About 3 years ago I saw a cool piece of property on the Meridian/Nampa border. It was 6 acres. It had a cool hand built log cabin and a shop. The zoning was bad. Only 1 house every 5 acres When I called Ada county they told me in it was in the jurisdiction of the city of Meridian. The city of Meridian said that it was unincorporated and they had no intention of doing anything about the zoning until it was incorporated. The buyer vanished without seeing this cool property that met all his needs.
My broker is interested in land. I also had a couple of other people (including myself slightly interested). I drove back to the property in February. It was as I remembered. I looked the owner's name up in the tax records then cross checked it with his business and called him. I noticed the property in front of him (with good road footage) was up for auction.
He was still interested in selling but he would not name a price for his property. I figured it would be more than it was listed for 3 years ago. He then told me about the house in front of him that was up for auction. I was intrigues and called the city of Meridian and Ada county about the zoning and the possibility of sewer coming soon. Everything was the same. Now I know the sewer will get there but one would have to be able to hold on to the land and houses until they did. I thought it was possible to do this but my exchange was not ready to be listed and I do not have deep pockets. The idea of owning 7 acres of land between the 2 cities and that near the free way is intriguing.
I told my broker about it. I also told him about the zoning problems. I told him you would have to acquire both properties. He was not terribly interested.
Sunday before the auction I told my husband there was a property that intrigued me that was up for auction. I asked him to go with me. I was mostly curious. The house was filled with stuff. It was a neat hoarders house but it seemed solid. It sat on one acre. The rental value was at least $1500/ month if not more with the lovely land. I figured I could raise $300,000 safely by mortgaging m 3 own home. Surprisingly, my husband agreed to that proposal.
I know it does not make financial sense but we want our home paid off before we retire. My husband is 64. I figured that the property would have to work on its own for me without the 6 acres in the back. So I put my top limit at $300,000. At that price I knew I could clean it up and sell or rent it if I had to. Or if I couldn't acquire the back property.
The next day I called my loan officer to make sure we could qualify for the refinance of our home. It would be very sad to put $30,000 of non refundable earnest money down and not be able to raise the capital. I took a partner to look at the property. The next day I took a mutual client to see the home and he loved it.
The day of the auction came. I was a bit hopeful. They tried to hide some odors with chemicals and it was obvious. I figured the worse the house looked the more likely I was to get it.
My dog and I went to auction at 12:30 AM. There was a bit of a circus atmosphere. I met the daughter and son of the deceased. I actually had my dog with me. She made lots of friends. There were about 20 or 30 of us. I found a plastic chair and prepared to bid.
The property went for $467K. I did not acquire it. The back 6 acres look less interesting to me now. There were a lot of people who saw the value and were willing to take risks on the un-inspected property filled with possessions. There will be an auction on April 17 for the possessions.
In a way it is a relief but I am also sad. I seriously doubt I could have raised that much cash safely. With these auctions you have 30 days to close. No contingencies. This is very different than a foreclosure auction.