Interested buyers soon may have a chance to snag an Upper Arlington mansion for about half its value.
The 14,000-square-foot home, at 4860 Oldbridge Drive, will be auctioned online between 9 a.m. Aug. 28 and 1 p.m. Sept. 1 with a starting bid of $1.4 million, less than half of its last selling price.
Buyers can submit their bids at gryphonusa.com.
The offer comes with a catch: Because the home is a foreclosure, prospective buyers can't see the inside or even step foot on the property.
"It's a considerable risk for somebody to agree to spend $1.4 million on something they can't look at," acknowledged Rich Kruse, managing partner of Gryphon USA, the auction company handling the sale for the lender, Fifth Third Bank.
"But at the same time, the trade-off is you could potentially be getting this house for 50 cents on the dollar. Some investors may have that appetite for risk."
While a handful of million-dollar homes were foreclosed upon during the housing crash, Kruse is unaware of any central Ohio home of this value entering foreclosure.
"I've been doing this for 20 years, and it's the largest one I've heard of, the most expensive one I've heard of," he said.
Built in 1972, the Tudor-style home includes six bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two half baths in 9,189 square feet. A finished lower level brings the size to 14,000 square feet.
In addition, the home includes a pool, a pool house, a gazebo and a 12-car showroom with a loft. The lot measures almost an acre in size.
The property belongs to Jeffrey Hosking, 49, president of Power Marketing Direct, which licenses dealers to sell mattresses and furniture.
Hosking paid $2.86 million for the home in April 2005.
After a string of legal and financial troubles, which included a 2013 stint in jail for contempt of court, Hosking's home was foreclosed upon by Fifth Third in 2015.
Even though the home is being auctioned privately instead of through the conventional route of a sheriff's sale, most of the same rules apply. That means access to the home is prohibited because the title remains with Hosking.
Other than some landscaping neglect, the home appears from the street to be in sound condition.
Bob Sorrell, a veteran Upper Arlington real-estate agent who is familiar with the home, said the lot alone might be worth $700,000.
"I don't think there will be any problem with that property selling at $1.8 million or possibly over $2 million," Sorrell said. "Any bid of $1.7 million should be favorable to the purchaser, even if they had to incur $300,000 or $400,000 in improvement costs."
The Franklin County auditor values the home at $2.586 million, and Zillow estimates its value at $3.272 million.
The winning bidder's financial obligation doesn't end with the mortgage. Taxes on the home are $59,856 a year.