Charleston County Holds Huge Foreclosure Sale


Huge foreclosure sale a sign of times

May 12, 2008

By Katy Stech – The Post and Courier

The pile of manila folders — each containing information about a specific foreclosed property set to be sold by Charleston County — was so tall last week it wouldn’t fit in the wheeled plastic bin that usually transports the files down to the auction spot.

So Master-in-Equity clerk and auctioneer Harriet Hendricks unearthed another bin that had cracked, repairing it with duct tape so it could hold the towering overflow of folders. “I had to bring it out of retirement,” she said.

In a sign of the times in the residential real estate business, Hendricks presided over a marathon foreclosure auction of nearly three dozen properties Tuesday, reading off a string of legalese and soliciting bids for more than 90 minutes.

Two weeks ago, Master-in-Equity Judge Mikell Scarborough eyed the auction list and declared it the largest number of distressed homes he’s seen go on the block at one time during his five years in office. Sensing it was going to be a long session, one auction attendee decided to sit down on the floor, just three bids into the sale.

In all, more than 100 people crowded the terrace outside the Charleston County Judicial Center. Those who stood farthest from Hendricks strained at times to hear the bidding because of a loud clamor from a nearby construction project.

The unusually high attendance seemed to get the competitive juices flowing.

Investor George Jellyman prevailed over 57 other bidders for a luxurious-looking Johns Island home with a dock. The bidding started at $309,636 and climbed steadily — usually in $1,000 increments — until topping out at $427,000.

“I still haven’t seen the inside of the house,” Jellyman said afterward.

Other notable transactions included two abandoned homes that Habitat for Humanity built in the upper peninsula area; both went to James Peterson of Honest John’s & Associates Record Shop on upper King Street. Bidders also went wild for a Dunes West property in Mount Pleasant. But most of the homes — 25 out of the total 33 — went back to the lenders that financed the mortgages.

Hendricks also called off an initial bid of about $4.7 million for a 30-acre Park West property that was supposed to be developed into a town center-like commercial area named Cambridge Square. The final bidding for that property is scheduled for June 5.

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    Categories : Charleston


    1. Terry says:

      It’s interesting to see that 33 foreclosures is considered a large amount for Charleston Cnty, considering that Lexington Cnty had the following number of foreclosures: 82 in March, 90 in April and 75 in May… while Richland regularly has close to 100 or more monthly. These numbers fall by 50% if you don’t count the listings that get pulled before the auction occurs; still a far higher count than Charleston. A comparison of foreclosures as a percentage of total sales per county would be interesting.