Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Price Cut To End All Price Cuts

Patricia Kluge, wine maker, philanthropist and former wife of billionaire John Kluge, listed her 300-ish acre estate in rural and horsey Charlottesville, VA in October of 2009 to much publicity and hullabaloo due to the teeth chattering and bone chilling asking price of $100,000,000.

Ex-Mrs. Kluge–that's pronounce cloo-gee, lambs–built the English Country style manor house in 1985 when she was still married to Mister Kluge. They christened their palatial new pad with the very English sounding name of Albemarle. But alas.... In 1990 the wildly rich Kluges went their separate ways but not before they duked it out in the court of dee-vorce the result of which left ex-Missus Kluge as the owner of Albermarle and, it was widely reported, granted the ladee of the house alimony in the amount of $1,600,000...per week. Spend a minute or two thinking about that children. Be honest, what wouldn't y'all do for a million six a week?

Anyhoo, we don't know if the alimony amount is accurate but what is true, according to listing information, is that neo-Georgian style pile measures in at a monstrous 23,538 square feet and has 45 rooms including 8 bedrooms and 13 full and 2 half poopers. The brick built house was designed by noted classical architect David Easton and in addition to all the expected public rooms, the house includes a state of the art home theater, library, an in-home fitness center with spa and sauna, a card room and an Islamic gallery with an antique Syrian fountain.

The extensive grounds include a pool, pool house, a greenhouse, several staff cottages, three stocked ponds, a croquet lawn, an authentic log cabin guest house, and a front yard large enough to play polo or to accommodate the 18-hole Arnold Palmer designed golf course that was drawn up but never built.

Now here's the meat of the matter children: With no titans, tycoons or foreign potentates barking up her real estate tree, ex-Missus Kluge did what most people do who are eager to sell their house. She lowered the price tag. But children, ex-Missus Kluge didn't just lower the asking price, she chopped, lopped, hewed, hacked and whacked it all the way down to $48,000,000. That's a heart stopping 52% cut according to our hardworking and bejeweled abacus.

Your Mama cain't wonder in our itty-bitty and booze saturated brain why if ex-Missus Kluge was willing to list the property at forty-some million she would first go through the motions of listing the estate with such an outrageous, even ludicrous price of $100,000,000? Could it be all the brouhaha and free publicity the estate has received from all us naughty real estate gossips? Hmm. Could be. Or did she simply have a real estate reality check and realize there just ain't nobody but no-bah-dee spending a hundred million clams on a high maintenance country house nowadays?

source: TTR Sotheby's

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