By: Anne Bretts, Finance & Commerce
Posted: April 29, 2011 at 12:10
A luxury home in Edina, left unfinished as the housing market collapsed, finally has new owners, thanks to a creative solution by a real estate turnaround specialist.
Lesley Moore and Michael Flaherty bought their home at 5504 Schaefer Road in Edina for $2.35 million in a deal that closed on Feb. 23. The house, which was started in 2005, finally has more than 10,000 square feet of finished space on a lot of nearly an acre.
When the original sale fell through before the house was finished, potential buyers were not interested. The lender finally hired a real estate turnaround expert, who found a contractor willing to live there free in exchange for finishing the house and staging it.
“The homes have to be in 100 percent perfect condition for showing in that price range,” said Daniel Desrochers, an agent with Coldwell Banker Burnet, who listed the home last August. “Everything has to be perfect, from the property to the marketing. There’s no room for error.”
The Residences at the Westin Galleria opened in 2008, with 82 luxury condominiums on the floors above the 225-room Westin Hotel in Edina, next to the Galleria shopping mall.
On March 7, David Bednar paid $1.9 million for a three-bedroom corner unit sold by the Edina office of Sentinel Management, a Canadian property management firm.
“Over the last few months, we’ve had a flurry of sales,” said John Wanninger, the listing agent for the Residences. He declined to talk about specific units but confirmed that the property is two-thirds sold. That’s virtually unchanged since the opening, a sluggish performance that is all too common as condo buyers have had to wait for their houses to sell. Wanninger said the recent interest is a sign of an overall tightening in the luxury housing market in Edina.
“Good listings in Edina are selling in a few days,” said Wanninger, who tracks the local residential real estate market.
Highmark Custom Homes of Burnsville specializes in modern luxury homes with a nod to the past. For a site in the Linden Hills neighborhood in Minneapolis, Highmark chose an Arts and Crafts bungalow design, then pulled out all the stops to use it as a model for the Parade of Homes in both the spring and fall of 2010.
“We had 500 to 600 people a day on the weekends,” said David Maurer, sales agent for Highmark. Some homes have sold through the parade, but the house at 3908 Beard Ave. S. sold on Feb. 22 for $1 million to Paul and Nicole Galvin, a couple relocating from Chicago.
“In a better market, it would have been around $1.3 million, Maurer said, but noted the home drove a lot of other business to the company.
“It was a model, and it served its purpose,” Maurer said.