Going, going, gone

Sanctuary home sells for $1.3M at absolute auction

— It wasn't a Presidents Day sale, but about a dozen bargain hunters had their sights set on a good deal Tuesday.

Eleven people bid on a 4,600-square-foot house in the Sanctuary subdivision during an absolute auction Tuesday in Steamboat Springs.

Larry Ridley of Florida had the winning bid of $1.3 million, more than $200,000 shy of the about $1.55 million the owners said they invested in the home. Ridley beat out 10 other people who bid in person or by phone. Bidders were required to have $100,000 in guaranteed funds with them at the auction.

Scott Schneider of Colorado Springs saw the house at 1112 Steamboat Blvd. for the first time about an hour before the auction started. He said he would not have come if it were a regular auction because a minimum bid can be set. A house sold at an absolute auction is guaranteed to sell.

"It would be nice to have a vacation home up here," Schneider said. "Second, to be completely honest, I have a great opportunity to get a good deal on a house. I'm looking to get it at a big discount."

After a long disclaimer and legal prose, auctioneer Eddie Haynes started the auction.

"Location is what determines value," he said while standing behind a podium in front of the home's large front windows. "Location, location, location. We have location here."

"The last, final and highest bidder is going to be the new owner."

The bidding opened at $2 million and decreased until someone bid $900,000. Within a couple of minutes, three more bids were placed. The bidding then stalled at $1.3 million. The auctioneer stopped, and a short break allowed staff from the National Auction Group to walk around and encourage bidders.

"You're not even building the structure with the amount of money we have now," Haynes said.

Some of the bargain hunters already had been priced out and left the auction. Other bidders walked outside to make cell phone calls.

No more bids were made after the auction resumed. When he slammed his gavel, Ridley and his wife became the owners of a new home. In addition to their winning bid of $1.3 million, the Ridleys had to pay another $130,000 to cover the auction house's commission.

This will be a second Sanctuary home for Ridley. He sold his first Sanctuary home in December.

"After we sold our house, we decided we didn't want to leave Steamboat," Ridley said.

Christopher Phillips, one of the home's pre-auction owners, said he was happy with how the auction turned out, even if they didn't get as much as they had hoped. They did, however, accomplish what they set out to do.

"We sold it today," Phillips said. "No more messing around with offers."

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