They say that a man’s home is his castle. True enough, but to buy a home designed like a French castle, particularly in Calgary, it is going to cost you. One such home, turrets and all, sold this past Wednesday for a cool $10.35 million, breaking the sales price record for a Calgary home sold via the MLS system.
Actually the buyer got a bit of a deal. The property was originally listed for $12 million back in July of 2012. The two-storey mansion went up in 2010 and originally was listed for $11.495 million. Corinne Poffenroth was the listing agent, working out of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. The property is located in the Aspen Woods neighbourhood.
Before this the home belonging to Mike Vernor, former goalie of the Calgary Flames was the record holder. His property sold in August of 2009 for $10.3 million, and is in the similarly desirable Elbow Park/Glencoe neighbourhood. Number three on the high priced home sale list is a three storey property that went for $7.5 million back in June of 2008, in the Crescent Heights area. Fourth is a home in Britannia, bring in $6 million in April of 2012 for the three-storey wonder. Rounding out the top five is a two-storey property, again in Elbow Park/Glencoe, that in February of 2010 brought in $5.3 million.
Larry Lindholm, a Calgary oil executive, and his wife Kristi bought the French castle. Both were charmed by the unique design that took the words “luxury property” to an entirely new level. Even the ad description reads like something out of a period novel, citing the one acre of land and its gated, landscaped privacy and over the top views.
The castle has more that 14,500 square feet of living space with five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a five-car garage and a free-standing Carriage House that has its own residential suite. The amenities read like those in a fine hotel, noting such niceties as a wine tasting room, spa, yoga studio, men’s parlor, games room and gourmet kitchen complete with a butler’s pantry. Imported woods from around the world are found throughout. An oversized chandelier, made from Swarovski Crystal, graces the grand parlor.
Calgary Real Estate Board’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lure notes that in the Calgary market new listings overall have slowed somewhat, but the selection in the luxury market is wide open. Lure attributes the tendency towards upscale home purchases an indicator that consumers have a positive attitude towards the economy. In the Calgary market, wages are good and the energy sector is going strong. The expectation is that this will continue. Also, noted Lure, those buying in luxury markets tend to hang onto their properties much longer, not wanting to move within the more typical year or two of purchase.
The Real Estate Investment Network’s senior analyst Don Campbell tends to agree. But, Campbell notes, unlike Vancouver where the luxury real estate market was driven by a combination of local and foreign investors, in Calgary it is local professionals and business owners doing the buying. He believes that make’s Calgary’s upscale market more stable.