http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/11/21/danville-company-to-auction-off-new-homes


Danville Express

Newsfront - November 21, 2008

Danville company to auction off new homes

Properties include Estates at Tassajara Lane development

by Geoff Gillette

Developers from throughout Northern California are joining together with a Danville-based firm to hold a massive auction this weekend of new home properties both in the Bay Area and beyond.

Accelerated Marketing Partners Co. founder Ken Stevens said the event will feature 150 new homes in more than a dozen communities.

"These are all brand new homes with warranties. They've never been lived in and in some cases are set up where the buyers can still pick out options," he said.

Homeowners looking for a deal in the Danville area can find six properties in the Estates at Tassajara Lane development. Stevens said there are units up for auction there that were initially priced at $2.4 million, and will be up for a minimum bid of $1.5 million.

With the collapse of the housing market over the past two years and the subsequent economic downturns, Stevens said it was important for companies to get more creative in moving their wares. The home building industry is no different, and Stevens said the auctions are working.

"People want to be able to get a deal on whatever it is they're buying," he said. "That brings people out to the auction."

Homes will be sold throughout the Bay Area, including San Jose, Vallejo, Hayward, Martinez and Walnut Creek. In most cases, the opening bid is 50 percent of the original asking price or less.

Vacation homes will also be on the docket. Stevens said they have homes in a golf community in Copperopolis with two to four bedrooms that will have opening bids of $295,000.

Stevens said that developers and new homebuilders are hard hit by the slow housing market, and that putting the properties up for auction is preferable to carrying the cost of building and holding the new homes.

"The construction loans the builders are facing are very onerous," he noted. "It's better for the builders to sell at a discount and cut into those loans."

The auction will be held Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Marriott Hotel in San Ramon. Sessions will be held at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Stevens said that interested buyers will need to be pre-qualified in order to bid on the properties.

"We ask that everyone be pre-qualified before they enter the room. That's why we have a 98 percent closing rate," he said.

Stevens' company has done around 25 of these auctions in Northern California this year and expects to hold at least that many next year. Any person interested in seeing the properties being auctioned off can go to www.auctionnorcal.com, the company's Web site.

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