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Sale of Historic Mansion - Sign of Hope for the Market

By Phil Butler | June 5, 2011

For the real estate industry the events of the last few years have induced what many might term "the era of faithful prospects" for those in the business. However, low prices have made some money for the sharp (or lucky) few positioned well, during the worst times for Realtors ever. But, for developers and investors interested in the market for historic homes, investment and movement seemed to all but dry up, understandably. News today offers yet another glimmer of hope.

Memphis circa 1900

Memphis circa 1900 - Courtesy The University of Memphis

One segment of the industry not so often mentioned, historic preservation and the market thereof, all but disappeared from the news of late. And this is particularly true for Memphis, where being a real estate agent has to be something like being homeless. When I learned of the sale of a wonderful Pre-Civil War mansion there though, I instantly thought of our friends in real estate in Tennessee. My hometown of Charleston, SC taught me a lot about the Historic Register and the seemingly never ending spiral of demand for old houses - more later on the certainties there - but Memphis can use this shot in the arm.


At the front of the house - Courtesy Sowell and Company

Ken Robison, a local businessman, just purchased a 161 year old masterpiece Annesdale, located in the neighborhood of the same name. This marvelous Antebellum home on 7 private acres, sports over 8,400 square feet of living space and 5 to 6 bedrooms (depending on who you listen to). According to the reports from Robison, his intention to completely renovate the mansion fall in line with either, A - living in the home himself, or B reselling the property for a tidy profit once the market goes up. Either way, the suggested list price of $975,000 seems like a bargain, recession or no.

While more details of Robison's plans are not available yet, the man owns Robison Finch Estate Sales and Appraisals there, so one has to know he can spot a value. The news from the Commercial Appeal in Memphis quoted Robison as saying of the estate: "The house is the finest piece of architecture in Memphis."


Ceiling of the Antebellum mansion

The wonderfully ornate ceilings - Courtesy Sowell and Company

Robison did not disclose the purchase price he gave for the home, but Memphis Realtor Ed E. Beasley Jr. told reporters the home's listing price. We obtained some of our images via Beasley's listing of the house, for which RealtyBizNews wishes to thank him. And for those of you considering snatching up a bargain historic heirloom, maybe Robison's good fortune will spur you on? For more information about this historic area of Memphis, please visit the Annesdale-Snowden Historic District website.

And a last note from my Charleston comment above, they do not make any more of these historic homes - while prices may deflate occasionally, the general trend is ALWAYS up - by a lot too. But then Robison and others know this.

Phil Butler is a former engineer, contractor, and telecommunications professional who is editor of several influential online media outlets including part owner of Pamil Visions with wife Mihaela. Phil began his digital ramblings via several of the world’s most noted tech blogs, at the advent of blogging as a form of journalistic license. Phil is currently top interviewer, and journalist at Realty Biz News.
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