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Published May 28 2010

Cass buyout auction nets $326,250

Kathy and Dallas Elhard got a good deal at Cass County’s buyout auction Thursday, and it’s a good thing – they had already sold their old house to pay for the new one.

The Pelican Rapids, Minn., couple were outbid on their first choice at 480 Oxbow Drive in Oxbow, N.D., which was the auction’s high seller at $79,000.

But they also did their research on the ranch-style house next door and nabbed it for $16,500 – not bad for a 2,193-square-foot home the county bought for $345,215 to remove it from the floodplain.

Kathy Elhard said they’ll pay about $35,000 to move the house 38 miles due east to a lakeside lot on Minnesota’s Tamarack Lake.

“We put numerous hours into this, countless hours,” she said.

Cass County netted $326,250 from the sale of 35 homes and several garages and sheds on Thursday, recouping a fraction of the nearly $9 million in county, state and federal taxpayer dollars spent on buyouts.

Most of the 35 homes had wet basements during the record Red River flood of 2009.

Auctioneer Scott Steffes took less than two hours to chant through the buyout list at Fargo’s Holiday Inn, where the standing-room-only crowd included 102 registered bidders.

It was Cass County’s first live auction for buyout homes. More than 50 were auctioned off by sealed bid after the 1997 flood, generating about $600,000.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but yeah, I think it went all right,” said Irv Rustad, executive director of Lake Agassiz Regional Council, which coordinated the buyout process for the county.

The homes must be moved or salvaged for parts by Sept. 15, except in Oxbow, where the deadline is July 15.

Former Oxbow residents Linda and Robert Liebelt had considered trying to buy back their buyout home on Oxbow Drive, but a mover told them it wouldn’t fit past the Oxbow Country Club in one piece.

Thursday, they sat in the crowd and watched the home they once purchased for $350,000 – and which the county bought from them for $321,440 – go for $6,500.

Linda Liebelt said it was sad to see it sell for so little.

“But then if you can’t move it, what good is it?” she said.

“It went for what I thought it would,” Robert Liebelt said. “The ones you could move brought higher amounts.”

Bidders “absolutely’ landed some good bargains, Rustad said.

Tim Thein, who owns a house-moving company, paid $23,500 for a 2,800-square-foot brick rambler in Briarwood that the county bought for $377,500. He plans to move it to Clara City, Minn., where he lives in a buyout home he purchased from Cass County in 2000.

Thein said the house has more room for his wife and three kids. He also bought a home north of Fargo for $6,000 for a customer.

People looking to buy a home had the opportunity to save $40,000 to $50,000 at the auction, he estimated.

“You have a chance to maybe make a little money, a chance to save a little bit of money, rather than buying a home or building a home,” he said.

The sale also benefited the environment by keeping homes out of the landfill and saving trees from the lumber mill, he said.

County officials are still working with neighborhoods to determine which buyout homes can be moved because of road conditions and width issues. Those who bought homes but can’t obtain permits to move them will be eligible for a 90 percent refund of the purchase price, Steffes said.


Properties all sell at Cass County buyout auction

Bidders paid a total of $326,250 for 35 flood buyout homes and several garages, sheds and outbuildings Thursday during Cass County’s buyout auction in Fargo. The list below contains only the houses; the total for the other buildings was $11,300.

NORTH FARGO

- 2701 Northwood Drive N.: 1 story ranch, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,122 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $107,204. Auction sale price: $5,000. Buyer: West Shore LLP, Ken Ewertz, Hunter, N.D.

- 2611 Northwood Drive N.: 1 story ranch, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1,802 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $180,322. Auction sale price: $6,000. Buyer: T&M Relocation, Tim Thein, Clara City, Minn.

- 2509 Northwood Drive N.: 1½ story

A-frame, 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1,825 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $202,895. Auction sale price: $2,000. Buyer: Dan Hokanson, Oxbow, N.D.

- 5201 River Drive N.: 1 story brick ranch, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 2,100 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $167,010. Auction sale price: $750. Buyer: Doug Stack, Glyndon, Minn.

BRIARWOOD

- 16 Briarwood Place: 2 story, 6 bedroom, (2) full bath, (2) ¾ bath, (1) ½ bath, 2,555 sq. ft. main floor, 1,480 sq. ft. second floor. Accepted buyout offer: $404,682. Auction sale price: $7,000. Buyer: Donovan Man, Hillsboro, N.D.

- 17 Briarwood Place: Partial 2 story, 6 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 4,763 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $416,829. Auction sale price: $10,500. Buyer: Barry Olander, Fargo.

- 18 Briarwood Place: 2 story/modern, 4 bedroom, 4 bath, 5,012 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $176,076. Auction sale price: $3,000. Buyer: Barstad Construction, Ron Barstad, Fargo.

- 19 Briarwood Place: 1 story brick rambler, 6 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 2,800 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $377,500. Auction sale price: $23,500. Buyer: T&M Relocation, Tim Thein, Clara City, Minn.

SOUTH FARGO

- 7504 Chrisan Way: 2 story/modern, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,978 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $192,500. Auction sale price: $1,000. Buyer: Dan Hokanson, Oxbow, N.D.

- 610 Orchard Park Drive: 1 story/modern, 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 3,284 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $205,839. Auction sale price: $2,000. Buyer: Barstad Construction, Ron Barstad, Fargo.

- 802 Orchard Park Drive: Rambler, 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 2,093 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $320,000. Auction sale price: $1,000. Buyer: Joe Gotta, Moorhead.

- 806 Heritage Circle: Split-level/3 levels, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,439 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $242,500. Auction sale price: $8,000. Buyer: Greg Krause, Wyndmere, N.D.

- 706 Heritage Circle: 2 story/modern, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,653 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $320,643. Auction sale price: $5,500. Buyer: Barry Olander, Fargo.

- 610 Hillside Drive: 2 story w/loft, 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,657 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $205,206. Auction sale price: $500. Buyer: Kasowski Repair, Thomas Kasowski, Harwood, N.D.

- 506 Hillside Drive: 2 story/modern, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 4,597 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $478,047. Auction sale price: $2,250. Buyer: Steven McGrath, Glyndon, Minn.

- 502 Hillside Drive: Partial 2 story, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,474 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $305,890. Auction sale price: $7,000. Buyer: Tim and Heather Haberman, Wyndmere, N.D.

- 411 Hillside Drive: Partial 2 story, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 3,400 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $435,475. Auction sale price: $2,000. Buyer: Barry Olander, Fargo.

- 601 Hillside Drive: 2 story, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,412 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $299,881. Auction sale price: $70,000. Buyer: Jerry Steiner, Rothsay, Minn.

- 611 Hillside Drive: 2 story/modern, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1,854 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $175,089. Auction sale price: $1,000. Buyer: Kimberlie Ackerland, Moorhead.

HORACE

- 17569 Pfiffer Drive: 2 story split-level, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,920 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $180,000. Auction sale price: $4,500. Buyer: David Canoy, Richwood, Minn.

- 17582 Pfiffer Drive: brick rambler, 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1,632 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $112,660. Auction sale price: $900. Buyer: Carl Smith, Fargo.

- 17550 49 St. SE: 2 story, 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1,460 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $98,462. Auction sale price: $100. Buyer: West Shore LLP, Ken Ewertz, Hunter, N.D.

- 17558 Pfiffer Drive: 1 story w/loft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,889 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $67,667. Auction sale price: $100. Buyer: Sidney Norton, Cummings, N.D.

- 17562 Pfiffer Drive: Bi-level, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1,544 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $256,000. Auction sale price: $9,500. Buyer: David Canoy, Richwood, Minn.

- 2410 100th Ave. S.: 1½ story, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,618 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $171,418. Auction sale price: $600. Buyer: Cindy Blair, Rothsay, Minn.

- 4850 County Road 81 S.: rambler, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,482 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $264,500. Auction sale price: $2,500. Buyer: Tom Tolman, Fargo.

OXBOW

- 306 Schnell Drive: 1 story/twin home, 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1,667 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $72,014. Auction sale price: $4,250. Buyer: Dan Hokanson, Oxbow, N.D.

- 308 Schnell Drive: 1 story/twin home, 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1,667 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $72,014. Auction sale price: $4,000. Buyer: Bob Everson, Leonard, N.D.

- 417 Oxbow Drive: 1 story with loft/twin home, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,327 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $9,516. Auction sale price: $250. Buyer: Cindy Norton, Cummings, N.D.

- 421 Oxbow Drive: 1 story with loft/twin home, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,327 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $74,165. Auction sale price: $250. Buyer: Cindy Norton, Cummings, N.D.

- 429 Oxbow Drive: 1 story ranch, 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2,740 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $321,440. Auction sale price: $6,500. Buyer: Jonathan Kasowski, Harwood, N.D.

- 453 Oxbow Drive: 1 story/twin home, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,328 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $3,441. Auction sale price: $1,000. Buyer: Dan Hokanson, Oxbow, N.D.

- 480 Oxbow Drive: 1 story ranch, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,389 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $368,175. Auction sale price: $79,000. Buyer: Jerry Steiner, Rothsay, Minn.

- 474 Oxbow Drive: 1 story ranch, 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 2,193 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $345,216. Auction sale price: $16,500. Buyer: Dallas Elhard, Pelican Rapids, Minn.

- 470 Oxbow Drive: 1 story ranch, 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1,696 sq. ft. Accepted buyout offer: $344,914. Auction sale price: $27,000. Buyer: Duane Egge, Moorhead.

Sources: Steffes Auctioneers Inc, Cass County Auditor’s Office



Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528