June 27, 2016
In the approximately two months since Phillies veteran Ryan Howard listed his Blue Bell home on the market for $2.69 million, the slugger has battled through an unceremonious benching and a spineless fan throwing a beer bottle at him.
But the sting of Howard's long and wearisome 2016 farewell tour just got a lot less vexing for the career Phillie. According to Cary Simons of Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty, Howard's home was purchased by local buyers for $2.525 million.
"Blue Bell is part of the Wissahickon School District and the buyers were looking to upsize with a pool," Simons said. "The backyard has a fabulous pool complex with a cascading waterfall, beautiful hardscaping, a fire pit and a pool house complete with a full kitchen, grill and bathroom."
Howard, 36, first listed the 8,900-square-foot property for $2.95 million in 2014. He purchased it in March of 2009, five months after the Phillies won the World Series, for $2.3 million. The house, situated in a private cul-de-sac with just three other homes, was fully refurbished by Great Estates for $500,000 in 2015.
For the buyers, the house has seemingly everything.
In addition to a finished basement with a granite top bar and wine cellar, the property boasts a brick patio, sauna, five fireplaces, master bedroom suite, two gyms, and home theater with stadium seating ("equipped w/roomy leather chairs," according to the listing). There's also a six-car garage — three-attached and three-detached — with living space above it. In total, there are six bedrooms, seven full-bathrooms and three half-bathrooms.
"We were told that there were other parties with interest," Simons said, "including a former NBA player. It was a rather arduous negotiating process that took 45 days to close."
In the end, the buyers were drawn to the pool and backyard, which was once memorably featured on an episode of HBO's "Entourage."
"I think whenever you have a property that's listed by a public figure or celebrity, you'll get a little more traffic with people trying to drive by and check it out," Simons added. "You really have to screen prospective buyers to see how serious they are. People might want to just see Ryan Howard's house. It happens all the time."
The sale itself, Simons said, is the highest in Blue Bell in nearly three years.
"The school district is an enticement for people who want to buy in Montgomery County," she said. "This sale is significant in the real estate world."
It's a nice victory for Howard, whose unfortunate family financial saga is widely documented. Of course, Howard was also listed as Forbes' number 53 highest paid athlete in 2016. As every Phillies fan knows, he's earning $25.6 million in 2016 and the team will have to pay him another $10 million to buy out his contract in 2017.
Howard may be shedding some Pennsylvania property, but he still owns a spacious condo in Rittenhouse and is nearing the completion of a $5.8 million mansion near Clearwater, Florida.