A bit more than a week ago—Christmas Eve to be exact—Your Mama passed along to the children the pulse quickening real estate rumor that bespectacled billionaire hedge fund fat cat and financial industry oracle Howard Marks and his philanthropic wife Nancy were about to ink an off-market deal to sell their 10-plus acre bluff top estate in Malibu for somewhere around $75,000,000.
Since then we’ve heard from a number of other snitches and sources who dabble in the high end Malibu market who thoughtfully passed along a few additional bits of unsubstantiated babble making their way down the property gossip grapevine regarding the (allegedly) impending sale of the baronial estate that includes a massive, newly renovated Mediterranean villa worked over by nice-gay and exceedingly successful decorator Michael Smith.*
One canary told us the buyers were an extraordinarily rich Russian couple with “suitcases full of cash” who toured the property multiple times and wanted the property really bad. Another told us she heard the Marks’ property had been shown very quietly with an asking price of $125,000,000, that the house was sold furnished and—most interestingly—that Mister Marks has told at least one friend or financial industry associate that after purchase price, renovations, decorating expenses, carrying costs and real estate fees he was gonna take a pocketbook punishing $20 million bath on the property. Imagine, children, having the pecuniary wherewithal to absorb a $20 million loss on a single property transaction and still be sick rich.
Just some juicy high end real estate hearsay and scuttlebutt kids…at least until you read about it in one of the more respectable property gossip columns.
*The bulk of the estate had previously been owned by Herbalife founder Mark Hughes who bought in in the late 1990s from Verna Harrah, the recently deceased widow of casino magnate Bill Harrah.