t even have spent any time,” the Canadian investor said. “They could’ve made more money, I mean triple the money they made.”

County Treasurer Ted Wahby was sorry for the investors who missed out, but not too sorry.

“People who are going to buy five or 10 houses weren’t buying them because they wanted to move in,” he said. “They wanted to make money on them, and God bless them, I wish they could have, but that’s not my mission. I have a job to do. I have to collect the taxes, and that’s what we did.”

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.comWhat is your take? Do the positives of this sale (county recouping tax revenue) outweigh the negatives of one person controlling such a share of real estate in a single market? Was the process fair for other potential bidders, who each shelled out $500 to be a part of the sale?

Share your thoughts on this story in the comments section for this article.

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