Outlaw Al Jennings’ pistol going up for auction

 A pistol and other possessions belonging to a one-time Old West outlaw who later ran for governor of Oklahoma and became an actor are going up for auction

A pistol and other possessions belonging to a one-time Old West outlaw who later ran for governor of Oklahoma and became an actor are going up for auction next month.

The .45 Colt revolver owned by infamous outlaw Alphonzo “Al” J. Jennings could go for as much as $30,000 during an auction June 5 in Woodward, said Ira Smith, auctioneer with Smith & Co. Auction and Reality Inc.

Jennings was born in Virginia in 1863 and moved to El Reno, Oklahoma, where he became the prosecuting attorney for Canadian County, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

In 1895, he joined his two brothers in a law practice in Woodward. Later that year, one brother was killed and another wounded in a shootout with a rival attorney. Jennings later formed an outlaw band that attempted to rob trains and general stores before he was captured and sentenced to life in prison.

One of his brothers got his sentence reduced, and Jennings was released just a few years later. He ran unsuccessfully for Oklahoma governor in 1914 and then moved to California, where he appeared in at least two westerns before dying in 1961.

“Al Jennings is probably one of the most enigmatic characters in Oklahoma history,” Oklahoma Historical Society executive director Bob Blackburn said. “He was a potential candidate for governor, so he had a professional side to him — an ambition to be accepted by the community — and at the same time, he had this urge to get rich quick. He was not successful at either one.”

Blackburn said Jennings was probably most successful at getting into the movie business.

After Jennings’ death, his possessions, including the pistol, trickled down through family members, who have now decided to put up the items at a public auction.

Other items include a picture of Jennings attending Wyatt Earp’s funeral, a poster from his failed attempt to become governor and a book signed by President Harry Truman, said Karen Rampy, Jennings’ great-great niece.

The auction will be streamed online, too, Smith said.

“It’s hard to put a value on this thing, but in my mind — which I’ve been in this business 32 years so I’ve watched this happen before — that gun could easily bring $20,000 to $30,000. You never know at a public auction,” he said.





Three Important Tips for First Time Buyers

Before purchasing your first home, you’ll want to focus on the three most important steps of the home buying process. After stabilizing your credit, determining what you can afford, and researching all costs, you’ll be ready to get into the more exciting aspects of choosing your first home.

first time buyer's guide

Stabilize Your Credit

Your credit score is going to either negatively or positively influence which houses you are able to buy. Let’s hope it’s the former. Get your credit report as soon as possible and start making changes to improve it.  In order to make the most of your credit score, avoid moving your money around in drastic ways for a few months before you plan on applying. Don’t apply for new credit cards. Don’t take out new loans. Don’t give your brother $200,000. Banks are hoping to see consistency. This clues them in that you are reliable and a satisfactory candidate for a mortgage. Providing them a complete trail of where your money has been for the recent past can only help your credibility as a mortgage applicant.

Determine Your Budget

In all likeliness, a home will be the biggest purchase you ever make. Many people get in trouble when they try to buy too much house when they cannot afford it. It can leave you with less money for other financial goals you may have such as buying a new car or paying for college. Avoid this by maximizing your monthly mortgage payment at 28% of your monthly income. For example, if you are making $1,000 per month, you should only be spending $280 per month on your mortgage. Staying within this budget will free up your leftover income for things like paying other bills, taking vacations, and buying new cars.

Be Aware of Sleeper Costs

Naturally, the most important number to pay attention to is your monthly mortgage payment. However, you also shouldn’t minimize the importance of extraneous costs such as taxes, maintenance, and repairs. Paying little Joey to mow your lawn over the summer might be something you didn’t think about when you talked to your mortgage broker. You’ll likely also have to replace a door, roof, backyard shed, etc. Taxes can be another doozy.  They can go up without any explanation, and you are obliged to pay. Avoid potentially losing your home by paying close attention to possible repairs, and budgeting for the unexpected.


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5 Lessons You Learn while Buying Your First House

Buying Your First House


Buying your first home is exciting, especially now that we have sites like Pinterest and Houzz to get us ready for dream homes and home décor by the age of 14. And so, people often decide on what they want and what the deal breakers are. Many buyers plan their maximum offers, expectations, and maximum offers. And then hit the buyer hits the proverbial brick wall. There is nothing in his or her price range that has all the features of this “dream home”. It’s like dating, when you raise your standards and have too many prerequisites, you drastically reduce your chance of finding the perfect fit.


  • Work with a Real Estate Professional… These pros know about the housing market in your area, and are more inclined to take you to see homes that are under your budget, that may need some work, but that have more ultimate potential than homes selling at the top of your budget. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to become more competitive in order to find what you want, and only looking in your price range may take you out of the running.


  • Shop with Your Head, not Your Heart… You may find the home of your dreams, but it could be way out of your price range, and you could be over-extending yourself, while another home, one that needs your imagination to visualize what it could be, is just down the street, waiting to be discovered. Visit homes more than once before you make a decision. Yes, you want that feeling of “This is the one!”, but there could be more than one home that has “it” potential. You must love the home you choose as it is with an eye towards what it could be.


  • Trust your Real Estate Agent. A good agent is like a salesperson and a CPA rolled into one. They are going to keep in mind your needs and desires – which are different – and what you should and should not be spending. Good agents want to make a sale, of course, but they want you to be happy. Moreover, the pros know which homes have a lot more potential than they “seem” to have, and can help you to see it too.


  • Research is Worth It… When you find homes that interest you, google them, go to the bureau of public records in your town and find out about the home’s history. This is information that is available to the public, and stuff you might want to know. Be aware of things like what school district you’re in, what the utility companies charge, if there is a Homeowner’s Association, and how intrusive they are. Let the professionals do their jobs, but you must do yours. The more info you have, the better your decisions can be.


  • Know What your Priorities and Deal Breakers are… know exactly what you want and get your priorities in order. You are going to have to compromise on some things and make some concessions. You may not get your fireplace, but instead you will have glorious views. Be a visionary.


Above all, be patient! Home buying is a process, and when you are buying for the first time, you should enjoy the process and learn from it. Be creative in your thinking, and be flexible. Rely on the pros for good advice. Allow yourself to be excited and eager, but temper that with good sense. Buying your first home is a great gift. Remember that, with gratitude.




Moving to Your New Home with Pets

moving with pets

The challenge of moving can be highly stressful for any family; but when pets are involved, a completely new level of challenges arise that are difficult on everyone involved. Our pets are a part of our families, and they often feel the stress and angst that we feel, during major life changes. Moving, whether you are traveling across town, or across the country, is one of the most major life changes we can make.

Though moving can be stressful, it is also an exciting experience. It brings with it, opportunities for new beginnings, and fresh starts. In addition, if we have pets, we most certainly want them along for the ride. Making sure that everyone is prepared for this life-changing event is important, so there are quite a few things we may need to consider for ourselves, and our pets, before taking on the challenge.

Here are a few tips for moving with pets, that will make the transition a bit easier, and as painless as possible for the whole family.

Take Your Pets to the Vet

Especially, if your move, includes a bit of travel, car rides, planes, etc.; taking your pets for a general check-up and letting the vet know that you are about to move, is a wise idea. Many pets can have adverse reactions to long distance traveling, or simply being taken out of their familiar surroundings. Making sure that they are healthy and prepared for travel of any kind, will make you feel better, and help keep your pets stay healthy and balanced.

Keep a Good Supply of Meds, Food, and Water

Knowing that you are equipped with everything you need to keep your pets calm and happy will make the move a lot less challenging. If your pets are on any medications, or if any are prescribed by the vet before you move, be sure to have them on hand. Also having enough food and water for your pets will help to keep them on an eating and drinking schedule that is similar to what they are used to. Well-nourished and hydrated pets are usually relaxed and happy.

Make Sure They Are Restrained Safely

All airlines have safe travel requirements for pets. They are normally required to be in a crate or airline safe carrier. If you are traveling by vehicle, the same rules should apply, for everyone’s safety. Loving your pets means that you will keep them safe, and NOT try to hold them in your laps. Having pets roam around inside of a moving vehicle is not a good idea for anyone.

Prepare Your New Living Space For Your Pets

Most pets thrive on the familiarity of their surroundings. As soon as you get to your new location, unpack your pet’s toys, food and water bowls. Take some down time with your pets to make them feel at ease in unfamiliar territory. Their toys, pieces of your clothing, and other familiar items from your last residence, will make the transition much smoother for you and your pets.

5 Tips For Pricing Your Home To Sell

Thinking of selling your house? It can be a daunting task in any real estate market. The goal is to make your home stand out above the rest. It is highly important to get buyer’s attention from the start. First impressions, are the only impressions in the real estate industry; and sellers need to be aware of things they can do to make the process smoother and speedier.

Research the Local Market



Sellers should research the local markets to see how homes that are comparable to theirs are selling, and at what price. Housing prices are subject to their local area demands. A house in one city, may not be able to sell for the same price in your city, depending on the cost of living, the quality of the school systems, and other attractions and opportunities that may or may not be available. Do your research before attempting to price your home. Proper pricing can make or break a sale.

Seek Professional Advice



If you are not sure how to price your home, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. Ask your agent to share with you what they think is best. Even if you have yet to make a decision about selling, real estate agents will be happy to assist you with information about home sales in your area, and for your type of house.

Obtain a Broker Price Option (BPO)



Get more than one agent’s advice and a couple of different BPOs, before pricing your home. It is wise to have a list of educated opinions before making a final decision. Homeowners should be well educated on what their house is actually worth before placing it on the market.

The last thing a seller needs, is to be told by a potential buyer, that they have seen a comparable property priced for less. You can avoid this with a BPO. A Broker Price Option allows the seller to set value on their home by a Real Estate Professional, using comparable sold properties comparing the seller’s home to others that have sold in the market place within at least the last 6 months. A Realtor has working knowledge of homes  on the  market currently and those that have sold in the market.  At Smith & Co. or Realtors are all full time agents with Professional training and several years of experience.

Know Your Potential Buyer



It’s good to know who your potential buyer is; single professionals, couples with children, single parents. Knowing the profile of your buyer will help you to make the right choice when it comes to pricing. Study reports that will show you who has been purchasing and selling, the homes in your area. Are the homes near schools selling more quickly, or properties in the heart of the city moving more rapidly? Are condos moving in and out of the market quickly, or are single family homes more in demand? By knowing this information, you can price your home competitively.

Strategic Pricing



Strategic pricing is when sellers consider what other homes in their area are selling for, and decide early in the game to lower their price by a couple per cent. Sellers may sacrifice a bit of profit, but the home may sell quicker. Many sellers would rather have a quick and easy transaction that doesn’t linger on for months, sometimes years, than to make more money from the sale. Strategic pricing gets the attention of potential buyers. Even if your home is not their dream home, they may choose to make the purchase because they will save some money for needed repairs or improvements.

Consider the Deal



Though as a seller, you may have your heart and wallet, set on selling for a certain price; if you are offered a bit less by a well qualified buyer, consider taking the deal. You don’t want to have your house sitting on the market for long periods of time, especially if you are eager to move. If the offer is one you can clearly live with, consult your agent for professional advice, and if they say it’s a good deal, give it serious consideration, so that you can move forward with finding your new home.


Benefits to House Shopping At The End Of The Year

The end of the year is often reserved for holiday shopping and celebrating, but truth be told, the months of October to December are great times to purchase a new home. With most people being pre-occupied with Christmas preparation, you might be able to locate your dream home with less stress than during the busy real estate months.


The buying benefits for the end of the year range from favorable tax deductions to anxious sellers looking to sell for a great price. While there are, on average, fewer homes for sale at this time, you’ll be one of a small select group of people looking over gem properties. Due to limited number of prospective buyers, your chances of purchasing a dream home are increased.


Other perks of waiting to compare MLS listings during the winter months include:


Deducting mortgage interest, property taxes and point on your loan when you file for income taxes (as long as you close by December 31st). This is very beneficial when you spend the first few years of your loan paying off interest.


If the house you desire is a new build, the building company might offer incentives to buy the property by the end of the year. Throwing in complimentary features is not uncommon.


Moving companies are more readily available in their “off season” which is November to December. This makes moving much more doable.


A fresh start for the New Year can begin with a new home. Making memories in a new home you can share with the people you love is the perfect start of new beginnings. To help start you on your newest journey, contact Smith & Co.


Affordable Farm Land and Used Farm Machinery

Almost all of the mid-west and many parts of the northeast and west coast comprise of beautiful farmland that is responsible for growing and feeding the economy with healthy crops. Owning farmland is very profitable, but finding desirable land can be hard to come by.


Farmland is expensive. Whether prepared for planting or not, you are purchasing a large quantity of land. The price for farmland acreage depends on where you are located. Considerations such as rich soil, favorable weather, price for ethanol gas and livestock production are factored into the price equation.


Acquiring new or unused farmland at an affordable price is possible and there’s one solution to ensure this: an auction. Farmland auctions are particularly popular and serve as a reliable source for purchasing affordable land.


A farmland auction begins with an affordable bid price followed by buyers being able to control the amount of money they’re willing to pay. Little is needed in order to attend the farmland auction, which may or may not be held at the actual property location.


Now onto another topic related to acquiring farmland, finding used farm machinery. Farm equipment can be quite expensive. Companies such as John Deere and Caterpillar are known for providing the highest quality of farm machinery on the market. For farmers who wish to purchase budget-friendly and functional farm equipment, seeking out used is ideal.


The task of locating used farm machinery can be a tricky. Two ways of guaranteeing success include knowing what you need and knowing where to begin your search. For example, if you need a hay baler, tractor or manure spreader, narrow down the makes and models that you’re willing to purchase used.


Next step is to attend a farm auction or farm dispersal sale. These kinds of sale avenues are great for spending on a budget. Many auction houses will list the items for sale on a website so you can preview before the auction.


The last step you can take to purchase used farmland is to place an ad in the local newspaper. List exactly what you’re looking for with the following information: make, model, year, condition and price.


If you want to increase your chances of acquiring affordable farmland or used farm equipment, contact Smith & Co. Auctions today.



The 2nd Annual Western Plains Youth and Family Services Christmas Gala

Help Out By Attending An Auction:


Attending an auction is an overall wise investment. You can purchase an expensive item for less money than by going the conventional route. Plus, many auctions are put together to benefit a good cause. Foundations and non-profit organizations benefit from auctions by achieving goals of funding programs and providing assistance to those in need.


At silent auction charitable events, guests can make monetary bids on particular items and the person who makes the highest bit earns the prize. At a typical charity auction, guests receive a delicious meal and drinks to sip while enjoying the night’s festivities. Prized items can range from household items to reservations at high-end restaurants and hotels to vehicles and inclusive-style resort packages.


Purchasing any item at an auction is less expensive than buying it outright at a retailer or online. Also, let’s not forget that you’re helping a worthy cause and you only spend as much as you want to.


One auction in particular that’s dear to us and our community is the second annual Christmas Gala, held on December 6, 2013 at the Woodward Convention Center. This auction is being put on by the Western Plains Youth & Family Services Shelter. The auction’s mission is to continue to have the funds in order to care for the children benefiting from the center’s services.


Your generosity and donations are much appreciated and rewarded with spectacular prizes, entertainment and dining. The “Paper Angels” themed auction begins with a silent auction followed by a live auction thereafter. Your donations help the center continue their community outreach programs which assist with funding and providing critical services to at-risk and in-need families throughout our community.


On Smith & Co. Auction’s website, you can visit the Gala’s information page at http://static.auctionservices.com/documents/75828/Gala_Mailout_2013.pdf. You will find an Auction Donor Form, Sponsor Form and all other pertinent information regarding the auction.


Startup Business Tips: Buying a Commercial Building at Auction


Some of the best ways to get a great deal on a commercial building is to buy one at auction. Generally, prices are pretty low, and there is not too much competition out there. If this is your first time buying a building in this manner, here are some helpful tips for you.


Before the Auction:

Find out as much legal information about the property as you can, and contact a commercial real estate lawyer to look over the paperwork for you. This way, no surprises come when it is too late to back out. Also, be sure to have your finances in order as well. Oftentimes, you will need to put a deposit down on the day of the auction. Be sure to investigate the property, they’re usually sold as is; it’s wise to make sure that you’re not getting yourself into a money pit.


At the Auction:

Make sure you have your checkbook with you with at least one check for your deposit. Also, remember to bring a few different forms of id (driver’s license, passport, utility bills work well). Pay attention to the order of sale, this will be an up-to-date list of all the properties for sale at this particular auction.


After the Auction:

If you were the highest bidder on the property that you were holding out for, congratulations! Typically, with commercial property auctions there will be 30 days to close on the property. It is very important like we mentioned in the beginning to have your finances in order, if you do not close in the 30 days allotted for the sale, you will forfeit your deposit.


Best of luck with your commercial property auction search. If you are looking for a property that just needs a little TLC to be as good as new, this will be perfect for you and your new business venture.