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House hunting on a budget? On May 23 at 1 p.m., One House At A Time, Inc., a nonprofit receiver for Baltimore City, will sell 59 vacant residential and commercial properties to buyers willing to rehabilitate them. A.J. Billig Auctioneers will auction each of the buildings to the highest bidder above a minimum bid of $5,000. Properties are located in Reservoir Hill, Frankford, Hamilton, Overlea, Irvington, the area near Johns Hopkins Hospital and more (see photos). Details are listed on the One House at a Time website, under the May 23 property auction.


This is a real chance for a young buyer to get a foot in the door of the Baltimore real estate market. The beauty of this kind of  “gallery auction” is that buyers have a one stop-shopping opportunity to see what kind of houses are out there, and what prices people are paying for them. Just know that no one is vouching for the quality of the properties and buyers will have to spend time and money fixing them up. Usually  the repair work needs to begin within a limited time frame.

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The May 23 auction will be held at the Union Mill in Hampden. It’s open to prospective home  buyers, renovators and developers, who will need to pre-qualify with One House At A Time, and show evidence of financial stability. (A letter from mom?) You’ll also need to be in good standing with Baltimore City, including the housing and building code enforcement agencies. Many of these homes are assessed at far more than they will bring at auction. You can find their assessed prices at the Maryland Real Property website. Your mission (should you accept it) will be to find out how much money you’ll need to put in to make it livable. You may be able to get an inspection. Bring a contracter friend.  If not, at a minimum you should do a drive-by. Happy hunting!

For further information, call Dan Billig, at A.J. Billig & Co. Auctioneers 410-296-8440 x14

or Larry Grubb, at One House At A Time, Inc. 410-467-1826.