I have been trying to buy 618 for 2-1/2-years.
It is just north of the Cross House, and is by the same architect, Charles Squires. Squires lived right behind 618.
In 2014, I offered the owner $20K. He countered with $30K. Which I didn’t have.
In 2015 I offered $10K (all I had). He didn’t respond.
During these years I have also shown the house to about a dozen people with the hope that THEY would buy it. Please. Please!!!!!!!!
Young Brian was the only one who seemed to want the house. And he wanted it bad. I liked this about him!
Brian, and a neighbor, Eric, and myself have been very protective of the abandoned house. We managed to get a squatter out. We got the house locked up. We put patches over roof holes.
The owner, who has dozens of properties in Emporia, had seemingly walked away from all of them, and moved to Texas.
Today though, today, a county tax sale was scheduled. And his properties were on the list.
Including…618. With an opening bid of $350. Yep, $350.
Brian and I were agog and giddy.
There was another Squires-designed house being auctioned, and Brian, and his girlfriend, Bailey, hoped to buy it:
But 1214 Exchange sold for $18K. Brian and Bailey had $1500 to spend. While this doesn’t sound like much, we watched, agog again, while houses sold for less than $500!
So, Brian and Bailey then offered me their $1500 to add to my $2500 (all I could swing right now). Then Eric came over, and said that his wife, Lesley, wanted to loan me $1,000!
This meant I could do $5,000!!!!!!!!
I then told Brian and Bailey that I did NOT want the house. My only interest was to protect it from being purchased by a slumlord. So, if they really wanted it, I would bid, but sign it over to them after they repaid Eric, Lesley, and me.
This they agreed to.
Finally, after 90 tortuous minutes, 618 was on the block.
“Do I hear $350?”
No one said anything.
“Will anybody bid $350?”
I nodded. Eek!!!!!!!!
“We have a bid. Do I hear $400?”
Silence. My heart started racing.
I have no doubt that at this point my heart could be visibly observed pounding my chest in/out in/out in/out.
“I have $350. Going once…”
I WAS NOW FREAKING OUT! Was I really going to buy this fabulous house, one I had lusted after for over two years, for $350????????
OMG! OMG! OMG!
“…Ah! We have $400! Do I hear $500?”
The auctioneer turned to me. Many other eyes also turned in my direction.
“We have $500! Do I hear $600?”
The auctioneer turned to The Dastardly Other.
“We have $600! Do I hear…”
And the house sold for $5500. $500 more than my top bid.
And my great desire all these years was dashed, crushed, and spit on: to protect the house.
I feel powerfully sad and depressed tonight. For, will this historic and important and potentially beautiful house be carefully restored? Or, more likely, will it be treated like a mobile home?
Damn. Damn, damn, damn.