Excitement at the Ontario County Tax Foreclosure Land Auction

Ali and I went to the Ontario County Real Property Tax Foreclosure Land Auction at The Ontario County Safety Training Facility (2914 County Road 48, Canandaigua) hosted by The Reynolds Auction Company. We were not planning to buy anything, we just to see how things get run.

We considered Lot #4 as we looked at it last week. It's located just south of where Routes 32 and 64 meet in Bristol. According to Google's new terrain maps, the property is located about a half-mile east of the valley and 320 feet higher into the surrounding hills with the first 1000 feet of road at a 20% grade. Ali's poor Saturn SL-2 barely made it up (and the transmission's "2" setting didn't even come close to helping on the way down).

The property was listed with an assessed value of $27,500. In an information session last week that I attended, someone asked about that particular property's assessment, commenting that they own land nearby and they thought the assessment was wrong — I assumed they meant "too high". With that in mind, I was a little worried that it would actually sell for something approaching what we could afford — a couple thousand dollars, perhaps — because we didn't even bother to register.

Well this one was particularly unusual. Ali knew the County Treasurer Gary Baxter from her days working in Canandaigua and when we chatted with him earlier, he menionted that there seemed to be a lot of people interested in this particular lot. Well I had no idea — I guessed they'd attempt to start bidding around $9,000 (then they work down until they get a bid) and it would sell for something like $12,000. Ali was worried it would sell for much less — after all, we looked at it and it's hard to get to (i.e. 4-wheel-drive-access only) and the A-frame structure was in need of a fair amount of repairs, but it would indeed be a nice secluded spot to get away to on occasion. In the end it went for $37,500 — percentage-wise the largest amount over the assessed value of any of the properties we stayed to see. I sure hope those people like it.

We stayed through 14 of the properties and noted that the later you stay, the more people leave so in the future, I'd consider bidding on one of the later properties on the list. After that we had a nice dinner at Eric's Office Restaurant (2574 Macedon Rd., Canandaigua). We hadn't been there in a while and it was a bit late; food preparation time was a bit slow for us personally but the quality was quite good. I thought the French Onion soup wasn't as good as we'd had at Hogan’s Hideaway (197 Park Ave.) but Ali liked it more. We split both our meals in half so she had half my portabello sandwich and I, half her cheeseburger. Both were great. Amusingly enough, the auctioneer John T. Reynolds and one of the women he was working with (I forgot her name and don't know their personal relationship) happened to get dinner there too.

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