Smalltown USA Auctions

by | Jun 9, 2010 | Archives

Auctions can help living and prosperity in Smalltown USA.

Luxury Real Estate Auctions

We’ll see a Smalltown USA auction below for a 7,000+ square foot house with this view below.

Our recent message War on Four Fronts looked at social economic problems that could grow in the years ahead.

These problems include inflation and loss of currency purchasing power and the opportunity is in having one’s own micro business… equities… commodities and real estate… as well as finding places where the cost of living is lower… such as Smalltown USA.

Auctions can help during difficult times.

Auctions can help you find good value real estate in Smalltown USA. Here is a good case story about this.

Years ago, (before we developed a web site) one of my printed newsletters told readers about a real estate auction in Crested Butte, Colorado. The story revealed that a Savings & Loan had repossessed a number of condos near a ski lift in Crested Butte Colorado.  I mentioned I was bidding $50,000 for one of these units myself.

My readers outbid me and racked up huge profits! I did not mind a bit. Merri and I are happy any time we can share good investing ideas with readers. This has created a loyalty over many years that is worth more than any profit on a real estate deal.

I received a note about that auction from a reader who who wrote: Hello Gary, I have written you a few times on different topics (and attended one of your Isle of Man seminars a few years back).  Let me tell you about my purchase in Crested Butte Colorado. I bought our first unit there at the Plaza after reading about the auction in your newsletter (in 1991).  I have since sold it as our family grew, and bought a new 4 bedroom townhouse, then a second after the first turned out so well. Then a 3 bedroom condo built by the same developer at another nearby property.

Prices in Crested Butte go up, plateau for a while, then go up a bit more until this year when (in case you hadn’t heard) the owners of the Okemo Vermont and Sunapee New Hampshire resorts bought the Crested Butte resort which due to lack of skiers and in turn lack of investment had fallen on hard times. Real estate prices jumped 20% the month before the deal was closed and most properties on the market were gobbled up.

That letter was written back in 2004 so I expect prices rose a lot more before they then crashed… again.

The point is… during bad times real bargains can be obtained at auctions.

Here is the house to be auctioned.
Upcoming Real Estate Auction
The auctioneer describes the house as: a French Country estate located at the top of a private ridge just minutes from downtown Boone and Blowing Rock. You are given the reality of being immersed in nature, while at the doorstep of all modern conveniences.

Designed following the ancient Indian Vedic Architectural System every living area, bedroom and outdoor living space in this stunning home was arranged to enjoy the abundance of light and magnificent views. Ancient texts propose in detail how, by following the laws of nature, influences may be designed into a home to promote such qualities as prosperity, happiness, health and enlightenment. Along with house orientation, proportions, and spatial relationships, numerous energy efficient systems and construction methods complete this “Green” and healthy home.

Nestled comfortably on the Appalachian Ridge, framed by beautifully sculpted hillsides of heavy trees, this estate raises the bar of residential excellence in Boone. Exceptional quality and comfort abound within the home’s 7,200± square feet. The house welcomes you with a true sense of comfortable elegance.

  • 7,200± Heated sq. ft. Plus 2,000± sq. ft. of Patios and Porches
  • 4 Bedrooms, 3 Full & 3 Half Bathrooms
  • Full Guest Suite with Kitchen, Sitting Room and Private Entrance
  • Located on 20± Acres Atop a Private Ridge
  • Extras Include a Library, Spa Room, Media Room and Huge Bonus Room
  • Minutes to Downtown Boone, Blowing Rock, and World-Class Golf, Fly-Fishing, Hiking, Rafting, Skiing, and Antique & Art Shopping

A friend who knows the project even better says that it will be purchased for a song.

We’ll see. I’ll try to get over and watch the auction… if not at least find out the price and report back to you.

As mentioned, our research on the real estate development above and our relentless desire to find value led us to buy our farm in the Blue Ridge, one county north in Ashe county.

Ashe County was isolated but I saw several distortions… that still exist.

When we research Watauga county we discovered Ashe County and believed it offered better value.   Ashe is a big county with a land area of 426 square miles but has a small population, only 25,702 people as of July 2009 according to the Census Bureau.

First, prices are only a fraction of the county just south (Watauga).

Second, the location is good. Ashe sits almost equidistant from the north and south of the east coast of the United States . The largest, wealthiest migration in mankind’s history has taken place in the last decade into this area. Now one in six Americans live in a county that touches either the Atlantic or Gulf Coast . Merri and I are almost the same distance from our home in Mt Dora Florida and the northernmost parts of the U.S. in Maine.

We bought over 250 acres at less than a thousand dollars an acre.  Today one of our neighbors have cleared timber land (which is a mess) without timber or water for sale at $5,000 an acre. Our land nearby has nearly a mile of wonderful creek and tons of timber. Some land at the height of the market was dor sale market at $23,000 an acre.

Prices are much lower now and I have no idea how our appreciation has been, but it is a lot even after the real estate crash!

We purchased land here and in Florida for the same reasons we began buying and buying in Ecuador, because there were enormous value distortions compared to prices in US and European cities.

I feel that I am a pretty bad investor. Had I kept just two of the houses I bought in London and Naples, I would probably have an extra $8 million. However one cannot look at investing this way. The money from each led to the purchase of the next and each move has enhanced our life style.

The point here is that even if I am a bad investor, seeking value has earned me several million dollars extra. I am grateful for the distortions we can find.

Ashe County real estate investments make sense. For years I have written about the good value here. Prices were still very low compared to other nearby counties.

Now between the recession and the cold 2010 winter Ashe real estate sales have really dropped as this chart shows.


This creates very interesting values in this part of the Blue Ridge.

Merri and I moved to Ashe County to get away from the crowds, hustle and bustle of life. Making money in real estate was far from our mind but we have see property prices appreciate rapidly with quite some distance still to go. We have already made a lot of money again. This seems to be the story of our life. We move to a beautiful, quiet place to get away from the crowds and then the crowds follow.

Ashe County adjoins Virginia and Tennessee and is so remote it was once known as the Lost Province .

The county seat is Jefferson and the 25,000 + population is wide spread throughout the county. The only towns are Jefferson (1,300 population), West Jefferson (1,002) and Lansing (183).

This is a totally rural area with three commercial crops, Christmas trees, timber and tobacco. There are several factories in the county manufacturing furniture and electrical goods. There are numerous tourist activities such as canoeing on the New River ( America ’s first Heritage River ), scenic drives though Southern Appalachian Wilderness, leaf gazing and hiking.

Here is why this area offers so much potential:

1. The prices here are a fraction of the county just south (Watauga)

2. The first cappuccino machines arrived in West Jefferson a number of years.  When we arrived I could not find any. Now I know of three.

3. Prices just about doubled before the crash but now as shown have have really fallen.

4. The major road from I-77 has been widened to four and even six lanes.

5. Wal Mart has built a super store and Lowes (home supplies) has opened a huge store as well. Hampton Inn is about to build.

6. The first golf course community just went bankrupt creating some special value there.

7. Art galleries and interior designers had been setting up prolifically in town… but again the recession has created some interesting commercial real estate values.

The art community in Ashe is really great. The beauty, culture, history and future of Ashe County are even captured in downtown murals.

West Jefferson began a downtown mural project in 1996 when McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers, commissioned local artist, Jack Young, to create the mural “History of Ashe Through the Ages”.

Here is Stephan Shoemaker’s mural “Cut at Devil Stairs”

Marianne DiNapoli Mylet’s “New River Traditions” mural covers another building and features the “Virginia Creeper” train, a family enjoying a picnic along the New River and the natural beauty of our area.

Plus the town is progressive. This mural has its text in Spanish as well as English, “unity and diversity” it says!

The Ashe County Arts Council was instrumental in establishing “The Arts District” in downtown West Jefferson.

This is why we have tow of our courses each year in Ashe County.  Our June 24 to 27, 2010 Quantum Wealth course will be conducted at the brand new Hampton Inn.

In this way you’ll not only gain vital international investing and business information, but get ideas about West Jefferson and Ashe County investments as well.

You can enjoy West Jefferson, plus on Sunday we’ll have you out to the farm to enjoy afternoon tea and our natural wilderness. Here are some delegates walking up to the house at a previous course.

We hope to see you along with Peter Laub of Jyske Bank, David Cross my webmaster, Jean Marie Butterlin who conducts our Ecuador real estate tours, Bonnie Keough, who conducts our Ecuador export tours, Jeff Neil an Ashe County real estate broker, Bob Shane our quantum health expert and Professor Ann Robert Russell who is teaching us the ancient, rare Tibetan Yoga Tsa Lung/Trul Khor  as received from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and Alejandro Raoul.

Future problems include inflation and loss of currency purchasing power and the opportunity is in having one’s own micro business… equities… commodities and real estate… as well as finding places where the cost of living is lower… such as Smalltown USA.

Learn more about good value micro businesses in coffee here.


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