Gillispie's house goes up for sale

bfortune@herald-leader.comMay 27, 2009 

Here's a chance that doesn't come along very often, to buy a house owned by a University of Kentucky basketball coach.

Former UK coach Billy Gillispie's 11,800-square-foot house in the Forest Hill subdivision in Jessamine County went on the market Tuesday for $1.5 million.

"It's a heck of a house for the price," said listing agent Whitney Pannell, a Realtor with Prudential A. S. de Movellan Real Estate.

The house sits on a one-acre lot and has six bedrooms, six full baths and two half-baths. Unusual features include a circular stone staircase and kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the 12-foot ceiling.

The house was brand new when Gillispie bought it for $1.4 million two years ago. It was fully furnished when he bought it, and Pannell said the coach will probably sell it furnished.

Squelching rumors that the university might take the house and sell it as part of Gillispie's severance package, Pannell said, "It's not the university selling the house. It's him."

Gillispie continues to live in the house. When Pannell met with him Tuesday to sign a contract, "We didn't talk about his future plans. I didn't ask."

She recalled when Gillispie was looking for a house to buy, he was very choosy. "I showed him some 60 odd houses," she said. "I showed him property at 7 o'clock in the morning, and at 9 o'clock at night," she said. "I just worked around his schedule."

After three months of searching, Pannell was getting frantic. She showed him one house built by Jonathan Isaac of Isaac Construction. "Jonathan volunteered he would sell his own personal residence," she said.

She took the coach to see Isaac's house, and it was immediately a perfect fit. "He made an offer pretty much right then," she said.

Pannell said she didn't know exactly what attracted Gillispie to that particular house except "he wanted some privacy, something big enough for the team. And this just fit the bill."

Pannell has her work cut out for her. Lexington appraiser Ben Campbell said in the last twelve months, just three houses listed on multiple listing service have sold for a million dollars or more in Jessamine County. There are 22 on the market.

Reach Beverly Fortune at (859) 231-3251 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3251

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