Bend the knee: A Florida fortress known as “The Castle” is this week’s most popular property on realtor.com®. Once the product of a visionary builder, it changed hands over the years and most recently served as … a halfway house.
Not quite what you’d expect from a regal residence, but the irony may have helped propel the place into our top spot.
Due to budget cuts, the castle is now on the auction block, with a $150,000 starting bid. If the buyers are lucky enough to snag the place at that price, they’ll only be paying $35 per square foot.
This week’s runner-up is a tropical retreat far, far away from Florida. A glass-and-wood contemporary on Maui features coastal and ocean views, indoor-outdoor space, and an equestrian center. Aloha!
Other homes making their mark this week include an updated Eichler in the Bay Area, the mansion of troubled former NFL star Aldon Smith, and a futuristic Malibu abode seen on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
Boldly go along with us as we count down all of this week’s most popular properties…
Price: $2,998,000 Why it’s here: Former NFL star Aldon Smith, a top linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders who has had a slew of run-ins with the law in recent years, is still searching for a buyer for his Bay Area home. The custom-built 2007 mansion in the foothills of south San Jose came on the market in June and recently had a half-million dollars sliced from its asking price.
San Jose, CA
Price: $540,000 Why it’s here: Oklahoma! Known as the Pierce Residence, this historic Craftsman from 1912 offers three floors, a grand entry, a loft, and a music room. The master suite includes a fireplace, three closets, and a sitting area. The backyard includes an original carriage house with a guest bedroom.
Oklahoma City, OK
Price: $2,748,000 Why it’s here: It’s a Mid-Century Modern masterpiece. This Eichler design—built by Claude Oakland—is a double A-frame with a number of signature features, including a spacious floor plan, private open-air atrium, and a living/dining area with floor-to-ceiling glass. And we must confess our love for the orange front door. It’s the pop of color that will likely welcome in a buyer in no time.
Price: $14,995,000 Why it’s here: Live the dream, buy a vineyard! The Black Ranch comes with 106 acres, three residences, four cabins, a large shop, creek frontage, and about 70 acres of vineyards. This property has been in the same family since the 1870s, and the next owner can build a new legacy. We’ll drink to that.
Price: $1,060,000 Why it’s here: This time capsule from 1973 also comes with a tie to history. It was designed by Joseph H. Young, the great-grandson of Brigham Young. The residence is a “vision of symmetry and balance,” including matching garages on each wing. The home includes walls of glass, a domed skylight, and two wraparound decks. The interior is untouched, “primed and prepped for a new era of life.” Translation: Be ready to renovate.
Salt Lake City, UT
Price: $5,695,000 Why it’s here: Here’s your prime directive: Live in the futuristic home as seen on season 3 of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Designed by Ellis David Gelman, the well-maintained and playful space features “four eclectic bedrooms,” an ocean-view terrace, and lavender and rose gardens spread over 2 acres.
Price: $234,000 Why it’s here: The adorable brick home from 1968 is filled with updates. The layout includes lots of light and the renovated kitchen has granite counters. A bonus room off the kitchen could be a formal dining area, play area, or office, and the huge backyard is ideal for entertaining.
Price: $4,880,000 Why it’s here: Built in 2014, this home offers a chance to snag a “barely lived-in” contemporary in “absolutely perfect condition” throughout. The open floor plan features a huge glass door that completely opens from the great room to the yard, for easy access to the outdoors and the pool. Other features include an elevator, a wine cellar, and a large loft, plus golf course views.
Las Vegas, NV
Price: $2,688,000 Why it’s here: This modern masterpiece in the mountains of Maui is a blend of glass, metal, and wood. Built in 2004, the equestrian estate comes with coastline and ocean views.The layout features a light-filled great room, with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that expand the living space outside. The decks and lanai are made from sustainable materials. The property also includes a three-stall stable attached to a guesthouse, plus riding ring and pastures.
Price: $150,000 (starting bid) Why it’s here: Get your auction paddles ready! Built in 1982, this home, dubbed “The Castle,” will go to the highest bidder, as-is, in a cash auction. Opening bid? A measly $150,000. The rather imposing chateau offers six bedrooms and four bathrooms, including an in-law suite.
The six-bedroom stone fortress was hand-built by Jack Gould and his wife, Barbara. According to a news story in 1991, Gould had a vision of a castle from the age of 7. As an adult he bought the land, and over nine years built the dream house largely himself.
Visitors are greeted with a carriage port and enter the home through a solid oak door that weighs 1,000 pounds.
Once construction was complete, the couple became interested in other projects (apparently to build a high-speed helicopter) and put the property on the market.
In 1995, it was purchased by the current owners, a ministry, which used the space not for royalty, but for “pastors who needed a respite,” says listing agent Mark Dyer. But for the last three years, the space has served as a halfway house for people released from prison. Budget cuts have led to the end of the program, and the ministry is now ready to sell.
Despite some neglect, details include wood accents, door-and-window moldings, a wood-paneled library, a huge living room, a large kitchen, and two fireplaces. There’s also a huge wood deck and recently added roof, plus a loft and offices.
Dyer received interest in the unique space before it was even listed, and landed on the idea of an auction. The plan has had the desired effect. “It’s the first time I ever did it on a property. I believe it creates a frenzy. We had 40 calls on it the first day,” he says.
Fruitland Park, FL
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Source: Housing Trends Feed