Tag Archives: mansions

Is the most expensive home for sale in US a PR ploy, or can it sell

I guess the luxury home pricing fever that’s been blazing (and selling) in New York City , has finally found its way to the   suburbs surrounding Manhattan.

It was only a matter of time before every who owned the mega of mega mansions let their egos go wild, and try to cash in on the luxury home bonanza.

I caught wind a few days ago that the most expensive home in the United States was just listed in Greenwich Ct for $190 million dollars.

$190 Million Lauder Greenway Estate, Greenwich, CT
$190 Million Lauder Greenway Estate, Greenwich, CT

Sure it’s a big home with lots of rooms, and bathrooms and property, but who in their right mind, or with a large enough wallet will pay $190 million.  And hey, the home comes with all the kitchen and laundry appliances!

I’m not making this up…check out the listing

  • First there’s on;y a few people in the entire world who can afford the price tag
  • And $190 million price tag for a developer to purchase it is even less unlikely, because any way you look at it’s insanely over-priced for a developer

When I along with my father-in-law Gene Heller and Starwood-Heller Enterprises developed Tamcrest Estate in Alpine and Cresskill New Jersey, starting in 2001, we paid $22 million for the undeveloped 54 acre property and we were able to create 34 building sites…seven 2 acre properties and twenty seven 1 acre properties.  Tamcrest Estates became incredibly successful in part because we caught the market at the right time, and the people who had the money were more than happy to put it into their home…in-part because the stock market was out of favor and real estate was seen as a great investment .

The homes at Tamcrest Estates ranged in price from $4 million to $45 million.  But times have changed and these huge suburban homes aren’t seen a great investments, even at dramatically reduced prices (trophy and unique homes may be the exclusion).

From a real estate developers perspective, the $190 million price tag makes absolutely no sense for development potential.  If they really want to go for the gusto, then a better way to approach this would be to subdivide the property and sell off the individual properties.

Additionally, the demographics have changed, as have the mindsets of the super wealthy, who are now dumping their dollars into Manhattan…because Manhattan will always be Manhattan…the mecca for the wealthy.

So with the city on fire, and the mega luxury market in the suburbs simmering, the $190 million Lauder home my be just another publicity stunt to get people to take notice the home and brokerage firm…and that could work, for a few weeks….and on google forever.

$49 million Stone Mansion, Alpine, New Jersey
$49 million Stone Mansion, Alpine, New Jersey

However, if you’re seriously interested in a brand new grand home that is a bargain (recently reduced to $49 million) compared to the Lauder Greenway family estate, there’s an amazing home for sale in Alpine New Jersey named the Stone Mansion …which is part of the former Frick Estate (like the Frick Museum). Alpine has been anointed by Forbes as one of the most expensive zip codes in the Country and is located lust a stones throw from Manhattan.

This home is only one of a number of magnificent estates available for purchase on the grounds of the former Frick Estate…

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3 Most Expensive Luxury Homes Sales 2012…Big Disappointment

Somewhere in the Country luxury homes may be selling, but it’s not happening in Bergen County New Jersey

But this isn’t all bad news.  With all the ultra luxury homes, or so called mansions, that are for sale, and have been sitting unsold for extended periods of time, it’s a buyers market.

Here are the 3 most expensive home sales in Bergen County for 2012

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#1…2 Margo Way, Alpine New Jersey

The good news is that this Alpine New Jersey ultra luxury mansion took only a year and a half to sell.  But the bad news is that it sold at at 41% discount from the asking price. How can anyone be so wrong about the value of a home…or any product for that matter.

This amazing 34,000 sf estate was originally listed for $34 million…that’s a$1,000sf. And it finally sold for $20 million…which is probably close to what it cost to originally build and decorate.

If your design taste is molding on top of molding…and even more moldings then this home had the perfect interiors

#2…5 Alford Rd, Saddle River, New Jersey

This new (when it was first listed for sale years ago) Saddle River luxury home was listed and relisted for sale so many times since 2004, that I’s need to create a flow chart just to keep track of the timing…but I’m not doing it.

The key points for this 16,000sf Robert Zampolin designed monster are:

  • Originally listed for sale in 2004 at $9,250,000
  • The home finally sold in September 2012 for $6,000,000

The home sold at a whopping 37% discount…and it took 8 years to do it.
Note: the home was leased for 1year during 2009-2007

The point here is that the builder built a home that he thought he could sell for $9 million and ended up selling it for $6 million a very long time later.

Since this site is all about marketing homes so they get noticed and sold faster…and for their highest value…I have to point out that the same minuscule photos and horrendous listing description was used throughout all the years this home was listed for sale. Listing room names and a few items and sprinkling in terms like regal and palatial is mediocrity at its best.

RARE AND BEAUTIFUL PALATIAL MANOR HOME WITH THE GREATEST ATTENTION TO DETAIL THROUGHOUT! OVER 16,000 SQ FT OF LUXURIOUS LIVING SPACE! GRAND SCALE ENTERTAINING CAN EASLIY BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE BALLROOM, BANQUET SIZE DINING ROOM AND IN THE FORMAL ENTRY GALLERY. SOARING CEILINGS IN THE FAMILY ROOM, SENSATIONAL CHEF’S KITCHEN, FORMAL SECOND FLOOR LIBRARY, INCREDIBLE MOVIE THEATER, BILLIARD ROOM, WINE TASTING ROOM AND 6 LARGE BEDROOM SUITES COMPLIMENT THIS HOME. CONCRETE STUCCO EXTERIOR, SLATE ROOF, SWIMMING POOL, POOL HOUSE AND FOUR CAR GARAGE ARE A FEW OF THE MANY AMENITIES THIS REGAL ESTATE OFFERS. BEAUTIFUL AND PRIVATE FLAT GATED 2 ACRE PROPERTY.

#3…899 Closter Dock Rd, Alpine, New Jersey

This is another home that was on and off the market for years.

Though the njmls doesn’t show it, if my memory serves me correctly the home at some point was listed for $10 million…it finally sold for $5.2 million…that’s a 48% price chop.

I loved the homes exterior…but the interior of the home was stone cold ugly.  Bad taste can just ruin the value of a home.  The same listing description forever, didn’t help the sales price either.

BEST VALUE IN ALPINE ON 4 ACRES OF LAND – THE BONUS IS A FABULOUS COUNTRY MANOR WITH 7 BED, 6+ BATHS PLUS A POOL, POOLHOUSE & TENNIS COURT. UNIQUE PRIVATE RETREAT MINUTES FROM THE GWB. ELEGANT LR, BANQUET SIZE DR, HUGE COUNTRY KITCHEN WITH VAULTED OAK CEILING AND STONE FLOOR, FAM.RM.WITH VAULTED OAK CEILING, PANELLED LIBRARY WITH STAIRCASE TO A BILLIARD ROOM. BUILT WITH UNSURPASSED QUALITY.

Bergen County mansions sales take hit in 2012

The ultra luxury home market in Bergen County has taken a huge hit in 2012.

Sales decreased by 47%, and these numbers should make any luxury home seller and Realtor, start losing sleep. 

Bergen County luxury home sales comparison

County-wide, for luxury homes priced above $3 million, there have been only 10 home sales thus far in 2012, compared to 19 homes sold in 2011 for the same period.

The dollar volume for these mega mansions has also taken a huge hit, with a decrease of 46%.

What’s interesting though is that the average sales price for the homes sold increased by 2%…which gives thought that the luxury home market hasn’t yet felt the wrath of  huge price decreases.  But how long will this hold true given the poor performance at this end of the market.

How long can homeowners in towns such as Alpine, Saddle River and Tenafly hold onto their hopes that their mansions will sell…and sell for prices remotely close to their asking price.

And, when or if these mansions do start selling, what effect will these sales have on the tax base for these towns…especially if they sell at steep discounts.

It’s not a pretty picture.

Is Alpine housing market poised for a heart attack?

Just when people thought that the market in Alpine would improve, we look at the stats and it’s another disappointing find.

Alpine has been in the ICU on life support for so long, that someone has to pull the plug.  There’s no light at the end of the tunnel here.

Sooner or later (and it’s already been since 2006) the Alpine market has to take a nose dive.

A some point34 homeowners who’s homes are priced for more than $3 million (12 above $10 million) have to throw up their hands and say…I’M DONE! Especially when some of these homes have been for sale for 3-5 years! OUCH!

This is how prices crash.

It’s a killer:  Of the 3 homes sold in Alpine in 2012, the average sales price is $1,686,667.  That’s less than the $2M+ we used to sell a raw 1 acre lot for…if we could even find one!  In 2011 the average sales price was just under $2 million.

This isn’t good!

Keep the crash cart nearby

Competition for Alpine’s Stone Mansion

Welcome to Versailles Mansion in Orlando Florida

This 90,000sf ultra mega luxury home when completed will be the largest residential home in the United States…so they say.  However up till now it’s been been the largest unfinished home in the Country.  The owners simply ran out of money and the home has been at a stand still.

Versailles Mansion Facts:

  • 90,000 sf
  • 22 bedrooms
  • only 13 bathrooms
  • 160 windows
  • 20,000 bottle wine cellar…which would cost about $6 million to stock at $300 per bottle
  • 2 movie theaters…one for the adults and one for the kids
  • and there are 3 pools…1 for his wife, 1 for the kids and I suppose maybe 1 for the girlfriend

Checkout the link

I’m a bit confused: the woman being interviewed on the Bloomberg video states that the home could be worth $75 million and the title on the video has it pegged at $100 million.  But they also state that the home can be purchased “as is” for $65 million.  Maybe the reason why this mega mega home hasn’t sold is because everyone’s confused about the price.

How do you sell something if the price is a moving target.  If the owners value the home at $75M then who would  purchase it for $65M unfinished.  Most rich people aren’t stupid to pay retail or maybe even above, and only get a partially finished home.

If I had a crystal ball, I’d bet on a major fire sale happening in the near future.

Maybe it could be converted into a new Disney hotel.  Hey, who knows.

Alpine’s Stone Mansion suddenly feels small

Versailles makes the 30,000 sf $56 million Stone Mansion in Alpine, NJ looks like a matchbox.

Checkout the link for the Stone Mansion

And all along I thought 30,000 sf was considered big for a home.

Super huge homes for sale…but they forgot Alpine’s Stone Mansion

Talking about ultra luxury homes that are for sale and neglecting to mention the Stone Mansion in Alpine, is like talking about Moe and Larry, but leaving Curly out of the conversation. 

As seen on msn REAL ESTATE, this post…10 super-huge homes for sale…presents us with a look at 10 really big homes that are for sale on Realtor.com.

Stone Mansion…Alpine, New Jersey

But Somehow msn and Realtor.com missed the Stone Mansion in Alpine, NJ that is for sale at $56 million…it’s 30,000+ sf, with 12 bedrooms and 15 full bathrooms, and 4 half bathrooms.

Check out the video of Stone Mansion

As with everything I write about, I look at real estate marketing from a different perspective.  To me it’s all about marketing and creating a WOW MOMENT when viewers see a home online, and creating value for the home, so it sells for it’s highest possible price:

Trying to sell a home online isn’t much different than trying to find a love connection when using an online dating service like match.com.

When you see someone that is beautiful, sexy, and their profiles enhance what you see…you’re blown away! And you can’t wait to find out more abo0ut them.  For the ones who post crappy pictures and don’t make themselves sound appealing or ecxciting…their phone doesn’t ring too often.

The same holds true when trying top sell your home…the better the presentation the more excitement you’ll create, the more your phone will start ringing.

The ironic thing here is that msn does a better job at presenting these homes online than Realtor.com does. Check out the listings for these incredibly expensive mansions, and all you’ll be told is that the homes have rooms and items…but where’s the WOW  descriptions like we would see in Architectural Digest.  Don’t homes of this magnitude deserve a better presentation than the cheapest and ugliest homes on Realtor.com?

Great marketing creates value…and poor marketing decreases it.