SELLER: Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman
LOCATION: Dana Point, CA
SIZE: 5,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3.75 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Thanks to the fine folks at Estately Your Mama has learned that former Broadway dancer hopeful turned veteran American comedienne Rita Rudner and British writer/producer Martin Bergman not only slashed the asking price of their bluff-side digs in Orange County’s Dana Point (CA) by a million clams but also that the funny lady “stars” in a publicly available marketing video for the property.
Miz Rudner, an occasional actress and author of a handful of bestselling memoirs and comic novels, has been delivering her well honed brand pithy, self-mocking one-liners for decades but since the early Aughts has headlined almost exclusively on the Las Vegas Strip. First she did her thing at MGM, then at the ludicrously named New York-New York Hotel & Casino where she performed in a theater underneath the resort’s roller coaster, then over at Harrah’s and currently she shakes her dry-humored money maker twice a month (through 2013) at The Venetian. Anyhoo…
In the 4.5 minute guided tour, Miz Rudner shucks, jives and jokes her way through the house in a diaphanous yet heavily beaded and bespangled—and very Orange County—cornflower blue tunic. She points out the home’s various features and giddily wisecracks that she and her team of well-groomed “Realtors to the “semi-stars” look forward to receiving offers so she can respond with a “How dare you!”
Property records are a bit vague as to when exactly Miz Rudner and Mister Bergman bought their bluff-side beach house but our research indicated they picked up the house on leased land in 2008 for $5,850,000 and in December spent another $2.15 million to buy the land itself. The couple first hoisted the house on the open market in mid-October (2012) with a $9,975,000 price tag but in early February (2013) significantly chopped the asking price to its current $8,975,000.
Current listing information shows the two story house sits well above the street in a notably affluent, particularly pricey and guard gated Dana Point neighborhood that overlooks scenic and undeniably stunning Monarch Bay. The existing house was built in 2005, according to listing details, and measures around 5,000 square feet with five bedrooms and 3.75 bathrooms.
In order to maximize the sweeping sand, surf, coastline and Catalina Island views, the house was designed upside-down with the open plan living/dining/kitchen areas (as well as the master bedroom) on the upper level and several guest/family bedrooms plus additional living spaces on the ground floor.
Listing photographs show the main living area has burnt orange and deep purple walls; a slightly low looking flat ceiling peppered with more than a dozen pot lights; wall-to-wall stone tile flooring that may or may not be some sort of Travertine; and a chunky and minimalist marble-faced (gas) fireplace flanked by built in book cases fashioned from walnut or teak or some other richly grained wood. The room is furnished entirely with a matching set of two-tone sectional sofas and chaise lounges that, due to their matchy-matchiness, more than just a little suggests the lobby lounge of a breezy, Balinese-y boutique hotel in the Caribbean. We’ll let the children decide if that’s a good thing or not.
Floor-to-ceiling telescopic glass doors in the dining area disappear into the wall for a seamless integration to a slightly cantilevered, glass-railed terrace/lounge that’s partially shaded by a muscular concrete trellis but in full possession of an all but unobstructed multi-million dollar coastal view. Your Mama has no desire to live in Orange County—just a preference, hunnies, not a slam—but we imagine that terrace is a perfectly perfect spot to sit, knit and sip gin all day long.
A too-narrow stand-up snack bar divides the ocean view dining area from the sky-lit kitchen. Chatoyant, flat-fronted cabinetry crafted from the same wood as the book cases in the living room area has barely there contemporary hardware and the counter tops and back splashes are marble. As pointed out by Miz Rudner herself in the marketing video, the spacious kitchen is expensively equipped with two dishwashers, two refrigerators, two ovens, two microwaves and one warming drawer that can be just as easily warm food as other items such as “fake jewelry” and ladies’ undergarments. Another wide bank of glass doors in the kitchen vanish into the walls and connect to the fully kitted out courtyard-sized backyard.*
The upper level master bedroom has yet another expanse of telescopic glass doors that, when open, merge the chamber to the backyard area. There’s also a corner (gas) fireplace surmounted by a small flat-screen tee-vee and a rather unusual and—ahem—unhygienic looking wall treatment behind the wicker sleigh bed. The Travertine-slathered bathroom has a glass-enclosed shower, an elevated soaking tub, at least one sky light and a separate cubicle for the crapper. Your Mama loves us some Rita Rudner. We really do. But, children, the multiple wall covering patterns in her master bathroom—one a textured beige and brown horizontal stripe, another a rust and gold veined abstract situation at the last one some sort of shimmery scale-like number—are just, well, unspeakable.
In addition to whatever number of actual bedrooms there are on the lower level there’s also an ocean view office with custom built wrap-around work stations and a petite media room where the smallish flat screen tee-vee is flush mounted into a paneled wall and girdled (on just three sides) by a distracting decorative hoo-ha. The four modern-minded reclining chairs are probably super-duper comfy-cozy but it is Your Mama’s unnecessarily snarky and utterly meaningless opinion that they were—like the decorative grill thingy around the tee-vee and the SoCal blue walls that almost perfectly match the sky outside—an ill-advised choice.
Other features of the Bergman-Rudner residence worth a note include a water filtration system; a paneled passenger elevator for lifting the lazy and infirm to the upper level; radiant heated floors for warming cold tootsies on damp, foggy mornings and brisk, salt-licked evenings; and electrically controlled solar shades for filtering the harsh and hot afternoon sunshine.
Various home owner’s and beach club fees including with online marketing materials add up to $12,920 annually and allow paid up residents exclusive and unfettered access to the private, beachside Monarch Bay Club and on-beach butler service provided by the ritzy St. Regis Monarch Bay Beach Resort (tips and additional fees may be required).
Miz Rudner and Mister Bergman also maintain a 4,007 square foot condo in Las Vegas (NV). Property records show they scooped up the three bedroom and 4.5 bathroom condo crib on the 30th floor of the upscale Turnberry Towers development in May 2002 for $1,621,500.
Once upon a real estate time, from the mid ’90s to the early Aughts Miz Rudner and Mister Bergman owned a Balinese-kissed mock-Med mansion on Oak Pass Road in Beverly Hills (Post Office) that was later purchased, in 2007 for $4.5 million, by former pop singer/reality show star/(h)actress Ashlee Simpson who shared the hillside manse with her now ex-husband Pete Wentz. After almost 1.5 years on the market she finally sold the property in mid 2011 for $3,475,000, a gut wrenching million dollar plus loss. Mister Wentz bought to a much more modest house in the hills of Studio City last year (2012) and ex-Missus Wentz leased a house above Mulholland Drive in the Bev Hills P.O. although Your Mama does not know or—frankly—much care if the Showbiz has been still lives there.
*The compact and private backyard is tiled with the same Travertine (or whatever) as in the main living spaces and offers a heavy-duty smoked glass and concrete patio cover for shade seekers and a towering, fake rock wall looms behind a palm-filled elevated planter and a slightly less elevated spa.