Industries Commercial Real Estate

Auction bidders bring the bacon

Historic Gwaltney home in Smithfield sells for $478,500

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Print this page by Paula C. Squires

Buying a historic home isn’t for everyone. Yet when a stunning example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture comes up for sale at an auction, it draws interest. Throw in the name of P. D. Gwaltney Jr., and it’s no wonder bidders lined up on a rainy day in June to have a shot at owning the Smithfield home. 

Gwaltney, who built the 5,782-square-foot house as a wedding gift for his bride in 1901, developed Gwaltney Foods into a successful pork-producing company that was purchased by Smithfield Foods in 1981. 

The home, for sale on and off for more than a decade, had been listed at a price as high as $2.5 million and as low as $699,000.  It sold at auction for $435,000.  Added to that was a 10 percent buyer’s premium, bumping the total cost to $478,500, says Linda Terry, the broker for the sale. Terry works out of the Richmond office of Tranzon, a real estate company active in the historic home sales market. “We sell lots of old houses in Richmond, but what made this unique was that it was preserved and authentic to just about perfection.”

From the framed wedding invitation of the Gwaltney wedding to a tall turret, gabled roof, stained glass, and ornate brass fittings, the property had all the touches of a period home listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  “Whoever owns it has to be committed to preserving it as a national landmark,” says Terry. “That takes some additional effort. “Historic Gwaltney home in Smithfield sells for $478,500

The buyers are a married couple in their 40s. They were drawn to the home because of its soaring ceilings — the husband is six feet, nine inches tall — and its “amazing wow factor.” 

While the couple — who wished to remain anonymous since the sale has not yet closed — is a bit concerned about the maintenance, they are looking forward to living in Smithfield and updating the kitchen.  Overall, they think they got a good deal — a home with a history,  currently assessed at $884,000.

See photo gallery below. Photos courtesy Tranzon Premier Properties.

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