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Estate in rural Indiana priced at $8M could be tough sell

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Carriage Manor Estate, or the "Wallick mansion" as it's known by locals, is like one of those houses you see on TV shows documenting the high life of the rich and famous — except it's not located in Beverly Hills, New York or even Indianapolis.

It's in rural Miami County.

Located on a sprawling 145 acres with two huge ponds, the property at 3413 S. Wallick Road just south of Peru boasts a 13,000-square-foot mansion, a 2,500-square-foot business office and a 5,300-square-foot guest home and auto pavilion big enough for eight cars and a motor coach.

And it can all be yours. That is, if you happen to have $8 million lying around, or you can manage a more than $30,000 monthly mortgage payment.

The historic estate was put on the market earlier this year, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

The three-story mansion, which contains 11 rooms, 11 full bathrooms and seven bedrooms, was originally built in 1926 by local business tycoon Rutherford Wallick — the namesake of the road that bisects the property.

Wallick made his fortune as the founder and owner of American Stationery Co., based in Peru, as well as a side business growing nuts and fruit on the acreage around the mansion.

Wallick died in 1962 at the age of 95. When his wife, Dora, died in 1967, the property was willed to William and Mary Shewman. They sold the place in 1985 to Timothy and Cindy Kline, who made millions through Amway.

Now, the property is back on the market as one of the most high-end luxury estates in Indiana.

According the Luxury Portfolio International, which has listings for more than 150 multimillion-dollar homes, the Miami County mansion is by far the most expensive piece of property being marketed right now in the state.

The next closest is a $4.3 million house that sits on 48 acres near Zionsville.

It's easy to see why Carriage Manor Estate comes with a salty price tag. The mansion is immaculately designed.

Marble floors and white pillars greet visitors in the main entrance. A 600-square-foot, open-concept kitchen comes with all the amenities. Other rooms are decked out in beautiful, dark-wood paneling.

"It's really a nice, nice property, one of the nicest around," said Chuck Oldfather, owner of Carriger Oldfather Realty in Peru. "It's quite the place."

That may be so, but that won't make it any easier to find a buyer, he said.

First, and most obviously, it's really, really expensive. Not too many people have that kind of money, he said. Second, it's not located in a high-demand market, like a waterfront property on Lake Wawasee, for instance.

"It'd have to be a very specialized buyer who wants that era of a home at that location," Oldfather said. "The historical side of the home will probably mean a lot to the right buyer. But around here, it'd be pretty hard to find a buyer from the local market."

Amy Pate, executive vice president of the Realtors Association of Central Indiana, agreed. In a part of the state where a half-million-dollar house is considered an upper-echelon property, an $8 million estate won't be an easy sell, she said.

"You've got to shoot a really wide net for marketing on an estate like this," Pate said.

The sellers seem to be taking that approach. The property is listed with Baird & Warner, a real estate agency based in Chicago that deals mainly with high-end luxury properties.

Oldfather said they're likely trying to appeal to millionaires in Chicagoland with "a lot of disposable cash" who may be looking for a vacation home in the country.

Calls placed with the listing agent from Baird & Warner seeking more information on the property were not returned.

One thing's for sure. Whoever ends up purchasing the estate won't be your average Joe, Oldfather said.

"It's going to take somebody with a lot of cash to buy and keep up the property," he said. "I don't know that somebody from this market is going to buy and live there, but you never know."

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