Erin Wright, Y! Local
When the housing market crashed to earth with a resounding thud, one person's misfortune became another person's gain, as homes flooded the market at drastically reduced prices. Owners of top-dollar mansions also found themselves steeply slashing prices as their well-appointed estates lingered on the market.
But there's a contrary view that cautions against turning things into a fire sale. Rather, if a sprawling estate truly is that special, and there are buyers with serious interest in snapping up a trophy home, surely they can unearth another million or two, right?
Forbes.com decided to do a little digging on just how many mansion owners were following that philosophy. Culling data from listing sites like Trulia.com, Zillow.com and Realtor.com, and with a little help from Sotheby's International Realty, Prudential Douglas Elliman and the Corcoran Group, writers were able to track upscale homes where the ante's been upped. The hike sometimes occurred with a change in brokers and strategy, or when the furniture was tossed in to sweeten the deal, or when construction was completed at last.
The research uncovered these mega-homes where the owners bought high and are trying to sell even higher.
Topping the list is a 12-bedroom, 30,000-square-foot pad in Alpine, N.J. It's got all the comforts of home, plus a few of the extras you'd expect from a spread that was originally listed at $52 million. There are grand reception rooms, including a ballroom, that have 12-foot ceilings. Throughout the estate, there are plenty of places to kick back and relax: there's an indoor basketball court, an 18-seat home movie theater, a 4,000-bottle wine cellar, a 65-foot saltwater pool and separate pool house with kitchen and two baths, and a tennis court.
But the owner of the grand estate decided to fight the impulse to lower the price, instead tacking on an addition million. Perhaps he figured the heated driveway (which probably comes in handy in the winter) that leads to a motor court with an 11-car garage was worth the extra cash. And perhaps he was right: He's holding firm to the new, higher price-tag and was able to do so without losing multiple bidders.
A newly finished, cedar-shingle sided East Hampton estate hiked its price by nearly half a million, from $6.295 to $6.75 million recently, and boasts close proximity to the highway, a 40-acre preserve, and ocean views from the upper floor.
A 75th-floor, 4,000-square-foot penthouse in the Time Warner Center (located right on Columbus Circle, with Central Park views) jumped from a last-listed price of $44.95 million to $60 million.
Meanwhile, the seller of a Yonkers castle (a museum curator who spent a decade renovating the antique), bumped up his original asking price by $1.3 million.
Granted, the 14,000 square-foot historical castle is a one-of-a-kind, and it took some time to correctly value the property, which sites on the Hudson River in tony Westchester County. Ultimately, he decided that nobody buying a fantasy manse would be doing it for logical reasons, so he boosted the price from $4.95 to $6.25 million.