Inside Michael Jordan’s ‘unsellable’ mansion: the Chicago Bulls legend’s US$14.9 million former home has been on the market for a decade and still doesn’t have a buyer – but why?
Michael Jordan’s enormous Chicago mansion has been on the market since 2012. He has since tried to sweeten the deal by virtually cutting the price in half – and even by saying he’ll throw in a complete set of Air Jordans with the purchase of the house – but the estate is still on the market.
So let’s take a closer look at this extravagant 56,000 sq ft house in an attempt to discover the real reason why it’s struggling to find a buyer.
Michael Jordan’s Chicago mansion is too “him”
Anyone who approaches the property can tell right away that the estate belongs to the legendary Michael Jordan, known for wearing the number 23 jersey – and that might be what’s keeping it from selling. “It’s clearly his home,” said Bruce Bowers of Bowers Realty Group. “There’s a lot of work that would have to be done to make it your own.”
The price on the house has dropped several times and is currently on the market for US$14.9 million, The house was originally listed for US$29 million.
But it does have loads of outdoor space …
The long drive from the gate and the fully grown trees ensure that the house has complete privacy. Jordan had the house – and the surrounding property – built from scratch to his personal tastes.
There’s an infinity pool with a grass island in the middle, and down on the lawn there’s a putting green complete with Jordan brand flag sticks.
There’s even a pond stocked with fish and a tennis court.
The decor is fairly muted
When guests first walk in the front door, they are greeted by the view of a broad, sunlit room with a piano overlooking the gardens. The piano room is one of many sitting rooms in the house.
Jordan’s luxurious taste even shows itself in details like doorways. One set of doors have been taken from the original Playboy Mansion in Chicago, and they lead to a game room with a pool table.
It also has a full sized basketball court
Of course, since this is the former home of Michael Jordan, there is a full-court basketball court. It’s the centrepiece of the house and has the legend’s name at both ends as well as the Jumpman logo at its centre, which also includes the names of his children.
It has several quirky design features
Moving along to the dining room, guests are invited to sit and eat at a “Baghdad table” – so called because the street grid seen on the tabletop is that of the Iraqi capital.
Dining areas with quirky features are also something of a theme. In one of the eating areas just off the kitchen, there is even a large aquarium built into the wall.
It has a lot of bathrooms – and a swanky cigar room
The house has nine spacious bedrooms decorated in various styles. But perhaps the most astonishing fact about this mansion is that it boasts 19 bathrooms – 15 of them full sized.
A visit to the cigar room shows a decorated ceiling and a high level of detail. It also has plenty of card tables where we’re guessing Jordan played some high-stakes poker games – he is known for his love of gambling, after all.
The Chicago Bulls used to train in his gym
Several of Jordan’s Chicago Bulls teammates known as the Breakfast Club used to work out in the gym every morning, according to an interview shared by Concierge Auctions. Another feature of Jordan’s estate is its expansive wine cellar.
The library upstairs is said to be MJ’s favourite room, according to realestate.com.au. Aside from containing his book collection, it also features a pull-down film screen so it can easily be converted into a cinema. The property also reportedly boasts a three-bedroom guest house which has its own family room and kitchen.
MJ lived in the main house for more than 19 years, and the house comes fully furnished – although as you can see, some of the pieces are a tad dated.
He’s tried everything to get someone to buy it
According to Market Watch, Jordan originally listed the property for US$29 million in 2012. He then tried to auction the house in 2013, but the minimum bid of US$13 million was never met. The estate remains unsold despite attempts to get creative, including marketing to wealthy people in basketball-crazed China.
In 2015, the agent working to sell the house at the time promised that the buyer would also receive every single edition of the Air Jordan ever produced, in their size – but that didn’t work either.
Adam Rosenfeld, of the luxury real estate start-up Mercer Vine, told Marketwatch in 2016 that Jordan was likely struggling to sell the house because of all of the personalised customisations.
He’s still paying more than US$100,000 in annual property taxes
There is no need to worry about the house rotting while it remains unsold, though. The mansion is reportedly still occupied by staff employed to keep it looking fresh.
Nevertheless, Jordan is still paying a small fortune in property taxes. The annual bill is more than US$130,000, and Zillow estimated that he has paid over US$2.5 million in property taxes since putting it up for sale in 2012.
The house isn’t in an area popular with celebrities
The billionaire can afford the wait though
Since Jordan put his Chicago home on the market, he has bought a lakefront house in North Carolina in a golf course community for US$2.8 million. He continues to wait for a buyer for the Chicago area home.
- He may be the world’s richest NBA player with a US$1.7 billion net worth, but Michael Jordan’s mansion in Chicago remains unsold, despite offering a slice of basketball history
- Jordan’s iconic collaboration with Nike spawned one of the world’s most coveted sneaker collections, which the star has promised to give anyone willing to buy the house