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Luxury homes not immune to market limitations

April 28, 2021 Updated Wed., April 28, 2021 at 7:40 a.m.

By Nina Culver For the Spokesman-Review

The luxury home market in Spokane and North Idaho is following some of the same trends as other housing segments in the area – inventory is down and homes are selling faster than usual.

Fast is a relative term, however. With a limited pool of buyers that can afford homes priced north of $5 million, the homes are spending weeks or months on the market instead of years.

What was considered a luxury home is changing, too. High-priced properties used to be waterfront homes and ranches, said Rob Orth, Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty president. But now traditional family homes are increasingly cracking the $1 million mark.

“The prices from two years ago have basically doubled,” Orth said. “What used to be a $500,000 home is now a million-dollar home. There’s now million-dollar homes on the prairie.”

Recent listings showed 15 properties priced more than $5 million in North Idaho. The two priciest are listed at $27 million. Only a limited number of buyers can afford that, Orth said.

“That’s for the high-end, specific buyer,” he said. “People who have this type of money typically have other homes.”

It used to take two to three years for such properties to sell, Orth said. But last year a property valued at $30 million on Lake Coeur d’Alene sold after only 119 days on the market. “That tells us something,” he said. “Historically, stuff like that would sit around.”

Realtor Greg Rowley, a luxury property specialist with Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty, is the listing agent for the two most expensive properties for sale in North Idaho. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if one of them sells this summer.

“It is an interesting time,” he said. “Some homes that had been on the market for years upon years sold last year. There’s not a lot left.”

The asking price for the Copper Rock Estate at Mica Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene is $27 million. The main home of 9,000 square feet comes with 30 acres of land and 738 feet of lake frontage. Shown by appointment only, it also includes a guest house, a huge shop and caretaker’s quarters.

The home has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. The home is automated and includes a game room, theater, soda bar, a home fitness center and vaulted ceilings with huge wooden beams. There’s an outdoor living room with an open-air kitchen for warm summer days.

Thunder Ranch, perched above Bottle Bay on Lake Pend Oreille on 48 acres, is also priced at $27 million. The main house is more than 14,000 square feet and has four bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There’s a bunkhouse and a guesthouse. The ranch includes a stable with living quarters as well as several barns and shops, an orchard and a caretaker’s house. There’s even a business office with workstations, high-speed internet and multiple phone lines.

The home has more than 5,000 square feet of decking and an infinity pool overlooks views of the lake. Five wells supply water to the property. The 1,600 feet of lake frontage includes multiple docks with room for three boats and four jet skis. The home includes a game room and wine cellar, and there’s a helipad next to one of the pastures.

“It is quite the spread,” Rowley said.

By contrast, the Spokane area didn’t have any homes available priced more than $5 million, Eric Johnson, Spokane Association of Realtors president, said earlier this month. The huge estate homes tend to be across the state line, he said.

“North Idaho really draws,” he said.

The most expensive home available at the time was at 13310 S. Covey Run Lane and priced at $3.8 million. It sits on almost 9 acres in the Ridge at Hangman community. The 12,808-square-foot home has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and six fireplaces. The house, with domes and multiple peaked roofs, looks something like a castle.

“This house is all stone,” Johnson said. “It looks like a slate roof.”

The interior boasts dual sweeping staircases and custom woodwork.

“It is just out-of-this-world beautiful,” Johnson said. “It looks like a banquet hall, not a house. Everything is super high end.”

“Some homes that had been on the market for years upon years sold last year. There’s not a lot left.” Realtor Greg Rowley
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