Back, Slashed: Ken and Linda Lay’s Huntingdon Penthouse

Good news for those of you saddened by the disappearance of Ken and Linda Lay’s gargantuan 33rd-floor Upper Kirby condo from the MLS rolls at the end of last month: Your opportunity to watch the asking price on the castle-in-the-sky penthouse float down to earth is back! Where had it gone? “It appears the Huntingdon high-rise condo at 2121 Kirby was removed from the multiple listing service for a few days so it could be relisted without showing that the price was reduced . . . again,” reports the HBJ‘s Jennifer Dawson. “That seems to be a common trick of the trade with Realtors.”


One benefit of the relisting: No “Reduced 50.04%” tag will magically appear next to the property when it appears on HAR. But that is, in fact, how far the price has plunged — from the property’s debut in a private sale in the fall of 2009. The 12,827-sq.-ft. penthouse, which comes complete with 9 bathrooms, 10 parking spaces, and 6 elevators, has been owned by Linda Lay since the 2006 death of her husband, the founder and former CEO of Enron.

17 Comment

  • Sounds like that agent was cooking the MLS books to make it look like something that it isn’t. Mrs. Lay picks her agents like she picks her husbands.

  • I vote for Dana-X as Comment of the Day. That was spot on!

  • Second vote here!

  • Ken Lay is rolling over in his urn. And by urn I mean hammock.

  • Hey, that converts to $5,274,226 Cayman Island Dollars, or $7,573,181 Swiss Francs. Probably some of the Enron funds are still laying around in one of those places. No point, just having fun with the site.

  • Is Linda Lay still living there? Isn’t that the last property she still owns?

  • This place looks like Bill Baldwin’s wine cellar.

  • It is not the penthouse

  • too many demons in that place to sell and lordy lordy the monthly alone would break even a wealthy buyer..most of the rich old guard in Houston..have moved on to
    another planet…I see an auction coming down the pike….lol

  • As #9 mentioned, even if someone were to give you the property… the taxes, insurance, and homeowners payment would be way way more than most mortals would be able to afford.
    I’d love to have something like that some day but no matter what my income/wealth, I couldn’t see going that nuts. I’d be happy with a “modest” home on/in Courtlandt place.

  • (Oops, the rest of my comment after the URL vanished).
    I was going to say that place would do me very well, thank you very much :) And even though that place is almost lined up against my back fence, I assume their monthly property tax payment is more than my mortgage payment :(
    But yeah, bonus, since it’s almost right behind me, I could (almost) toss my stuff right over my back fence and save on movers. The grass really IS greener on the other side. I’ve seen it! :)

  • I’ve seen the same trick of removing a listing and then putting it back up later to avoid the stigma of a price decrease, in my own rather modest neighborhood. However, I know that sometimes listings just expire. If a property is re-listed after expiration, does the re-listed price have to show any price decrease from the original listing?

  • On the agent side of HAR, you can see the different listing amounts. So while you might avoid the big red arrow showing a decrease, any agent can still see the pricing history.
    What a lot of agents do is lower their places by a few bucks a day, that way people with searches setup for a given location will keep being notified of their listing (since a price change will kick in a notice to be sent out).
    I know it works as I just RAISED the price of a rental on HAR and got a ton of calls. Likely because anyone that has an alert setup for my rental type just go “re-alerted” about the apartment.

  • @Cody interesting, when I was looking for a house and had HAR alerts set up I noticed the same houses I wasn’t interested in the first time showing up over & over & over. It’s nice to know agents have found their equivalent of “ORDER NOW CHEAP V1AGRA ONLINE!” emails.

  • @John: And HAR, if you do it enough (say, lower by $1 every day), will send you a warning e-mail. (FYI, I haven’t done this but I know someone that has).
    This has annoyed me too, so I suggested to HAR that they could simply NOT send out properties that were just changed in price if the change was less than x%. That would let agents change whatever they want (as HAR shouldn’t tell agents how or by what amount they can modify their price) but nothing would be sent unless the drop was substantial.
    So rather than HAR telling agents not to drop the price by a minimal amount just to hope a ride on the update train, they need to simply not allow such small updates to be sent out in the first place. Problem solved.
    Bleh, anyway, I have a few larger issues with HAR currently so while this one is on my list, its near the bottom :)

  • For someone who went on NBC News and proclaimed that she and her husband had lost everything the way everyone else had it certainly is odd how she still seems to have quite a bit left. Here’s hoping she she loses what she has left. The way everyone else did. Oh, true, some got some pennies back on the dollar. Perhaps the same formula should be used to “set the price” on her “pied-a-terre.” The feds should have “escorted” her out of the building the way they did Ruth Madoff. And grabbed the mink coat off her back as she headed out the door. But of course Ruth Madoff probably didn’t have “the goods” on so many the way Linda Lay does. It’s not who you know that counts in life. It’s what you “have on them” that counts.

    As for HAR if TREC really cared about consumers in this state, it would have found a way to ban NAR from the state of Texas. Of course, well, they have “the goods” on quite a few as well.

  • Today I’m working on my house to put it on the market. Enron and MCI cleaned out my retirement and I can no longer afford to pay the taxes on a home that I own outright. So I’m on a ladder, in my 60’s, painting and praying that I don’t fall because I can’t afford medical insurance either. I received a check from the Enron Victim Trust a day ago in the amount of $194.90. The check is from the SEC v J P Morgan Chase & Co. Distribution Fund. It is an insult and I wish I didn’t have to accept it. They paid me 10 cents on the dollar on an eligible loss of $1,994.75. That is so far from the actual amount I lost that it brings tears. So there are no clever comebacks from me on this subject. I’m trying to survive.