The state sold a Marriottsville house at auction yesterday hours after a Carroll County circuit judge refused to enjoin the sale until ownership of the property can be determined.
Lee Heffner, 27, a Baltimore County heating and air conditioning contractor, offered a $133,000 high bid for the home and 3.62 acres at 1901 Arrington Road.
Seven other buyers came to the sale with certified checks for the $10,000 deposit. Bidding opened at $50,000.
"I am looking forward to restoring a piece of history and keeping the historic flavor of the house," Mr. Heffner said.
Robert S. Abrahams, attorney for the Department of General Services, said Mr. Heffner got a bargain.
"You can't build a house this size for that money, much less [buy] the land it's on," he said.
The state Board of Public Works must approve the sale.
"Before you start spending your money, wait for Public Works approval," Richard Betters, a state real estate agent, advised Mr. Heffner. If a former buyer pursues a lawsuit, Mr. Heffner may have to wait longer than the usual three weeks before he can begin loan application, Mr. Betters said.
Michael T. Boyer, whose wife, Linda, is the former mayor of Mount Airy, bought the home in November 1987 for $112,000. He gave the state an $8,000 deposit, but the sale never went to settlement.
The Department of Natural Resources authorized yesterday's sale after declaring Mr. Boyer in default on his sales contract.
Earlier yesterday, Judge Raymond Beck Jr. denied Mr. Boyer's request for a temporary injunction to block the sale. Mr. Boyer filed the injunction request Wednesday as part of a lawsuit against the state aimed at forcing settlement of his purchase of the property.
Judge Beck said five years was enough time to settle on the
"We still have a suit pending," said Richard C. Murray, Mr. Boyer's attorney. "Its basic purpose is to compel the state to follow through on our contract."
Mr. Boyer claimed in his suit that he has tried to meet all requirements for a settlement, but he said both sides have "extended" settlement "for various reasons."
State officials told Mr. Boyer last September that he was in default because he had not settled on the purchase and told him he would forfeit his deposit.
"Resale of the property will cause immediate, substantial and irreparable harm" to Mr. Boyer, his lawsuit said. He claimed he would lose not only his deposit but a "$17,000 investment in the maintenance, preservation and stabilization of the property."
Pamela D. Anderson, an assistant attorney general who represented DNR in court yesterday, argued that enjoining the sale would harm the state.
"Mr. Boyer knew in September the state was foreclosing and waited until Wednesday to file for an injunction," she said. "He has had more than reasonable time to complete the sale."
If the home had sold for less than $112,000, the state could have required Mr. Boyer to make up the difference. He may also owe back taxes and $22,000 in rent that he collected from a tenant for four years, Ms. Anderson said.
Mr. Boyer has leased the home to Connie Lawson for the past four years for $500 a month.
Mr. Betters asked the buyers to give Ms. Lawson, a single mother with four children, as much time as possible before terminating the tenancy.