A rare event is occurring on the 2,000-acre exclusive ranch owned by Clint Eastwood near Carmel, California. A home site will be placed on the auction block with a suggested starting bid of $1.75 million.
Norman Waitt, co-founder of Gateway Inc., is selling his 15.4-acre home site located in the gated Tehama community at an auction that is scheduled for August 31. The land was originally purchased for approximately $3.4 million, however the lot will be sold at the end of the month through a sealed bid with a suggested starting price of $1.75 million. Local brokers worry the sale will deal a blow to property values in the coveted development.
As one of the larger home sites at Tehama, which has lots that range from 3.5 to 20 acres, this particular lot sits at one of the highest points on the development. Waitt had previously planned to build a 6,000-square-foot home on site however his plans have changed and it is presumed to be because of the shaky economic environment.
Eastwood is a native Northern Californian who purchased the lower portion of the sprawling ranch in the 1960s and bought up the rest of it approximately 15 years ago. Of the 90 lots on site, 57 sold before the recession, according to representatives at Sotheby’s International Realty. Eastwood has chosen to take the 33 remaining lots off the market until economic conditions improve. This, however, is the first time that an auction has been held on the development.
In a 20,000-acre community just across from Tehama, auctioneer Albert Burney put seven plots of land up for auction in the fall of 2009 at more than 40% off the last listing price. Unfortunately, due to a lack of interest from bidders, most of the properties were subsequently pulled off the auction block before the official bidding began. Some of the properties did make it to auction, but the bids didn’t go high enough and the properties were sold after the auction instead. Brokers note that auctions tend to work best in high-traffic areas where it’s “easy to generate interest, but don’t work as well for niche properties, like these land preserves.”
Given its location, some predict that even if Waitt’s lot brings in outside attention at auction, it’s unlikely that international buyers or bargain hunters will have the same connection to the area. On the other hand, the auction option is often a good solution for quick sales to avoid having properties sit on the market for extended periods of time.
Source: Wall Street Journal