Entire County's Tax Foreclosures Bought Up

August 9, 2012

The municipal government in Macomb County, Michigan, sold off its entire “inventory” of tax-foreclosed properties — 650 total — to a single buyer for $4.8 million.

Bill McMachen, a millionaire who made his fortune in the yacht business, swept the auction, purchased the homes for an average of slightly more than $7,000 apiece. However, since he only paid the price of the taxes owed on each property, he got some of them for as little as $50.

McMachen reported that this was his first attempt at real estate investing, and added that he planned to earn $2 million by flipping some homes and donate others to needy families.

Those charitable intentions notwithstanding, the sale of those properties frustrated hundreds of consumers and investors who were looking for deals.

"If we knew it was going to happen like this, we wouldn't even have spent any time," said an anonymous investor. "[Macomb County] could've made more money, I mean triple the money they made."

Source: “Millionaire Snatches Up an Entire County's Worth of Foreclosed Homes for $4.8 Million,” Business Insider (Aug. 7)