Couple buys Bill Ellis’ home

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The former waterfront estate of a late Wilson barbecue baron has sold and a new family is moving into the property.

In November, Bill Ellis’ widow Tracy hired Chuck Williamson of The Chesson Agency to market the 9,260-square-foot home on nearly 274 acres at 4604 Quaker Road adjacent to U.S. 264. Williamson listed the property for $2.3 million, adding he received multiple offers and the sale closed on Wednesday.

The purchase price was not disclosed, but the amount of excise tax paid correlates with a price of $1.45 million. The property is the most expensive house to ever sell in Wilson County and Williamson used a variety of techniques to market the unique listing.

“It takes a lot of knowing how to market all over the country, really. You’ve got buyers that will come from all over to find a property like this,” he said. “I put a billboard out on 264 and got several calls from movie producers filming in Wilmington who wanted to buy it. It generated a lot of buzz and activity.”

According to paperwork filed with the Wilson County Register of Deeds, Christopher and Krystine Hadley purchased the home, but it is unclear where they are moving from. Williamson confirmed the property will stay a family home rather than being converted to another use, but he added that Greenlight Community Broadband at the property was instrumental in getting the Hadleys to buy the home, which includes an unnamed lake and a pontoon boat.

“The buyers are bringing a large online business to the community where they sell goods and products online on platforms such as Amazon and eBay,” Williamson said.

Greenlight General Manager Will Aycock said the network was available near the property, but no service had been requested when Ellis lived there.

“We do understand one of the reasons they came to Wilson was the availability of broadband and we’re happy to help provide that service,” Aycock said. “We just have to finish the last relatively small bit of construction to the home.”

According to a Wilson County Tax Administration record search, Bill Ellis Commercial Properties bought 285.5 acres of land in 2004, then deeded the property to William L. Ellis Sr. in 2008. In 2013, the deed was transferred from William L. Ellis Sr. and Tracy Bunting Ellis to the William L. Ellis Sr. Revocable Trust.

The deed for the Hadleys lists Tracy Ellis as the successor trustee as of Feb. 18.

Bill Ellis, who opened Bill’s Barbecue in 1963 and grew it into a global operation, died on Feb. 27, 2017.