Who Pays $1 Million for a Home?

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Apr. 18, 2011 12:00 am  

Tracy and Pete Yuan bought one of the 22 Pulaski County homes that sold for more than $1 million in 2010.

  • On Feb. 26, Steven and Veronica Molpus bought their $1.35 million, 5,678-SF home in west Little Rock's Valley Falls neighborhood. The sellers were Michael and Jerene Montgomery. The Montgomerys bought the property along with an adjoining lot from VFE Inc., led by Rick Ferguson, in August 2006 for $775,000 and mortgaged it for $1.5 million in December 2007.

Steven Molpus is an oral surgeon and owns Central Arkansas Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center in North Little Rock.

  • On Sept. 27, Noel Strauss, through his Acadian Trust, bought a 6,196-SF home in Little Rock's prestigious Edgehill neighborhood. He acquired the home from Michael and Suzanne Brown for $1.82 million. The residence was previously linked with a February 2007 mortgage of $775,000. The Browns bought the remodeled home for $1.97 million in 2007.

Strauss is a managing director at Stephens Capital Partners LLC, which is the merchant banking affiliate of Stephens Inc., the Little Rock investment banking firm. He also managed Stephens Inc.'s Transaction Development Group, where he oversaw both the mergers-and-acquisitions and private placement practices. Since joining Stephens in 1994, Strauss has handled transactions totaling more than $30 billion. Strauss is married to Joan Early, a former anchor of "Good Morning Arkansas" and "Family First" reporter for KATV, Channel 7.

  • Joe Courtright took his time finding his home. The president and CEO of Stephen LaFrance's USA Drug Stores Inc. of Little Rock looked at more than 100 homes, he said in an email to Arkansas Business.

"I was fortunate because I wasn't in a hurry to purchase and also did not have a house that I needed to sell in a down market," Courtright wrote.

He found what he wanted, a 4,930-SF home in Edgehill in October.

"I liked the area, but did not want to go through a major renovation," he said. "Fortunately, the previous owners had recently completed a very nice and tasteful renovation."

Courtright bought the house for $1.27 million from Dr. Robert Jaquiss, the former chief of cardiovascular surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science, and his wife, Cheryl. The Jaquisses purchased the home in December 2005 for $1.2 million. It was linked to a December 2005 mortgage of $960,000 and a May 2006 mortgage of $250,000. Dr. Jaquiss left UAMS for Duke University in Durham, N.C., in September.

  • In March, Dr. Jeffrey Neuhauser purchased a 7,032-SF home in the Chenal Circle neighborhood of west Little Rock's Chenal Valley development.

Neuhauser's practices at Arkansas Cardiology in North Little Rock. He received his medical degree in 1987 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Neuhauser bought the home for $1.35 million from Mary Pickering, who bought the lot for $115,000 in March 2002.

  • On March 12, Marilynn and Dr. Robert Porter Jr. acquired a $1.28 million home near the Shadowlawn neighborhood near the County Club of Little Rock. The couple bought the 4,000-SF residence from Wayne Moore Construction Co., which bought the property in September 2008 for $995,000.

Dr. Porter is an orthopedic surgeon and received his medical license in Arkansas in 1978. Dr. Porter retired about seven years ago from practicing at Orthoarkansas Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Little Rock.

  • In May, Martin and Patricia Rhodes downsized from a 5,000-SF home near the Country Club of Little Rock to a 4,211-SF home just a few blocks away. The couple acquired a $1.03 million home from Benjamin McMinn and Betty Turner. The property was bought in 2007 for $940,000. The home was linked with a pair of May 2007 mortgages totaling $750,000.

Marty Rhodes is the president and CEO of Stephens Insurance LLC of Little Rock. He founded Rhodes & Associates Inc. in 1986 and then sold it in 2002 to Brown & Brown Inc., a publicly traded brokerage based in Florida. He joined Stephens in 2005. He also is on the board of directors of Arvest Bank of Fayetteville.

On the same day the Rhodeses bought their home, they closed on the sale of their 5,000-SF home to David and Susan Matthews for $1 million. The Rhodeses bought the home in April 1992 for $125,000. The home was linked with an April 2009 mortgage of $417,000.

Susan Matthews said she was attracted to the house because of its location, layout and landscaping in the backyard.



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