A $400,000 House On Sale For $1,000

There has to be something wrong with this real estate listing. The house at 4872 Hidden Hills Cir, Howell, MI will go to auction soon for $1,000. However, it has been assessed for $416,000. Corelogic has an estimate of $384,000. Under the circumstances, why have an auction at all? The listing insists this is not a foreclosure.

Realtor.com reports that “The current owner has moved to be closer to family and wants to part with this property in a hurry.” That is a thin explanation for a starting bid which is so low.

A look at the figures for the house indicates that it is worth well over $1,000. It has five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms. Its indoor dimensions are 3,136 square feet. It sits on 1.62 acres. It was last sold in 2008 for $176,000. That was during the housing crisis of The Great Recession, so there is reason to believe it is worth much more now.

Also, the house has had upgrades recently. Fiber optic internet has recently been installed. The heating operates on natural gas. It has a Lennox wood-burning stove as well.

Howell is northwest of Detroit, about halfway to the state capital of Lansing. It has a population of just shy of 10,000. About 94% of the population is white. Its population has grown steadily since 1920.

The median household income for Howell is $45,760, which is about $20,000 below the national average. The poverty rate is 14.1% which is above the United States figure.

One way realtors set prices is to look at “comparables” which are houses in the same area of similar size and configuration. In the areas close to 4872 Hidden Hills Cir, Howell, MI home values run between $272,000 and $337,000.

For anyone interested, this is how realtor.com lists the property:

This beautiful 5 bedroom 2.5 bath home is being offered at public online auction. This is not a foreclosure. Bidding starts at only $1, 000. Please click the link to the online auction to view the current bid price. The current assessed value of the home is $416, 600. The seller bought this home in 2008 and has moved to be closer to family and work. This home features up north log home tranquility without the 4 hour drive. Nearly 3, 200 sq-ft with a 2nd floor loft master suite with a custom master bath. Fiber optic internet has just recently been installed in this subdivision.