Friday, May 11, 2007

McAfee home a good buy for the money, if not the location

Woodland Park and Teller County are beautiful areas. But they're not The Broadmoor -- neighborhoods near the internationally known, five-star hotel in southwest Colorado Springs. So, the sale of software magnate John McAfee’s mountain estate (right) near Woodland Park generated mixed comments from a trio of veteran Colorado Springs real estate agents who handle their share of high-end properties. Chicago commodities trader Patrick Wu paid $5.72 million at auction May 10 for McAfee's 10,000-square-foot main house, three guest houses, nine cabins and 280 acres.

But real estate still is about location, location, location. Many Broadmoor-area properties fetch higher per-square-foot prices for land and homes because of their proximity to the hotel, said Stuart Scott of Stuart Scott Ltd. "Woodland Park is Woodland Park, and the Broadmoor is the most expensive area in this part of the country,” Scott said. “There’s no comparison.” Trish Ingels of Gloriod & Associates questioned whether McAfee would have gotten $5 million if he attempted a straight sale. For somebody from Chicago, however, the $5.72 million price probably was a steal, she said. Kevin Patterson of The Patterson Group said McAfee’s property has great value. A summer retreat would be nice, but if Wu sold portions of the 280 acres for future development, he should make out fine, Patterson said. “Even if it’s only 35-acre tracts, he’ll do well,” Patterson said. “If he could go smaller, he’ll do very well.”

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