land auction

Lining up for Land: County auction nets nearly half a million dollars

2013-04-18T02:30:00Z Lining up for Land: County auction nets nearly half a million dollarsBy HEATHER KENNISON — Elko Daily Free Press

ELKO — It isn’t beachfront property, but for those with the mind to, it’s worth taking a gamble on.

The 100-plus bidders who showed up at the delinquent tax property auction Tuesday were there on a mission to purchase a piece real estate in rural Nevada.

“We’re just private investors,” said Charlotte Abbott, owner of Smile4U Inc., a private wholesale land company based out of Lynden, Wash. “(With land) if the market drops, you still own it.”

The Elko County Treasurer’s Office auctioned off 158 pieces of property for a grand total of $450,200, said Treasurer Rebecca Erickson. In the past few years, the range has been closer to $250,000 with about 70 registered bidders.

Abbott buys property from auctions all over the western states and resells it online for profit. Her website, smile4u, offers between 400-450 pieces of land at any one time, she said.

“Some might call us wholesalers,” she said. “It’s the cheapest land money can buy.”

Abbott is a longtime buyer at the Elko County land auction. On Tuesday, she purchased about 25 properties in rural Nevada, some in the Montello area.

“I really hope someday to build a home here myself,” she said. “I love it here. It’s a special place.”

Elko County has also drawn the attention of other buyers from out of town — and even from out of the country. Jesse Marshall of Calgary, Canada, has been coming to the Elko auction for about a decade, and sometimes lists the properties for his company, Calcan Global Inc.

“Usually I end up keeping them,” Marshall said.

This year, Marshall attended the auction with Ashley Baxter of California.

“Many people go to the beach for a vacation, but we go to Elko,” Baxter said, joking.

The couple purchased has 19 properties in Montello, on U.S. Highway 93 near Jackpot, and in Sun Valley, Baxter said. Marshall owns about 70 properties in Nevada.

“It’s fun to go see the property afterward,” Baxter said. “There’s a couple that you take a gamble on, obviously.”

Their personal tradition is to take lawn chairs and a bottle of champagne out to their new properties to celebrate.

Bidding community

Erickson said many of the bidders return year after year.

“It’s a tight-knit community,” she said.

In the auction room, however, it’s a whole other matter. On Tuesday, Abbott got a few laughs from the crowd when she shouted a last-minute bid on a property others had already bid up. Surprisingly, she got the property for $5,100.

In her professional opinion, some Internet sellers give the rest a bad name.

Abbott met a woman from Lake Tahoe before the auction who said she had been cheated out of her property and was hoping to buy it back at minimum bid. After consulting with a few of her “guys,” Abbott spread the word about the piece of property. The woman placed the minimum bid that morning at the auction, and the next bid was called.

“The room was silent — and everyone clapped,” Abbott said.

As she returns year after year, Abbott hopes to leave a legacy behind.

“I want to inspire others and have a good time,” she said.

This year was the first time the auction took place in the spring, and the first time the county accepted credit cards.

“I think allowing credit cards brought the prices up a bit,” Erickson said.

One reason the office accepted them this year was because the auction took place the day after federal income taxes were due, she said.

Property owners who were delinquent on their taxes have up to one year to reclaim what is left of their property sales revenue after taxes, fees and a percentage due to Elko County is taken out, Erickson said.

Copyright 2016 Elko Daily Free Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(12) Comments

  1. NVDSL
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    NVDSL - April 26, 2013 10:02 am
    Im not a big fan of flippers either. Out of stater's taking advantage of locals. I feel the same way about people who flip houses for a living. Doing little cosmetic cost friendly upgrades and then strap the working man to make a buck. Making a living off of selling something to someone that isnt worth the value, even two to three times more than its value is dishonest. But then again we are in America. Get what you can as fast as you can.
  2. smile4uinc
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    smile4uinc - April 23, 2013 3:06 pm
    We wanted to clarify the facts on the sale price of APN 010-35F-009. When we saw the amount of $31,650 we were surprised as we don't ever recall selling anything out there at that price nor is it what we reported to the county. We spoke with the assessor's office and after their research it has been corrected to show the true sale of $3,650. Also this property wasn't purchased at an auction but rather from a private party as the county records reflect.
  3. Facts
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    Facts - April 21, 2013 2:35 am
    "a few bidders knew the land was for me and let me get the lot at a good price"
    I'll bet your a union worker. You should work for Obama he believes in inside trading.
  4. Facts
    Report Abuse
    Facts - April 21, 2013 2:29 am
    It sounds like foreverhappy01 & DSmith are complacement with the fact that people get scammed.
  5. Facts
    Report Abuse
    Facts - April 21, 2013 2:29 am
    It sounds like foreverhappy01 & DSmith are complacement with the fact that people get scammed.
  6. Facts
    Report Abuse
    Facts - April 21, 2013 2:13 am
    APN 010-35F-009 7.78 acres, Gamble District, net value $410.00
    SMILE4U INC bought it at the auction for $1,600 on 10/24/2008, then
    sold it to these poor fools, MCCALLUM, PAUL & CHRISTINE
    for $31,650.00 on 12/28/2009.

    It sounds like foreverhappy01 & DSmith are quite contempt that people get scammed. I'll bet you both are Obama boot kisser.
    This is just one, example, there are many more but I'll leave it to the both of you to use your own brain (Dolts). Ha Ha
  7. foreverhappy01
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    foreverhappy01 - April 19, 2013 7:54 am
    LOL Really You Sure Have A lot To Complain About. Smile4U Has Done Nothing To You For Your Comment.... You Need To Go Somewhere Else With Your BAD DAY!!!!!
  8. DSmith
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    DSmith - April 19, 2013 3:54 am
    What? Flippers drive up property values and you're crying? If your property dropped in value, you'd still be crying. At the sale, only one lot was landlocked. Was announced prior to bidding. Local bought it. Most of the lots have bad roads leading to them but this is Nevada. I hear Cali has nice roads. Not sure about your locals can't afford comment. I'm the proud new owner of 2 wind-swept, SOB access road, alkaline acres and I plan on retiring in a year. Ain't gonna be easy but neither is Life
  9. Facts
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    Facts - April 18, 2013 4:20 pm

    The flippers artificially drive up the realestate prices.
    The locals are NOT able to purchase any of the land at a reasonable price.
  10. Facts
    Report Abuse
    Facts - April 18, 2013 4:17 pm
    It's sad. The Flippers (people who buy the land at auctions and resell on the internet three times its value) are doing a discredit to the residents of Elko. The flippers artificially drive up the realest prices. The land they sell is mostly land lock or non accessible and forget about driving to it in the winter. The locals are able to purchase any of the land at a reasonable price. The idiots who purchase land from Smile 4 u end up defaulting on there taxes and the property is repurchased by smile 4 U to flip again.
    The county is acting like a prostitute.
  11. DSmith
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    DSmith - April 18, 2013 8:03 am
    My 2nd year at the tax sale looking for land to build a retirement home. Finally saw a good "spot" and bought it. Thanked the room afterwards, since a few bidders knew the land was for me and let me get the lot at a good price. I'm not the person Char speaks of. Just another one helped by them.

    The increased numbers of new bidders added to the price of more then a few lots. Also there was more valuable property for sale this year then last year, plus allowing CC payment increased the bids.
  12. laslandman
    Report Abuse
    laslandman - April 18, 2013 7:08 am
    A good source for higher-end land auctions is Real Estate Auction Options
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