Tony Zombek traveled from Johnston County to Charlotte on Sunday to buy a condo in Winston-Salem.
He came for a deal - and got one.
Zombek, a 50-year-old former air traffic controller, bought a $76,000 condo for little more than half-price.
He was among about 100 people who attended a foreclosure auction at the Charlotte Convention Center. Some, like Zombek, came looking for investment property. Some came looking for their dream home.
The auction reflected the flip side of the housing crisis: One person's loss is another's good deal.
"We've sold some properties at prices never seen before," said Bob Michaelis, a vice president of REDC, a real-estate auction company.
On Sunday, 42 homes in western North and South Carolina went on the auction block. One, a Spartanburg bungalow, valued at $46,800, sold for $1,500.
A two-story, 2,500-square- foot house on a 1-acre lot in Newton sold for $41,000.
A Waxhaw home once valued at $2.3 million, with 9,400 square feet, five bedrooms and 2 1/2 acres, sold for $910,000.
In a January report, the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, which includes the attorneys general and bank regulators from North Carolina and about a dozen other states, warned that continued unemployment and rising payments on adjustable rate mortgages suggest a gloomy forecast for foreclosures.
"Despite efforts of servicers, homeowners and the government, the foreclosure crisis continues to worsen," the report said. "These signs point to more foreclosures in 2010 than in 2009."
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