Photos via MLS The year’s most expensive home, a 7,200-square-foot Mediterranean-style home near Armstrong and Shepherd avenues in Clovis, sits on 3.6 acres. Its interior features high-end granite surfaces in a massive indoor kitchen, as well as an outdoor kitchen with a grill and refrigerator.
Written by David Castellon
After building their dream home and raising two children, the owners of a more than 7,200-square-foot house in Clovis decided it was time to downsize earlier this year.
That’s not a particularly unique situation, except the house — which includes a swimming pool, tennis court and a pool house big enough for guests — was purchased for $2.35 million, making it the most expensive home sold in 2018 in Fresno, Tulare, Madera or Kings counties, according to the Multiple Listing Service used by brokers.
Combined, about $40 million worth of luxury homes were included in The Business Journal’s annual list of the 20 Most Expensive Home Sales included in the Dec. 28, 2018 print edition.
Rama Ambati, a broker and senior sales associate for Guarantee Real Estate in Fresno, who represented the owners of the No. 1 property near Shepherd and Armstrong avenues, said “Everything that’s used in the house is first class — quality materials,” from the Caesarstone-brand quartz countertops to form-cast concrete mantles on each of the four fireplaces to the copper sinks, throughout the five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom house, she said.
“Everything is on a grand scale,” Ambati said, adding that the property includes an outdoor kitchen with a grill and refrigerator, along with a massive indoor kitchen; lush landscaping that includes 120 olive trees; distressed maple wood floors; and a mortar-boosted clay roof; and solar panels on the single-story Mediterranean-style home — actually, more of a small estate, as it sits on more than 3.6 acres.
The home also features a closed-circuit security camera system and a game room, in which the previous owners’ pool table stayed — made part of the sale.
Of particular appeal, “is the gorgeous backyard, with the view of the mountains, the foothills and the tennis court,” Ambati said, noting the backyard also includes the outdoor kitchen for barbecuing and entertaining, as well as the pool with a waterfall feature and landscaping that includes numerous rose bushes.
“It’s so serene and peaceful, you don’t even feel like you’re in Fresno-Clovis. It’s like you’re in a resort somewhere.”
Ambati knows about such homes, as for the past 20 years of her more than 30-year real estate career, she has specialized in the luxury home market.
In fact this is her second time having brokered the most expensive home sale in the four counties, the first involving a $2.38 million sale in 2014.
As for 2018, it has been a good year for the luxury home market here, she said. Although the Shepherd Avenue home sold for $1.4 million less than the Valley’s most expensive home sale last year, Ambati noted that the number of homes sold for $1 million or more in Madera and Fresno counties jumped from 42 last year to 60 this year.
As to why, she said, “I think the economy’s doing better. And there are more people in the luxury home market right now,” as consumer confidence has grown.
Add to that increasing number of people from Southern California and the Bay Area who are relocating for cheaper costs of living, many of them working remotely, spending just a day or two every week in those other areas, Ambati said.
The rising costs of home construction is helping sellers, as that makes it cheaper to buy an existing luxury home than to buy empty land and build a high-end home from scratch, she said.
There was only a narrow margin between the most expensive home sold this year here and the one in second place, a 5,982-square foot house on North Burnhaven Way near Maple and Copper avenues in Fresno that sold for $25,000 less. It has four bedrooms and six bathrooms.
Third place went to a 5,809-square-foot house on East Clubhouse Drive, just west of Copper River County Club in Fresno, which sold for $2.2 million. It has four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
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