WHAT’S NEW JERRY?
The most expensive home in the country is on the block in Southern California for $150,000,000, or pocket change, if you’re a member of Congress. The home, or estate, belongs to the widow of Television Producer Aaron Spelling, famous for the hit TV shows Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty, and Beverly Hills 90210. Perhaps, none of those shows measures up to the quality of Downton Abbey, but Spellings home is almost as big as the Earl of Grantham’s. The Earl oversees more than a thousand acres. Spelling’s French Style Chateau is on a mere 4.6 acres. Of course, that much land in Los Angeles County is probably worth more than the $11 million Thomas Jefferson spent for the 828,000 square miles he bought from France in the Louisiana Purchase.
Even by my skewed standards, the method used by Candy Spelling, the Producer’s widow, in selecting a Real Estate Agent seems a little bizarre. When I need a Real Estate Agent I run down to Safeway and get the name of an agent from the ones that advertise on shopping carts. Mrs. Spelling used a more scientific method. She let her dog Madison, a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, help pick out the best real estate agent for the task. She had her security staff bring the dog into the room each time she met a prospective agent and watched how the dog reacted. If Madison didn’t like them, Mrs. Spelling crossed them off the list. Perhaps, at some time in her life Mrs. Spelling lived in Carmel where some of Madison’s relatives own several hotels and most of Ocean Avenue.
I’m not in the market to purchase a new home but I wonder if I could get the Spelling place for 10% down. That would leave me a hefty mortgage. I’m not sure I could get approval from a bank. In fact I don’t think I can get Madison’s approval either. Still, even though I’m not looking to move, the Spelling place has some features that would make me second guess my desire to stay put.
There is parking space for a hundred cars. That’s more than Trader Joe’s on Munras. There’s a bowling alley, wine cellar, wine tasting room, gift-wrapping room, a humidity-controlled silver storage room, China room, library, gym and media room, among many others. I am constantly in need of a gift-wrapping room because … well, I’m a generous guy. The specs don’t list how big the gift-wrapping room is but it should be big enough to wrap a Bentley, or be able to handle enough paper rolls to wrap all the Rolex watches I give out to service people at Christmas.
Chez Spelling also features a 17,000 square-foot attic that includes a barber shop and beauty salon. I’m not sure I’d mention this if I were the listing agent. When I was a kid in Buffalo, NY we had an attic where we stored cobwebs and dust. Besides I wouldn’t want to climb up to the attic for a haircut. I’d want the barber shop closer to the library where I could pick out a book to read while I was getting clipped.
I always ask a real estate agent why the current owners are moving. I want to make sure a nuclear waste dump is not going in down the street. Mrs. Spelling is moving into a two-story condo atop a residential tower in Los Angeles that she bought last year for $47 million. Probably less maintenance than the chateau, and closer to shopping. I hope Madison likes the doorman.