Province auctions off salvageable homes for relocation following High River buyouts
More than two dozen homes in the High River neighbourhood of Beachwood Estates hit the auction block as the province looked to unload some of the property it purchased as part of flood mitigation plans.
Online bidding on the 26 homes, which have been deemed salvageable, launched with opening bids of $50 each but a number of the sales surpassed the $100,000 mark. Auction winners will need to be relocated.
The auctioned homes were part of the 94 homes the province purchased in a floodplain in the aftermath of the historic flooding of the Highwood River in 2013.
“What’s happening with Beachwood today is a key part of our flood mitigation efforts,” said Jodi Dawson, manager of economic development with the Town of High River. “(Beachwood Estates) is one of the neighbourhoods that was bought out to make room for the river.”
Fouad Elkardy of Custom Homes by Aurora visited Beachwood on Friday with plans to bid on several of the residences.
“They’re beautiful houses,” said Elkardy. “They’re big houses. Some of them are easy to move and some of them are going to be a challenge to move.”
Elkardy predicted there would be a disparity in the prices the homes would sell for.
“The low (prices) are for the ones that will be very challenging to move. It will take a lot of work to move them so the price could go from $100,000 to $200,000 to move them because you have to take the house apart.”
“For the units that are easy to move, the price of the house will be higher because they don’t have to spend that much money on moving it.”
Elkardy says the auction winners will need to remove the homes from the property within a designated period of time.
Megan Goddard is in the market for a home and learned of the auction Friday morning. She decided to make the drive to Beachwood Estates to get a firsthand glimpse, and whiff, before placing a bid.
“I think we would prefer a bungalow, that’s kind of what we’re looking for, and there were a couple of those but some of the two-storey homes look lovely.”
All of the homes did sell at auction to undisclosed buyers with prices ranging from $28,050 for a 1.775 sq. ft. home on 56 Street East to $250,050 for a 2,560 sq. ft. home with an attached garage and deck on Saxony Lane.
Dawson says more than $100 million has been invested in flood mitigation and protection in High River including the construction of more than seven kilometres of dykes.
“It’s important to get the word out that High River is one of the safest communities in Canada now from flood risk,” said Dawson. ”There has been a lot of money spent on infrastructure to ensure that the people of High River and the businesses are safe from anything that would happen in the future.”
According to McCann Building Movers, the cost of relocating a house normally falls between $40,000 and $80,000 depending on the size and weight of the home as well as the distance of the move.