Sports Stars: From Homebuyers to Renters?


NBA star Kevin Martin (pictured left), who was traded by the Sacramento Kings to the Houston Rockets in February, just received a notice of default on his California home, even though he is set to earn at least $10 million this year.

The Rockets guard, who missed his first payment on the $1.5 million loan in June, according to Foreclosures.com, is just one of many athletes who have lost on real estate due to either bad investments, or their frequent relocation.

In the past year or so, former NBA forwards Antoine Walker and Derrick Coleman, who earned nearly $200 million combined in their long basketball careers, filed for bankruptcy. Bad real estate deals were largely to blame, reported AOL News. Coleman, who made more than $87 million playing basketball, picked a bad time to invest in Detroit real estate.

"Chronic overallocation into real estate" is the top reason professional athletes go broke, according to Sports Illustrated. Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are broke.
Although athletes sink money into mega-mansions like Tom Brady's custom-build, or into vacation real estate deals, such as the one San Antonio Spurs basketball star Tony Parker (pictured below) made when he recently purchased an apartment in the luxury Du Parc Kempinski Private Residences above Lake Geneva, Switzerland, some are just hit hard by their primary home investment due to the nature of their careers.

Just as quickly as pro athletes can be traded from one team to another, they can leave a home they purchased behind and scramble to find a place to live in their new town.

It's not easy for anyone to pack up an entire home in three days, let alone find a new place to live in that time frame. Given the frequency of their moves, maybe athletes without long-term contracts should just be chronic renters rather than own real estate. Some athletes feel that way.

"I'll never buy again," said the veteran Nets guard Keyon Dooling, who rents the downtown Orlando condominium he bought in 2005 to a Magic player, reported the New York Times. "That was a learning experience. I'll never buy again as far as where I'm playing. It's not a good idea, because you can never predict how long you're going to be in a situation. You could be stuck with a piece of property that you never go to."

Some players wind up back in the city they left, in the house they were trying to sell. It happened with the new Devils left wing Dean McAmmond, who left and later returned to Calgary. Jets kicker Jay Feely bought his Upper Saddle River, N.J., home as a Giant in 2005 then returned a few years later as a Jet when it had not managed to find a buyer.

"Walked in, took the 'For Sale' sign down and moved right back in," said Feely, who had previously purchased in Tampa, Fla., and Atlanta and said he sold for a profit each time.

Just the other week Randy Moss (pictured left) bolted Gillette Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings so suddenly that he's yet to put his $1.25 million crib in Lincoln, R.I., up for sale. But soon we just might see the 3,846-square-foot home, set on four acres of woodland with a large in-ground pool, hit the market.

There are real estate agents who focus on trying to help make the transition easier for athletes. As soon as they see a trade deadline go across or a free agent pen a deal, athlete-focused agents pounce to help the baller with all their relocation needs.

"Sport star relocation is not just about ... an athlete buying and selling a multi-million dollar home. There's a lot more too it," said Bill Stubblefield, of Ali van Westernberg Real Estate Partners, who has helped several athletes relocate. Relocation services is about "helping the kids find schools, their wife find doctors, getting their cars to the new city. We know that as hectic as a professional sports life can be, we have to help them accomplish their goals."

Here are some athletes currently trying to unload their homes.


Kevin Martin

For Kevin Martin, a foreclosure is unlikely to happen, as the 27-year-old is pursuing a short sale on the home at 2582 Clubhouse Drive in Rocklin, his attorney Michael Hackard told the Sacramento Bee. "He's not walking away," he said. "We've got a certain dispute with the lender."

In the meantime, the four-bedroom, four-bath, Mediterranean-style home went on the market for $1.1 million about two weeks ago. The 2004-built home with 4,955 square feet and a stucco exterior has an elevator in the garage to lift one to the kitchen above; the lower level has private quarters for a housekeeper. It also overlooks a golf course.


Ted Lilly

Pitcher Ted Lilly, whom the Chicago Cubs traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July, hopes to unload his nearly 5,500-square-foot Chicago mansion without a formal listing.

In a brief interview with Chicago Breaking Sports, Ryan D'Aprile of D'Aprile Realty said that the pitcher is trying to keep the listing confidential, so it is not yet on the Multiple Listing Service. Agent Mike Lavorato of D'Aprile is handling the $2.1 million sale, Lilly's business agent Larry O'Brien, told HousingWatch.

Lilly's brick and limestone home sits on a corner lot just west of Wrigley Field and has six bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, a wine cellar, a large gourmet kitchen, two roof decks, an attached two-and-a-half-car heated garage and a private rear yard. He paid $2.15 million to purchase the home in early 2007. It was built in 2006.


Adrian Beltre

Boston Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre has listed his Bradbury, Calif. home
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for $19.8 million. The seven-bedroom, 17-bath home has a 2,500-square-foot rec room outfitted as a batting cage, reports The Los Angeles Times. Beltre, 31, played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1998 to 2004. He was the 2010 MVP for the Red Sox.

His 16,600-square-foot Mediterranean sits off a circular driveway in a 24-hour gate-guarded community. His four-acre property also has a 2,500-square-foot guesthouse with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, as well as a 1,300-square-foot cabana with a kitchen. There's also an infinity pool, a tennis court, a basketball court, two tees and two putting greens with sand traps.


Cristobal Huet

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet has listed his 5-bedroom townhouse condo (pictured below) in a 60-story River North high-rise for $3 million, says The Chicago Tribune.

Huet, 35, and his wife bought the 4,771-square-foot unit in 2008 and equipped the solarium with a hockey rink. The home also has four full baths, two half-baths, a media room, a family room, three fireplaces made of travertine and quartz, and radiant floor heat.

"It is an excellent home for entertaining from the large living room out to the private teak-lined deck with seven-person hot tub, yet provides wonderful privacy for living quarters as well," listing agent India Whiteside Tougne of At Properties told HousingWatch.

Still trying to decide which is right for you? Here are some
AOL Real Estate guides to help you no matter whether you choose to buy or rent:

More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
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Find foreclosures in your area.
Get property tax help from our experts.

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