A mega-mansion in Los Angeles, California that sellers have called “America’s most expensive residence” has been sold for $126m, a fraction of its original asking price of $500m.
The mansion, which has been described as “twice as big as the White House”, was sold on Thursday during a bankruptcy auction. The property has been mocked as well as praised.
While real estate agents have claimed it’s the ultimate home, it’s also been blasted as a “giant white elephant” and “one of the ugliest homes I’ve ever seen”.
The New York Post has written that the estate is “the latest example of a hyped Los Angeles mega-mansion that failed to perform”, suggesting that the property being sold for way below the asking price could mean that LA may be leaving its “cheeseball” real estate tastes behind.
After initially asking for half a billion dollars, the property was listed for $295m but was eventually sold for $141m – a sum that includes commissions and fees.
Developers of the property and real estate agents have called the residence “The One”, claiming that a home of this magnitude would never again be built in the city.
The 100,000-square-foot hilltop building was put in place over the course of the last decade.
Three sides of the building are surrounded by a moat, and the home has all-around views of LA, the mountains as well as the ocean.
It has 21 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, seven half-bathrooms, a nightclub area, a running track, a movie theatre for 40 people, a juice bar, a cigar lounge, an area referred to as a “philanthropy pavilion”, a garage that can fit more than 30 cars, including two turntables for vehicle display, a wine cellar that can hold 10,000 bottles, and five pools and “water features”, such as a private pool in connection to the master bedroom.
A four-lane bowling alley is also a part of the residence.
While the price for the property is high, it comes with its own set of problems, having been involved in a litany of legal battles and bankruptcy proceedings, according to The Guardian.
The property lacks a certificate of occupancy, meaning that it hasn’t yet been cleared for move-in, and construction still hasn’t been finished, likely leading to its low sale price.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a court-appointed receiver has estimated that the residence needs at least $10m to fix issues such as cracked marble and water leaks.
As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the buyer of the property must be revealed, but LA bankruptcy lawyer Byron Moldo told The Guardian that the mansion could have been bought by a corporation or an LLC in an effort to hide the real buyer from publicity.
The sale will be reviewed for approval by a bankruptcy court later in March. Bankruptcy court records show that the debt on the property is $191m, the Times reported.
Concierge Auctions conducted the online sale. Its president, Chad Roffers, said, “being in a lockdown” has led to demand for “really big” properties rise, The Guardian reported.
Previously, expensive city apartments have been in demand among the very wealthy.
“Their world is private jets that they own, or at least share,” Mr Roffers said.
“Some people are into art, some people are into wine, some people are into cars, some people are into everything. We really identify a niche of people who are property collectors. They’re always on the lookout for a unique property."
“Just the sheer magnitude of it is attractive to the right person,” he said, referring to “The One”.
Only four people bid on the property on Thursday, with almost nothing happening in the last half hour of the auction. The price rose from $70m within the last two minutes as two bidders pushed the sale price above $100m.
In comparison, last year, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen bought an estate in Malibu for $177m, breaking Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ previous California property buying record of $165m.