A faithful reader points to this somewhat strange, definitely unique auction this weekend. The historic Vista del Arroyo Bungalows in Pasadena, homes listed in the National Register of Historic Places, will be auctioned off on Sunday. That's right, auctioned off:
This weekend they are having a “closeout auction” of the Vista del Arroyo bungalows. If you dig through the website you will find some interesting facts. This is really sad and interesting. The opening bids are less than $400 per square foot. That has to be below breakeven for them. These are great, historic, well done homes. To see them sold this way is a little shocking but I guess that is where we are right now. Maybe no one on the site will really see how tragic this is and what a sea change it represents but it is as dramatic to me as the Ivan Hill terrace house being put up for rent: a sign that the party is really over for at least a couple of years. According to the site, pricing works this way: "The Close Out Auction allows bidders to choose the property that they want to own for the price that they want to pay. Minimum bids start at between $790,000 and $1,260,000, representing up to $690,000 off the asking prices." You can also bid on the Interwebs. Not exactly starter home prices but that's some significant savings if the bidders don't whip themselves into an auction frenzy.