POTRYKUS' HOUSE NETS $410,000 AT AUCTION!
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By Terry Jacoby, The Ile Camera
Published: December 16, 2005
Grosse Ile's Barbara Potrykus stood on the sidelines and watched her life pass her by — right out the door and into someone's trunk or the back of a pickup truck. More than 300 people — mostly strangers — gathered in her yard earlier this month and bought almost everything that Potrykus owned. And that included her home.
"It was a tough day, that's for sure," said Potrykus, whose home and almost everything in it and around it went up for auction on Dec. 3. "A lot of the things were my husband's, but there were things that meant a lot to me. I had to do this. I had no choice."
The on-site parking lot was at full capacity 45 minutes before the first bid was called.
Cashiers, Betty Loehr and Doris Lindsay handle the tedius task of bidder registration.
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Barbara's husband, Hank Potrykus, died last month, and the house, along with the 7.69 acres, was too much for her to handle on her own.
"I wanted this done quickly," said Potrykus, who will continue to live on Grosse Ile and is expected to return to her job at Kroger on Macomb. "I didn't want to wait and have yard sales."
The house on Meridian near Ferry sold for $410,000 to a developer, according to Ken Lindsay, president and CEO of American Eagle Auction and Appraisal Co. in Livonia. Lindsay said the developer did not want to be identified.
"I know he did some homework (into what he could do with the property), but I don't know to what extent," Lindsay said. "He seemed to know what he wanted to do with the property."
Lindsay, who had been working with the Potrykus family for months putting the auction together, was pleased with the outcome. "It was a very cold day, but we still had a very good turnout," he said. "Barbara was thrilled. It was the first time I saw a smile on her face in a long time. We had some items that went through the roof."
The house is a 2,365 square-foot ranch built in the middle of a fairly open and flat piece of land.The home was built in 1947 and did have a new roof and an updated kitchen inside.
The new owner of the property could run into difficulty if he plans on building condos or apartments because of restrictions on the road back into the property. The driveway cuts through the middle of two newer home sites. The new homes sit between the Potrykus house and Meridian and there are variance issues with the driveway.
Was $410,000 a fair price for the home and property? "Of course you always want a little more, but I was very satisfied," said Potrykus, who could have turned down the final offer under the arrangement she had with the auctioneer.
"I think we got fair-market value for the home and the items in the house," Lindsay said. "We didn't turn down any offer on any item. The real estate market in Michigan is weak. We were pleased."
Lindsay said that Hank Potrykus "initiated the auction process and was involved in every step of the way until about a week before his death."
Susie Harrison of Prudential Landmark Properties on Grosse Ile was happy for the seller.
"It was very successful because it made everything happen in one day and that's what she (Potrykus) wanted," Harrison said. "I think at $410,000, someone got a real bargain but everything was handled very well and the home owner was happy. And that's what is important."
Grosse Ile Township Supervisor Kurt Kobiljak said he has not talked to the new owner of the property, but said, "It's my understanding that he didn't want the house, just the property."
Kobiljak said the owner's first step to possibly developing the land would be to approach the township's Community Development Office and begin the process.
Kobiljak did acknowledge potential problems with putting a road in off Meridian. "From what I know they would need an easement and help from the property owner to the south," he said. "But these are things that will be addressed during the process."