Monday, December 17, 2007

Robert Friedland's $65,000,000 Flip

SELLER: Robert and Darlene Friedland
LOCATION: Golden Gate Avenue, Belvedere, CA
PRICE: $65,000,000
SIZE: 1.2 acres, 11,000 square feet (approx.), 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Here's a little piece of wisdom from Your Mama: Sometimes it pays to wait. Take for example controversial mining mogul Robert Friedland and his wifey Darlene. The filthy rich couple had to wait three years to unload their much ballyhooed Belvedere, CA estate, but children, look how their patience paid off. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Asia based billionaires have signed contracts for a full price purchase of the extravagant estate, furnishing included, which carried a shocking asking price of $65,000,000.

The Friedlands, who bought the Golden Gate Avenue property in 1995 for just $5,500,000, spent 9 years and reportedly spent another $32-35,000,000 renovating, restoring and rebuilding the 1.2 acre property that was originally built in 1895 and offers 360 degree views from its perch high on the southern tip of super swank Belvedere Island in the San Francisco Bay.

Let's do a little fuzzy math kids. Even if Mister Friedland is into the property for $45,000,000, after the presumably large real estate fees are paid, he and the missus will likely pocket around $15,000,000 on their uber dee-luxe flip. How many times has Your mama told the children that one of the many ways that the rich get even richer is by flipping high end properties at outrageous profits.

Listing information for the property reveals the three story main house sprawls over 11,000 square feet (approx.) and includes 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms all accessed by both a private elevator and a winding staircase with a bronze balustrade and mahogany railing, which Your Mama guarantees you cost more than a damn Rolls Royce to fabricate. The main floor features a wrap around covered veranda with teak decking, a mahogany paneled library, a pewter colored living room, dining room with postcard views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, and a kitchen slathered in acres of marble counter tops. The children will note the pot rack...and of course all the children know by know that a pot racks drive Your Mama to the booze cabinet.

The third floor is given entirely over to the master suite that includes a sitting room, bathroom, big ass walk in closets, private decks with big ass views, and a fully equipped service kitchen with top grade appliances, which makes sense because, let's be honest, who pays $65,000,000 for a master bedroom kitchenette with Kenmore appliances from Sears?

The lower floor includes three guest suites each with a private sitting area and marble bathroom. Additionally, a large "great room"/office/entertaining area with 15 foot coffered ceiling spans the rear of the house with yet another fully equipped kitchen with top of the line appliances.

Somewhere amid the splendor and lavishness is a panic room, something all houses in this price range should be obligated to include.

Outside, the landscaping alone is reported to have cost the Friedlands more than $8,000,000 and includes patios laid with stones taken from a Chinese Village before it was submerged by the Three Gorges Dam Project, because even the mega moneyed recycle. A heated pool is laid with intricate (and expensive) tiles and a pool house with sauna and steam shower features mosaic walls and floors, which Your Mama imagines must have taken a foreign artisan for-ev-er to do.

Also on the property is a one bedroom apartment for staff and a measly two car garage. However, considering that whomever is purchasing this house is unlikely to live in it full time, perhaps one Bentley and one Maserati in the garage is adequate for the few weeks or months a year that will be spent here.

The house might be costing the new owner a spine breaking $65,000,000, but at least for the next few years, the taxes will be just $28,000 per year. The property is reportedly covered under the Mills Act which give a substantial 10 year tax reduction on historical homes, as long as the amount intended for taxes in spent restoring the property. Eventually the property will be subject to the regular California State tax rate and Your Mama expects the yearly taxes here will easily balloon to over $500,000 per year. But, of course, if a buyer can afford a $65,000,000 house, he/she/they can surely afford half a million a year in taxes.

Reports typically say that the Friedlands are selling the property because they have so many other homes they rarely make it to Belvedere and spent only a few weeks at the house last year. Imagine that kids?

The identity of the buyer has not been released, but certainly it will be leaked or announced before too long. A person simply does not quietly buy a $65,000,000 which for three years running appeared on the short list of the world's most expensive properties for sale.

Your Mama will probably the last to know who the buy is, but we'd like to be the first in line to be adopted by them.

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