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Ravell Call, Deseret Morning News
Julie Della-Lucia hugs her father, Don Knight, while Julie's husband, Lonny, son Joseph and nephews Jake and Nate Wadsworth check out the house.

To many, owning a home is an essential part of the American dream. For one woman, her dream and the dreams of her family have now been realized.

"I'm in shock," said Julie Della-Lucia as she shed tears of joy. "I just can't believe it."

Della-Lucia became the owner of a brand new house in Plain City, Weber County, after her parents won a public bidding auction put on by the developer over the weekend. Don Knight and his wife outbid 15 other people who were vying for the home being sold by Parks & Avenues Inc. of Layton.

"The last minute on Saturday, I just went out and put a bid on it," said Don Knight, Della-Lucia's father.

He said he had been looking for a house to purchase for her but had not found anything in the area in the $250,000 price range he wanted. His winning bid at the auction was $290,000.

"This is more than we wanted to pay, but it's such a nicer home," he said. "We think we got a good deal on it. We're happy with the price we paid."

He added he believes the extra he paid will be well worth it for his daughter and her family. The 3,090-square-foot, two-story home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms with granite countertops and a three-car garage.

Knight, 75, said he'd never bought a home through an auction and only had a few hours to think about (entering the auction) because he put his bid in Saturday afternoon late.

Knight said he had to raise his bid numerous times before finally winning — adding that if the bidding had increased just a thousand dollars more, he would have pulled out.

Della-Lucia said her father had told her he was thinking about buying a house for her and her family but had recently told her he wasn't going to be able to do it.

"I went out of town to visit (her daughters in Idaho) and I came back, and he just told me he bought the house. I couldn't believe it!"

Della-Lucia will live in the house with her husband and teenage son. She said she also has two daughters in college who will have a new place to come home to.

She said her family has been living in a small rental after moving back from Oregon to Utah in order to help care for her parents and be near her extended family. Della-Lucia added her father had shown her the house recently, but she figured that she and her husband wouldn't be able to afford it.

"I can't believe he bought it. I'm in shock. ... I guess I'm going to have to take real good care of him now," Della-Lucia said.

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com