NASCAR

Racer finds Kiawah deal;Kevin Harvick buys home for $6.4M, nearly $2M less than previous sale

FOX Sports Katy Stech, kstech@postandcourier.com, The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
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After getting a relative bargain on a $6.4 million Kiawah Island mansion, you'd be happy too.

NASCAR superstar driver Kevin Harvick - known facetiously in racing circles as "Happy" - bought a European-style, oceanfront home that was constructed from antique building materials and once held the record as the island's most expensive home.

The four-bedroom estate at 99 Surfsong Road, which sold for nearly $2 million less than what it fetched three years ago, makes Harvick, 34, the newest addition to the Charleston area's budding NASCAR racing community.

Harvick, a North Carolina resident, plans to use the property as a vacation home, a spokesman said Friday.

So far this year he has posted impressive numbers with three wins and $5.3 million in earnings. His record has made him a top contender to win the 10-race, season-closing "Chase for the Sprint Cup" championship now under way.

The Surfsong purchase, recorded Wednesday with the Charleston County's Register Mesne Conveyance office, comes with a little bit of history.

The home was built in 2002 with 14 tons of antique building materials shipped from Europe - ancient white columns imported from the French Provencal countryside, limestone fireplaces from aging castles and kitchen floor tiles from Italy.

The previous owners, Thomas and Sandra Rouse of Texas, consulted an antiques expert before they purchased it as a second home in 2007. They bought the property shortly after Thomas Rouse retired as chief executive of TransFirst, a credit card processing and payment technology company.

The Rouses bought the home for $8.4 million, easily topping the list of Kiawah's most expensive homes at the time.

The record was shattered earlier this year when a 9,900-square-foot oceanfront spread on Ballybunion Drive fetched $14 million. The buyer was a company managed by Chicago-based beverage distributor Jude Reyes.

Harvick bought his Kiawah getaway with his wife, DeLana, for $1.975 million less than what the Rouses paid. Kiawah Island Real Estate agent Tricia Flanagan, who represented the sellers, could not be reached for comment Friday.

The Lowcountry already can claim some neighbors from the world of NASCAR.

This spring, Brooke Gordon, who is divorced from racing star Jeff Gordon, purchased a historic mansion at 37 King St. for $6.5 million.

Also, retired driver "Swervin'" Ernie Irvan and wife, Kim, own a 49-acre Wadmalaw Island estate that the onetime Daytona 500 winner bought in 2006 for $1.27 million.

Kyle Petty and his wife, Patty, are longtime homeowners in the gated Wild Dunes community on Isle of Palms. The oceanside house, which they bought in 1992 for $870,000, was rebuilt after it burned down in 1999.

Reach Katy Stech at 937-5549.

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