It's hard to say exactly what attracted the buyer to the Hunting Valley home. The seven fireplaces or 12 bathrooms? The sweeping views of the Chagrin River Valley? Or maybe it was the underground tunnel leading to the indoor pool, tennis court, hot tub and spa?
What's clear is they liked it. Enough to pay $8.5 million — the most money ever spent to purchase an existing home in Northeast Ohio. The previous record was held by another Hunting Valley gem bought for $5.85 million by the former president of the United Arab Emirates, who stayed in the home while being treated at The Cleveland Clinic before his death last year.
The new record-holder, located on Old Chagrin River Road, is 23,000 square feet. For those who don't get just how massive that is, it's about 10 times as big as the average new home today.
The seller's agent, Mary Brennan of the Smythe, Cramer Co., declined to discuss the transaction on behalf of her client. According to property records, the seller is Lora Guyuron (whose husband, Bahman, is a well-known plastic surgeon). The buyer is listed as Andrew Rayburn, a local businessman who has invested in, among other things, two minor league baseball teams.
But because we'd been in the home for a previous Cleveland Magazine story (Home, Huge Home, March 2005), we can tell you a bit more about the estate.
Built in 1949, the colonial's most dazzling feature is the atrium addition in the back, which offers views of the valley while you're lounging in the sunroom, playing billiards or entertaining in the dining room.
But not everything was as perfect as you'd expect for the price tag. The kitchen was big and bright, but wasn't half as nice as what you'd see in a new home in the paltry half-million dollar range. The white cabinets seemed old, but not old enough to be charming. The appliances were hardly cutting-edge.
We're just guessing, but probably the new owner has a few bucks left to redo that part of the house.