Anne Arundel mansion auctioned off
Photo of Tulip Hill supplied by Concierge Auctions
What's a pre-Revolutionary War mansion on 52 acres worth? More than $2,375,000, according to the retired senior military official who bought it at an auction last weekend.
But auctioneer Concierge Auctions isn't saying just how much more the winning bidder paid -- or who the buyer is, for that matter. Unlike most auctions around here, this one was closed to the public.
The property, known as Tulip Hill, is a Georgian plantation house in Harwood that dates back to 1755. It has seven bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathrooms and a pier on the water.
It was also a distress sale. Citibank took it back from the owners as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure last year.
Before that, it was on the market with an asking price as high as $7.5 million at one point. But the auctioneers note that the property had more land associated with it then.
Though the buyer was local, the 16 other registered bidders hailed from as far away as England and Dubai.
"Many of the bidders were qualified to do the historic renovation that that type of property deserves," said George Graham, chief executive of Concierge Auctions, which sells luxury digs. "A property like that has very significant requirements and restrictions ... to renovate the property, given its historical significance. ... That's not the type of thing that a person that's just looking to buy a large home is necessarily prepared or qualified to do."
Selling a large house is tricky enough in a rough market, but an older large house has particular challenges. For every person who oohs and aahs over historic touches, three others will say, "Feh, this kitchen is small." Beautiful, spacious kitchens were not generally a priority back in the days when the lord and lady of the manor had a staff to whip up brunch.
Another historic home -- Cliffeholme in Baltimore County -- also ended up in the hands of its lender recently after the owner failed to sell it. That home -- a 14,000-square-foot English Revival mansion on 9 acres -- had been owned by businessman Steve Geppi.