WINNER, S.D. — The century-old house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, more than 5,000 square feet — and a $137,900 price tag.
In an industry where location is everything, this property is here in south-central South Dakota, where the population just shy of 3.000. And its owner wants it sold fast.
“It’s a really neat house. It’s been around here a long time,” said listing agent Rick Shippy, who owns Shippy Realty in Winner with his wife, Lin.
Shippy grew up around the two-story corner house, dubbed the Read Mansion for former owner Mabel Read.
“It’s a big, big, house,” Shippy said. “Pretty rare.”
Residential real estate priced at more than $100,000 is rare enough in Winner. Shippy estimates that five homes list for that much each year, “but nothing with this kind of square footage.”
It’s not just the 5,575 square feet at a price of less than $25 per square foot but the unique look of the property that is capturing attention.
The Read Mansion was built in 1914, and no one really knows the story of how or why it was built here, Shippy said. But local legend includes an account of multiple houses being moved to the area and joined together.
It has newer-than-100-year-old stucco exterior, a 690-square-foot basement — larger than many Manhattan studio apartments — an addition built in 2002, and central heat and air conditioning.
For much of the 20th century, the Read family owned it then sold it to a local business owner who made some updates and upgrades to the utilities. He moved and sold it to a surgeon who turned it into a hunting lodge.
After the surgeon passed away, the estate rented the home to another doctor in the area.
But it’s now time to sell, Shippy said. And he has no shortage of inquiries even in the middle of winter when the temperature has stayed below freezing all day.
Since going on the market Jan. 3, Shippy Realty has taken dozens of calls and watched the listing spread almost virally online, sending 22,000 hits to the company's website the first day it was up.
“We’re getting comments from California, Florida, all over the country,” Shippy said. “I think there were hunters that had stayed in it hunting from different states. People are sharing it all over the country.”
The home still could function as a hunting lodge, but it also is set up as a single family house, albeit a uniquely designed one.
Former owner Read was “an extremely eccentric lady” who likely appreciated the home’s multiple parlors, winding floor plan and Italian chandeliers, Shippy said.
The other day, 14 people were inside looking it over, Shippy said he told his wife to make sure all of their cars were gone later.
“I’m not sure we’d hear if anyone was in the house,” he said. “You can get lost in there.”
The house appraised at $235,000 a few years ago, Shippy said. A new owner likely will want to make improvements, but it’s not in bad shape.
“It needs some work. It needs maybe some new windows. There are some little things, but the house is move-in ready,” he said.
And while it’s more than priced to sell, Shippy reminds interested parties of two things:
1. Someone has to be able to afford to operate it.
2. It’s in a small town in south central South Dakota.
“Everyone’s like, ‘Why’s it so cheap?’ Well, it’s Winner, S.D. It’s what we call supply and demand,” he said. “It’s extremely hard to find anybody that wants a 5,600-square-foot home. It’s double the size of most big homes in town.”
Even so, “I’ll be shocked if we don’t have an offer by 5 p.m. Friday,” he said. “I think it will be sold by next Friday at that price.”
Follow Jodi Schwan on Twitter: @jodischwan