MARCH 18, 2014
Longtime Realtor David Viehman had a busy week recently, switching from one big Jackson firm to another and while he was doing it closing what’s thought to be the biggest house sale ever in Teton Village.
The sale was of a house in the Ellen Creek area built by the late John Walton, an heir to the Wal-Mart business. The sale price wasn’t disclosed but the house had been advertised at $12.5 million. Viehman said the biggest sale he knew of at the village was for $11.5 million.
The move was to Re/Max Obsidian Real Estate, where he’ll join owner Brett McPeak, a longtime friend. Viehman left Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, a Christie’s associate, where he had been for five years of his 22 years in the business in Jackson.
“I’m making the move to benefit my clients more than anything,” he said. “I can get back to making sure they’re taken care of.”
Viehman said he felt Christie’s required too much of his time in handling the corporate demands of the organization. He thinks Obsidian will let him follow his main interest, the real estate and his clients. He estimated he spent half his time at Christie’s on things like training and marketing.
Obisidan will, he said, “let me put all my effort into my clients.”
Losing the corporate duties will also give him more free time to enjoy “the things that are why you live in Jackson.”
Moving with Viehman will be the Hole Report, his newsletter in which he tracks the numbers of the local real estate business and which he bills as the most complete effort of its kind in the area. Viehman records sales through government records and follow ups with sellers and buyers, not relying on the Multiple Listing Service.
Staying behind will be Viehman’s daughter, Devon Viehman-Wheeldon, who after only nine years in the business is president of the Teton County Board of Realtors and was Wyoming realtor of the year in 2013.
His daughter has “done very well in that office and “she’s working her way up” in the business and is comfortable at Christie’s, Viehman said. “I’m not working my way out, but I’d rather not have the responsibilities.”
The Ellen Creek house had hardly been used since it was completed in 2007. But once it went on the market it was available for only about 10 weeks before it was sold, despite its big size and presumably big price.
The 8,600-square-foot house was designed by Jackson architect Danny Williams and built by Dan Schou Construction.
The house has more than a million dollars worth of windows, and nearly as much was spent on a big stone bridge that crosses the creek that separates the house from the road. Also included is recyled white oak flooring, siding from demolished railway bridges that once spanned Great Salt Lake, and a driveway of cobblestones dug up and shipped from Europe.
There’s a 1906 cabin on the property that was refurbished as a guest house, Viehman said.
Viehman and his daughter shared the listing. The new owners were brought to the table by Rob DesLauriers, the former ski racer who has become a big producer for Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty.
The Realtors aren’t saying who bought the Walton house. Records list an East Coast LLC as the new owner.