By Andy Wang | October 31, 2014 | Home & Real Estate
Your home is your castle, but it may take a special buyer to appreciate turrets, sci-fi doors, and internal greenhouses. The upside for shoppers: crazy castles at bargain prices.
Las Vegas is teeming with one-of-a-kind luxury homes, like this one at 295 East Cactus Avenue, designed around its indoor pool.
In a true adult playground like Las Vegas, you can live any way you want. If you’ve got the means, you can create the most over-the-top personalized home conceivable—no doubt a fun, indulgent, even appropriate way to spend your money in a city with an ersatz Eiffel Tower, fake Venetian canals, and a tribute to Lake Como. But when it comes time to sell that house, things can get challenging.
“The more unique the property, the smaller the pool of buyers,” says broker Margaretha Breytenbach of Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty (702-813-1770), who recently closed on the $503,800 sale of the castlelike fortress at 500 Rancho Circle. “You really have to have an imagination.”
The 6,121-square-foot house, once owned by gaming legend Don Pettit of the Coin Castle casino, was sold for $1 million to developer Leroy Black in 2006. Black had plans to renovate and resell the property for a big profit. But after he died, the troubled home, with its arched hallway, stained glass windows, and eclectic ceiling heights, was listed as a short sale. Breytenbach started marketing the residence in early 2013.
“It was a very long process because there aren’t many people who want a castle,” she says. “When you make a property that unique, it’s almost impossible to recoup those funds.” Breytenbach actually found multiple potential buyers, but bank and court delays tied to the short sale made a couple of them walk away. Finally, broker Zar Zanganeh of Luxe Estates Collection brought in an investor who purchased the house.
“I feel like a lot of younger people who are doing really well financially in their 20s and 30s are rediscovering the neighborhood for the uniqueness and the large properties,” says Zanganeh, who recently bought a home of his own in the area and is now remodeling it. “We’ve had a lot of sales here, from half a million to $4 million. It’s really charming, with big lots and 50-and 60-year-old trees. You don’t feel like you’re in Vegas. You could be in Connecticut.”
Zanganeh’s buyer at 500 Rancho Circle has started an extensive renovation of the residence, located on an acre-plus lot. “It will be a much greener home,” he says. “We’re considering a more modern Frank Lloyd Wright style. This is an area for young creative types who want to do something really amazing with their homes.”
That’s the thing about many of Vegas’s most distinctive houses: One man’s palace can be another man’s fixer-upper, something for the new buyer to get at a bargain and craft into his own dream home.
If you prefer living like a star to gazing at them, try the “Nicolas Cage Ultimate Estate.”
Broker Gavin Ernstone of Simply Vegas recently sold poker pro Howard Lederer’s home at 99 Hawk Ridge Drive in Summerlin’s The Ridges for $8 million. That was the highest residential selling price in Vegas since 2012, but it’s actually just half the amount spent to create the 8,892-squarefoot house. It features two kitchens, a movie theater, an internal greenhouse, and more than $1.5 million worth of electronics, not to mention the eight bedroom suites with their own bathrooms.
If you’re looking for a high-end deal of your own, the “Nicolas Cage Ultimate Estate” at 5100 Spanish Heights Drive is on the market for $5.999 million with broker Susie Perrine of Las Vegas International Realty. The property has already changed hands twice since Cage gave it up after filing for bankruptcy, but it’s still available for much less than the $8.5 million he paid in 2006.
The buyer will get movie-star-friendly touches like a 12-seat theater with suede walls and reclining suede chairs. Wardrobe changes can happen in the master closet, which rivals a one-bedroom apartment in size. In addition, Perrine says, “The garage can easily hold 12-plus cars and also features a backup generator.” Sounds equally good for parties and emergencies.
Do some star-gazing through the floor-to-ceiling windows of 295 East Cactus Avenue.
But the most unusually personalized home on the market could be the $1.775 million residence located on more than two acres at 295 East Cactus Avenue. “The whole house is built around the pool inside the house,” says broker Florence Shapiro of Shapiro & Sher. "You walk into the house and you’ve got a pool in front of you.” A 1,100-square-foot octagonal pool and spa area, with sandstone edges and a waterfall, to be specific.
The owners of the 4,515-square-foot house, Allen and Susie Rosoff, are pool lovers who once owned the Strip’s Glass Pool Inn, which was demolished in 2004 after countless peek-a-boo pool antics and appearances in films like leaving Las Vegas, Casino, and Indecent Proposal.
But the Rosoffs’ entertainment tastes skew more toward science fiction. “They’re big Star Trek fans,” says Shapiro, which explains the star Trek–like automatic double-door entry into the master bedroom. “We’re looking for a buyer who likes the unusual.”
The house has been featured on the SyFy channel, but this is Vegas, so if you buy it, feel free to start your own HGTV project.
PhotograPhy by randy Shankula