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Buyer drops bid for historic Frank Lloyd Wright house

Whether you're dealing with a residence or commercial building, the sale of real property can pose some serious challenges for buyers and sellers alike, especially if there is a push to make the property a historic landmark. That is the case for the home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son and daughter-in-law.

Encino residents may have seen pictures of the David and Gladys Wright House. With a previously listed price of $2.3 million, it has a distinctive spiral structure, and the current owner's real estate agent claims to have witnessed people "literally shake they are so moved by the home."

But the latest sale of the property, which is located in Phoenix, recently fell through. According to a statement given to the Los Angeles Times, the prospective buyer withdrew his bid "for personal and business reasons."

That means the home is on the market again, and it will have to be purchased before Dec. 4 if the owner wants to avoid having the City of Phoenix designate the property as a historically preserved location. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is in favor of giving the property such a designation, which would protect the building from being significantly altered or destroyed.

However, some sellers and owners oppose historical designation because it limits the possible uses of the property. This kind of dispute is common in communities where preservationists want to protect a famous or well-loved building. No matter what side of the fight you're on, Californians going through a similar dispute would do well to consult with a real estate attorney to cover all the legal bases and avoid costly litigation.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, "Buyer ends pursuit of embattled Frank Lloyd Wright house in Arizona," Michael Muskal, Nov. 12, 2012

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