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The real estate woes of the rich and famous
This summer, a duplex penthouse went up for sale in New York City with an asking price just shy of $11 million. For that, you got four bedrooms, a private terrace and the opportunity to soak in a tub once occupied by Rosie O’Donnell. At around the same time, Michael Jordan’s Illinois mansion went on the market for $21 million—or a mere $1.4 million per bathroom. But these two properties had more in common than star power. For one thing, both had had $8 million lopped off of their original asking prices over the course of their listing. And these are by no means the only examples of fame failing to beat the global property slump. The real estate pages are littered with Hail Mary celebrity price cuts. Here, some of the bigger bargains. —Chris Wright
In 2007, 50 Cent put an ambitious $18.5 million price tag on his pondside mansion in Farmington, Connecticut (previous owner: ear-munching boxing champ Mike Tyson), only to slash the price to $10 million in 2011. (By the summer of 2013, nobody had, erm, bitten.)
Lance Armstrong’s sprawling Austin, Texas, estate, once valued at $10 million, sold for considerably less in the wake of his drug scandal, with recent reports claiming a local businessman had taken out a $3.1 million loan to buy the property.
Crooner Barry Manilow’s two-story, beach-side bungalow in Malibu, Calif., had panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, an open fireplace, limestone floors and a 2009 asking price of $12.6 million. It sold in October 2012 for a disappointing $5.45 million.
Disgraced actor Mel Gibson’s Tudor-style Connecticut mansion went on the market for $39 million in 2007, selling for $24 million three years later. In 2012, he sold another mansion—this one in Malibu—for $9.3 million, a significant dip from the original $14.5 million listing.
No Bids on the Block
In 2008, Mark Wahlberg’s Beverly Hills, Calif. mini-principality came on the market with an asking price of $15.9 million, which, by the fall of 2012, had dropped to a hair under $14 million. (Last time we checked, it was still on the market—for $12.9 million.)
The Queen of Plop
Madonna’s two-floor “urban mansion” had it all: views of New York’s Central Park, clawfoot bathtub, Madonna. Even that couldn’t trump the slump. The duplex sold this summer for $16 million, way down from its 2012 asking price of $23.5 million.