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Successful Land Sale: Turnkey Eastern Iowa Property Sells for $5,400 an Acre

Young Family Buys Dubuque County Farmstead

In reading about Vincent and Edith McLees, a Cascade, Iowa, couple who owned the property featured in this week's "Successful Land Sale," one can't help but wonder about all the memories made on this Dubuque County farm.

Vince, who died in December, and Edith, who died in 2009, had seven children. At the time of his death, Vince had 27 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and served in World War II. His obituary states he loved Allis Chalmers tractors, cutting firewood, and planting trees. For her part, Edith was a dedicated farm wife and homemaker who enjoyed sewing and was an avid photographer. She was known for her great sense of humor and an uncanny knack for spelling.

Among their holdings was the 288-acre farmstead, which sold at auction on June 23. The tract included everything a family needs to start its own legacy: a two-story home, farmstead with buildings, pasture, and cropland. The couple's farm featured 170 acres of cropland, 118 acres of pasture with three ponds – ideal for a cow-calf operator. The farmstead is nicely landscaped with a traditional two-story home with lots of updates, and outbuildings including machine shed, utility shed, barn, and other small buildings.

dubuque county
The farmland rolls has a Corn Suitability Rating 2 score of 45 (based on a 5 to 100 scale). Soil types are mostly Fayette silt loam. The property rolls, with some farmland rolling 15% or more.

The land sold for $1.552 million or $5,400 per acre. A large crowd attended the sale, but only two bidders were active. The selling price is about what realtor Mike McDonough, of McDonough Real Estate and Auction, expected. "A young couple from town bought it and they wanted to keep it all together," he says.

One hopes that the farm's new owners will enjoy the property and make a new lifetime of memories for themselves, just as we imagine the McLees family did.

According to Iowa State University, the average selling price for farmland in Dubuque County in 2015 was $8,152 per acre. Cash rent for farmland averaged $294 per acre, while pasture averaged $53 per acre.

Best of the Rest

Missouri: Audrain County: 538.2 acres northwest of Mexico sold June 25. There were six tracts in the auction, all located adjacent to each other. Tract 1, 162.9 acres, nearly all tillable, features Mexico and Putnam soils that are nearly all level. It sold for $1.143 million ($7,000 per acre). Tract 2, 81.3 acres, is mostly all tillable with a grain bin and small building. It has mostly Putnam and Mexico soils. It sold for $471,540 ($5,800 per acre). Tract 3, 19.7 acres of rolling ground featuring mostly Putnam and Mexico soils, brought $98,500 ($5,000 per acre). Tract 4, 62 acres, has a nicely manicured farmstead with 2-story home, outbuildings, bins, and cattle facilities. The acreage is rolling pasture with Armstrong, Mexico, and Leonard soils. It brought $226,300 ($3,650 per acre). Tract 5, 81.1 acres, is nearly all tillable and features slightly rolling Mexico and Putnam soils. It sold for $413,610 ($5,100 per acre). Tract 6, 131.2 acres of rolling cropland, has Mexico and Leonard soils. It sold for $708,480 ($5,400 per acre). In all, the sale netted $3.019 million, or $5,610 per acre. Wheeler Auctions had the sale.

South Dakota: Bon Homme County: 154.68 acres northeast of Tyndall sold June 23. The tract has 140 acres in cropland currently, with the option of more being broken out if desired. Soil types include Clarno-Crossplain-Davidson, and Clarno-Bonilla, with most of the land considered Class II soils. The tract is leased for the year, with the buyer getting a prorated share of the cash rent. It sold for $928,080 ($6,000 per acre). Farmers National Company had the sale.

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