Asheville builder makes the best of a bad situation

Opportunities often spring from the misfortune of others in tough economic times. But innovative solutions can also spring from financial setback.

A case in point is Asheville builder John Erwin, who will run an unusual auction this weekend to sell one of his larger, newer houses to spare damage to his business and credit rating.

“While the economy has crushed the short-term real estate market here in Asheville it has also devasted the construction industry–which is where we earned our living. As a result we have to get out from under the payments on this nearly-new home (only 6 years old).”

via Beautiful Asheville Home in Financial Distress

The take-notice part of this short sale is the starting price of $118,500 — for a 2100 square feet, 4BR and 2.5BA home with cherry hardwood floors and a nice back deck.

Home prices have plummeted lately due to the deflation of the housing bubble, which was brought on by loose credit, but it’s hard not to see a lot of room for value in this low starting bid. And Erwin’s hope is that it brings enough interest to get him the best out of a bad situation. (Disclosure: He’s advertising the sale on Iwanna.com.)

What’s the market value of Erwin’s home?

Buncombe County tax records value the property at $264,280.
Trulia.com lists the market value as $224,500
Zillow’s “zestimate” is $266,500
Cyberhomes says it’s worth $249,900.

You can read more about the auction here: www.beautifulashevillehouse.com

Don’t expect to move in anytime soon, however. Erwin’s bank must approve the highest bid; so, like with any short sale, the process could take some time to complete. Short sales can take six months or longer to complete.

Erwin gets props for his innovative auction concept — which may keep the sale away from the courthouse steps, where foreclosures are usually finalized.

Meanwhile, Wall Street roars. The DJIA crossed 10,170 today for the first time in a year. And the unemployment rate (officially announced at 10.2% last week, but 17.5% when including Americans who have given up looking for work) continues to rise alongside foreclosures and bankruptcies.

In the comments below, tell us what you’re doing to make lemonade out of lemons in this economy.

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1 Response to “Asheville builder makes the best of a bad situation”


  1. 1 John November 10, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for the great article, John! You summed it all up nicely.

    As the owner/seller of this property I’ll clarify two points:

    1. Short sales can take a while and there are no guarantees but 3-6 months to close is the range I keep hearing from those specializing in this type of sale;

    2. For the winning bidder our house is available for POSSIBLE IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY under a month-to-month lease.

    Thank you,
    John Erwin


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