A California estate that once was home to the King of Pop has had its asking price slashed by a third to $67 million. According to a report by Bloomerg, the real estate brokers are downplaying the former Neverland Ranch’s ties to Michael Jackson. The ranch was acquired by Thomas Barrack Jr.’s Colony Capital Inc. as Jackson faced financial troubles in 2008, was put up for sale for $100 million almost two years ago. According to Joyce Rey, of Coldwell Banker Previews International, the property is now dubbed Sycamore Valley Ranch and has been “re-introduced to the market” at the lower price.
“The initial pricing afforded Colony Capital time to better determine the future of the ranch and today we look forward to this magnificent property being enjoyed by a new curator.”
Rey touts the ranch’s proximity to Santa Barbara – just a 30-minute drive – and the Santa Ynez Valley’s wine region. However, there is no mention of Jackson, who purchased the property in 1988 and transformed it into an amusement park and zoo. The home was searched amid child molestation charges against Jackson. The ranch is gated and has a total of 2,700 acres — 50 acres of which are maintained. It has a French Normandy-style manor with five bedrooms and 12,598 square feet. Other features include exposed timbers, parquet flooring from France and an apartment above the garage. It also has a 5,500-square-foot guesthouse with four separate suites, Coldwell Banker said. The ranch borders Los Padres National Forest. According to Brendon DeSimone, real estate expert with listings site Zillow.com, the house may not be selling because homes in the highest echelon of the real estate market — no matter where they are located — just aren’t selling fast. In today’s market, the key to selling a $100 million property once owned by a pop superstar is patience.
“The uber-luxury high-end market is not anywhere near where it was three, four, five years ago. That market has just really slowed down, and there are only so many billionaires who can afford to buy these homes.”
And DeSimone pointed out that location may be another hurdle. The property is located in Los Olivos, a town of around 1,100 residents located about 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles, quite a trek from that region’s highest-end homes.
“Most of the homes in these price ranges are waterfront, or with ocean views, or they’re in the cities. They’re concentrated in L.A., New York, San Francisco and Miami.”