Reverse Migration Happening to the South- Affordable Housing Waits African-American Retirees in Eastern North Carolina through AuctionFirst

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The South is now presenting more economic and social opportunities for African-Americans than New York, Washington, DC, and Chicago since living in these cities is becoming increasingly unaffordable, especially for retirees. North Carolina presents itself as a destination for retirees thanks to quality, affordable housing through auctions and easy access to major northeast cities.

Over the past ten years a reverse migration is happening. According to a New York Times article and a NPR segment, census data shows, African-Americans are leaving large cities in the East and Midwest heading down South at the highest levels in decades. The South is now presenting more economic and social opportunities than New York, Washington, DC, and Chicago. Living in these cities is becoming increasingly unaffordable for retirees.

North Carolina presents itself as a destination for African-American retirees to return to family roots in the South while still being close to ties up North. Many retirees are making eastern North Carolina home based on past family connections and good lifestyle options.

Housing opportunities are abound with high quality homes at affordable prices. While many associate real estate auctions with foreclosures, more owners are choosing to sell their properties at auction. There are many high worth properties going up for auction in eastern North Carolina. One includes the land holdings of Broadus Cobb. She passed in 2011 leaving extensive real estate holdings. The final four properties in her estate are going up for auction on October 20th by AuctionFirst NC. They include two single-family homes across from Benvenue Country Club, a small farm with marketable timber on Highway 97 and a large commercial parcel on Benvenue Road that includes the landmark Benvenue Grill.

Mrs. Cobb custom built the house on 1721 Country Club Road in Rocky Mount in 1956. This 3,000 square foot house was built in a late Colonial Revival style popular in Southern architecture features a grand entrance, four bedrooms, and three full baths. Primed for entertaining the dwelling has a large kitchen, a grand entrance hall perfect for large or small parties, and a circular driveway. It sits in a one-acre parcel, which can be a residence or an office and is zoned O&I. The parcel also contains a rental studio cottage. It will sell at or above the auction reserve of $110,000.

In a desire to “downsize,” Mrs. Cobb built a second dwelling next to the original house in 2001. She again custom built the home at 1717 Country Club Road to her exacting tastes, sparing no expense. This 3,500 square home features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and wood floors. The home has a stunning floor to ceiling stone fireplace. This seven-acre parcel includes two rental properties – a guesthouse and an older farmhouse. It will sell at or above the auction reserve of $165,000.

As part of Mrs. Cobb’s landing holdings, there are two other properties on the auction block. One is a 7 acre parcel zoned B-5 and R-15, located across from Rite Aid and Sheetz with road frontage on both Benvenue and Country Club Roads. The landmark Benvenue Grill is included in the parcel. This parcel will sell at or above the auction reserve of $175,000.

The last piece of property is a 24-land parcel zoned A-1 located ¼ mile east of Highway 301. Currently used to grow soybeans it also has marketable timber and road frontage on both Highway 97 and Pridgen Road.

All properties are guaranteed to sell at or above their auction reserves. The single-family homes will be open to the public every Sunday from 2-4 pm starting September 28th. The auction is scheduled for Monday, October 20th. Registration for bidders opens at 5pm and auction begins promptly at 6pm.

About AuctionFirst:
AuctionFirst specializes in accelerated auction marketing of all types of real estate, from land to luxury homes. Unlike most real estate auctioneers, AuctionFirst’s agents work closely with real estate agents, sharing commission with both listing and buyer agents. Sarah Sonke is a professional real estate auctioneer/broker/realtor who conducts real estate auctions throughout North Carolina. Her office is located at 2501 Blue Ridge Road, No. 250, Raleigh, NC 27607. For more information visit or call her at 919-601-7339.

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Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

Sarah Sonke
AuctionFirst NC