|BY KARIN MILLIMAN
CENTREVILLE, Mich. — “You want to move tonight? I’ll hitch my wagon up and help you,” a member of the crowd joked while waiting for a real estate auction to start just outside of Centreville, Mich.
A beautiful country setting, this three-bedroom ranch home with a huge barn just off Sauger Lake Road had attracted an odd assortment of vehicles. There were the usual cars and farm trucks, mixed in with a shiny red Corvette and bicycles, and Amish horses and buggies were seen milling around the farm.
This piece of property offered up 44 acres of land, with 40 acres of it tillable. With a road frontage of 1,320 feet on one road and 1,390 feet on another road, a lot of people showed up to see if the selling price fit into their budget.
The back yard offered plenty of shade with mature pine, red maple and white birch trees, and that’s where the crowd settled to participate in the auction.
There were 60 potential bidders milling around as auctioneer Fred Schwartz cranked up his microphone to announce the terms of the sale.
“We will take a 15 minute break once the bidding dies down to allow the family time to discuss the bid. It’s up to them whether it sells or not. We are not selling by the acre and the crops that are on the land now will go to the farmer who planted them. Taxes will be prorated, and the owners say there are no stones on this land, but they know a man who has plenty if you want them.”
With the crowd laughing and ready to get the bidding started, Schwartz announced an opening bid of $200,000. The bidding rose steadily until it reached $290,000, and then stalled out. The action stopped to give the family time to make a decision. They entered the home and came out just about fifteen minutes later with the announcement that they were going to sell.
So, the bidding was opened up again, and it slowly rose some more. “He’s not looking at us now,” said assistant auctioneer Greg Blucker as an active bidder backed out of the bidding. It took $310,000 to purchase this piece of real estate, and a murmur of excitement and approval went through the crowd while the young couple who had won the bidding smiled broadly.
“Here comes the boss and she wants money,” joked Schwartz as his wife, Marilyn, came over with the paperwork to complete the purchase. The neighbors walked over and introduced themselves to the new owners and congratulated them on their purchase.
A simple purchase agreement was signed, and the new owners were told that there shouldn’t be a lot of surprises on the property since it hadn’t been sitting empty for long. There was a sellers’ disclosure made available.
The ranch-style house had working central air. And the 28-foot by 48-foot barn had new metal siding and a new roof with a 14-foot by 28-foot lean-to on the side. It offered plenty of storage for farm equipment and animals. Watching the new owners sign the paperwork to make the sale final, one of the family members who had grown up in the home wiped a tear from her eye.
“It’s hard to see it go, but I’m glad it sold to a nice couple. It holds a lot of memories for me.”
The Schwartz Auction Co. holds antique, farm, coin, real estate and home auctions. They are located in Centreville, Mich., and can be reached at www.SchwartzAuctioneers.com or 269-651-9261.