The 17 most expensive Twin Cities homes sold last year


When the ultra-wealthy go home shopping, they're not troubled by hoi polloi concerns like PMI and the vintage of the water heater.

No, their stratum of the housing market is an over-the-top buffet of eight-stall garages, opulent boathouses, and square-footage figures that boggle the rational mind. It's also endlessly gawkable. 

Realtor Ross Melby was kind enough to share with us the most expensive Twin Cities home sales of 2019, per the MLS database. The results yielded 17 properties at the luxe $3-million-plus tier, most of which rest on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. For some exclusivity context, only 39 such properties are currently for sale in the metro area. The most expensive, this 18,007-square-foot Deephhaven behemoth, has been the priciest listing in town since going live in early 2018 (it's since been discounted to $14.3 million). 

We actually checked with Melby at the midway point of last year, when he offered insight into selling at the tippy-top of the market and provided the most expensive sales to that point. Now, with a bow on 2019, he's back with the data for everything from mid-July through December...

20165 Cottagewood Ave., Deephaven

Specs: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, built in 2015, 4,094 square feet
Original asking price: $3.3 million (June 26)
Sale price: $3.15 million (September 30)
Listing pitch: "A calm and inviting welcome fills the air from the outstanding community of Cottagewood. Enjoy many gables, dormers, stucco, and hardwood trim, with window boxes and climbing vines on this European inspired home. Inside or out, panoramic views from all levels. The windows alone will provide your favorite artwork. The gracious bay windowed foyer, living room w/ fireplace, dream kitchen, informal dining with 2 walls of windows and a screened porch where walls disappear are all overlooking the lake together. A sprawling second story is a total sanctuary for the three luxury bedrooms. The lower level retreat features with 4th bedroom, cozy family room with entertainment & walk-up wet bar. The reclaimed paver patio w/ fire pit lakeside is surrounded by professional landscaping and extends the tremendous living space from the porch and terrace. Live the ultimate lake life with all the amenities right in your backyard. It's a wonder life in CottagewoodUSA."

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7793 Quadrant Ave. S., Denmark Twp

Specs: 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, built in 2011, 7,075 square feet
Original asking price: $4.75 million (July 2, 2018)
Sale price: $3.9 million (November 15)
Listing pitch: "Resort Style Living is yours in this stunning property on the St. Croix River. Designed by architect Charles Stinson, and constructed by Streeter and Associates. This generational home is situated on 11 secluded acres and 600 linear feet of lake shore, with features including 2 master suites, a 2 bedroom guest house/art studio, and a rustic cabin. Guest house square footage of 2,264 is included in the property's total square footage. Precise attention to detail permeates every aspect of this home's artful design and construction."

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5151 Blake Rd. S., Edina

Specs: 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, built in 1974, 8,800 square feet
Original asking price: $5.5 million (March 9, 2015)
Sale price: $3.1 million (November 5)
Listing pitch: "Proud as a castle and designed by internationally renown architect Fitzhugh Scott, then built and recently renovated by Opus Corporation. The waterfront acreage setting with golf course views and a “collector/party” barn is accessed through a gated, covered entry where one winds through the towering trees to a once a lifetime residence. The new kitchen has generous island, commercial range 3 drawer styled washers, large capacity wine cave (this in addition to the multi thousand bottle tasting room and cellar)and cabinetry and doubled stone counters of the highest finish. This opens to a charming hearth room and conservatory, with a gallery running the length of the public rooms. 2 story great room, open and flowing plan anchored by an architectural masterpiece...three story floating curving stone primarily stairway. There is also a main level master wing, and here ( shared with the gallery is a wet bar and study) are opulent lake viewing master and sitting room."

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1055 Ferndale Rd. W., Orono

Specs: 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, built in 1976, 5,425 square feet
Original asking price: $4 million (May 20)
Sale price: $3.6 million (September 12)
Listing pitch: "Prime Ferndale lakeshore opportunity close to downtown Wayzata. 345 feet of south facing, level and sandy lakeshore on Browns Bay. A large, almost 1-acre flat lot creates a park-like setting with panoramic views of Lake Minnetonka. Many options for the existing structure: keep, remodel or tear down. Do not miss this rare offering!"

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495 Oxford Rd., Orono

Specs: 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, built in 2013, 6,101 square feet
Original asking price: $4.7 million (June 27, 2018)
Sale price: $3.85 million (September 5)
Listing pitch: "Spectacular 2013 Stonewood built executive home capturing amazing sunsets. Rare, hard to find lake shore in the Orono School District on a quiet cul-de-sac. Enjoy over 2 acres of park-like lawn and landscaping with room for a pool! The home was built with flawless craftsmanship with a main floor wine cellar, large porch with retractable screen opening to deck and huge outdoor kitchen and fireplace. The separate carriage house provides plenty of additional storage and expansion space. Thoughtfully designed and beautifully built!"

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1520 Bohns Point Rd., Orono

Specs: 5 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, built in 2002, 9,765 square feet
Original asking price: $6 million (May 13)
Sale price: $4.9 million (December 2)
Listing pitch: "Enjoy panoramic views of Crystal Bay through floor-to-ceiling windows from every room of this Lake Minnetonka estate. A down to the studs remodel in 2018 has resulted in a bright, open floor plan and a timeless, casually sophisticated interior. Ultra-high-end finishes and appliances complement the artisan craftsmanship of fine stone and authentic antique reclaimed beams throughout. This estate is both fitting for a large society function as well as movie nights with the kids. This home is expansive, comfortable and elegant all at the same time. Separate carriage house offers full living quarters for guests, in-laws or nanny. A job relocation is why this gem is now available."

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595 Locust Hills Dr., Wayzata

Specs: 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, built in 2018, 5,704 square feet
Original asking price: $3.3 million (May 13)
Sale price: $3 million (September 6)
Listing pitch: "Exquisite southerly views over lagoon and Lake Minnetonka. Main floor master bedroom, cozy porch with fireplace, golf simulator with a fabulous adjacent wet bar and so much more! Superb finishes throughout. This is the best lot in Locust Hills! One of Wayzata's historic Lake Minnetonka estates divided into a community of handsome homes, meandering hiking trails through woods and wetlands, the original estate's horse barn converted to charming club house and pool. Walk or bike to Wayzata's shops and restaurants. Dock on Lake Minnetonka." 

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And here's everything from last January through mid-July, as previously featured in City Pages... 

3216 Robinsons Bay Rd., Deephaven

Specs: 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 5,954 square feet, built in 1933
Original asking price: $3.75 million (April 1)
Sale price: $3.5 million (July 19)
Listing pitch: "Enjoy one of the finest settings on Lake Minnetonka in coveted Deephaven. Situated on Robinson's Bay, this 1-acre level lot faces west with miles of unobstructed views towards Bracketts Point and Minnetonka Beach. A secluded private road with no outlet leads you to this treasured property. This classic colonial home was originally built in 1933 and is elevated high enough to include a full basement, yet still enjoys the advantages of a level lot without stairs to the lake. While still boasting with charm, the home is ready for its next chapter; a major renovation or potentially start from scratch. In either case, the location is irreplaceable and it’s hard to match the relationship with the lake that homes on Robinson's Bay enjoy. See the world from the main lower lake plus seclusion from traffic in this Deephaven location; it truly is the best of both worlds."

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1482 Hunter Dr., Medina

Specs: 8 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, 8,714 square feet, built in 1966
Original asking price: $3.75 million (August 30, 2018)
Sale price: $3.12 million (June 3)
Listing pitch: "This 10-acre lakeside escape offers panoramic views spanning over 400ft of South facing shoreline on private Mooney Lake, just 3 miles from DT Wayzata. Like no other, this home has a main level master, multiple entertaining spaces & a nanny/guest quarters with full kitchen. Indoor pool has lake views to swim & enjoy all winter long. Heated stable large enough for 6 box stalls, 6 cars or to be a party & sports center. Come see effortless elegance where every 'view has a room.'"

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2410 Oakland Rd., Minnetonka

Specs: 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 5,578 square feet, built in 1966
Original asking price: $3.87 (June 3)
Sale price: $3.87 (June 3)
Listing pitch: "Meticulously manicured Birdsong is privately located near the intersection of 494 & 394. Beautifully sculpted & dotted with mature trees & ponds, this site enjoys easy access to Wayzata & downtown Minneapolis. Ready for development or to be purchased as a singular estate with a unique Lloyd Wright, designed home (son of Frank Lloyd Wright). While the home is architecturally significant & well maintained the value of the land comprises a substantial portion of the overall value of the property."

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8535 230th St. E., New Market Township

Specs: 8 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 11,000 square feet, built in 1982
Original asking price: $6.95 million (Feb. 25, 2016)
Sale price: $3.78 million (June 13)
Listing pitch: "221.85 Acres of Incredible Secluded Estate. The home has every amenity imaginable with Privacy and location unmatched anywhere in the Twin Cities. 5 minutes from I 35 and Walmart. Fish from your dock and enjoy the sunsets from the Great Room. 7 FP's."

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3129 Casco Cir., Orono

Specs: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,863 square feet, built in 1900
Original asking price: $4.49 million (June 27, 2017)
Sale price: $3.1 million (July 8)
Listing pitch: "Enter the gracious circle drive (with a large, buildable bonus property within) to experience the serenity that will reward the next steward of this important and unique property. Offered for the first time in 60 years, this original home and guest home await restoration or to be replaced by the buyer’s own vision - of one home or two. The 2 acre lawn, graced with mature, majestic sugar maple trees, slopes to a stunning, wide, west/southwest view of the 400 ‘ sandy-bottom lakeshore. The thoughtful orientation of the lot means you will never miss a sparkling sunset. The charming, two story 1880’s Victorian boathouse is a Casco Point icon and has been lovingly cared for through the years. A truly exciting opportunity for an elegant and active lake lifestyle awaits in this unique and magical property."

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1220 Bracketts Point Rd., Orono

Specs: 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 4,477 square feet, built in 2016
Original asking price: $5.7 million (March 19)
Sale price: $5.6 million (March 20)
Listing pitch: None!

No additional photos available!

640 Locust Hills Dr., Wayzata

Specs: 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 8,577 square feet, built in 2011
Original asking price: $6.5 million (Feb. 22, 2018)
Sale price: $5.5 million (May 17)
Listing pitch: "Custom Built L. Cramer home located in the sought after Locust Hills neighborhood. Offering 178ft. of private direct lakeshore on Grays Bay, & 2 miles of private walking trails that are maintained year round. This home offers endless amenities, including a 6 car garage, main flr mstr bedroom, richly appointed rooms w/custom detail, & timeless design. Enjoy wonderful open entertaining & living spaces, & easily accessible level lakeshore. Walk to DT Wayzata! This is luxury Lake Minnetonka living!"

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578 Harrington Rd., Wayzata

Specs: 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 5,842 square feet, built in 1975
Original asking price: $11 million (June 20, 2018)
Sale price: $5.75 million (April 4)
Listing pitch: "Perfectly poised on 3.16 acres of Wayzata Bay's Lookout Point w/over 550 of shoreline, this all stone & brick lake estate affords a sense of warmth, romance, old world charm & architectural detail which flows from the exterior in thru the interior. Captivating lake views span west to east filing the home w/magical views all-day. A private pool oasis & multiple other lakeside seating areas seamlessly connect the home to the lake. A guest house offers add'l room for family, friends or caretakers."

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18320 Breezy Point Rd., Woodland

Specs: 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 5,704 square feet, built in 2018
Original asking price: $4.2 million (June 27)
Sale price: $4.4 million (July 8)
Listing pitch: "Beautifully built by Denali, this east coast influenced masterpiece offers high-end finishes, an open floorplan, grand spaces with vaulted ceilings and expansive main level master wing. Enjoy breathtaking water views from almost every room, intricate woodwork details and walls of windows showcasing the private tranquil setting on Woolsey Pond. The lower level was designed for entertaining with a spacious family room and indoor/outdoor bar. This incredible property boasts 500’+ of shoreline including two 30’ covered boat slips!"

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18070 Breezy Point Rd., Woodland

Specs: 5 bedrooms, 0 bathrooms (???), 4,253 square feet, built in 1920
Original asking price: $4.6 million (June 1, 2018)
Sale price: $4 million (April 9)
Listing pitch: "Long time owner selling 4+ acres on Wayzata Bay. Lake Minnetonka estate complete with tennis court and one of the most charming boat houses on the lake. Property is being sold as a building site and includes two lots (one lake). Panoramic views and excellent hard sand lakeshore."

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All photos courtesy of property listings.