Firestone: Fred Sekich Farm to be auctioned off August 28, 2019, split into smaller parcels, and the water rights sold separately

Screenshot of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project boundaries via Northern Water’s interactive mapping tool , June 5, 2019.

From The Denver Post (Mark Samuelson):

…the game of selling farm property has changed — particularly the auction game — as information technology makes offerings much more attractive for sellers and widens the opportunities for buyers and investors.

“Today’s farm auction is structured to create better potential for the buyer,” says Scott Shuman, partner in Hall and Hall, brokers and auctioneers who have been selling western real estate since the 1940s. In 2010, Hall and Hall made a move into auctioning — and have been pioneers in structuring auctions to get better returns for farm sellers.

When the Fred Sekich Farm, east of I-25, north of Firestone, is auctioned at The Ranch/Larimer County Event Complex on Aug. 28, its 546 acres will be cut into 58 offerings — one as small as 4 acres, one as large as 141 acres, with the parceled surface water rights (176 Colorado-Big Thompson Units and 18.75 ditch shares) auctioned separately.

Those water rights may be as valuable as the land, maybe more.

“Water is gold,” says Rick Sekich, who along with his mom and two brothers are the sellers…

Grandpa Nick Sekich would have had little idea the value that surface water would hold as Colorado grows.

“It’s really gone up,” says Sherri Rasmussen, contract manager for Northern Water, administering the CB-T’s vast distribution all the way east to Sedgwick County. When the project began in the 1930s, an acre-foot sold for $1.50; by 2013, it was 10,000 times that…

All of this could stay agricultural — selling to an owner with holdings nearby. But either way, Shuman adds, sellers make out better in these auction sales, where buyers have an opportunity to customize a purchase…

Hall and Hall, with 15 offices across the West, is in Eaton, Colo., 800-829-8747. The complete sale catalog is at HallandHall.com.

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