Man­sion val­ued at $2.5 mil­lion sells at auc­tion for just $550,000

Calgary Herald - - CITY+REGION - MOR­GAN MOD­JESKI mmod­jeski@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/_Mor­ganMod­jeski

A mas­sive house and piece of land listed for sale on Saska­toon Ki­jiji has sold for $550,000. Auc­tion staff say it was a once-in-a-life­time item.

The un­fin­ished man­sion sits on a 160-acre es­tate com­plete with cul­ti­vated land, south of High­way 3 be­tween the towns of Wel­don and Kin­istino. On Thurs­day, an on­line bid­der from Bri­tish Columbia bought it dur­ing an auc­tion at Ritchie Brothers Auc­tions in Saska­toon. The auc­tion took less than 10 min­utes.

Luke Frit­shaw, re­gional sales man­ager for Ritchie Brothers, said the sale price was higher than ex­pected. De­spite the fact the house was val­ued at $2.5 mil­lion, both the auc­tion house and the sell­ers are pleased with the re­sults, as the struc­ture re­quires a lot of work, he said.

“There’s a lot of money that still needs to be spent on that house and not ev­ery­one is ready to just jump into a half-built house and spend a whole pile of money. The price, I think, re­flects still what needs to be done,” Frit­shaw said.

“There’s been mil­lions and mil­lions spent on that house, but you have to have the right per­son that’s go­ing to spend mil­lions and mil­lions more to live in that area.”

Ross Sin­clair, a semi-re­tired farmer who was at Thurs­day ’s auc­tion, said the man­sion was a unique item. Farm­land and build­ings can come up for sale, “but noth­ing like this,” he said.

“I don’t know (if ) you could even move that. I guess you could in sec­tions.”

He has per­son­ally vis­ited the prop­erty and found the con­struc­tion, foun­da­tion and ground­work “very im­pres­sive,” Frit­shaw said. “They didn’t spare any ex­pense when they were build­ing it.”

Lewis Doyle said he and his wife Re­becca in­her­ited the prop­erty and “be­cause of the cir­cum­stances of how I got it, I re­ally know noth­ing about the house.”

Why the house was built and what pur­pose it was in­tended to serve is still an unan­swered ques­tion. Frit­shaw said he has heard ru­mours, but doesn’t want to spec­u­late.

He’s fairly cer­tain he’ll never see an­other lot like this, he said.

“We do sell some fairly big prop­er­ties, es­pe­cially out of Al­berta, but some­thing as unique as this, that’s un­fin­ished, that’s that size, it’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be a life­time be­fore that ever comes up again.”

He said the iden­tity of the new own­ers will be made pub­lic once the ti­tle of the home is trans­ferred, which will take place over the next few months.

A 12,000-square-foot un­fin­ished man­sion near Kin­istino sold at auc­tion on Thurs­day for just $550,000. An auc­tion house spokesman says it will take “mil­lions and mil­lions” to fin­ish.

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