SELLERS: Teresa and Joe Giudice
LOCATION: Towaco, NJ
SIZE: 10,044 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: All the real estate obsessed children who know even the most minute thing about realty television know that many of the “housewives” from Bravo’s still-going-gangbusters “Real Housewives of…” series have a definite thing for fantastically huge homes, frequently of the simulatedchâteau variety.
Former Beverly Hills “housewife” Adrienne Maloof’s former Beverly Park spread is certainly a paragon of ersatz Gallic garishness but, as far as this unnecessarily opinionated property gossip is concerned, none of the “housewives’” wannabe château is more self-consciously opulent or egregiously meretricious than the beast of an abode in Towaco, NJ, that entrepreneurial New Jersey “housewife” Teresa Giudice and hubby Joe hoisted on the open market with a $3.999 million price tag. Our records indicate this isn’t the first time at the real estate rodeo for the Giudices. In 2010, their — ahem — palatial macmansion ever-so briefly popped up for sale at $3,999,999.
Property records show the legally beleaguered Giudices — they’re scheduled to be sentenced in early October for their guilty pleas on multiple counts of tax and mortgage fraud — purchased the largely wooded 3.77-acre parcel that not-ideally backs up to Interstate 287 in January 2002 for $530,000. They proceeded to erect a hulking, 16-room residence of 10,044 square feet and — let’s be honest, butter beans — suspicious architectural intent or virtue. (Not that the heavy-handed massing and overly broad front façade with front facing two car garage are any great shakes to begin with but did the children see that bizarrely out-of-proportion porte-cochère? Holy mackerel! You could drive a battleship through that thing.)
Some of the mansion’s highlights — or “highlights,” depending on one’s mood and point of view — include a gargantuan, marble-slathered double-height foyer with cliché sweetheart staircase as well as a double-height great room with more marble floors, fireplace and wrought iron railed galleries. There’s a formal dining room, a paneled office and a colossal kitchen complex with spacious, chandelier-lit eating area and a massive, granite slathered center island with four-plus stool stack counter. In addition to a decidedly dressed down family room there’s a games room with wet bar, pool table and a foos ball table. The several exercise contraptions strewn about the floor of the games room suggest to this exercise-averse property gossip’s vexed and near speechless mortification that the Giudices employed the games room to do double duty as a fitness room. Ten thousand square feet and not a single dedicated square foot for a goddamn work out room? Pleeze.
Listing details show a total of six bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms, including a master suite composed of a cavernous 36-by-22-foot bedroom with gas fireplace, three custom-fitted walk-in closets and a burnt orange onyx-sheathed bathroom with Grecian column framed soaking tub and separate steam shower. One of the sharper-tongued kids at Curbed described the master bedroom as though “the Virgin Mary is on the cusp of the second coming of Christ within it,” and, quite frankly, Your Mama could not dream to hit the nail any more square on the head.
Beyond the aforementioned and still deeply disturbing porte-cochère, a detached structure has garaging for two or three more cars plus additional square footage of undetermined utility. The estate — or “estate” — doesn’t have a swimming pool or tennis court but does have a wine making room done up in Italian style, two or three presumably not swimmable ponds, a chicken coop, a dog run and, somewhere up in there, as pointed out by the kids at Curbed, a “Bratzs” inspired mural that is quite simply and in our humble and entirely meaningless opinion so far past cute it’s on a collision course with sad and tragic.
No word on whether the Giudices’ decision to sell is a condition of their plea deal, a desire to scare up some cash to pay legal fees and living expenses, an effort to downsize in a time up topsy-turvy uncertainty, some combination thereof or for reasons entirely beyond Your Mama’s imaginative scope.
In other “Real Housewives of…” real estate news: Orange County’s Vicki Gunvalson has her Coto de Caza manse on the market for $2.699 million — she says she’s downsizing closer to the beach — and New York City’s Countess LuAnn de Lesseps has her house in the Hamptons in escrow for around $8 million. So the story goes, the developer buyer plans to tear down Miz de Lesseps’s 6,500-square-foot house and build something much more grand he can sell for closer to $20 million. Figures. Anyways…
Listing photos: Stonybrook Realty