Good deals at county auction


By Jim Poole

Vacant land, homes with potential, property sporting spectacular views––all will be on sale this Saturday.
It’s the annual auction of foreclosed county-owned properties, with Schoharie County recouping unpaid taxes and buyers getting sweet deals.
The auction is at 10am in front of the County Courthouse, and Treasurer Bill Cherry will again be the auctioneer.
His staff and those from the Real Property Tax Office assembled more than 50 properties for the auction.
The delinquent taxes total $673,726, and Mr. Cherry and his team––Michelle Gaida from his office and Lisa Thom and Sue Makely from Real Property––estimated that the auction will reap $853,548 for a net gain of $179,822.
“We’re not appraisers, but we drive around, walk the properties, look at aerial photographs, talk about it and come up with an estimate,” Mr. Cherry said. “We’re usually pretty close.”
He pointed to a few highlights:
•A large single-family home on 10 acres on Yankee Street in Fulton. “It’s really a beautiful house on a nice spot,” Mr. Cherry said. “It’s one of our stars.”
•60 acres and a house with frontage on Route 10 in Jefferson.
•57 acres on a private road in Jefferson. “I’ve been all through Schoharie County, and this has the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. . .360 degrees,” Mr. Cherry said.
•79 acres, also in Jefferson, that’s already subdivided into 14 lots. “The lots have beautiful views,” Mr. Cherry said. “I’d think a developer would be interested.”
•27 acres on a private road in Summit. “It’s a nice parcel,” Mr. Cherry said. “People like 20 to 30 acres. For them, 100 is too many, and two or three aren’t enough.”
•The former corner store in Gallupville. “It seems like someone could make a go of it there,” Mr. Cherry said.
Schoharie County is the only county in the state that holds its own auction. Others use an auction service that takes a percentage of the sale.
“We’re also able to get rid of problem properties––landlocked parcels that we sell only to adjoining property owners,” Mr. Cherry said.

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Bidders must register and have a $500 bank check, certified check or money order payable to the Schoharie County Treasurer. Checks are returned if bidders don’t buy.
A successful bidder must pay 10 percent of the purchase price on the day of the sale, and the $500 registration fee can go towards the 10 percent.
Successful bidders have 30 days to complete the payment.