BUYERS: Julia Roberts and Danny Moder
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
PRICE: $6.84 million
SIZE: 1,770 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It was real estate yenta extraordinaire Yolanda Yakketyyak who first spotted and digital resources indeed show a modest yet still prodigiously pricey residence on Malibu’s celeb-popular Point Dume sold for $6.84 million to Julia Roberts and Matthew Moder after an epic, year-long legal battle in which the sellers, who faced foreclosure on the property several times according to public records, unsuccessfully attempted to cancel the escrow because they believed they could realize a higher price. The gated property, last available on the open market in 2014 at $7.85 million and completely hidden behind a high and thick privet hedge, spans 1.16 landscaped acres and happens to be across the street from the Roberts-Moders’ far more deluxe, two-plus-acre bluff-top estate they picked up in 2003 for about $9.5 million.
The circa mid-1950s ranch-style residence spans a humble-by-celebrity-standards 1,770 square feet with distressed hardwood floors and exposed ceiling beams throughout. According to listing details from when the property was last available on the open market in 2014 at $7.85 million, there are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a combination living/dining room with brick fireplace plus a separate den, and a compact kitchen with ordinary white ceramic tile countertops but a high-grade commercial-style range. The landscaped grounds include a large circular drive and motor court at the front and a stone-tiled terrace along the rear of the residence that overlooks a swathe of well-irrigated lawn and a charmingly picturesque clematis covered pergola. A winding path passes through an iron gate on its way to a shaded sitting area with built-in fire pit, vegetable gardens and a small grove of rare fruit trees.
Last year Roberts and Moder, who have long maintained a fat residential property portfolio, got rid of a two-bedroom Spanish bungalow in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for $1.8 million and sold a penthouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village for $5.351 million, substantially over its $4.5 million asking price. Our research suggests they continue to own at least three apartments in a classy, full-service building across the street from Gramercy Park, Manhattan’s only private park; a rural ranch property north of Taos, New Mexico; and two postcard-ready ocean-front estates in Hanalei, Hawaii, one of them bought in 2011 for $13.75 million and currently for sale at $21.95 million after first being listed last April (2015) with an optimistic asking price of $29.85 million.
Listing photos: Coldwell Banker