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Pricing America’s Largest Home

Casey Samson, One of the Countries Top Real Estate Evaluators,
Takes a Swing at Pricing America’s Largest Home. 

At 175,000 sq ft, The Biltmore Estate is America’s largest home. Built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt on 8000 acres, the home boast 250 rooms, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fire places. The bowling alley in basement along with 10 dressing rooms for the indoor pool make it the envy of the neighborhood. There are 75 acres of formal gardens designed by Frederick Olmsted. The home greets 1.5M visitors to the home and gardens at $65 a pop.

The home was appraised in 2017 at approximately $100M by Buncombe County, which posed quite a challenge to Casey, as someone who prides himself on his ability to price homes.

Here is Casey’s analysis:
* The home is too big and old to have any equals, so the comparable model is out. FYI-The largest home sold is Jeff Bezos mansion in CA for $165M
* It’s hard to find 1 ton of limestone and lumber prices through the roof, so the cost approach is out.
* The home attracts 1.5 Million visitors paying $65 per head which amounts to $100M per year in Gross income, so the income approach is the proper method of evaluation:
* 10%-12% net profit would generate a $10M-$12M per year
* At the going cap rate of 4%, That would put the value at between $250,000,000-$300,000,000
* The appraisers were off by a minimum of $150,000,000
* Considering the shrinking buyer pool at that level, we would advise the Vanderbilts to keep it at under $250M, if they choose to sell.
If the Vanderbilts do have any plans for a sale down the road, The Casey Samson Team is ready with some recommendations on preparing the home and marketing.