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The Omaha house where Warren Buffett started his business is hitting the market

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The Omaha house that was the birthplace of Warren Buffett’s business is hitting the market just ahead of the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.

Buffett's old house (copy)

The house where Warren Buffett founded his company is listed at $799,000. 

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom house, which sits on the northwest corner of 52nd Street and Underwood Avenue, will be listed at $799,000 when it goes up for sale on April 26.

Buffett lived in the house with his first wife, Susan, and their small children in the mid-1950s.

In Alice Schroeder’s book, “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life,” Buffett said: “I rented a house at 5202 Underwood in Omaha for $175 a month. We’d live on $12,000 a year. My capital would grow.”

Buffetts in '56

Warren and Susan Buffett with daughter Susie and son Howard at the house in 1956. Buffett returned in 2019 and signed an arched door inside the home.

The home was built in 1918 by architect Frederick A. Henninger, who built a number of homes, apartments and commercial buildings in the early 1900s, said Jessica Dembinski, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.

In 2019, Buffett visited the Underwood house with two of his children, Susie and Howard.

During the visit, Buffett recalled the “little room” off the master bedroom as the workspace where, in his mid-20s, “the first partnership was started.”

Buffett then signed the arched door of the room, writing: “The birthplace of Buffett Associates May 1956.”

The door — and Buffett’s inscription — are still intact at the house, said Dembinski, who is the listing agent for the home.

20190609_biz_buffetthouse_pic_cm001 (copy)

The door to the office where Warren Buffett started Buffett Associates, which the legendary investor himself signed earlier in 2019.

James and Nancy Monen purchased the house in 2005 for $397,000, according to records from the Douglas County Assessor’s Office. They’re selling, Dembinski said, to take advantage of the current housing market. The sellers declined to talk for this article.

“They knew it was a good time to sell,” the real estate agent said.

Homebuyers in Omaha and across the country have been battling a tight housing market. At one point this year, fewer than 350 homes were on the market across all of Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

Dembinski said homes for sale still are in short supply. Homes that are listed sell fast and usually receive multiple offers.

Although interest already is high, Dembinski said the owners of the home at 52nd and Underwood won’t entertain any offers until the home is officially listed for showings. Dembinski has fielded several phone calls about the home, both from Omahans and people from across the country.

The 3,300-square-foot home will be listed ahead of the annual Berkshire shareholders meeting, which is April 30 at the CHI Health Center. Activities related to the event run all that weekend.

To keep spectators from trying to tour the home, Dembinski said preapproval or proof of funds is required prior to showings.

Nancy Monen told The World-Herald in a previous article that she and her husband had rented the home to a trio attending one annual Berkshire meeting. It brought in $3,000.

buffetthouse-cm002

The house where Warren Buffett started his business, at 5202 Underwood Ave., is for sale. 

“I’m crazy not to capitalize on that,” she said at the time. “Warren would want me to.”

Buffett didn’t move far. He now lives in a house near 55th and Farnam Streets.

Monen said she was unaware of the Buffett connection to the home when she first toured the two-story Tudor. She said she adored the wood-shake roof and charm of the corner residence, and would have bought it regardless.

It’s hard to say, Dembinski said, whether the home’s history with Buffett will factor into its sale.

“He’s definitely an icon here in the U.S. and really all over the world,” she said. “It may drive interest, but it may also end up going to a local Omaha family looking to take advantage of the amazing location and the fact that Dundee is a super popular part of town.”

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