MEDINA, Ohio - It's a sign the northeast Ohio housing market may be on its way toward a definitive recovery, at least in Medina County.
More than 80 perspective buyers gathered at the Medina County Fairgrounds to bid on 35 foreclosed homes during the monthly sheriff's sale.
Bidding was brisk on the three dozen homes for sale, but Medina County Sheriff Tom Miller believes there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the local housing market.
Miller reports 971 foreclosed properties were sold at sheriff's sale in 2011, with just 790 in 2012. Miller believes there will be fewer than 700 homes sold at auction in 2013.
"Communities are safer when properties are occupied. The taxes they generate help the school systems," explained Miller. "It's good for the economy, it's good for the community in general, and it's good for those people who find a home to live in too."
Angela and Frank Demczyk of Medina purchased a foreclosed Wadsworth home during the auction. They bought the 1,200 square foot bungalow for just over $42,000, a house that was appraised at $65,000.
"I feel bad for the people losing their homes, but we have to go forward," said Angela Demczyk. "We're into rentals, because we feel we'll never get to retire unless we do something other than Social Security."
The Demczyks new home will need some work to bring both the outside and inside back up to code.
"This house is not move in ready, you have to fix it," explained Frank Demczyk. "If you have to pay somebody to do all the work, it's going to cost you, so you better be a little handy at doing different work."
Those interested in find available properties can find them listed in their local newspaper, or on their Sheriff's department website.
Bidders should be ready to pay 10 percent of the homes appraised value at the time of sale, with the remaining balance due 30 days after the sale is confirmed.
"Some people are looking for a place to live, some are wanting them for rental properties," said Miller. "Others looking for a bargain can find a property at a good price."