In a rush to sell your house quick? List it for 20% below the estimated value.
That appears to be the way William “Rick” Singer tried to rid himself of his luxurious Newport Beach, CA, home a few weeks before he was formally charged with orchestrating the biggest college admissions scandal in U.S. history.
On Feb. 20, Singer listed his 5,167-square-foot home for $2.6 million. On March 12, he was arrested and charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and obstruction of justice in a nationwide college admissions scam.
So was Singer successful in ridding himself of his valuable residential asset before the proverbial stuff hit the fan?
It doesn’t appear a deal was closed before his arrest. Though listed as for sale at the time of his arrest, the home is now off the market. According to the New York Times, “Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of many of Mr. Singer’s own assets and those of his businesses and the foundation under federal racketeering laws.”
It could be that the Feds stepped in to stop a potential sale before it happened. This would explain why the home’s listing was canceled in such a rapid fashion. Singer had been cooperating with federal investigators since September 2018, and he pleaded guilty to four charges in federal court in Boston on Tuesday.
Realtor.com®’s current estimate on the home’s value is $3,239,200, so savvy buyers were likely intrigued by the low listing price.
Even if he had sold it for $2.6 million, Singer would have made a profit. He purchased the place in 2012 for $1.55 million.
The original 1940s house on the 5,875-square-foot lot was demolished in the early 2000s, and a custom five-bedroom, 5.5-bath home was built in its place.
Listing photos reveal posh interiors and luxe features, including stone flooring, soaring ceilings, French doors, and crown moldings and baseboards.
It also has a gorgeous kitchen, with Viking appliances, a massive center island, custom cabinetry, cozy breakfast nook, and butler’s pantry.
The spacious master suite comes with multiple decks overlooking the garden, dual walk-in closets, and a luxe bathroom.
Out back, there is no pool; however, there is a secluded patio, dining space, kitchen, and fire pit—all surrounded by mature landscaping “reminiscent of estates in Napa Valley,” according to the listing.
The home is “located on one of the most sought after blocks in the desirable enclave of Newport Heights,” the listing states.
Area neighbors say they were stunned by the scandal happening in their midst. They told KFWB radio that Singer was a good and helpful neighbor, and that they were surprised to see a “For Sale” sign go up one day, then disappear only weeks later.
If the home does bounce back on the market in the future, we’re guessing the seller will be the U.S. government.