At the REDC foreclosure auction

Yesterday I went down to the REDC foreclosure auction at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, just to see how these things worked.

There were more people there than I expected -- maybe 2,000 judging by a rough count of rows of chairs. The bidders at the back were so far back that runners in tuxedos had to jump up and down for them to attract the attention of the auctioneer.

They had a couple hundred San Diego area foreclosures for sale, mostly from far-flung areas like Oceanside, Chula Vista, and Alpine. A typical example was a 4-bedroom house in Oceanside with a "prior valuation" of $499,000, with a starting bid of $189,000. Like all of the properties I saw in the half hour I was there, this house attracted multiple bidders well above the starting bid. It ended up going for $335,000, plus the 5% "buyer's premium."

Jim Klinge has a professional's view of the auction.

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