ELLISON BAY - The largest home in Wisconsin is still on the market, a year after going on auction.
Realtors say the struggles to sell the massive Ellison Bay Manor in Door County aren't just limited to huge homes.
Even more affordable luxury properties are tough to move.
Last October, the 43-room Sur la Baie mansion went on auction for $19 million.
Flash forward a year.
The property's off the auction block.
It's now called the Ellison Bay Manor, and it's back in the hands of realty group Jameson Sotheby International Realty out of Chicago. The group has handled the property now for six years.
“We had at least half a dozen offers,” realtor Kurt Penn told FOX 11 News over the phone. “We had some who were fairly interested and basically they indicated that it was really a full time residence, it was not really a vacation type property and they were not prepared to live year-round in Door.
Penn says the price has dropped down to $8.75 million. That's less than half of the $20 million assessed value.
The new deal also includes the beach house, guest house and 80 acres of land.
Penn says the owners will pay the first five years of real estate tax.
They'll also donate four percent of the proceeds of the sale to charities like the Door County Humane Society, Midsummer Music Festival, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and a charity of the buyer's choosing.
“The owners are really trying to move this property; it’s an estate situation,” said Penn.
Realtors say it's not just the massive mansions that are hard to sell in this market. Even more modest vacation homes like another in Door County, valued at a little over $1.5 million, have taken longer to move.
“This is probably an average upscale vacation home in Door County. It's been for sale this time for about seven months,” said Scott Bader with Coldwell Banker. “Right now I think there are only about 40, 45 for sale. So that's a fairly long market time.”
Scott Bader with Coldwell Banker specializes in luxury properties - homes valued at more than $1 million.
He says only about seven of those types of homes have been selling each year in the entire county.
“I think most people, when they want a vacation home, they want it to be relaxing and they don't want to be worrying about all the upkeep and things like that,” said Bader.
Bader says with more snowbirds looking for part-time homes, it may be a while before someone comes along to invest their nest egg and take up permanent residence at the Ellison Bay Manor.
Realtors say the Ellison Bay Manor was rented out for private events this summer.
However, they don't expect it to be converted to a bed and breakfast or a commercial venue.
That's because it's zoned as residential.
There will be exclusive tours of the home on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Proceeds from that tour will benefit the Northern Door Children's Center.
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