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For sale: Private island

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Posted: 2 am ET

It's hard to look beyond the dream of owning a residential island, with its privacy and 360-degree waterfront views, but buying any vacant or unimproved property can result in big bills to bring in necessary services such as water, utilities and septic. When the land is separated from these services by a body of water, it's all the more challenging.

But the right buyer had an opportunity to bid online for a 1.4-acre private island off the west coast of Florida this week. The auction, which ends at 2 p.m. today, has an assessed value of $42,000 and will go to the highest bidder. In order to participate, prospective buyers had to deposit $50,000 in escrow by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The island has deep-water access to the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and can only be accessed by boat. Currently, there is no home on the island, but zoning laws will permit the construction of a home, boathouse and dock.

Fisher Auction Co., which is conducting the online bidding, told ABC News that islands rarely come up for auction. Four years ago, the company sold an island in the Bahamas in an online auction for $7.5 million, but that property had three homes and a private landing strip.

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