Even the Rich and Powerful Can’t Sell Their Homes
One aspect of the housing market that seems to be holding true is that no one is left untouched by its decline, and that includes the rich and powerful. First came word last week that even Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner can’t find a buyer for his $1.6 million tudor in Westchester, New York, despite cutting the price repeatedly, and he has decided to rent it out instead. Now The Wall Street Journal reports that former Miami Dolphins star quarterback Dan Marino can’t unload his Florida mansion, either.
Unlike the average seller, however, Marino can throw in a few sweeteners. Like a $1.5 million worth of designer furniture and a signed football.
The former Miami Dolphin first listed the house—about 25 miles west of Fort Lauderdale—three years ago and twice cut the price. Now, Mr. Marino, 47 years old, and his wife, Claire, are asking $13.5 million for the 15,000-square-foot Tuscan home on four acres. They built it in 1998 and among other things put in a new master suite and marble showers. The home has 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and two powder rooms. The property includes two guest houses, a pool, a putting green, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar and a pond stocked with fresh bass.
With three kids in college and a fourth graduating from high school soon, “we’re looking to downsize a little bit,” Mr. Marino says. The former footballer, who retired in 2000, first put the home on the market in 2006 for $15.9 million. Now, the home is being offered fully furnished, says listing agent Giselle Bonetti of One Sotheby’s Realty, which is marketing the property with Quintessentially Estates.
Mr. Marino adds, “I’ll leave one football, how’s that?”
Actually, the fact that famous people can’t sell high-end properties is more than just celebrity gossip. It actually represents a bigger problem in the housing market, which is a lack of move-up buyers — people who already own houses aren’t selling theirs and moving up to bigger and more expensive homes. As Calculated Risk has argued, this will likely clog up the housing market for some time, leading to a sluggish recovery.
That’s something even Dan Marino can’t get around.