Northwest Arkansas' Most Expensive Home Sales of 2021

The numbers for 2021 are stunning.

After a record year in 2020 that saw 64 residential homes sell for $1 million or more, northwest Arkansas catapulted over those robust numbers in 2021. Nearly 100 seven-figure homes were sold in Benton County alone last year, and the two counties combined for 125 $1 million-plus sales, nearly doubling the previous year.

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“I don’t know the exact numbers, but I do know in 2020 there were more $1 million-plus homes sold than ever before in the history of northwest Arkansas; then 2021 pretty much blew those numbers out of the water,” said Tara Limbird, principal broker of Limbird Real Estate Group in Bentonville. “There used to be a way oversupply of higher-end homes because there weren’t many buyers. That is changing. It used to be that if you got a $1 million-plus listing, you said, ‘It might sell and, if it does sell, it may take a while.’

“Now those sell much quicker, and there isn’t much of an inventory.”

As usual, the most popular area for $1 million homes was the Pinnacle gated community in Rogers that surrounds the country club and golf course of the same name. Eighteen homes in Pinnacle sold for $1.25 million or more and 35 sold for at least $1 million.

Pinnacle’s $1 million sales in one year alone (35) outpaced Washington County’s total for the three-year span between 2018 and 2020 (34). The community saw four $1 million-plus homes sold each on Pinnacle Drive and Buckingham Lane.

In January, one couple sold their home on Pinnacle for $1.54 million and then bought the residence next door for $1.67 million.

Homes on Beaver Lake were also popular, with 10 selling for $1.25 million or more. The U.S. Corps of Engineers placed restrictions on new boat docks on Beaver Lake, adding value to homes with boat docks as part of the sale. Limbird said having a boat dock added about $100,000 to the value of a home on Beaver Lake.

“And they are selling because people will pay for a boat dock,” Limbird said.

A recent Skyline Report, sponsored by Arvest Bank, said the average price of a Benton County home was $345,000, up 55% from five years ago; the average Washington County home sold for $311,000, up 54.5% from five years ago.

“It is so amazing how fast those prices are skyrocketing up,” Limbird said.

“The market is strong,” said Melissa Sims, the principal broker of First Star Realty in Fayetteville. “There are not a lot of houses on the market. Honestly, there is not a lot on the market and when one goes up for sale, people want it. All of these homes have something special, whether it is the lake or the outdoor living or the golf course.”

Sims has firsthand experience in the market, having sold her own home on Beaver Lake in 2021 for $1.975 million, the 10th-most expensive sale of the year.

1. $3.5 Million

Buyer: Dr. Robert and Donna Middaugh
Seller: Julia Hudson Revocable Trust
Neighborhood: Pinnacle
Date Sold: March 25
Year Built: 1998
SF: 13,850

This was the most expensive home sold in the upscale gated community surrounding the Pinnacle Golf Course in Rogers. It has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, fountains, a koi pond and a swimming pool. It overlooks the 18th fairway of the golf course. Dr. Robert Middaugh is an anesthesiologist in Little Rock, and Donna Middaugh is the associate dean of nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Julia Hudson, who died in 2021, was the widow of Pinnacle and Hudson Foods founder Red Hudson.

1. $3.5 Million

Buyer: E Skillern Road LLC
Seller: Carl & Doris Yates Revocable Trust
Neighborhood: East Fayetteville
Date Sold: Nov. 29
Year Built: 1998
SF: 7,500

This three-level house sits on a 4-acre lot and has 12 acres around the home site. It has four bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms, a game room, four staircases and two patios. The buying LLC was organized by Katie Watson Bingham, a partner in the Friday Eldredge & Clark law firm in Little Rock, but no other ownership information was available. Carl Yates was an engineer and CEO of McGoodwin Williams & Yates in Fayetteville before his death at age 88 in 2018.

3. $2.9 Million

Buyer: Crystal Lands LLC
Sellers: Fritz and Frances Caroline Steiger
Neighborhood: Enfield Park
Date Sold: Sept. 15
Year Built: 2005
SF: 4,835

The two-story house sits on a half-acre. It has four bedrooms, 4½ bathrooms, a fireplace and a swimming pool. Crystal Lands is a subsidiary of Walton Enterprises in Bentonville. Fritz Steiger, a former Walmart Inc. executive and head of the Walton Foundation, is the founder of The Steiger Co.

4. $2.6 Million

Buyers: Jacob and Amanda Handy
Sellers: Stephan and Deborah Barnes
Neighborhood: Beaver Lake
Date Sold: March 15
Year Built: 2005
SF: 6,220

This home sits on 23 acres on a point at Beaver Lake and has an eight-slip boat dock and a nine-hole golf course. It has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Jacob and Amanda Handy are from Rancho Santa Fe, California. Stephan Barnes is an executive with Ozark Mountain Poultry, which is now a part of George’s Inc. in Springdale. This home was the third-most expensive home in 2017 when the Barneses paid $2.55 million for it.

5. $2.396 Million

Buyers: Candace Morgan Stanley and Justin James Aguilera
Seller: Gregory Smith Revocable Trust
Neighborhood: Pinnacle
Date Sold: April 9
Year Built: 2016
SF: 9,459

This four-bedroom, seven-bath house overlooks the 13th and 14th holes at Pinnacle Golf Course. It has five fireplaces, a saltwater pool and an all-marble master bathroom. Justin Aguilera is a businessman in California and two-time Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress. Greg Smith is a former Walmart Inc. executive who is now an executive vice president for Medtronic in Minneapolis.

6. $2.323 Million

Buyer: Erin Brady
Seller: Ronnie Brewer
Neighborhood: Candlewood
Date Sold: Oct. 27
Year Built: 2007
SF: 6,340

This two-story home with a basement has 6½ bathrooms, two fireplaces and a swimming pool. Erin Brady is a Fayetteville dentist. Ronnie Brewer is a former star basketball player at the University of Arkansas and played 10 seasons in the NBA.

7. $2.25 Million

Buyers: Grant and Ester Wetherill
Sellers: Dr. Dan and Jana Bradford
Neighborhood: Beau Chene Farms
Date Sold: July 30
Year Built: 2002
SF: 4,482

This four-bedroom, 4½-bath two-story home sits on 2.7 acres. It has four fireplaces and a pool. Dr. Dan Bradford is an oncologist and a founding member of Highlands Oncology Group. Grant Wetherill is the CEO of Game X Change Inc.

7. $2.25 Million

Buyer: John Charles & Karen Sue Boyce Revocable Living Trust
Seller: RS Boston Family Trust
Neighborhood: Tontitown Outlots
Date Sold: June 30
Year Built: 2018
SF: 7,373

The four-bedroom, seven-bathroom house sits on nearly 5 acres and has a swimming pool, an outdoor fireplace and kitchen and a fishing pond. John Charles and his wife, Karen, are the founders and owners of Airco, an HVAC company in Oklahoma. The seller was Scott Bull, a former University of Arkansas and NFL quarterback who was the CEO of Pace Industries.

9. $2.05 Million

Buyer: Gisel & Michael Ruiz Family Trust
Sellers: Matthew Dale and Chandra Ramdoolarie Holt
Neighborhood: Pinnacle
Date Sold: Oct. 1
Year Built: 2017
SF: 7,316

This five-bedroom, 4½-bath, two-story house sits on 0.7 acre and has a pool, a game room and fireplace. Gisel Ruiz was a longtime executive at Walmart Inc. before retiring as COO of Sam’s Club. Chandra Holt is a former Walmart executive who is CEO of Conn’s HomePlus.

10. $1.975 Million

Buyer: Savvy Homes LLC
Seller: Highview Rentals LLC
Neighborhood: Beaver Lake
Date Sold: Aug. 20
Year Built: 2009
SF: 3,688

This two-story residence is on Beaver Lake and has five bedrooms and 5½ bathrooms. It has a fireplace, a sunroom and a hot tub. Savvy Homes is led by Taylor Faught, the CEO of TRS Healthcare of Springdale, a traveling nurse provider. Highview Rentals is led by Melissa Sims, the principal broker of First Star Realty of Fayetteville.