Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch relisted - with a big price cut

Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch relisted - with a big price cut
File photo: Michael Jackson
PHOTO: Reuters

The amusement park rides and wild animals are long gone, but if you're interested in buying Michael Jackson's most famous home, it's a lot more affordable these days.

Neverland RanchPhoto: Facebook/NeverlandRanch

Neverland Ranch, which failed to find a buyer after the King of Pop's death, is being reintroduced to the market, with a giant price cut and a new name. The property, which has been saddled with the more homogenized moniker "Sycamore Valley Ranch," carries a US$67 million (S$94.5 million) price tag. That's a US$33 million drop from the original asking price two years ago.

MJ's Neverland up for auction on Taobao, starting at $111m

While it no longer has some of its iconic features, Neverland (yeah, we're gonna keep calling it that - sorry, Coldwell Banker) is still a unique piece of property. Located about 30 minutes from downtown Santa Barbara, California, it spans 2,700 acres and includes a mountain on the grounds that Jackson named after his mother. The estate boasts live oaks that are more than 100 years old and borders the Los Padres National Forest.

There's also a movie theatre that seats 50, a dance studio, a pool, a 5,500-square-foot, four-bedroom guesthouse, as well as a train station and train tracks. (Sadly, you'll have to supply your own train.)

Neverland RanchPhoto: Facebook/ThelonelyMoonwalker

As for the main house itself, it's opulent. The French Normandy-style manor was designed by architect Robert Altevers and built in 1982 and measures 12,598 square feet. Among the amenities are five fireplaces, five bedrooms and six full and two half-baths. The flooring is 18th-century French oak parquet from two chateaus in France. The master wing on the first floor includes two walk-in cedar-lined closets and a private garden.

There's also a barn that was originally built for Clydesdale horses. (Hopefully, your train won't spook them).

So, what does one do with an estate that's nearly 4.25 miles large if he or she is not a reclusive pop star? As it turns out, there are several options. Joyce Rey, the Coldwell Banker agent who's overseeing the sale, notes the ranch is well-suited for a vineyard. And Golf Digest magazine is already fantasizing about putting a golf course or six on the estate. (The property was, in fact, previously owned by golf course developer William Bone.)

Jackson bought Neverland Ranch in 1987 for US$19.5 million. He lived there for 15 years. Real estate investment firm Colony Capital purchased the ranch from Jackson shortly before his death in 2009 when the singer was in default on a loan.

"We look forward to this magnificent property being enjoyed by a new curator," Rey said in a statement. "This quintessential California estate is now ready for the next chapter in its journey."

Read also: Neverland neighbours divided on Jackson 'Graceland'
Neverland delighted, haunted Jackson

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