Reba McEntire croons plenty of sad tunes, as any self-respecting country superstar is wont to do. But if she needs any new fodder for her lyrics, she need look no further than her former home near Nashville, TN—which is up for sale again, for a pittance of its former list price. Seriously, this is real estate tragedy at its finest!
Here's the gist: Once upon a time, McEntire lived with her husband and manager, Narvel Blackstock, on Starstruck Farm in Lebanon. The property boasts a12,816-square-foot lakefront mansion with seven bedrooms, an eight-car garage, a five-stall barn, and an equestrian center with indoor and outdoor riding arenas. There's also a tennis court. Talk about fancy!
In December 2015 this fairy tale took a bad turn when McEntire and Blackstock split up. In September 2016, we reported that McEntire was selling the place for $7.9 million. According to The Tennessean, it sat on the market until July 2017, when it finally sold to a developer named Paul Burch for a mere $5 million.
And Burch just got approval from the Wilson County Planning Commission to carve up this once-regal expanse of land into smaller lots on which he'll build 15 homes. Meanwhile, a 10-acre parcel (out of the original 83 acres) that includes McEntire's former spread will be put back on the market after Labor Day for $2.95 million.
"Given the potential to add a premium for waterfront lots, I imagine these new homes selling for $700,000," says Sotereas Pantazes, founder of the real estate and home improvement website and app EFynch. "As a rule of thumb, there's an 18% to 20% profit margin for single-family homes, which means he could net as much as $140,000 per home." So if all 15 houses sell, that would amount to a $2.1 million profit for Burch, plus whatever he'll make on McEntire's former mansion.
So did McEntire miss out on a huge opportunity to make a killing on her old estate?
"If I were Reba, I would have partnered with a real estate developer to do exactly what the buyer of her property is doing," says Denise Supplee, a property management specialist at SparkRental. "That way, she would not only have recouped a good price for her home, but the overall investment would have seen a very large return."
If this doesn't get McEntire crying into her beer, we're not sure what will. And there's a bigger lesson in this for any owner of a major hunk of land they're looking to unload.
"Before you sell a piece of property, if you want to get top dollar for it, consider splitting it up for alternate uses," says Pantazes. "Sometimes there's some hesitancy among home sellers to break up a property due to pride, particularly a farm. But I've also seen third-generation farmers sell divided property and not bat an eyelash because the money was that good. Sometimes, the time comes."