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Tacoma's historic Rust Mansion will be sold in an online auction on Valentine's Day

Sotheby's Concierge Auctions will handle the auction designed to draw bidders from around the world. #k5evening

TACOMA, Wash. — Valentine's Day is truly going to be an epic holiday to remember for Tacoma's most famous private home.

That's the day the Rust Mansion will be sold to the highest bidder in an online auction designed to attract buyers from all over the world. Bidding opens Feb. 9. There is no reserve so the mansion will sell regardless of the price. 

At a preview event Thursday night, some V-I-P's had a chance to see the results of a one-year, million dollar makeover that owner Ashley Burks oversaw to bring the 1905 mansion back to its former glory.

"Initially when we started the project, there was a concern that I'm this young entrepreneur," Burks told us earlier. "What am I going to do with the interior of the home? Am I going to update it and modernize it? And we did the exact opposite."

Walking through the nearly 11-thousand square foot home really does feel like stepping back in time.

The Rust Mansion was built for one of the richest men in the Northwest, smelter king William Rust, whose family moved into the 18 room house in 1906.

It's a beautiful house but, as local realtors point out, there is a problem. It's nearly impossible to find comparables. (The current asking price is $4.8 million).

Kate Stevenson of Sotheby's Concierge Auctions says it makes sense to let the market determine the value of the home.

"There are a certain number of properties around the world that are just really hard to value," she said. "They are very unique and so you bring it to auction so the market can inform the price. It's the same reason you would bring a Monet, a Rembrandt, or a Faberge egg to auction. There are just a lot of people that would like to compete for it."

Bidders will need to make a $100,000 deposit to join the action. The deposit is refundable if they lose.

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