UPDATE: Charleston Peninsula Homes up for Auction

UPDATE 12/9 – 169 Rutledge came on the market for $875,000, higher than my bet, but was taken off the market one month later.  30 Montagu did not sell at auction, and came back on the market today for $994,600.

UPDATE 11/6 – 92 Smith St just came back on the market for $449,000.  My original bet was $450,000! (see below)

2929114 – Details: 92 SMITH ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $449,000

UPDATE 9/14 – I’ll be tweeting live from the auctions to let ya’ll know what these go for.  You can follow me at @chasinsideout.  If you’d like to join me there give me a call and I’ll let you know the details.


169 Rutledge will be back on the auction block on 9/17, with a first bid of $787,500 (original judgement was $1,135,324)

92 Smith St will be back on the auction block on 10/1, with a first bid of $421,875 (original judgement was $622,955)

What does a first bid mean?  It is the price at which the bank has offered to buy back the property.  Because there is a deficiency judgement on these particular properties, the bidding was not closed on the day of sale but remained open for an additional 30 days. When the sale is re-opened for final bidding, the highest bid is accepted.  (The bank can only bid at the first sale.)

To win the auction – a buyer must offer a minimum of $100 above the first bid amount.

A new one to watch….

30 Montagu St is a new one up for auction on 9/15 with a Judgement of $1,439,683.  It is also for sale for $1,500,000.  It looks to be in great condition and has the opportunity for significant rental income.  I will be previewing it and will keep you posted!

2835530 – Details: 30 MONTAGU ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $1,500,000

UPDATE 9/14: Last week I viewed the home at 30 Montagu St.  The interior of the main two floors are in great condition, spacious with 15 ft ceilings, hardwoods and enormous windows.  The kitchen and baths are renovated and there are four wide and breezy piazzas.  The exterior of the home could use a new coat of paint, primarily on the piazzas.  The two bottom floor apartments could use some upgrades, but otherwise have a stable rental history.  There is off-street parking for 2-3 cars and a back ground level courtyard currently used by the studio apartment, though a little creativity could integrate it back into the main house quite easily (as it was historically).  The neighbors on both sides are owned by families.

Given that the judgement on this home is $1.4M+, I am unsure of what the asking bid will be.  I think a ‘great deal’ would be if the house goes for anything under $1,000,000.


The next home auctions at the Courthouse are coming up on August 18th and there are three homes on the Charleston Peninsula that will be interesting to watch.  Most properties go back to the bank because no one purchases them at the auction, but those that I have been monitoring closely have all come on the market again 6-12 weeks later at a great price and have then received multiple offers from buyers.  2 Harlem Ct and 13 Wentworth St were the most recent ones. UPDATE: 2 Harlem Ct sold 8/17.  Asking price $202,000, sold price $190,000. (Had 5 offers – the first highest one accepted fell through). 13 Wentworth sold 8/25.  Asking price $569,999, sold price $628,000.

As a matter of fact, here’s a recent CNN Money article “Buy foreclosures now – before it’s too late

For the homes coming up, I’ve listed the address, bed and bath, the judgement, a Zestimate (as of 8/11/2009) an exterior description and THE BET – which is my postulation about the bank’s asking price for the home should no one purchase it at the auction.

847 Rutledge Ave 3BR/1BA – Judgement of $64,547, Zestimate* $223,000

This home is typical of the Wagener Terrace neighborhood and Rutledge Ave.  While it looks to have been lived in for years with no updates or repairs, some gutting could probably turn it into a cute little bungalow.  Many of the homes surrounding it are renovated.  It is a few houses down from the convenience store.

THE BET: $100,000

169 Rutledge Ave 4BR/4BA – Judgement of $1,135,324, Zestimate $803,000

This house is the nicest of the bunch – the exterior looks great, there is parking for up to 5 cars and a beautiful back garden with a pool.  Its primary downfall is that it is next door to an old 2 story brick apartment complex.  However, given that MUSC is just steps away and the Ashley Hall school is across the street – a doctor with kids could have a ball with this place.

THE BET: $685,000

92 Smith St 3BR/2BA – Judgement of $622,955, Zestimate $602,000

That picture is from 2007 and while this home looks to have been lovely at one time, it has fallen into a state of disrepair on the exterior (though the inside still looks pretty decent through the windows) and the grass has grown over the driveway.  There is an exterior structure on the back of the house that is only partially finished (plywood over studs?) which apparently was intended to be a master suite addition.

THE BET:  $450,000

*While I do not always agree with Zestimates because they do not take into account renovations, specific location context etc…I happen to think these are pretty accurate assessments of the value in the 2009 market.  The Zestimates for Charleston County come within 5% of an actual sales price 30% of the time.

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