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Vinny Testaverde's Odessa estate is back on the market — for nearly $4 million

The lakefront Odessa estate of former NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde is on the market for $5 million. [Courtesy of Engel & Völkers]
Published Jun. 10

TAMPA — Will somebody buy Vinny Testaverde's house? Please.

After failing to sell through a highly touted auction, the lakefront Odessa estate of the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is back on the market. This time the price is $3.95 million.

"You can't build a home like that today for what we have it listed for,'' Evan Pedone, the listing agent, said Monday.

The April 9 auction generated some offers although none high enough. The main problem, as Pedone sees it, is that most people who can afford a luxury home don't want it in northern Hillsborough County.

"People who have $4.5 million or $5 million have a lot of options,'' he said. "A lot gravitate to Davis Islands or Harbour Island or the Gulf of Mexico. We're competing against something on the gulf or on the bay.''

Pedone said the house has been marketed internationally, including through ads in the Wall Street Journal, and continues to attract attention. A Chinese man who owns a company in Beijing toured it this weekend, Pedone said.

READ MORE: Vinny Testaverde can't sell his lakefront home, so it's now going to auction

Testaverde and wife Mitzi paid $4.55 million to build the house eight years ago, then spent $1 million on renovations and $455,000 to buy an adjoining lot. With only one child left at home and the other two out of the house, the couple now want to downsize and concentrate on charitable work that for Testaverde includes golf tournaments.

"It's not like they're making money on it,'' Pedone said of the 12,323-square-foot, six bedroom, 11-bathroom house. "But there comes a point when you need something a little bit simpler. They're not having big extravagances for 400 or 500 people.''

Pedone said he's spoken with developers who estimate that replicating a house that size based on today's prices would cost about $4.4 million. "And that doesn't include the tennis court, or the putting green or the dock,'' Pedone said. The home also has a gym, movie theater, dance studio, wine cellar and sits on enough acreage on which to ride a horse.

READ MORE: Ex-WWE star Chris Jericho buys Odessa estate for $3.255 million

Since the Testaverdes put the house up for sale more than two years ago, the price has varied from $7 million to a minimum $2.5 million bid at auction. The Hillsborough County property appraiser's office values the estate at $3.154 million although appraiser values typically are lower than what a home might actually sell for.

The Testaverdes also own a condo in the Tides Beach Club overlooking the gulf in North Redington Beach. In 1998, they paid $425,000 for the 1,630-square-foot unit that is now worth at least $775,268, Pinellas property appraiser records show.

"They love that place,'' Pedone said of the condo, although he added that the Testaverdes are likely to make their new home in Tampa when — or if — they ever sell the Odessa house.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

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