With $82 billion in foreign investment flooding into the real estate market last year, it’s no secret that big buyers of U.S. homes are coming from overseas. Still, there continues to be a “wow” factor when foreign buyers shell out for this country’s priciest pieces of prime property.
On that note, we give you the Wehba Mansion on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The painstakingly perfect estate just sold to a Chinese investor for $34.5 million, according to an unnamed source. It was originally listed for $68,500,000 in September 2010.
This trend of international buyers picking up U.S. homes has helped sales teams target potential buyers.
In fact, he and the other listing agents, Joyce Reyes and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker, intentionally marketed to international buyers.
“We specifically reached out to China, to Indonesia, Singapore, Russia and the Middle East, Dubai, etc,” said Umansky. “It’s 100 percent a marketing strategy to sell these high-end homes.”
And it’s a strategy that worked. After nearly two years on the market, and a significant price cut, the home is officially off the Beverly Hills real estate market. It goes down as one of the biggest deals of the year — so far.
It also adds to a growing list of uber-expensive U.S. homes that have sold to foreign investors.
- In March 2011, an enormous Silicon Valley chateau sold for $100 million to Russian investor Yuri Milner.
- In July 2011, the Spelling Manor sold to Petra Ecclestone for $85 million, the heiress to the British Formula One racing empire.
- In December 2011, one of the most expensive penthouses in Manhattan sold to another Russian billionaire’s daughter, Ekaterina Rybolovleva, for $88 million.
The Wehba estate was owned and constructed by C. Frederick Wehba, founder of the international real estate investment firm BentleyForbes. The mansion was inspired by Versailles, and the place is not only massive — 36,000 square feet of living space on a 2-acre site — it is meticulously finished.
According to Umanksy, the home occupies a part of what was once an enormous estate owned by co-founder of Beverly Hills Max Whittier. Wehba spent eight years and millions of dollars to build their dream, but by the time construction was finished, the Wehbas were in a different stage of life and ready to move on.
But what they had created is a home that Umansky says is “truly incomparable” to anything else in the area. It’s tough to argue with that assessment, considering the detail and fixtures that make this estate one of a kind:
- 9 bedrooms, 13 baths
- hand-carved limestone exterior
- marble columns
- bronze beveled double-pane windows and doors
- two-story circular entry
- enormous master suite which includes multiple huge dressing areas, baths and sitting rooms
- French moldings with 24-karat gold gilt