Further evidence of the overall weakness in the housing market could be found at the of four vacant building lots and an unsold spec house on Amanda Way on Saturday.
Despite considerable pre-auction interest, only , which forced the property into foreclosure after Zocco Builders, LLC of Rocky Hill stopped making payments on a loan that was secured by the property, submitted a bid.
Attorney Elizabeth C. Foran, who had been appointed by the court to handle the sale, said Rockville Bank had submitted a bid of $523,000 in advance for the lots and the spec house that had been built on a fifth lot. There were no other bids received, she said.
A recent court-ordered appraisal of the property valued it at $595,000.
Attorney Michael J. Kopsick, who represented Rockville Bank, said he has handled many foreclosures and has found that residential real estate is “not generating anywhere near its appraised value” when sold at auction.
“It’s just shocking what’s happened in the marketplace,’ Kopsick said.
The auction marked the final chapter of Zocco Builders, LLC’s effort to construct 10 new homes in Branch Brook Estates, a high-end residential development off Old Stafford Road.
Zocco Builders, which is based in Rocky Hill, had borrowed more than $800,000 from Rockville Bank to develop 10 lots within Branch Brook Estates, a residential development begun by local developer Richard Lee. Zocco Builders had agreed to pay Lee $1.28 million for the lots in the development and was using money from the sale of finished homes to pay back the bank. Zocco Builders could only sell five of them, however, and this didn’t bring in enough money to pay back its creditors.
Caught by the virtual collapse of new home construction in Tolland, Zocco Builders was unable to attract buyers to its project. With no buyers, there was no money to make payments on the balance of the loan which Rockville Bank declined to extend, thus pushing the matter into foreclosure in Superior Court.
The total debt owed by Zocco Builders, according to court records, is $534,451 which includes $36,929 in property taxes owed to the town.
When asked about the future of Zocco Builders which had been in his family for 50 years, Cesare Zocco, 60, its principal member , said: “There is no business. It’s gone.”