Today: The Heart Sickening Tale of the Sale of One of KC’s Most Iconic Mansions

How the mighty have fallen!

It took four long years, but one of Kansas City’s most famous mansions has finally sold. There’s a "sold" sign in the yard of the former home of deceased local real estate tycoon Jack Frost at 8636 Mission Road.

The six bedroom, four bath, 8,440 square foot, 83 year-old, "storybook French Norman Castle" had everything a buyer could want, including real estate taxes in the neighborhood of $27,000 a year and a pricetag of $1.6 million.

Which trust me, was a steal. More on that in a moment.

"It is spectacular," says one real estate agent familiar with the property. "If you put this house in Mission Hills it goes for $3.5 million. It has a greenhouse with a brick floor that gorgeous. Brick patios It looks like it’s in a forest; it’s amazing.

"It has a drawbridge that goes over a creek and a gazing pool or something – it’s fabulous. It has a guest quarters and the landscaping is outstanding. It’s got a library with bookshelves – I’m looking for a secret door there – but they wouldn’t put that in the listing. It looks like it has a walk-in fireplace. It’s elegant.  You could be serving a king by that fireplace. It’s really stunning."

Speaking of stunning…

If $1.6 million for a Prairie Village home sounds like a lot to you, think again!

When the house went on the market – for the first time in 40 years the listing says – it was offered at $5.8 million.

That’s right, $5.8 million!

“You’re not going to believe what happened,” says the agent. “Oh my god, you should see the history of this puppy. At one point it was listed for $5.8 million in 2007. Then it went to $4.9 million in January of 2008. Then in December of 2008 it went to $3.9 million. Then in the summer of 2009 it went to $3.5 million. And in the fall of 2009 it goes to $3 million. And on June 11 2010 it went to $2.5 million, and then on June 23rd they listed it at $2 million.”

Still with me?

“Then in December of 2010 it went to $2.2 million. And then – this is weird – on February 8, 2011 it went to $1.6 million. Then on February 19th they put it back up to $2.5 million. Then in March, Prudential took over the listing, but then on May 23rd they put it on at $1.6 million and it sold.”

To put that in perspective, that’s a 72 percent-plus freefall.

My girlfriend’s house in Topeka, for example, appraised four years ago at $185,000. At which point she had $50,000 in equity in it. Were she to sell it today at that same plunge rate, she’d receive a mere $50,000 for it.

Oh yeah, and a note from her mortgage company telling her she owed them another 85 grand!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a tale of the sorry state of today’s residential real estate market.
 

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17 Responses to Today: The Heart Sickening Tale of the Sale of One of KC’s Most Iconic Mansions

  1. jjskck says:

    You can list a home for whatever price you want. They obviously overpriced it from the beginning, and didn’t seem to get a clue throughout the process with all the massive and frequent price changes. The JoCo appraiser’s website has it valued at $1.8 million for the last two years.

    That’s why the “girlfriend’s house” analogy doesn’t quite work–hers was an appraised value, not a listing price pulled from someone’s backside when the real estate market seemed really strong.

    A better analogy would be listing your girlfriend’s house for $500,000 in 2007 and having it sell for $160,000.

  2. chuck says:

    Didn’t Mr. Rose live enxt door?
    I heard, as the years went by, that every time one guy made an improvement (Those turrets…?), then the other guy would spend twice as much.

    Did those houses get built with the turrets, or without?

    Thay are cool looking.

    3 + 9 = 5,287

  3. chuck says:

    I always wondered who lived in the other house.
    Cool article, but I wish you would have mentioned some interestign details about Mr. Frost.

    jmo

    5 + 6 = 8,527,548,485,418,258, squared to the nth degree times 5

  4. Gerald Bostock says:

    tale of woe
    I can think of a lot of things that are heartsickening, but the fact that some millionaire’s estate didn’t get the price it was asking for a house doesn’t qualify. The market for a $5.8 million home is pretty limited even in a thriving economy, so the price came down until a buyer surfaced. That’s how real estate works. For $4 million, you apparently can buy the newly empty middle school just a few block’s north.

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    Ahh, you like our new anti spam comments system…
    Yes, this house sits directly south of its very similar twin that Steve Rose’s family used to occupy

  6. Hearne Christopher says:

    That’s a little cold.

  7. Hearne Christopher says:

    Frost was the head of the largest residential real estate firm in town, Reece & Nichols. He died of lung cancer in 2002 at age 69. He was both a go-getter and a really fun dude. Wasn’t afraid to mix it up with the media.

  8. Cinquecento says:

    The real question is….
    How many Fiat’s can you fit in the garage?

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    I’ll check the listing. But a safe bet is, two for every garage stall. So probably six.

  10. bschloz says:

    For Sale
    God that looks horrible….all I can see is maid crews…plumbers…KCPL Bills–Lawnscapers…sprinklers …$1,000 Water bills….
    Shit, I want to go to @smartman’s bunker about now…
    When was it in our evolution that we decided every family in America needed a 3,000 sq ft house backed up to a golf course. Where Did The Money Come From??? EXACTLY
    “Bored with your kitchen? How bout some granite counter tops…YES. Run that card please.
    Welcome to FuckFlation …Housing Down 34% since 2006 no end in sight…Wages Flat For Decades..Record UE…..growth for healthy recovery should be 5% we will be lucky to do 2% after the 2 Trillion infusion of funny money.
    Greek 2 year debt yielding 28% (feelin lucky?)
    Do you prefer Domino’s falling or Shoes Dropping? Take your pick.
    Saving money is proving to be about the dumbest notion Grandpa ever taught us.

  11. chuck says:

    bschloz
    Frack it man.

    Frack some fruckin oil and the fruckin mess would dissapear.

    We need frackin gas to be 1.00 a gallon, and we need it comin outta South Dakota.

    Mother fracker do we need cheap energy!!

  12. Hearne Christopher says:

    bschloz, you’re on fire!

  13. Hearne Christopher says:

    Hey, hers was appriased several years ago as well. And while they undoubtedly were doing some arguably foolish fishing (20/20 hindsight), I doubt they were ridiculously out of line, given the agent and company.

    Looks to me like it was the perfect storm.

    Bottom line is, if they owned it 40 years, they’ll live. The heirs, not Jack. But what a way to go!

  14. Matt says:

    Wrong about Frost @ Reece Nichols
    It was Hardin Stockton back in 60’s and 70’s. Hard core company who wouldn’t participate in multi-list.

  15. Hearne Christopher says:

    Ah, I remember it well.

    Jack was a heckuva guy. Old school but party old school.

  16. mermaid says:

    My favorite story in that house..
    I grew up with the family so been in the Frost house many times. But the best story in that house took place one Xmas party – I was about 27 and I was minding my own business by the fireplace with some friends and Muriel Kauffman was sitting across from me on a couch and I’m not exactly sure what provoked it but she called me a little bitch right to my face! It was hilarious – of course Muriel liked her drinks and she had plenty by that time. She was funny. I liked her better after that for some reason. She was a cool lady!

  17. goodluckwithallthat says:

    Frack you, fracking is a crime and contaminates water
    Watch this, please. And look more into fracking. This is a battle being fought all over the world. Look into Coal Seam Gas mining in Queensland, Australia. Government struck a deal with oil companies ousting land owners with NO SAY in whether or not Coal Seam Gas mining would be permissible on their property. The local farmers are outraged. Educate yourself on fracking. Please. With all the things wrong in this world, this is definitely in the TOP TEN!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Shp1LYjxc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDwJ4TRS3e8

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