Home Auctions: Buy a House for 50 Bucks?

It seems almost impossible -- or horrific (or wonderful?). Homes at a two-day auction this past weekend in Detroit, arranged by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) went for as little as $50 -- for a four-bedroom home in perennially depressed inner Detroit -- and as high as $1.7 million -- for a relative bargain in a gated community of upscale Bloomfield Hills.

There was something for everybody, though there were some limits. Each bidder brought a $2,500 cashier's check and agreed to close within 30 days, which pretty much meant all-cash offers only.

All properties included in the auction had been seized by banks, and then seized by the FDIC once the banks themselves failed. Michigan ranks in the top 10 states with the most foreclosures.

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