Property auction held in Grayson County - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Property auction held in Grayson County

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Watch video: http://youtu.be/KZ4nxZfTevE

DENISON -- Michelle Spencer broke down in tears when she learned the home where she lives was auctioned off Tuesday at a property sale held by the Grayson County Sheriff's Office.

Spencer's home, which she says is owned by her boyfriend, was one of dozens put up on the auction block because the owners owe back taxes.

"We have an opening minimum bid that's owed against it and the people go from there," Lt. David Hawley with the Grayson County Sheriff's Office said.

The minimum bid for Spencer's home was listed at $3,917.59.

While news of the sale is unexpected for some, others like the neighbors of one Denison home -- we found overgrown by weeds -- will likely be happy to see someone take over ownership.

A property near Lake Texoma sparked the biggest bidding war of the day.

Its "adjudged value" was listed at more than $110,000 but it sold for about $35,000 to a man willing to pay a little more than Sandra Monk.

"Yes, I'm bummed a little bit but I'm excited for the person that did get it because it is close to the lake," Monk said.

Justin Briscoe is a property investor. He says good deals can be found at public auctions, like the sheriff's sale. But, he warns bidders need to do their research and know buying homes at auction comes with risks.

"There's liens that could still be on the property. We've had people redeem the property. People still live in the house. There's all kind of things that could come up," Briscoe said.

According to the county's website, properties are put up for auction after a "lengthy legal procedure."

Prior to a home being sold, "a suit is filed in district court, judgment is taken, owner is notified by certified mail or personal service, a sign is posted on the property, and a tax sale notice is posted in a major newspaper of the city closest to the property for three (3) consecutive Sundays before the sale."

Michelle Spencer says hearing her home was sold came as a shock.

"I'm losing my home and I didn't even know that they were doing this," she said.

The sheriff's office says property owners are given an opportunity to redeem the property, which usually includes paying more than what was owed in the first place.

Sheriff's sales are held on the first Tuesday of February, May, August and December at 10:00 a.m. in the Assembly Room located on the 2nd floor of the Grayson County Courthouse South Annex.

Email: MYeomans@kten.com