But you don't have to be a TV star to pick up property for pennies on the dollar. Consider Tuesday's tax foreclosure auction in Ann Arbor, Mich. According to Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary, as little as $350 -- the minimum opening bid -- could land you a choice parcel worth about $1 million. "I don't know where you can buy acres and acres of land for single family homes for $350," McClary told Ann Arbor.com. (That's one of the 21 available parcels pictured above.)
While bidders in Michigan have to show up in person if they want to take advantage of the "last chance" prices, most municipal foreclosure auctions have moved off the courthouse steps and onto the Web. Last year, foreclosure-plagued Florida, for instance, became the first state to to turn to cyber-auctions to process distressed property sales, making it possible for potential buyers anywhere to get a piece of the action. That may be one reason why foreign buyers accounted for 31 percent of all Florida home sales through March of this year, according to a Fox Business report.
McClary's auction is for properties foreclosed on for back taxes, but with so many homeowners in distress, property auctions of all kinds are enjoying a spike in popularity these days. Take a gander at these luxury homes, for instance, all upward of $1 million (in some cases way upwards) and all soon to be or recently on the block:
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