South Florida is well-suited to the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous. Luxe mansions on waterfront property with palm trees swaying in the distance? That’s what the Sunshine State is all about if you have a few million bucks to spare.
Occasionally, South Florida is also a place people love to leave, which is the case for basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. In fact, he’s been trying to sell his waterfront estate for nearly a decade.
The six-time NBA champion initially listed his incredible tropical paradise in 2010 for $16 million, although it was privately offered as far back as January 2009. Since then, it’s been bouncing on and off … and on the market. At one point, the home was offered as a luxury rental for $40,000 a month.
Make no mistake: The Venetian-style mansion is gorgeous. It’s located in Harbor Beach, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most exclusive neighborhoods. It comes with views of a sparkling canal that leads straight out to the ocean.
The home was conceived and built by award-winning architect Randall Stofft. It has every amenity a baller needs: a sprawling pool, basketball court, gourmet kitchen, game room, media room, and waterfront views.
“There are luxury homes with luxury finishes, and then there are true world-class designs,” says William Barrett, a Fort Lauderdale real estate broker. “2571 Del Lago Drive is the latter.”
So why hasn’t a buyer stepped up to score Pippen’s luxury abode?
Market saturation and movement
South Florida’s luxury market is healthy, but ever-changing market dynamics seem to be affecting the sale of the home.
“Year over year, there’s a pretty staggering difference in inventory,” says Barrett. He told us the luxury market in Fort Lauderdale, including homes priced above $1 million, is always in flux, and added, “Last year there were 299 homes available that meet the luxury requirements for the area. This year there are 378.”
Inventory is clearly up, which is nice when buyers are pouring in, but in Fort Lauderdale, “demand has been static for this kind of home.” Which presents a problem when it takes a rarified buyer to begin with.
“The luxury market is different,” says South Florida agent Priscilla Haisley. “Especially in our area. It takes a certain kind of buyer who wants a home in Florida that’s at luxury price point, and a lot of those homes don’t move fast.”
Barrett agrees. “The sweet spot in this area is a $1 [million] to $3 million price point. Anything more than that can sit for a while before it sells, which isn’t uncommon.”
But Pippen’s place has been languishing for years and years. What other factors are at play?
Waterfront woes and new construction competition
When a buyer thinks of Florida, waterfront property leaps to the imagination. But few buyers are lucky enough to find a waterfront property on the market that meets all of their needs.
And unfortunately, Pippen’s property might not check off all the boxes on many luxe wish lists.“The home sits on a couple of lots, but the view is of a canal,” says Barrett. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful canal, but a buyer with $10 million to spend is probably going to say they can find a better view for the price.”
South Florida is also a prime spot for new construction right now, which can be problematic for the area’s older homes. For a buyer in search of something brand-spanking new, this place isn’t it. “This house was built in 2004 and is relatively unchanged,” says Haisley.
Many luxury buyers would rather opt for new construction. “I have a home under contract right now that is similar to this one in lot size, square footage, and features. It’s brand-new and it’s going for about $11 million,” Haisley explains.
The trials of top-of-the-line luxury
Though the home is listed for just a hair under $10 million, it hasn’t undergone any major renovations since it was built 15 years ago.
“This house was built by one of the top architects in the area, and the finishes and features are all exquisite,” says Barrett. This, he explained, is probably one of the reasons the Pippens haven’t performed any renovations.
While appealing, finishes like rare wood accents, high-end flooring, and a waterslide aren’t necessarily every wealthy buyer’s cup of oolong tea. “The finishes in this home are worth every penny, but unfortunately, it’s hard to make a return on them,” says Barrett.
So who is going to come along and buy this Italian-inspired beauty?
“You’re talking about a white elephant,” said Barrett. “This house isn’t just for the person that can afford it. It’s for the person that can afford to keep it up as well. It’s for someone that understands and appreciates the architecture and the finishes.”
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