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Wealthy Leaving Las Vegas Mansions

In the first quarter, 30 Clark County homes with loans exceeding $1 million were repossessed by banks or bought by third-parties in foreclosure sales, up from 20 homes a year earlier, according to ForeclosureRadar.com, a Discovery Bay, California-based company that tracks defaults. Short sales, in which the bank agrees to accept less than the loan balance, and bank-owned properties accounted for about three-quarters of all home sales, according to the Las Vegas Realtors.

“You feel like a sucker if you’re paying a $5 million mortgage on a house that’s worth $2 million,” Zanganeh, 28, said while showing the grounds of an 11-acre Las Vegas estate built by Prince Jefri Bolkiah, brother of the Sultan of Brunei. “These days, there are no traditional sales. They’re all short sales or bank-owned.”

The estate — with 18 bedrooms, 36 bathrooms, a 20,000- bottle wine cellar, an 11-car garage and air-conditioned stables for 10 horses — sold for $14 million in 2004 to Eric Petersen, who owned Consumer Credit Services Inc., a Las Vegas-based catalog-merchandising company that closed in 2008. Petersen, 44, said he spent $20 million to make the estate habitable.

It’s back on the block for $25 million — $9 million less than his investment — with an offer “for considerably less on the table,” Petersen said in a telephone interview from Las Vegas. He has slashed the listing price four times since October from an initial $37.5 million.

“I gave up on Vegas,” Petersen said. “There’s no opportunity for anything in this town that I can see.”

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