A Closer Look: Sycamore Valley Ranch, Formerly Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, Still Seeks Buyer


Sycamore Valley Ranch, formerly Neverland Ranch

Got $67 million to spare?

Nearly a decade after Michael Jackson’s death, his world-famous Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, is still looking for a buyer. It’s been on the market for three years.

The King of Pop bought the estate in 1987 for $19.5 million, although some sources say he paid $30 million for the 2,700-acre property. Lavish, magical, alive, and cheerful, the 22-structure estate was straight out of a dream fantasyland. It featured a gorgeous garden, a five-foot waterfall, numerous pools, an incredibly massive zoo that kept exotic animals, and a magical Disney-themed train station.

In a 1993 interview with Oprah, the King of Pop revealed the Neverland Ranch represented the happy childhood he always dreamed of. When he started performing at the tender age of 5, he quickly rose to fame and amassed an incredible fortune–but all of that cost him his childhood.

But the Neverland Ranch wasn’t just fantasyland for kids; it attracted famous celebrities too. It hosted iconic events that made history, including the $2 million wedding of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky in 1991.

No, it wasn’t all fun and happy—and the entire world knew. When Jackson faced sexual abuse allegations in 1993, the entire Neverland Ranch was famously subjected to police investigation and public scrutiny.

It spiraled down from there. The estate faced foreclosure in 2008, forcing Jackson to sign it over to Sycamore Valley Ranch Co., a venture he partly owned.

New Paradise, New Price…No Buyer?

In 2015, the Neverland Ranch was rebranded Sycamore Valley Ranch—originally with a $100 million price tag.

Two years later and with no takers, the property’s asking price was dropped to $67 million.

Following millions of dollars’ worth of renovations within those years, observers say the Neverland Ranch looks nearly nothing reminiscent of the Peter Pan-inspired paradise that it used to be. That’s not to say it isn’t spectacular, though. Today, the luxurious property’s best features include:

  • a four-acre lake with waterfalls, a private beach, boat stops, swans
  • a main residence resembling a European country atmosphere with five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two guesthouses, a movie theatre, a dance studio, a tennis court, a 14-foot pool with high dive
  • a ranch that keeps a llama, lambs, pigs, and other animals (replacing the zoo and its exotic wildlife)
  • the Disney-themed train station that is kept as an iconic attraction

Real estate experts have said while the property is nothing less than magnificent, closing a deal on the hefty $100M original price was a long shot. Historically, no other property in the area of that amount has ever been successfully sold. The most expensive, to date, was the Bel Air estate in Los Angeles which was formerly owned by Kenny Rogers. It cost $46.3 million.

With the 33% price cut, it remains to be seen if the Neverland Ranch, now the Sycamore Valley Ranch, can mesmerize anyone as much as it did the former King of Pop. Or perhaps stir their interest in the estate because of the fact.

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