Hot Property

Warren Buffett pulls in $7.5 million for Laguna Beach house he bought in 1971

The long game has once again paid off for the Oracle of Omaha.

Investor Warren Buffett has sold his longtime home in Laguna Beach for $7.47 million. Despite a sizable $3.1-million price chop during the sale process, that’s a hefty return for the billionaire, who paid $150,000 for the property in 1971.

The multilevel home, built in 1936 and since remodeled, takes in ocean views from its corner lot in the Emerald Bay area.

The home has nearly 3,600 square feet of white-walled living space, a family room with a fireplace, a formal dining room and a skylight-topped kitchen. There are two en suite bedrooms, each with separate entrances.


Sliding glass doors open on three levels to ocean-facing decks and terraces.

There are two garages that combine to offer space for three cars.

The property originally hit the market in February 2017 for $11 million. In August, based on 29 sales, the median sale price for single-family homes in Laguna Beach was $1.838 million, according to CoreLogic.

Bill Dolby of Villa Real Estate handled the deal.


Buffett is the chairman, chief executive and largest shareholder of the conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway. Last year, the Omaha-based investor won a 10-year bet that the S&P 500 index fund would outperform a collection of hedge funds over the course of a decade. The payout, which benefitted a charity for young women, was $1 million.

New dish on the menu

Michael Chow, the designer, restaurateur and co-founder of the Mr. Chow Chinese restaurant chain, has listed his Holmby Hills estate for sale at $78 million.

Tucked behind walls and gates in the tony Westside pocket, the compound centers on a mansion of more than 30,000 square feet that Chow designed and built for himself over a seven-year period. The sprawling residence, which evokes the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, was designed to display a priceless art collection and features gallery walls and 30-foot-ceilings.

Entered through a vaulted-ceiling atrium, the residence has space for intimate and large-scale entertaining, an Art Deco-inspired library and a home theater that is both subterranean and waterproof. Windows in the theater look into the swimming pool, which has built-in rain fountains.

There are seven bedrooms and staff quarters plus a three-story guesthouse. A rooftop terrace takes in views of the cityscape.

Chow, 79, opened the first Mr. Chow restaurant in London in 1968 and the first U.S. location in Beverly Hills in 1974. Originally an interior designer, he has designed numerous boutiques and restaurants.

The property is co-listed by Rick Hilton and Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland and Jacob Green, Matthew Altman and Josh Altman of Douglas Elliman.


A man with a new plan

Perhaps emboldened by the opening of Rick Caruso’s Palisades Village retail center, Kevin Nealon has put his home in Pacific Palisades back on the market for a dollar shy of $5 million.

Earlier this year, the comedian and actor and his wife, Susan Yeagley, had asked $4.7 million for the property.

Built in 2009, the Georgian-inspired Traditional home boasts a white symmetrical front accented with black shutters and a front door colored a cerulean blue.

The more than 5,600 square feet of interior space features a living room with a fireplace, an office/den and a kitchen with a 12-foot-long island. There are oak floors, coffered and box tray ceilings and contemporary fixtures. Soft gray walls in the dining room provide a subtle deviation from the other rooms.

Three bedrooms, entertainment space and a kitchenette lie on a lower level, and the upstairs master suite opens to a private deck. There are seven bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in all.

A small patch of lawn, hedges and landscaping make up the backyard.

Nealon, 64, appeared on “Saturday Night Live” in the 1980s and ‘90s and had a five-year stint on the show hosting the “Weekend Update” sketch. He currently appears on the CBS sitcom “Man With a Plan.” Nealon, a former honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades, was master of ceremonies for the celebrity-studded opening last month of Palisades Village.


Cindy Ambuehl of the Agency and broker Elizabeth Stein hold the listing.

Ready to hammer out a sale

The Rancho Santa Fe compound of Wendy Walker, the veteran CNN producer who inspired the ABC drama “Notorious,” will go to the highest bidder at an auction next month.

Walker, who bought the property the year it was built in 1999, has had the estate on and off the market for the last two years. The home first hit the market in 2016 for $9.2 million but saw its price cut by $1 million three months later. It is now set to be sold through Concierge Auctions with no reserve on Nov. 20.

Designed in Spanish Colonial Revival style, the home offers seven bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms and 14 fireplaces across 11,155 square feet. Eye-catching interior details include a mesquite front door, a cavernous dining room under antique lantern fixtures, a wine cellar with a chandelier and a two-story library topped by corbel vault ceilings.

In the kitchen, marble countertops pair with a pizza oven. There’s also a billiards room, a gym and an indoor-outdoor lounge.

The three-plus acres of grounds were designed by late landscape architect Kate Sessions and hold a swimming pool with a spa, a pool house, a bocce ball court and a detached guesthouse.

Walker produced “Larry King Live” during her time with CNN. “Notorious,” which was based on her relationship with criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, ran for one season in 2016.

Casting call for a Westside tenant

James Vanderbilt is ready to open up the doors to his Bel-Air home. The Hollywood writer-producer has put his traditional-style spot in the Westside community up for lease at $10,500 a month.

That kind of rent check gets four bedrooms and three bathrooms in 3,258 square feet, as well as a brick patio and swimming pool out back.

In the front, the blue-hued façade is paired with a yellow front door. The color palette neutralizes inside, where white-painted walls pair with hardwood floors.

On the main level, there’s a carpeted living room with a fireplace, a chandelier-topped dining area and an eat-in kitchen with a breakfast nook.

French doors in the first-floor master suite open directly outside, where a covered patio takes in canyon views. Past the pool, a tiered garden completes the quarter-acre grounds.

The 42-year-old Vanderbilt, who is a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt, picked up the home in 2002 for $1.075 million. He has writing credits on “Zodiac” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.” He’s kept busy of late, serving as a producer on “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” and the Netflix show “Altered Carbon.”

Alexandria Brunkhorst of the Agency holds the listing, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

Condo will surrender to right offer

Atop the Marina Blue high-rise in downtown Miami, a two-story penthouse that appeared in the 2016 film “War Dogs” is for sale at $4.495 million.

In the movie, the flashy pad belonged to Miles Teller’s character, who took up residence there after making his fortune supplying weapons to the U.S. military.

The unit offers a sleek open floor plan with 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows that take in views of Biscayne Bay. Across 4,198 square feet, there are four bedrooms, four bathrooms and three balconies.

Save for splashes of red on a few doors and a pillar, the interior is awash in white and gray. Tile lines the main living room, and upstairs, hardwood lines a second one. The center-island kitchen offers stainless steel appliances and a wine cooler.

Completed in 2007, the Marina Blue is the 13th tallest building in Miami, at 615 feet. The condo comes with four parking spaces.

Mirce Curkoski and Albert Justo of One Sotheby’s International Realty hold the listing. | Twitter: @LATHotProperty

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