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Hudson mansion goes for half of original asking price at auction

Hudson mansion goes for half of original asking price at auction

John Hooper finally managed to sell his Hudson mansion at auction Tuesday afternoon, but it was for a fraction of the price he was originally seeking.

Hooper had failed to find a buyer for the 17,000 square foot house at 878 Main Road on the shores of Lake of Two Mountains when he put the property on the traditional real estate market at a price of $6.9 million two years ago.

He then dropped the price to $5.5 million, and after that attracted no buyers either Hooper decided to put it to auction with no minimum price.

That price was set Tuesday afternoon just 25 minutes after the auction opened, when a Quebec family put in the winning bid of $3.4 million, according to the president of Grand Estates Auction Co. Stacy Kirk.

The auction began at 2 p.m. and was open to registered bidders willing to submit a $100,000 cashier's cheque. There were 23 of them by the time the auction opened, and only one came away with a new house.

"It's the first time to our knowledge in Canada for an absolute auction of a luxury property, meaning a price point above $2 million," said Leslie Paul Farkas, business development manager for Grand Estates Auction Co.

Kirk said the initial interest in the property was significantly higher, with upwards of 500 inquiries and 200 showings of the massive estate with 37 rooms, an indoor pool, wine cellar, staff quarters, 550 feet of waterfront and a private beach. Still, the 23 registered bidders was a better turnout than expected, she said.

In spite of the apparent discounted price, Kirk said Hooper was very happy and is excited to embark on the next phase of his life. The reason the retired physician took this unusual route to sell his home was because he wanted to travel, and he will be taking a trip around the world with the money from the sale.

The winning bidder has 30 days to take possession of the home and Youri Rodrigue, licensed broker with Remax Royal Jordan says prices are being negotiated for the items inside the house like furniture and art work.

With files from CTVNews.ca