Impressive Herkimer County Land Auction Turnout
Over 600 people packed Herkimer Community College’s Sarkus-Busch Theater yesterday for the annual Herkimer County Land Auction. The standing-room-only turnout overflowed into the hallway. Taking a break from his beat covering crime and devolution along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer Post Crime Editor Steve Berry was in attendance.
Berry reports that bidding for the 91 properties was lively and sometimes heated. A fight broke out at the back of theater following the biding on property #44 (25 Warren St., Mohawk). The auctioneer’s wife, the formidable Mrs. Knapp, led campus security and sheriffs deputies in quelling the disturbance and ousting the combatants.
All 91 properties on auction were sold, with accepted bids ranging from $100 for a very small lot to nearly $80,000 for a single family residence. On our own Pleasant Avenue here in the Village of Herkimer, two homes were auctioned: the anxiously-watched 331 Pleasant Avenue was purchased by Buyer #43 for $4,500, (following a laughingly rejected starting bid of $300), while less timeworn 316 Pleasant Avenue sold for $13,000.
One impressive looking home at 68-70 Prospect Street in Little Falls, Item 13, went for just $13,000. However, it does have a substantial Federal Tax Lien of $67,342, placing it at risk of seizure.
The heavy-hitting buyers were numbers 323 and 625, who purchased multiple properties: Buyer 323 bought three Ilion parcels totaling $90,000. Buyer 625 purchased properties totaling $45,000 in Poland.
Below is a spreadsheet of the Herkimer County Land Auction sales. A few of the sold prices are missing and the formatting could profit from greater granularity, but the bottom line is that 91 properties sold for slightly more the $960k.
Pros and Cons of Herkimer County Land Auction
Limiting factors on buying these auctioned homes include inability to view the interior of occupied property and perform adequate inspection, and the requirement to pay cash for a purchase within a three week period. Despite these limitations, the Herkimer County Land Auction offered the opportunity to acquire valuable property significantly below actual value in a market of rising property values.
Followers of Central New York property values are likely to have noticed recent sales of homes that have long languished on the market. The availability of small, inexpensive lots has also diminished. It’s quite possible that this auction illustrates a new benchmark in Herkimer County property values.
Often local residents fail to see the changes happening around them. It’s hard to view the familiar with fresh eyes. But while Herkimer and its surrounding counties appear to have remained the same, the world around us has significantly changed. Our world-class resources of abundant rainfall, fresh surface water, agricultural land and the largest contiguous forest in the US, coupled with the scarcities and insecurities caused by global warming, now make the Mohawk Valley and Central New York one of the best places to live not only in the US, but on the planet.
Central New York has become the focus of increased regional development, notably Nano Utica. And almost unnoticed, New York’s Capital Albany has been silently and quickly growing, not so much in its historic areas but on its periphery, with an abundance of well-planned commercial, residential and industrial development. While New York City is ultimately doomed by rising sea levels, it appears that the de facto policy is to relocate much of the state’s infrastructure to the Central Region, which isn’t threatened by rising sea levels and massive storms.
Herkimer County Land Auction Sales June 4, 2016