H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Feb 10, 2011 9:43 PM by Danielle Lerner

Madonna-Twisselman Ranch sells for just less than $6 million

The Madonna-Twisselman Ranch in San Luis Obispo went up for auction at the Madonna Inn Thursday afternoon. The property is located just off Prefumo Canyon Road about three miles from Los Osos Valley Road. Two ranches were for sale but they went to the same buyer and when you add in the buyer's fee and other costs, the grand total of the deal comes to $6.6 million.

More than 150 people packed the Madonna Inn Thursday to see who would walk away with nearly 2,000 acres of picturesque San Luis Obispo County real estate.

Cathie Twisselman says the economy and her family's desire to invest in their other ranches put the property on the auction block.

"Things change and time goes on and we always have to do new things I guess," said Twisselman.

It took about an hour and several different bidding combinations, but Topanga Canyon resident Steve Carlson, his wife and brother, bought both of the ranches.

"It is for our family, our extended family, friends relatives and whatever to come up and enjoy the property with us," said Carlson.

To say the properties are impressive would be an understatement. They provide breathtaking views of San Luis Obispo County and you can even see all the way to Morro Bay.

"I hope that whoever buys the ranch will keep in contact with us and we'll become friends," said Twisselman. "It's not going anywhere, it will still be here."

A bittersweet sale, as one family's legacy becomes another family's future.

"We'll probably build a house, my brother will probably build a house and that's probably the extent of it at the moment," said Carlson.

"My dad always told me things are meant to be and they happen that way, so I'll be happy with that," said Twisselman.

Most of the people at the auction were not trying to buy. The J.P. Kind Auction Company says there were only 17 registered bidders. People had to pay $25,000 just to bid but that money was returned once the auction was over.

The Auction Company says the properties were last appraised at a combined value of $10 million.

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