Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Glitch halts plan to auction 2 houses

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        VILLA HILLS — When the elegant house Gerald and Joyce Prewitt built for resale in the River Heights neighborhood here didn't sell after 18 months, the couple decided to auction that house — and their home of 20 years across the street.

        That was the plan at 11 a.m. Monday, when the National Auction Group Inc. of Gadsden, Ala., set up shop in the new million-dollar house at 1806 River Heights Lane and prospective bidders gathered.

        Two hours later, the deal was off and the Prewitts were, surprisingly, rather pleased with the sudden turn of events after a problem with the title to the new house was discov ered and couldn't be immediately cleared, halting the auction.

        “We originally planned to auction both houses and possibly build another new home,” Mr. Prewitt said. “I guess the good Lord didn't want us to leave our home, and frankly I'm glad it's not selling. Everything is going to work out.”

        The new house, built by a company owned by one of the Prewitts' daughters, was on the market at $990,000. Mr. Prewitt said their intent was to use the profits from that house to upgrade their home across the street at 1810 River Heights Lane.

        “No one showed any interest in our home, probably because it's an older house,” he said. “There were some people who looked at the lot, which has a great (Ohio River) view, but they wanted it to build a new house. So we decided not to auction that house, and now neither one is going.”

        The Prewitts raised their five children in the home overlooking the river, and it is a regular gathering place for the children and nine grand children. “It's like the family swim club,” Mr. Prewitt joked.

        The next step, he said, is to do what is necessary to clear the title on the new house and then go about trying to sell it once again.

        National Auction Group, which has moved such high-dollar property as entertainer Kenny Rogers' Georgia ranch and estate, which sold Nov. 4 for $6.7 million, will assist the Prew itts in selling the house.

        “Everything is going to work out,” Mr. Prewitt said. “I think with all the publicity we've had about the auction, we will be able to sell the house now. And we'll wait a while and see what we want to do with our home. But we won't be going anywhere for a while.”


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