FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The 11 homes for auction along West Dupont close to Lima Road hearken back to another era, one where there were fields across the road and Dupont Road was considered the boondocks.

Now the 11 homes and tracts for sale stretch for 1,262 feet in one of the busiest areas of northwest Allen County. Most of them are rentals, owned by one owner who wants to sell off and invest elsewhere, auctioneer Steve Bartkus said Friday. A couple of them are owner-occupied.

Together, the tracts will be auctioned May 5 at the Lifehouse Church at 1601 W. Cedar Canyon Rd. starting at 6 p.m. Two previews of the homes along Dupont Road took place this month. Each of the tracts are about .4 of an acre and aren’t deep. Two more single family homes on Coldwater Road, listed as tracts 12 and 13, have been added to the auction pot.

The starting bid price for the homes is $20,000. Bartkus said the homes could be sold singly, all together or in parcels. Addresses for the properties start at 1202 W. Dupont Road and run through 1608. Addresses for the two Coldwater Road tracts, about an acre in size, are 11824 and 11908, and are just south of Union Chapel Road.

See the lots up for auction here.

The Dupont Road tracts are zoned R-1 – single family housing – platted as in a subdivision. That means that the new owner would have to change the platted designation in order to combine all the tracts or several of them together for another use, Bartkus said.

Of the 11 tracts for sale, one is vacant land. The photo shows the proximity of the homes in Windsor Woods behind.

“You could make it commercial, with all the commercial development. That’s why there’s so much potential there, but you’d still have to go through all the proper chains of command, through city and county levels to get anything approved,” Bartkus said. Tenants right for the rental homes will be respected and will be allowed to continue to live at the property for the entirety specified in the lease.

Auctions now are considered an easy way to sell a home, particularly as the market is so hot, that owners typically get five and six bids, essentially creating an auction for a property.

But auctions continue to fight a stigma from years past when auction meant foreclosure or a “fire sale,” Bartkus said. “The way we’re seeing this in the country, auction is the first method now. It creates hype and urgency for people to bid.”

The auction could take up to a couple of hours. Each tract will be offered separately, then as a whole “that would obviously have to beat out the subtotal of all individuals added up,” Bartkus said. “Then we will offer it in combos, but their (buyer’s) total bid has to outweigh the singles or the one who wants the whole offer.” Terms include 5% down the day of the auction and the balance in cash at closing. Down payments can be in the form of a cashier’s check, personal check or corporate check.

Bartkus said many buyers have approached the seller for many years. Most of the tracts are owned by Nghia Nguyen who owns Cali Nails across the street, according to Bartkus and documents obtained from the city.

Bartkus said one neighbor who lives directly behind the homes in the Windsor Woods subdivision on the north side of Dupont Road was looking forward to the sale because she said renters didn’t keep their homes tidy or maintained.

As to what the land is worth? “That is the magical question these days,” said Bartkus who’s been in the real estate business for 20 years. What something is worth is what someone is willing to pay for it.