Quebec mansion fetches $3.4M in auction
Waterfront home west of Montreal sold to finance world travel
Have you ever fantasized about selling all your possessions and travelling the world?
That's roughly what Hudson, Que., residents John Hooper, 70, and his wife are planning to do.
They'll have more than their fair share of travel money after auctioning their sprawling, waterfront mansion on Tuesday for $3.4 million.
It was the first auction of its kind in Quebec, with no minimum bid.
Hooper had a successful career in drug and genetics research, but while it took him to many foreign countries, he never had the time to actually experience any of those places.
"I've been to Rome many times, but I've never seen anything there at all," he told CBC News. "I've been to Paris many times and have never seen anything there. We owned a business in Paris, but that's the only thing I saw, the business."
Now it's time to finally see the world while he and his wife still have their health, he said, and he doesn't want to wait any longer to sell his dream home, which has been on the market for two years.
Prior to the auction, Hooper said he had no idea what he could get for his dream house, which had an estimated value of $5.5 million.
The mansion was sold to a Quebec woman who wishes to remain anonymous, according to the auction house. She was among 23 bidders at Tuesday's auction.
Stacy Kirk, the president of Grand Estates Auction, said people from as far away as China and Dubai have shown an interest in the Oakleigh Estate, a giant mansion reminiscent of an English manor.
There are eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a secret stairway, imported wood fixtures and furniture, lush dining rooms and windows looking out onto beautiful gardens.
The home is about 45 minutes west of Montreal, and the waterfront property even has a private beach.
"I've heard people say well do you mean it could sell for as little as a million dollars? Well yes, it could but it's not probable," said Kirk.
Only serious buyers were allowed to bid. They were required to show up at Tuesday's auction with $100,000 in hand.
The auction company had predicted the estate would sell within 20 minutes — it went in 15.