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Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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Historic Cliffside Laguna Beach Estate Trades for $15.3M

Beach City Continues To See High-Priced Sales

A historic Laguna Beach estate previously home to actress Bette Davis has traded hands for nearly $15.3 million.

The French Normandy-style home spans nearly 5,500 square feet along an oceanfront cliff at 1991 Ocean Way.

The property, a block from the intersection of South Coast Highway and Diamond Street, was first built in 1929 and was purchased by Davis in 1947.

The “All About Eve” actress lived in the home part-time as a reprieve from Hollywood until 1950, reports indicate. Davis died in 1989 in France.

The six-bedroom, eight-bath home has counted several owners since; prior to its sale last month, it last sold for $13.5 million in 2004.

John Cain of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty represented the seller, while Compass’ Michael Johnson represented the undisclosed buyer.

Historic House

The home has been on the market since April 2021, with an original listing price nearing $20 million. The week after it listed, the home was featured as the most popular home on Realtor.com, reports indicate.

The home, which sold after several price changes, is on the registry of historic places and has Mills Act status, which “greatly reduces its property tax obligation,” according to brokerage materials.

Features of the property include a main house, guest house and direct stair access to the beach. It’s been updated with new interiors, an upgraded kitchen and enhancements to the master suite.

“This exclusive and private retreat, surrounded by lush greenery, sand, and breathtaking overlooks, is a stone’s-throw distance from shops, restaurants, and the art galleries of Laguna Beach,” according to listing materials.

City’s Top Deals

At $15.25 million, the deal is among tops for luxury home sales in Laguna Beach this year.
Earlier this month, a nearly 5,000-square-foot home in the high-end Laguna Beach enclave of Emerald Bay sold for $43.5 million, marking a sales record for the 509-home community and the priciest home sale in Orange County year-to-date.

The $8,733-per-square-foot price is also the highest price-per-square-foot record for new construction in Orange County, according to The Smith Group at Coldwell Banker Realty, which brokered the deal on behalf of the seller.

The home at 66 Emerald Bay finished construction this year and counts five bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and amenities ranging from a media lounge to a gym and wellness center (see Insider, page 3).

The deal beat the prior top sale for the city in 2022: the $29.9 million sale of 7 Montage Way within the Montage Ocean Estates neighborhood.

The 8,140-square-foot home counts six bedrooms and nine bathrooms and traded hands in February. The price marked a new sales record for the exclusive community next to the city’s famed resort.

John Stanaland of Villa Real Estate represented the undisclosed seller of 7 Montage Way; Allen McMurtray of EJM Realty Group represented the undisclosed buyer.

The prior top on-market deal for the community occurred in 2012 when Stanaland brokered the $20 million sale of 3 Montage Way, while the $22 million sale of 5 Montage is the priciest off-market transaction for the neighborhood. Villa’s Steve High represented the latter deal.

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