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.