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Home Purchase for Reagans a Bargain

Times Staff Writer

President Reagan’s friends got a deal on the Bel-Air house they reportedly bought with the President’s retirement in mind.

Under the name “Wall Management Services Inc.,” the group--which includes the President’s longtime associates Holmes Tuttle and Earl Jorgenson--bought the 7,192-square-foot house with three bedrooms and six baths on 1 acres for $2.5 million.

The dirt alone on a 1-acre lot in that neighborhood is worth an estimated $3 million! The site is near the homes of Elizabeth Taylor, Mac Davis and Joanna Carson and contiguous to the Kirkeby Estate, which sold last year for $13.6 million.

From what we’ve learned, no real estate broker was involved in the transaction, and the seller was a 90-year-old woman.

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The President’s friends purchased the property last August with the understanding, in initial accounts, that they would be reimbursed later by the Reagans, whose money is in a blind trust until the President’s term expires in January, 1989.

Last week by phone, the First Lady’s press secretary confirmed a report that the Reagans knew about the purchase but do not consider themselves legally bound to buy the house. She also told me that although the First Lady has seen the house, “Mrs. Reagan will continue to look at other homes.”

The one in Bel-Air was termed “a possibility: It could be that one, or it could be another.”

A couple of things about the house might appeal to the President: It’s a ‘50s ranch-style home, and it’s adjacent to the old Bel-Air bridle trail.

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Trouble is: The trail isn’t used for horses anymore.

Actor Michael Landon has sold his Beverly Hills home to a personal manager in the entertainment industry for a bit more than $5 million.

The Georgian Colonial-style home, on eight acres with a great view of the city and ocean, was owned by Bill Cosby before Landon, who apparently plans to spend more of his time in his glassy-looking Malibu Colony residence now that he’s sold his house in town.

The Beverly Hills home has paddle and regular tennis courts, a swimming pool and a projection room. David Parry at the Jon Douglas Co. represented the buyer, and Maxine Reiner with Douglas represented Landon.

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Actor Burt Lancaster, Angels pitcher Don Sutton, Cy Young Award winner Mike Scott, Rams players Carl Ekern and Steve Dils, and the Rams cheerleaders were all at the opening the other day of the 18-hole Coto de Caza golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., at Coto de Caza, that new-home community being developed by Arvida (a Disney subsidiary) in Orange County.

During the opening, John Yelverton, president of Coto de Caza, gave Jones what Yelverton described as “the world’s most expensive putter"--a silver one from Tiffany’s in New York--to mark Jones’ 25th anniversary as a golf-course architect.

A Rancho Santa Fe ranch owned for a dozen years, starting in 1933, by Bing Crosby is on the market at $3.9 million.

Crosby bought it as a refuge and a place to raise his children away from the city, where there were some cases at the time of Hollywood stars’ children being kidnapped off the streets. When he and his wife, Dixie, took possession, she was pregnant, and they had a 1-year-old son, Gary.

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The most recent owner of the ranch was Clifford Graham, the San Diego financier who was indicted on 22 counts of income-tax fraud. Graham has been missing since May, 1985.

La Jolla-headquartered Willis M. Allen Co. was appointed by the state Bankruptcy Court to sell the 17.21-acre site, which was once part of a 10,000-acre land grant to Juan Maria Osuna, the first administrator of the San Diego Mission.

Even today, the property is known as the Osuna Ranch, and the two-bedroom structure--with living room, fireplace, laundry room, and walls of three-foot thick adobe--that Osuna built is intact.

The house was used to entertain such famous San Diego families as the Estudillos, Picos and Bandinis before its vast acreage was subdivided for farming. In 1905, the Santa Fe Railroad bought the whole area and named it Rancho Santa Fe.

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Today, the Osuna Ranch not only has the oldest residential structure in Rancho Santa Fe, but it also has a modern addition, for a total of 5,500 square feet. The property also boasts a wine house, guest house, servants’ house, garage for eight cars and a recreational vehicle, stables, cabana, swimming pool, lighted tennis court and kennel with dog runs.


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