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Schadenfreude for the 99%: The Curbed Whale Flops Map

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Sometimes even the very rich get in over their heads on a real estate transaction, buying high and selling low, but few do so as egregiously as Philadelphia real estate developer Michael Pouls. In 1998, he spent a jaw-dropping $22M to construct a 15,000-square-foot testament to his success, complete with six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, 32-foot ceilings in the great room, a library, a game room, a billiard room, temperature-controlled wine storage, a 20-seat home theater, swimming pool with pool house and outdoor kitchen, and dressing rooms for each of his two daughters. The house was so extravagant—and its occupants so shameless—that it was featured on an episode of that MTV look-at-what-daddy-bought-me classic, Teen Cribs. Then things went south for the Pouls clan. Michael was indicted on federal fraud charges and the house hit the market, first for $17M (already a loss, mind you), before plunging to $10M, and then $7M, finally settling at a lowly $3.8M. Currently in contract, the house could sell for even less than the final ask, meaning the Pouls will have to endure at least an $18.2M loss. Nevermind that $22M in 1998 dollars is closer to $30M today, thanks to inflation. For more tales of top-dollar real estate woe, check out the map below.


· All Whale Week 2013 posts [Curbed National]
· STAGGERING: $3.2 Million Price Cut for 'Teen Cribs' House! [Curbed Philly]

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1. Teen Cribs Money Pit

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1211 Mirabeau Lane
Gladwyne, PA 19035

A Philly-area mansion that was once featured on MTV's Teen Cribs, this 15,000-square-foot McMansion cost around $22M to build. After a scandal, the family decided to skip town and listed the place for $17M. It took five more price chops, all the way down to $3.8M, to get the crib sold.

2. Versailles

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6121 Kirkstone Lane
Windermere, FL 34786

The still-incomplete megamansion that spawned the documentary Queen of Versailles, this Florida mansion is currently listed for $75M unfinished or $90M complete. Still, no one has come forward to buy, and the extremely personalized design combined with an odd location near Orlando make this a tough sell.

3. Carmelo's Colorado Loser

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6965 South Polo Ridge Drive
Littleton, CO 80128

This massive Colorado mansion made an appearance on yesterday's athlete whales map, but deserves a second look considering the huge loss NBA star Carmelo Anthony took on the place. After buying for $21M, 'Melo sold for just $6.2M.

4. Iverson's Folly

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800 Chateau Lane
Villanova, PA 19085

Hoops star Allan Iverson bought this mansion in the Philly suburbs back when he was a mainstay on the '76ers roster, for $5M. He once tried to sell it off for $6.3M, but after facing possible foreclosure, he settled for $2.6M instead.

5. Nic Cage's Gray Craig

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75 Gray Craig Road
Middletown, RI 02842

After actor Nic Cage went on an epic, one-year, $33M buying spree, he found himself so deeply in debt that he had to part with this Rhode Island mansion for $9.5M less than he paid. That's right, Cage bought for $15.7M and sold for a lowly $6.2M.

6. Burch's Blunder

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2070 Meadow Lane
Southampton, NY 11968

Fashion designer Tory Burch paid her ex-husband $22.5M for this Southampton beach house in the aftermath of their divorce, but never even attempted to break even on the deal, initially listing the place as a teardown for $17.9M. It took price chops all the way down to $11M to get the place sold.

7. La Grand Rêve

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68 Locust Road
Winnetka, IL 60093

A 27,000-square-foot personal palace in the Chicago suburbs, La Grand Reve cost upwards of $40M to build. That's not good news for the owners, who have been trying for years to sell the place for prices between $23M and $32M. It even failed to sell at a 2011 auction.

8. Empty Vault

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5840 Mission Drive
Mission Hills, KS 66208

Located in the tony Kansas City suburb of Mission Hills, Ks., this historic mansion reportedly cost the current owner $6M to purchase and renovate (including the addition of a walk-in vault). Pity then, that it's only asking $5M.

9. Mercer Island Misadventure

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4137 Boulevard Place
Mercer Island, WA 98040

This grand mansion on rich-folk favorite Mercer Island, near Seattle, should have sold quickly, if extravagant amenities were all that mattered. The original $32M price tag was too high for buyers, and so the price was slashed to $16M. The eventual buyer paid $13.25M.

10. Nothing Happy About Alegra

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1754 Sunset Plaza Drive
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Developer Richard Tuil spent seven years building the Villa Alegra, his private oasis in the Hollywood Hills, spending millions both on construction and inspirational trips to Europe. Sadly, once his spending caught up with him, Tuil was left in a bind. After rejecting an "insulting" $11M all-cash offer from a French couple, he was forced to list the house for $8.2M after entering bankruptcy.

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1. Teen Cribs Money Pit

1211 Mirabeau Lane, Gladwyne, PA 19035

A Philly-area mansion that was once featured on MTV's Teen Cribs, this 15,000-square-foot McMansion cost around $22M to build. After a scandal, the family decided to skip town and listed the place for $17M. It took five more price chops, all the way down to $3.8M, to get the crib sold.

1211 Mirabeau Lane
Gladwyne, PA 19035

2. Versailles

6121 Kirkstone Lane, Windermere, FL 34786

The still-incomplete megamansion that spawned the documentary Queen of Versailles, this Florida mansion is currently listed for $75M unfinished or $90M complete. Still, no one has come forward to buy, and the extremely personalized design combined with an odd location near Orlando make this a tough sell.

6121 Kirkstone Lane
Windermere, FL 34786

3. Carmelo's Colorado Loser

6965 South Polo Ridge Drive, Littleton, CO 80128

This massive Colorado mansion made an appearance on yesterday's athlete whales map, but deserves a second look considering the huge loss NBA star Carmelo Anthony took on the place. After buying for $21M, 'Melo sold for just $6.2M.

6965 South Polo Ridge Drive
Littleton, CO 80128

4. Iverson's Folly

800 Chateau Lane, Villanova, PA 19085

Hoops star Allan Iverson bought this mansion in the Philly suburbs back when he was a mainstay on the '76ers roster, for $5M. He once tried to sell it off for $6.3M, but after facing possible foreclosure, he settled for $2.6M instead.

800 Chateau Lane
Villanova, PA 19085

5. Nic Cage's Gray Craig

75 Gray Craig Road, Middletown, RI 02842

After actor Nic Cage went on an epic, one-year, $33M buying spree, he found himself so deeply in debt that he had to part with this Rhode Island mansion for $9.5M less than he paid. That's right, Cage bought for $15.7M and sold for a lowly $6.2M.

75 Gray Craig Road
Middletown, RI 02842

6. Burch's Blunder

2070 Meadow Lane, Southampton, NY 11968

Fashion designer Tory Burch paid her ex-husband $22.5M for this Southampton beach house in the aftermath of their divorce, but never even attempted to break even on the deal, initially listing the place as a teardown for $17.9M. It took price chops all the way down to $11M to get the place sold.

2070 Meadow Lane
Southampton, NY 11968

7. La Grand Rêve

68 Locust Road, Winnetka, IL 60093

A 27,000-square-foot personal palace in the Chicago suburbs, La Grand Reve cost upwards of $40M to build. That's not good news for the owners, who have been trying for years to sell the place for prices between $23M and $32M. It even failed to sell at a 2011 auction.

68 Locust Road
Winnetka, IL 60093

8. Empty Vault

5840 Mission Drive, Mission Hills, KS 66208

Located in the tony Kansas City suburb of Mission Hills, Ks., this historic mansion reportedly cost the current owner $6M to purchase and renovate (including the addition of a walk-in vault). Pity then, that it's only asking $5M.

5840 Mission Drive
Mission Hills, KS 66208

9. Mercer Island Misadventure

4137 Boulevard Place, Mercer Island, WA 98040

This grand mansion on rich-folk favorite Mercer Island, near Seattle, should have sold quickly, if extravagant amenities were all that mattered. The original $32M price tag was too high for buyers, and so the price was slashed to $16M. The eventual buyer paid $13.25M.

4137 Boulevard Place
Mercer Island, WA 98040

10. Nothing Happy About Alegra

1754 Sunset Plaza Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Developer Richard Tuil spent seven years building the Villa Alegra, his private oasis in the Hollywood Hills, spending millions both on construction and inspirational trips to Europe. Sadly, once his spending caught up with him, Tuil was left in a bind. After rejecting an "insulting" $11M all-cash offer from a French couple, he was forced to list the house for $8.2M after entering bankruptcy.

1754 Sunset Plaza Drive
West Hollywood, CA 90069