Real estate agent Annette Black set a record last year by selling a house in the tony Sierra Oaks neighborhood for $4.75 million. It was the most expensive home ever sold in Sacramento County.
The Lyon Real Estate agent is trying to top her record. She listed a 13,000-square-foot home in neighboring Sierra Oaks Vista this week for $6.5 million.
The “uber-modern” house was designed by an architect who planned Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates’ house near Seattle. It cost $11 million to build, Black said.
At $6.5 million, “it’s kind of a bargain price,” she said.
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The potentially record-setting home is one of a growing number of million-dollar homes to hit the Sacramento market.
Houses that cost $1 million or more are common in the Bay Area and Southern California. But in Sacramento, such pricey homes are a niche in the market’s top tier.
That small piece of the market, however, has been among the fastest to recover in the housing rebound of the past 21/2 years, experts said.
“Overall, the million-dollar market has grown much stronger since values bottomed out in early 2012,” said real estate appraiser Ryan Lundquist, who monitors housing trends on his website, at www.sacramentoappraisalblog.com.
There have been 254 homes sold in Sacramento County with purchase prices of $1 million or more in the past six years, Lundquist said. More than half of those sales, 137, closed this year or last year, he said.
Two of the region’s biggest residential real estate firms, Lyon and Coldwell Banker, noted significant upticks in the luxury home segment this fall.
Lyon’s data affiliate TrendGraphix reported that sales of homes costing $900,000 or more in the greater Sacramento region jumped 26 percent from the third quarter of 2013 to the third quarter this year. That price range offers a solid buyers’ market with ample inventory.
“Buyers remain very enthusiastic about the variety of luxury homes currently available and the tremendous value in our market,” Lyon president Pat Shea said in a recent news release.
Coldwell Banker said 73 homes sold for more than $1 million in the third quarter of this year compared with 68 in the same period a year ago in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties.
Well-heeled buyers perceive the market as offering deals compared with the much pricier Bay Area, said Kris Vogt, president of Coldwell Banker’s residential brokerage in the Sacramento region.
The area is drawing money from outside interests with the building of a new Sacramento Kings arena and businesses investing here, he said.
“We have more people with the financial wherewithal to call Sacramento home,” Vogt said. “We’re no longer the sleepy little cowtown.”
The area’s wealthy buyers prefer suburban communities such as Granite Bay in Placer County and Sacramento County’s most exclusive neighborhoods, such as Sierra Oaks and nearby Arden Oaks.
Sierra Oaks and Arden Oaks residents include some of the region’s most prominent business leaders, including developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and restauranteur Randy Paragary.
Agents who sell the costliest homes in the region said potential buyers with high net worths aren’t nearly as common as in coastal California, and it takes connections and perseverance to find them. Some come from old Sacramento money. Others migrate from the Bay Area. And a few are investors from overseas.
“Sacramento is still a small community (with only) a handful of players” who can afford million-dollar houses, said Tom Phillips, a top-producing agent with Lyon Real Estate’s Sierra Oaks office. They include health care executives, lobbyists and developers.
Black said selling her $6.5 million listing will be a special challenge because of its high price and unique design.
“It’s finding a buyer with that kind of money that’s also ultra-modern,” she said.
Like other agents who represent wealthy clients, Black discreetly avoids mentioning names. She sold the late developer Gary Ravel’s house for $4.75 million in early 2013, setting a record for Sacramento County, but she declined to name the buyers. (Public records show it was a couple who inherited a local lumber fortune.)
For Black’s newest listing, property records indicate the home is owned by the family trust of Reza Abbaszadeh, founder of Premier Access Insurance Co. The Sacramento-based dental benefits firm was acquired earlier this year for an undisclosed sum by Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America.
The five-bedroom, seven-bath home on just less than an acre was designed by architect Peter Bohlin, who also co-designed Bill Gates’ 66,000-square-foot house in Medina, Wash., and the glass-cube Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The Sacramento home’s amenities include an elevator, a two-story refrigerated wine cellar, a movie room, a large home gym and a guest house by the pool.
Expensive materials accounted for much of the cost of building the house, said contractor Ali Asnaashari.
The house took more than two years to plan and three years to build, Asnaashari said. It was completed in 2011, when the family moved in, he said.
“This house is so detail-oriented,” he said, “we had to custom-make the sprinkler heads to hide the pipes.”
Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.