Harwich Land Auction Generates Nearly $400K

By: William F. Galvin

Marianne Sullivan of Sullivan and Sullivan Auctioneersdetails the bidding provisions associated with the town of Harwich’s land of low value auction held in town hall on Oct. 26.WILLIAM F. GALVIN PHOTO

HARWICH – An auction of 14 surplus parcels last Wednesday generated nearly $400,000 for the town and should produce additional tax revenues on an annual basis.

The town accepted six bids during the “land of low value” auction, resulting in a total of $390,900. Eight additional landlocked parcels either received no bids or bids that did not meet the minimum price set by the town for the parcel. The town will conduct a second auction on those parcels on Nov. 16 at 10 a.m. at town hall.

Treasurer Tax Collector Amy Bullock said if the parcels are not purchased in the second auction then the town will take title of the properties.

I didn’t think many landlocked parcels would go with what we had to get for them,” Bullock said.

The auction was conducted by auctioneers Sullivan and Sullivan of Sandwich. Successful bidders also had to pay a 7 percent buyer’s premium; $750 for the attorney’s processing fee; and $155 for the deed recording.

Approximately 50 people attended the Oct. 26 auction, which included two parcels described as “featured properties.” Bullock explained that those parcels were the only two that were not landlocked. The dozen additional properties being auctioned were considered landlocked and were expected to receive much lower bids. The two featured properties required a $10,000 deposit to participate in the bid process. The landlocked parcels required only a $1,000 deposit to place bids.

A one-acre parcel located at 13 Queen Anne Rd. with 340 feet of road frontage attracted several bidders. The assessed value of the property was $147,300, but the winning bid was $210,000.

The other featured property was a 16,569-square-foot lot with 122 feet of frontage at 1559 Oak St., adjacent to Long Pond Drive. The assessed value of that property was $155,100. The winning bid was $129,000.

The additional 12 landlocked parcels were expected to draw the interest of abutters. Two parcels located in the Echo Woods Road area along Chatham Road drew competitive bids. One lot located behind 228 Chatham Rd. was listed as 31,363 square feet, and lots 12 and 14 were located on Echo Woods Road. A tennis match of bid paddle swinging at $100 increments took place between two bidders. The assessed value of the property was $5,900. The winning bid came in at $21,500.

Jamie Kline lost out on the bid but entered the fray once again when the adjacent one-acre parcel with an assessed value of $8,300 was put up for auction. This lot abuts the Kline property at 228 Chatham Rd. This time Kline was the winner with a bid of $19,500.

I got it for my kids, young people can’t just buy here anymore,” Kline said.

Jim and Jill McGrath live at 254 Bank St., and a 20,909-square-foot parcel on the north edge of their property with an assessed value of $700 was on the auction block. The land is primarily wetland. He offered $4,000, but Bullock had set a base bid of $4,900, which the McGraths met.

It’s just a beautiful piece of conservation land,” Jim McGrath said of the land.

One other landlocked parcel was sold during the auction. An 18,295-square-foot parcel assessed at $5,200, located off Queen Anne Road behind lots 7 and 8 on King Henry Road adjacent to Route 6,was sold for $6,500.

I was very pleased,” said Elaine Shovlin, chair of the real estate and open space committee, which has been active in identifying properties with no clear ownership.