muckraker report

Who’s buying up cheap houses in Detroit? 10 leaders at tax auction

This home at 1532 Atkinson is among thousands of houses that sold for under $1,000.

This home at 1532 Atkinson is among thousands of houses that sold for under $1,000.

Dozens of investors worldwide gobbled up cheap houses and buildings in Detroit during the Wayne County auction for tax-delinquent properties this fall.

By the auction’s close late last month, investors scooped up two-thirds of the roughly 15,000 available properties, many of which sold for the minimum $500 bid.

Here are the top purchasers of Detroit priorities, according to a ranking compiled by Why Don’t We Own This?, an incredibly useful database with information on every property in Detroit. Click on the name below to learn more about the properties.

1. Wendy Briggs, 428 properties, $379,000

A Michigan real estate agent, Briggs paid between $500 and $18,000 for houses all over Detroit. Of the 428 properties, more than 400 cost just $500. Briggs typically resells each house for $5,000 to $8,000, according to real estate listings. In 2012, Briggs bought 50 properties for $33,160.

2. Ee Meng Peh, 412 properties, $325,000

An investor of distressed properties nationwide, Ee Meng Peh paid between $500 and $1,600 for houses on the west and east sides. He does business using a variety of corporations, which include Michigan Assets LLC.

3. Dennis Elliot, 363 properties, $232,600

Paid between $500 and $1,000 for distressed homes across Detroit. Not much is known about him yet. He may be an agent for another developer.

4. Udi Perez, 235 properties, $195,000

Representative of Nevada-based Direct Properties LLC., which buys homes in bulk and often sells them without ever seeing them. “We can’t rehab all of them!” the company’s website reads. “There’re so many of them that it’s impossible for us to rehab each and every one of the hundreds of properties that we have.” Houses ranged from $500 to $3,500.

5. Great Lakes Property and Investments, 203 properties, $602,700

Detroit-based company that buys up houses and rents them out for between $500 and $1,000 a month. The company paid between $500 and $37,000 for Detroit properties.

6. Frank Ivezaj, 171 properties, $188,000

Paid between $500 and $11,000 for each house. Not much is known about him yet.

7. Stephen Hagerman, 171 properties, $758,1000

Paid between $500 and $18,000 for each house. Details about him are still unclear.

8. Nate Heaps, 146 properties, $104,300

A 30-something investor from American Fork, Utah. He bought 290 properties at least year’s auction for $190,000.

9. Fluturie Loga, 138 properties, $218,000

Spent between $500 and $4,700.

10. David Pakhchanian, 113 properties, $110,900

Pakhchanian is managing director of Detroit Progress LLC, a real estate venture that sells distressed homes, generally for between $2,000 and $7,000. Pakhchanian spent between $500 and $4,100 on each home in the auction.

Know more about the investors? Send us tips at tips@motorcitymuckraker.com.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Straight from the Street

    This is a great list. There are some investors who have people on their payroll who strip homes. Can you look into this?

  • Smartest OneHere

    Thanks for posting this list. Now we know whom to sue when these properties are not brought up to code and ordinances…

  • bebow

    The city is courting slumlords who don’t pay property taxes, and their crime magnet shacks generate expense and drive out more decent, taxpaying residents.