Home buyers snatch up foreclosures

May 17, 2009 4:40:43 PM PDT
Half million dollar homes in foreclosure hit the auction block Sunday at the George R. Brown Convention Center. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Investors snatched up most deals within a matter of seconds. It happened so quickly that Shamika Hayes wasn't quite sure how it happened.

"I wasn't paying attention and kept raising my hand," Hayes told us.

But in an auction where houses were selling in 90 seconds or less, the family of four bought their very first home sight unseen. Understandably they were a little nervous about that last fact.

Bids for half million dollars homes, now in foreclosure, started as low as $40,000. But prices rose quickly and not everyone found the bargain they were looking for.

One clear winner was the firm running the foreclosure auction. Last year REDC set an industry record, thriving in hard times by auctioning off almost $33,000 foreclosed homes for nearly $3.5 billion. This year they're well on their way to breaking that record.

The Hayes family hopes they wind up winners too. Right now, they're just thrilled to have a place to call their own.

"Don't have to worry about anyone calling you for rent, that's good," Hayes told us.

Not everyone found the bargain they were hoping for, but in all 106 properties in Texas sold for a total of $7.7 million dollars. A spokesperson said that some of those homes sold for half of what they were worth.

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