Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The two of them obviously bore offense for what Li Du had done to them the day before. They wanted to take revenge but did not dare to do so. Hence, they lent the might of Wolf King Logan’s to deal with Li Du.
Li Du did not know if what they had said really came from Logan. He could not go over and ask, and could only hazard a guess.
The auction started and proceeded based on chronological order. The first auction was for a cod-angled house.
Cod-angle was a direct translation. Such houses were first erected near the codfish area on Massachusetts Beach. Hence, its English name was Cape Cod.
The Massachusetts Beach was by the sea and the weather there was harsh. There were often storms and strong winds and hence, such houses were designed. The house was symmetrical and had a simple layout. There were not too many decorations and the roof was steep. Typically, the houses were one-story or one and a half story high. They were able to withstand the rain and wind well.
Bellaire was not too far from the sea either. Summer and winter seasons brought rain and wind to the area. Hence, there were plenty of such houses and in addition, the cod-angle houses were easy to maintain. Although the materials used were not aesthetically pleasing, they were tough and durable. People who did not have much money liked staying in such houses.
Li Du remembered that house. It was not very high and there was a bronze-painted door in the middle of it. The window was protected by shutters and there was a big chimney in the middle of the roof.
The house did not look impressive but it was durable and strong. Although it was already more than twenty years old, it was still able to provide a comfortable dwelling people who lived inside.
Li Du shot a look at the group and said softly, “Within one hundred and fifty thousand.”
The auctioneer shouted, “You guys are clear about the situation of the house, so I won’t say more. You guys know more than me. Therefore, I will go directly to asking for bids. How does everyone feel about fifty thousand, isn’t that low?”
That price was indeed low. A few real estate buyers were ecstatic and they raised their hands:
“I will fork out 52,000 dollars!”
Seeing that there were so many people interested in the house, the house-pickers frowned.
In an auction for real estate, the house-pickers were most afraid of regular real estate buyers. Those people were in need of the house and were not bidding for profits. Hence, they often inflated the price.
“Seems like this house is about to come into the hands of those roosters,” a house-picker lamented.
‘Rooster’ was the nickname that the house-pickers gave to those regular estate buyers. The name could have come about because roosters loved snatching food from each other. The act of raising the bids by the regular estate buyers was considered by the house-pickers as snatching away their morsel.
Another house-picker shook his head. “It has just started. This house can be sold for two hundred grand. Bid higher and see how it goes.”
The competitive bidding began. From 55,000, the price went up to 80,000, 90,000, 100,000 and it had all happened in under two minutes.
At 100,000, the bidding slowed down. The house-pickers had valued the house at 200,000 dollars. However, it was impossible for them to really bid for the house at such a high price. They needed profit margins. Besides considering the amount of profit margin they could get, they also had to adjust their bottom line according to the potential risk that they might run into.
Overall, the most the house-pickers would pay was around 120,000.
The treasure hunters continued to bid and Li Du had already made up his mind about his threshold. Naturally, 120,000 would not stop him from bidding. A few of his people called out their bids. As long as there were house-pickers or estate buyers who bid, they would out-bid them.
“120,000 dollars,” a house-picker raised his hand.
Big Beard Carl yelled, “121,000 dollars!”
“122,000 dollars,” a real estate buyer called out.
Dickens yelled, “125,000 dollars!”
The bids continued to rise and the house-pickers started to drop off the bidding competition. The amount had reached a point higher than their bottom line after considering risks. Taking down the house at such a price was too risky.
The estate buyers also started to back off from bidding. They were not there to make money from purchasing houses. They were there to pick up a house that was worth the money. Hence, they did not want to overspend in purchasing it.
Finally, when Dickens raised the bid to one 145,000 dollars, no one else followed his bid. He had managed to land the first house.
The treasure hunters were in awe of Li Du. “Boss Li, your estimation is really accurate!”
Li Du laughed and said nothing. He had been really lucky. As long as the big was below 150,000, they would be able to make profits. Initially, he had thought that the bid would only go up to 130,000 dollars. He had not expected the estate buyers to raise the bar.
The second house was auctioned off too. The winning bid was lower, at 40,000 dollars. It was a city house that was somewhat run-down. The market price should have been around 100,000 dollars.
Li Du had told the treasure hunters that they could bid for it up to 100,000. From the looks of it, the house could be worth 100,000. However, he had a look and saw that the inside of the house had just been renovated and it was well furnished. It had a complete set of household appliances and it would not be tough to try to sell it off at 120,000 or 130,000.
With 85,000, Big Beard Carl managed to purchase that house.
They took down the third, fourth and fifth houses. Half of the treasure hunters on their side had already won something from the auction.
Seeing that, the house-pickers were displeased. Their attitude towards Li Du and his group grew more hostile, with more intensity than their feeling towards the regular real estate buyers.
A house-picker said to Logan, “They are going overboard. What’s the meaning of that? It seems like they have taken down the houses at a price that is a few times higher than what they are really worth. Are they trying to drive us away?”
“If they couldn’t afford it, they wouldn’t do it,” Logan grinned and added, “They are rich, let them buy.”
Saying that, the expression he had when he looked at Li Du grew colder.
The sixth house was the one that Li Du and his group had seen –number B-24 in the small zone. The house was small but had a large price tag to it. Normally, its market price was about 300,000 or so.
However, there were termites in the house, which had almost destroyed it completely. Hence, regardless of its price, Li Du did not want to buy it.
However, the house-pickers did not know that. The termites stayed hidden from the eyes, under the floor. Someone had purposely dug a hole full of wood chips and honey. Hence, the termites grew very fast.
As the colony of termites was out in the open, Li Du had found out about them only by coincidence. On the other hand, the house-pickers were rather interested in the house and bid for it.
So as not to garner suspicion, Li Du, made a few bids too. The price of the house rose quickly from 120,000 to 150,000 before being raised to 180,000. At that point, Li Du stopped bidding.
Seeing that, Abel and his people started to perk up. He stared at Li Du as he yelled, “182,000 dollars!”
Deep down, Li Du felt that he was an idiot and was too lazy to entertain him.
Another estate buyer topped the bid by a thousand dollars. Then, Abel shouted again, “184,000 dollars!”
He was still staring at Li Du.
Later, when Abel continued to raise the bid, he kept his eyes on Li Du. When the house-pickers realized that, they started to laugh. Someone shouted, “Hey, rookie, ran out of money?”
Li Du started to laugh too. Is that guy courting death?
After some thought, he shouted, “200,000 dollars!”
200,000 was not too high. The market price of the house could go up to 300,000 dollars.
Abel smiled coldly. “I knew you’d strike. 201,000 dollars!”
Li Du said, “210,000 dollars.”
After considering for a while, Abel nodded. “211,000 dollars!”
Li Du raised his bid. “220,000.”
“221,000 dollars!” Abel continued bidding.