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Dave Olson, Published October 30 2013

Buyers find good deals at Fargo auction of flood buyout homes

FARGO – Just minutes into Wednesday’s auction of flood buyout homes in Fargo, the auctioneer shouted “Sold!” and Dean and Kelly Meyer were homeowners.

Their $40,000 top bid bought them what Dean Meyer figures was a $400,000 house before the flood buyout process began.

The purchase looked like a good value, even when you tack on the $45,000 or so their mover figures it will cost to truck the 2,864-square-foot house from Oak Creek Drive in Fargo to a spot south of Moorhead.

“I’ve had everything set up since March, when the original auction was supposed to be,” Dean Meyer said, referring to an earlier scheduled auction that was canceled.

He said besides being beautiful, part of the home’s appeal was the fact it didn’t have to be cut apart to be moved.

“It’s four bedrooms, so I’ve got room for everybody,” he said, referring to his family that includes three young sons.

Wednesday’s sale included eight other homes, which sold for prices ranging from $500 to $65,000.

Like the Meyers, most prospective buyers appeared to have done their homework and lined up house movers before the sale.

That’s always a wise move, said Tammy Schmidt, whose family operates Schmidt & Sons Building Movers, of Kindred.

Schmidt said they and other house movers in the area are heavily booked and finding someone to take on a job can be a challenge.

She said a good share of their work has involved moving flood buyout homes from the Fargo-Moorhead area to communities in North Dakota’s Oil Patch.

“We move a lot of ’em out west,” Schmidt said, adding that many clients are individuals who have had a hard time lining up a contractor because home builders in the western part of the state are so backlogged.

Schmidt said most moving jobs typically cost from about $10,000 to $70,000.

During Wednesday’s bidding, Darrin and Jody Rude wound up in the tensest bidding war of the day.

They ultimately won the test of wills with a bid of $65,000.

Now, they plan to move their newly acquired home from its location on Fargo’s Harwood Drive to a spot next to Lake Lida in Otter Tail County, Minn.

Darrin Rude estimates the original value of the 3,241-square-foot home was somewhere in the neighborhood of $400,000.

The couple figure the total cost of buying and getting the home settled near the lake will run them $250,000 to $300,000.

Jody Rude said she can’t wait to get the house to where it’s going, and her husband agreed.

“Looking forward to it,” he said.

Another flood buyout auction is planned in January, when about 30 homes will be offered.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555