Former WaMu Pres. Tries to Flip Mansion

Okay, I had this story emailed or IM’d to me by about half a dozen people over the weekend, so I guess I’d better at least mention it :^)

Former WaMu President's MansionFormer WaMu president lists home for nearly 2x 2005 purchase price:

Stephen Rotella, who was president and chief operating officer of Washington Mutual when it failed last month after being battered by mortgage losses, is wading into the housing market as a seller. He’s hoping to sell his home on Capitol Hill for $6.25 million.

County records show he and his wife, Esther, paid $3.78 million for it in June 2005, a few months after Rotella arrived in Seattle.

Here are the county records for the property in question, and here’s the listing on Redfin, for those of you that want to add it to your favorites.

I suppose without a major bank president job, it might be hard to keep paying the mortgage on a place like that. I think he might be just a little optimistic on the price, though.

Update: Dan Savage of The Stranger rode by and shot a pic of the front of the house.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

26 comments:

  1. 1
    geon says:

    Jean Enersen’s old place…interesting.

  2. 2
    David McManus says:

    Previous owner is ‘SKINNER JEAN ENERSON’.

    Is that the same lady from King 5? Geez, I didn’t know they made THAT much bank.

  3. 3
    Madrona says:

    What a beautiful building. Interesting coffered ceilings almost throughout. Too bad their furnishings are so horrible… looks like leftovers from a Best Western. : \ Great view of the Capitol Hill radio towers. Glad they featured that.

  4. 4

    Jean Enerson’s husband, Mr. Skinner, is old Seattle money (The Skinner Building) and I believe also related to the Bullitt family, who control KING Broadcasting…So they did’nt buy the Capitol Hill home based solely on her “measly” income.

  5. 5
    smorks says:

    future loan modification/bailout candidate?

  6. 6
    David McManus says:

    Thanks for the info, Ira.

    I’m just a dirty transplant who will never have Seattle history nor culture flowing through my veins. ;-)

  7. 7
    Thomas B. says:

    How do you marry old money? Is there a bar in Seattle they like to visit? I’m guessing Owl and Thistle, or Belltown Billards.

  8. 8
    olaf says:

    “Old Seattle Money.” That’s funny. Maybe in a town where black and white TV’s and old Rainier bottles qualify as archaeology. New York has potholes older than Seattle’s “old money.”

    But what’s the deal with the fake address on Redfin? Is that to mask the sales history? Or to throw off the angry mobs? Probably the latter. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the MLS is willing to bend the rules for this guy.

  9. 9
    The Tim says:

    I don’t think it’s a bending of the rules. Undisclosed addresses in MLS listings aren’t unheard of, they’re just uncommon. Here’s a few other undisclosed address listings I found in a cursory search around Seattle: MLS 28142452, MLS 27184373

  10. 10
    David McManus says:

    “The Tim // Oct 20, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I don’t think it’s a bending of the rules. Undisclosed addresses in MLS listings aren’t unheard of, they’re just uncommon. Here’s a few other undisclosed address listings I found in a cursory search around Seattle: MLS 28142452, MLS 27184373”

    27184373. Wow. Just wow. Something tells me I won’t be able to get 100% interest only financing for that puppy.

  11. 11

    “27184373. Wow. Just wow. Something tells me I won’t be able to get 100% interest only financing for that puppy.”

    No, but the agent only remarks suggest that to qualified buyers, you can get seller financing with 30% down..So if you have a couple of million dollars under your mattress…
    Also, I think Seattle “old money” means you can trace your Seattle lineage back to the 1920’s..
    One of the stories why Jean Enerson remains on the air even though she’s about 40 years older than most women anchors is because her husband is an owner of the station….How old is Jean Enerson? That info is hard to come by, but she was getting her doctorate in California when she moved to Seattle to be on the air in 1968…But I think she’s younger than John McCain.

  12. 12
    David McManus says:

    1944-JUN-16
    So…..64.

  13. 13
    Buceri says:

    Off Topic – you better jump on that house. According to “Smart Money” (how ironic); Seattle is ready for a rebound.

    Seattle

    The Emerald City is that rare major metro area near the coast that is not on a nausea-inducing roller-coaster ride. While home prices in Florida and Southern California are in a free fall, homeowners here are experiencing a gentler landing. Of course, that’s partly because the ride up was not as euphoric — home prices here peaked at 65 percent above January 2003 levels, compared with more than 95 percent in Los Angeles. Thanks to well-paying mega-employers like Microsoft, Amazon.com and Boeing, unemployment remains under 4 percent. That, in turn, has kept median sales prices from falling far. Just as encouraging: Only 11.5 percent of local homeowners who bought within the past five years have negative equity on their property, well below the national average of 29 percent, according to the real estate services firm Zillow. That indicates there won’t be a flood of foreclosures and short sales around the corner.

    Among Seattle’s neighborhoods and suburbs, yesteryear’s star performers — affluent areas like the Victorian-studded Queen Anne district or Redmond, home of Microsoft — are beginning to slide back a bit. The most resilient part of the region lies across the Duwamish River from downtown, in West Seattle. The small community is directly accessible by only one bridge. That can lead to traffic snarls, but many residents simply bike 20 minutes to jobs downtown. On weekends the relative seclusion means the 2.5-mile Alki Beach promenade along Elliot Bay doesn’t get too crowded. As long as people like great views of water, mountains and city skylines, “those homes will always maintain their value,” says local broker Febe Cude. Dave and Alison Keith recently sold their two-bedroom townhome in West Seattle for $289,000, up more than 25 percent from their purchase price four years ago. They plowed that windfall into a home in the same neighborhood with twice the living space and a fenced-in yard, for $429,000. “You’re always nervous, but I feel like things are holding up well here,” Alison says.

  14. 14
    David McManus says:

    Buceri, I read a similar article in the PI over the weekend. I’m surprised that ‘The Tim’ didn’t supply it as a blog post because that article sure as hell had some hilarious comments in it.

    “”We will see one to two years of double-digit appreciation, bringing home prices back to the peak that they were in 2007 or 2006, if not higher,” said Todd Britsch, president and principal of New Home Trends, a Bothell consulting firm”

    See!!! Double digit appreciation is coming back!!! Buy now or be priced out forever!!!!!

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/383884_housing18.html

  15. 15
    BanteringBear says:

    “He’s hoping to sell his home on Capitol Hill for $6.25 million…County records show he and his wife, Esther, paid $3.78 million for it in June 2005, a few months after Rotella arrived in Seattle.”

    The greed is astounding. He’s angling for a 60% profit when he bought near the peak. Sickening.

    On another note, I just checked Zillow for a property on Phinney Ridge which I am familiar with, and that sold at the absolute pinnacle of the market (10/06) for $629,900. This isn’t a large property by any means, but a 4 bedroom 1 bath with less than 1500 square feet, which includes the basement, on a roughly 4400 square foot lot.

    The price paid for said property was for the ‘opportunity’ to sink a bunch more money into a crumbling old home. The current ‘owners’ put a minimum of $100k into a completer renovation, but probably closer to $200k. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, they’ve got $729,900 into a house with a current Zestimate of $589,500. This Zestimate is, of course, a pipe dream. Like properties are now selling in the high $400ks. These people are underwater by almost $300k. This doesn’t take into consideration that over the course of the past 2 years, they’re paying $2000 more per month on this depreciating asset than they would for renting a like property. Dumb.

    It is my belief, based upon historical pricing, that these homes will be selling in the low $300k range, at best, when this meltdown is over with. And that’s generous, IMO.

  16. 16
    PnDsCm says:

    How do you marry old money? Is there a bar in Seattle they like to visit? I’m guessing Owl and Thistle, or Belltown Billards.

    I think you are more likely to meet up with a new case of crabs rather than old money at Belltown Billiards.

  17. 17
    mukoh says:

    Sickening, Somebody wants a profit? How sick is that. Dammit. Just sick and discusting. People are just sick wanting profit on anything. Sick Sick Sick. LOL Bantering Bear you are funny.

  18. 18
    mukoh says:

    Old Money is called Rotary of Seattle. Try going there as a member you will see some surprising big folks.

  19. 19
    Herman says:

    The old money is at the WAC and the Rainier Club.

  20. 20
    Lucio Sillah says:

    When I bought my first house in Seward Pa…er, Columbia City back in 1992, I took the money I’d saved up for a washer and dryer and blew it on an antique French bronze lamp. Had to go to the laundromat for a few months (drove up to University Village), but that lamp is nicer than anything in the Rotella place, near as I can tell. It’s as if they hired a decorator and said, make it look like, you know, the Pottery Barn/Laura Ashley places you see in movies. All classy n’ stuff.

    If Jean Enerson comes from “old” Seattle money (wasn’t she married to a KING 5 newscaster named Mike something? They used to leave near our second place in Mt. Baker), Rotella’s place pretty much screams, “We’ve just won the lottery! Get in the car, baby – we’ve got some serious shopping to do!”

    Ah, the bubble era.

  21. 21

    “If Jean Enerson comes from “old” Seattle money (wasn’t she married to a KING 5 newscaster named Mike something? ‘

    Jean Enerson is on her third marriage. The first was to a KING TV cameraman, the second to “old money” Paul Skinner, and currently to the CEO of Zymogenetics Bruce Carter.

  22. 22
    Anonymous Coward says:

    For you gold diggers, don’t overlook the Seattle Tennis Club. At one point you could only join if you were related by blood to a member.

  23. 23
    Lucio Sillah says:

    (Thread hijack alert) Okay – I remember: Enerson was married to Mike James, another KING5 anchor. Ah, the early 90s – the Golden Age of Seattle TV news (for libidinous guys). I remember a friend asking me, okay, if you could choose one, who would it be: Kathy Goertsen or Monica Hart? Tough call!

    And speaking of the early 90s, I was a renter in the late 80s during a previous run-up and thought I’d been priced out forever. But then in ’92 I was able to jump in. Current renters: just wait a bit more.

  24. 24
    Thomas B. says:

    I don’t consider myself a gold digger, merely an entrepreneur. So far we have the WAC, Rainier Club, Seattle Tennis Club, the Rotary of Seattle, but where do they go for fun?

  25. 25

    […] differences?  The reasons why people “had to” sell.  Tim’s story yesterday reminded me of when Buddy Ryan was canned by the Eagles in 1991 and everyone in the […]

  26. 26
    Hacken Flogger says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 11 – according to King County Elections, Jean Enersen was born on June 16, 1944. She will be 70 years old on that date in 2014.

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