Whether the strains of "My Heart Will Go On" make you swoon or scream in agony, you've gotta admit that singer Celine Dion has already had a tough year. In January, she lost her husband of 21 years, Rene Angelil, to throat cancer, followed by her brother Daniel Dion just two days later.
Yet amid her grief, she has managed to return to the stage at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Feb. 23. And she has also embarked on another daunting task: selling her mansion in Florida for $45.5 million.
This isn't the first time the pop diva has tried to unload this property located at 215 South Beach Road on the celeb-studded enclave of Jupiter Island. In 2013, the year that her husband's cancer returned after 14 years, they put the property up for sale for a nosebleed-inducing $72.5 million. Then, as no buyers bit, they whittled that down to $62.5 million. Now, Celine Dion has a new listing agent, Fenton Lang Bruner & Associates, and a far less diva-esque (although still hefty) asking price.
And for that price tag, you won't just be buying a nice house. The 5.5-acre property also features a 500,000-gallon water park -- just the thing to commemorate the original owner who made her indelible cultural mark with the theme song to "Titanic"!
Meanwhile, the 10,000-square-foot residence has five bedrooms with a wraparound terrace, along with two four-bedroom guesthouses, three swimming pools, a tennis house, a golf range, and famous neighbors, including Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
Clearly this place is a paradise, particularly for kids. Which begs the question: Why has it sat on the market for so long? One reason is obvious: Even at its reduced price, it's still in the upper strata of luxury real estate.
"As we've seen with other celebrity and uber-luxury properties, there is a point in which there are only so many buyers in the entire world for these kinds of properties," says Cara Ameer, a Realtor in Ponte Vedra, FL. "The water park alone is a huge piece of overhead. The property almost reads more like a resort than a home, but on ultraprivate Jupiter Island, zoning laws would likely prohibit something like this from being converted to commercial use, hence further limiting the buyer pool for this type of compound."
Plus, while a water park is nice to visit, who really wants one 24/7?
"This is way too customized and will cost way too much in terms of house staff needed to keep everything going," notes Wendy Flynn, a Realtor in College Station, TX. "I imagine it takes a team of people to maintain!"
Adrian Reed, the current listing agent, admits that the water park hasn't been a selling point.
"Nobody's considered it an asset yet," he says. But on the bright side, "we can make it disappear. And once you take the lazy river section out, you've got a drop-dead gorgeous pool on both the west and east side."
Water park aside, another potential blemish on this property is the precipitous $27 million price drop from 2013.
"It's going to work against them," says Flynn. "The $72.5 million price tag seems outrageous compared to the now $45.5 million price. It makes people ask: What's wrong with that house? Why hasn't anyone bought it?"
But there's a lesson in this for us regular folks on the dangers of overpricing a home for what you hope you will get for it rather than what will actually sell.
"Overpricing your home can cause it to languish, unsold, on the market and cause potential buyers to ask the exact questions people are asking about Celine Dion's house: What's wrong with it?" says Flynn.
Reed -- who's been the listing agent for about two weeks -- won't comment on the price drop, except to say that the price now is exactly where it should be.
"It's a reasonable, responsible asking price. We actually have a recent comparable sale to point to," he says, noting that a similarly sized home down the road at 440 South Beach sold for $38 million. Plus, "The only thing I can say is nobody in their right mind can take a look at it and think there's anything wrong with it. It's beautiful."
Which means: In spite of this water park impediment and price slashing, Dion's heart may move on from her old digs sooner than we think.