Update on Charleston Peninsula Homes for Auction – February/March

Update 6/16

  • 203 Fishburne has dropped its price to $79,890 from $112,500 and it is still sitting there.
  • 39 N. Enston came back on the market 4/18 for $96,000 and has now dropped the price to $82,900.
  • 55 Carolina sold yesterday for $266,000 (pretty much what I said it would go for – I love being right. 😉 )
  • 11 Judith came on the market 3/18 for $1,190,000.  It’s such a pretty house and it’s newer construction.  The problem is there are 30 other homes available in that price range.  If they dropped it to $875,000 I think it would go fast but I doubt that would happen since the bank has it on its books for $1,180,000.

1107075 – Details: 11 JUDITH ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $1,195,000

And just case you are wondering about 142 Coming St – there was no foreclosure sale after all because the owner ended up filing bankruptcy.


Update 3/5 – 11 Judith went back to the bank so expect it to come back on the market soon.  We’ll see if I am right about the asking price!  Speaking of…I was wrong about Fishburne – it just came back on the market for $112,500.  We’ll see what it sells for.

1105537 – Details: 203 FISHBURNE ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $112,500


Update 2/21 – Just as I predicted, 203 Fishburne, 39 N. Enston and 55 Carolina all went back to the banks.

  1. 203 Fishburne for $80,000 since the minimum bid for a lay person was $130,599
  2. 39 N. Enston for $50,000
  3. 55 Carolina for $230,000 since the minimum bid was $300,000.

I know that sounds confusing – why would the minimum bid be higher than what the bank ‘buys’ it for?  Don’t they want to dump the houses at auction?  Here’s your answer. The bank usually sets the bid price somewhere between what is owed on the mortgage and 2/3 of what is owed.  If that is higher than market value, no one will bid on it so they take it back and resell it.

So why wouldn’t they put the bid price lower than what it is worth so they can get rid of the house?  Because if someone buys it at auction for much less than is owed on the mortgage, the banks don’t get the difference covered by mortgage insurance.  If they take it back and then resell it, they DO get the difference covered by mortgage insurance.  Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but generally this is what goes on.  My guess is that there is also some other fancy accounting is going on since a defaulted mortgage lives in a different place on the balance sheet than a property for sale.

So look for these homes to come back on the market in the near future for a little bit more than those numbers.   Will my BETs be right? 🙂


The past few months of County auctions have been somewhat quiet, but I sense that unfortunately (for owners) and fortunately (for buyers) they’ll be picking up again.  As you might have read in my prior posts – one from August 2009 and one from February 2010 – I like to track what’s out there, and will always provide you with post auction updates.

For the homes coming up, I’ve listed the address, bed and bath, the judgement, a Zestimate, an exterior description and THE BET – which is my postulation about whether or not it will be sold at auction or go back to the bank.

11 Judith St 4BR/4.5BA – Judgement of $1,749,870, Zestimate* NONE

This home was built in 2008 in Wraggborough and is currently on the market for $1,199,000.  It’s a gorgeous home but my sense is that it is too much for the area at this point.  In the past 6 years, only three homes have sold for over $1,000,000, one each in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

THE BET: Even though it can be purchased at auction for $1,180,100 – I think it will go back to the bank and come back on the market for $879,000.

142 Coming St 3BR 1BA – Judgement of $276,552, Zestimate*$287,000

I rode by this one today and it’s a traditional Charleston Single, just a stone’s throw from the CofC campus.  The exterior looks to be in pretty decent condition, as does the red tin roof.

THE BET: This one will definitely be purchased at auction because of its proximity to CofC and rental potential.  I don’t know yet what the minimum bid will be but anything under $250,000 would be a great deal. (Unless of course the interiors are shot).  If I were you and this kind of house interests you – I’d get your finances in order now.

55 Carolina St 2BR 1/5BA – Judgement $377,219, Zestimate $282,000


This mostly renovated house is in the rapidly up-and-coming Westside neighborhood which has some gorgeous historic homes lining its streets.   From here, it’s only a short bike ride to Marion Square.

THE BET:  At the right price, this is a great house for young professionals so I’d hope the bank puts out a minimum bid of $275,000 or less (which is about what it is worth). Unfortunately, most first time buyers and their real estate agents aren’t aware of these auctions and this isn’t generally the ‘investor’ type property, so my guess is it will go back to the bank.

203 Fishburne 3BR 2BA – Judgement of $179,748, Zestimate $193,000

The most recent MLS listing says it is on a block that floods badly in high tide and heavy rains (which Zillow does NOT know about).  The exterior is not in great condition and the main house is actually 2BR with an attached 1BR apartment.

THE BET: This will go back to the bank and come back on the market for about $89,000.

39 N. Enston 2BR 1BA – Judgement of $184,863, Zestimate $153,000

Because this is so close to I-26, it’s a toughie.  I don’t agree with the Zestimate, because again, Zillow doesn’t know about I-26.  It’s comparing it to 81 Hester St which sold recently for $150,000.  BIG location difference.

THE BET: This one will also go back to the bank because so much is owed on the mortgage.  If it comes back on the market for $80,000 or less, it might be a good deal for rental income.

So there you have it.  Will I be right?  Will I be wrong?  Whichever it is I’ll be sure to let you know!  And if you have any questions about all of this, you know where to find me. 🙂

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