Go inside the most expensive home in New Hampshire, which is being sold by a family of entrepreneurs for $25.8M

And yes of course it has a secret passage

TRD New York /
Jul.July 31, 2016 10:00 AM

The most expensive home currently for sale in the state of New Hampshire is actually three houses in one.

Owned by the family of Bob Bahre, the New Hampshire International Speedway founders who sold their stake in the company for $340 million in 2008, the property stretches over 16.5 acres on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.

The property encompasses two main homes — one for Bob and his wife Sandy, and one for their son, Gary — that total more than 63,000 square feet of space. There’s also a third structure, an “entertaining barn” where the family has toasted Nascar drivers before big races and where Gary has hosted prominent economists during a summit he puts on each year.

Though the property has had a significant price chop since it first came to market at $49 million in 2014, the current $25.8 million price tag still makes it the most expensive home in the state. The Bahre family doesn’t think much of the title, though.

“It’s kind of odd to think that I was fortunate enough to live in what’s considered the most valuable house in the state,” Gary Bahre told Business Insider. “My mom and dad gave me a lot of opportunities, and I’m grateful for that.”

Kristin Claire of LandVest and Christie’s International Real Estate has the listing.

The homes sit on the very edge of the 28-mile Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton, New Hampshire.

The family custom-built the homes over the span of roughly five years. They bought the land for just $2.5 million in the ’90s. “At that time, my parents and I owned the speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, and we were really active in the business there. That’s why we wanted to buy a space nearby in the first place,” Gary said. “My parents were hopeful that I would have a family of my own, so they pushed me to build my own home. But my house requires more animation than a 53-year-old bachelor could give it.”

In total, there are 12 bedrooms, 26 bathrooms, and more than 63,000 square feet of living space spread across the two houses. Gary’s home is almost an exact replica of the home belonging to S. Prestley Blake, the founder of the restaurant chain Friendly’s. Gary’s grandfather used to live down the street from Blake. “I would go over to the house with my grandfather and see it up close,” Gary said. “I was just nuts for it. This house is almost identical, except I reconfigured the garage. He was flattered that we appreciated it.”

The “entertaining barn” has been the site of many a family party. Noted economists such as Nouriel Roubini and Marc Faber have dined here during a weekend-long event Gary hosts once a year. Once the home sells, Gary’s plan is to change the economic summit’s location to his home in St. Bart’s.

Perhaps Gary’s favorite feature, however, is the secret staircase that lies behind a bookcase in the library. Those in the know can access it by entering a secret code inside the front cover of one of these books.

Gary’s parents, on the other hand, went for something completely new with their design, emphasizing symmetrical features. Their home has two more bedrooms than their son’s, and its living areas are slightly more formal.

The entrance is somewhat dramatic.

“Overall my parents’ house is much more formal and a little larger,” Gary said. “Theirs has two apartments, one for a couple that helps them around the house, and another for guests.”

“Living in this house is a great experience,” Gary said. “For the right person, the right family, the right lifestyle — the next people who live here are going to absolutely love it.”

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