Sycamore Valley Ranch is a sprawling Californian estate that comes complete with a mega star’s former mansion and a whopping $97 million price drop, but buyers just aren’t biting.
The lack of interest, according to local agents, is that the landmark 1092ha block of land in Santa Barbara County is better known as Neverland Ranch — the infamous fantasy wonderland Michael Jackson called home alongside a menagerie of exotic animals, artistic garden statues and quirky amusement park rides.
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Today, however, the unwanted real estate is associated with a much darker past — one where a soon to be released HBO documentary Leaving Neverland alleges the King of Pop groomed and repeatedly abused little boys.
In 2015, six years after the singer’s death, the high profile property hit the market for $US100 million ($AUD141 million), but there were no takers.
By 2017, the property’s asking price was slashed to $US67 million ($AUD94.59 million), only to be removed from sale within months.
Just last week, Jackson’s estate relisted the property with the significantly lower price tag of $31 million ($AUD43.77 million).
Jackson bought the property in 1988 for a reported $US19.5 million ($AUD27.5 million).
That sum in today’s value would be more than it is asking today; around $US42.45 million ($AUD60 million).
He lived there for 15 years, but moved out around 2003 when the estate was raided by police after Jackson had been charged with multiple counts of molesting a minor. Jackson was later acquitted of all charges.
This time, real estate agents Suzanne Perkins and Kyle Forsyth, of Compass, have gone on record blaming environmental conditions such as droughts, mudslides and wildfires for the lack of interest in the property.
However, other local agents believe the grounds just have too much baggage to interest any serious cashed up buyers. Some have even labelled the tainted property a “crime scene” according to the Wall Street Journal.
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The ranch is co-owned by the late star’s estate and a fund managed by Colony Capital. Ms Forsyth told the WSJ that Colony had spent “millions” to upgrade the outdated property with new landscaping and security systems.
Since Jackson’s sudden death at age 50 in 2009, multiple stories have surfaced in the media about the future of the once celebrated address including his children’s plans to buy back the property they once called home with the financial aide of Lady Gaga.
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In additional to the 12,000-square-foot six-bedroom main house that Jackson called home, there are three guesthouses, a lagoon-style swimming pool, a pool house, a lake with waterfall, a basketball court, a tennis court and a 511sq m movie theatre.
There is also a fire department with a 1950s fire truck, but all the amusement park rides including the two operational railroads and Ferris wheel at the site have all been removed.
There is also no sign of Jackson’s once-famed menagerie that at one time included an elephant, which had been gifted to him from Elizabeth Taylor, orang-utans, and llamas.