Coupon clippers: Here’s a waterfront deal

Want a gigantic mansion but just can’t stand paying list price?

The owners of a 15,000-square-foot waterfront beauty in Florida want to talk to you.

Rich Ricciani and his wife, Linda, know how important it is to make every dollar count in this down economy, so they’ve issued a coupon for $1 million off their European-style manse, where the kitchen alone takes up 650 square feet.

The seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom home in Fort Myers was completed in March by Rich Ricciani, a retired CPA who has spent the last five years building speculative houses. It is listed for just under $7 million, but you can get it for just under $6 million if you’ve got the coupon -- and respond before the end of July.


The inspiration for the coupon “was just something that evolved,” Ricciani said. “My broker and I were sitting around and talking and wanted to try something different in the marketing plan.” His real estate agent, Lani Belisle of VIP Realty Group, credits him with the idea.

In December, he registered the domain name for The coupon made its debut via newspaper ads about a week ago.

The response from potential buyers, Ricciani said, has been “lukewarm,” but he points out that it’s only the first week.

“It has feet and it’s starting to run,” he said. “It has created a heck of a lot of buzz all over the place.”


Ricciani, 62, won’t say how much it cost to build the grand house, which has 8,500 square feet of air-conditioned space and 6,500 square feet of covered patios, garages and the like. It has two-story windows, and the great room ceiling is 26 feet high.

“All my real estate profits from the last four to five years have been poured into the house,” he said. “All our retirement money is in the house.”

The couple are offering seller financing. This was to be their retirement home, but because of changes in their circumstances and the economy they decided to sell.

Rich Ricciani is hoping the coupon will get him out of the doghouse.

“My wife was trying to tell me that a 15,000-square-foot house is too big for two people,” he said. “I didn’t believe her.”

But during construction he had to use his cellphone to find the contractor when they were both working on site.

“He’d be in the master bedroom and I’d be in the garage,” Ricciani said. “That’s when I knew it was too big.”