Trulia / Shippy Realty, Getty Images
If you answered “yes!” then do I have the house for you. The century-old mansion has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, more than 5,500 square feet, and one heck of a price tag: $137,900. This sounds almost too good to be true, right? So what’s the catch?
Since going on the market Jan. 3, Shippy Realty, owned by realtor Rick Shippy, has taken dozens of calls and watched the listing spread almost virally online, sending 22,000 hits to their website the first day it was up. “We’re getting comments from California, Florida, all over the country,” Shippy said. It’s not just the 5,575 square feet – that equals less than $25 per square foot — but the unique, historic look of the mansion that is capturing attention.
The home was built in 1914 and has been owned by a family who lived in it for much of the 20th century, a business owner who upgraded the utilities and a surgeon who turned it into a hunting lodge. The other day, 14 people were inside looking it over, Shippy said, and he told his wife to make sure all their cars were gone later. “Because I’m not sure we’d hear if anyone was in the house,” he said. “You can get lost in there.”
Have you ever heard the three rules of real estate? “Location, location, location,” right? Basically, that’s the catch with this $137,900 home. The gigantic mansion of your dreams is actually located in Winner, South Dakota, about a three hour drive from the nearest big city, Sioux Falls. Granted, that’s not a knock against the wonderful town of Winner, but with 2,900 residents, you’d likely spend a lot of time in your massive mansion. If you want to be a reclusive mansion owner, though, it might just be perfect!
Maybe that’s why the owner wants it gone so badly. Who knows? Either way, the home is likely to remain on the market for a while. Residential real estate priced more than $100,000 is rare enough in Winner. Shippy estimates there maybe are five homes listed for that much each year, “but nothing with this kind of square footage.” The house appraised at $235,000 a few years ago, Shippy said. A new owner likely will want to make improvements, but it’s not in bad shape.
“It needs some work. It needs maybe some new windows. There are some little things, but the house is move-in ready,” Shippy said. And while it’s more than priced to sell, Shippy reminds interested parties of two things: Someone still has to be able to afford to operate it, and it’s still in a small town in south central South Dakota.
“Everyone’s like, ‘Why’s it so cheap?’ Well, it’s Winner, S.D. It’s what we call supply and demand,” he said. “It’s extremely hard to find anybody that wants a 5,600-square-foot home. It’s double the size of most big homes in town.” Even so, “I’ll be shocked if we don’t have an offer by 5 p.m. Friday,” he said. “I think it will be sold by next Friday at that price.”
“It’s a really neat house. It’s been around here a long time,” Shippy said. But no one really knows the story of how or why it was built in Winner. Local legend includes an account of multiple houses being moved to the area and joined together. It was owned by the Read family for much of the 20th century, then sold to a local business owner who made some updates and upgrades to the utilities. He moved and sold it to an area surgeon who turned it into a hunting lodge.
After he passed away, the estate rented the home to an area doctor. The home could still function as a hunting lodge, but it also is set up as a single family house, albeit a uniquely designed one. Former owner Read, Shippy said, was “an extremely eccentric lady” who likely appreciated the home’s multiple parlors, winding floor plan and Italian chandeliers.
It has newer-than-100-year-old stucco exterior, a 690-square-foot basement — larger than many Manhattan studio apartments — an addition built in 2002, and central heat and air conditioning. The realtor says no one really knows why a home of that size is even in Winner. Shippy grew up around the two-story corner house dubbed the Read Mansion for former owner Mabel Read. “It’s a big, big, house,” Shippy said. “Pretty rare.”But it’s now time to sell, Shippy said. And there is no shortage of inquiries.
Even though the asking price of this palatial residence exceeds the median home value in the area by a significant margin, the realty company has actually received an offer that’s pending. If you think this might be the mansion for you, you need to act fast! There’s little information available about who built the mansion, but nonetheless, it could be all yours for the low, low price of only $137,000! It sure does look like a lovely home, and at that price it’s a steal.