Last year at this time, we really considered buying a property two townships over when it went up for auction. It was a 17-acre “L”-shaped parcel, mostly wooded, with a huge brick ranch on it. This wasn’t your ordinary brick ranch, either. The sellers had built it circa 1960, and every item in it was original. Everything was in original condition. It was gorgeous, in a 1960s-kitschy kind of way. I loved it. The vintage dishwasher had a drawer instead of a door, and you loaded the dishes into a round tub that spun (instead of today’s squarish models with the blades that spin over the racks). It matched the vintage built-in wall oven and warming drawer. There was a lounge with vinyl built-in couches, and each bathroom had been painstakingly tiled from floor to ceiling with tile and grout that – of course – coordinated with the sink and commode. The master bath even had a pink corner tub and pink pedestal sink. Everything was trimmed in chrome. Ahh, for the good old days.
The house was very solidly built, well-lived in, and well-cared for. The yard was charming. The rest of the land stretched out behind the house, with a giant two-story barn/shop that dwarfed the 3000 square foot home. Most of the lot was wooded, but there was plenty of room for horses to roam, too. I really could see us living there with the kids.
We were cautious, however. This was the first time we had ever considered buying real estate at auction. We did plenty of research and were financially prepared to buy if things looked favorable, but then we never did raise our bidder card on auction day. DH and I had set a Number – which had fluctuated wildly over the weeks leading up to the sale – that was our “top”. We had agreed not to go a penny over The Number, no matter what happened. That strategy served us well in the heated emotion and excitement of the auction. The house sold for just a bit more than The Number, but we were satisfied that we played it right. If we had bid, it was very likely that the price would have kept going even further beyond our budget– and where would we have stopped? A thousand over? Ten? So we left, got ice cream on the way home, and never looked back.
A couple of weeks ago, another property came up for sale. This one will be auctioned off on Saturday. The house isn’t quite as eclectic as the brick ranch was, but it appears to be a well-kept and cosy farmhouse. It’s slightly smaller than our current home, but that’s more than made up for by the acreage. The property offers 48 acres, an optional second parcel of 53 acres, and a lake. It’s much more rural, which we like. The few neighbors we would have are all far, far away, and not visible from the house (another plus in our book). So we’re crunching and calculating to see just what our Number is this time. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be buying the farm come Saturday.