Property Type

Say hello to my little house: the grandiose tribute to poor taste and excess that housed the final hours of Tony Montana in the classic De Palma/Pacino flick ‘Scarface’ is on the market – after a clean-up and a facelift.

The opulent 10, 000 square foot property is surrounded by palm trees and Mediterranean gardens, and everything about it screams ‘Miami’ – so much so that a Miami house has run tours for years as the ‘Scarface mansion.’  In fact, though, the movie was shot on the other side of the country, in California’s Santa Barbara, where this 10-acre property is located on 631 Para Grande Lane.

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The mansion was built for James Waldron Gillespie, and the design deliberately evokes classical Greek and Roman sculpture throughout.  Designed by architect Bertram Goodhue in 1906, the property even has a name: ‘El Fureidis,’ meaning, ‘Tropical Paradise,’ and includes 5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms and details including painted ceilings with gold leaf trim, tiled rooms and a unique pool  – very recognizeable from a certain angle – complete with fountains.

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The ostentatious poor taste that characterised the mansion in the film was added for characterization – the filmmakers thought that the home of Tony Montana should look crass and glitzy, so gold and statuary, including a gigantic pink neon globe bearing the legend,’ the world is yours!’ was added.  All that has been removed, though, leaving a home that’s certainly expensive but no longer looks cheap.

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Now, the mansion looks stately and palladian, with a dignified neoclassical frontage, bright blue pools divided into quadrants  and an estate packed with palm trees and formal gardens.  Inside, the gigantic piles of illicit substances and terrifying firearms have long since been removed.  Instead, there are parquet floors, statement modern furniture seamlessly integrated with the antiques and spacious, high-ceilinged rooms.  The main ‘conversation room’ features an 18-foot-high dome ‘modelled after the church of St. John Lateran in Rome,’ according to the brochure copy.  The recent refit replaced old-fashioned appliances, particularly in the kitchen, without affecting the mostly original fittings and fixtures.

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One reason why such a large house has so (comparatively) few bedrooms is that the original design was aimed at producing a house to entertain in rather than a dormitory.  Rather than extra bedrooms, space was given over to patios, an interior courtyard, a rooftop terrace, verandas and Persian gardens.  Indoors, the barrel-vaulted ceilings might interest you – if not, there’s a view out over the Pacific Ocean from every room.

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The price tag keeps falling, too: the home was last on the market for $35m in 2008, before selling for an undisclosed amount – maybe just over $2m, maybe about $6m, depending on who you listen to – to Russian financier Sergey Grishin.  Now it’s relisted for more modest sums and there’s even a rental option.  You can rent the mansion for $30k a month.

All Images: The Santa Barbara, California mansion made infamous in the 1983 movie “Scarface” starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana, is for sale. Tour inside “El Fureidis,” which means “tropical paradise.”  Courtesy Village Properties/Tom Ploch

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow is still seeking to sell her Nashville – area ranch.  Cross Creek Farm, in the College Grove area south of Nashville, it has already been relisted twice and is now on offer at about half the original asking price.

Sheryl Crow has been struggling to sell her Nashville-area ranch since 2010, and has recently relisted it at an even lower price.

The farm used to be close to Ms. Crow’s heart, judging by a 2008 interview for People in which she said, ‘We have a ‘white-trash backyard… We pop out the side of the tour bus and set up our lawn chairs, the baby pool and the iPod speakers. It’s totally a tailgate.’

Ms. Crow’s 51-acre equestrian ranch, Cross Creek Farm, sounds authentically country, appropriately enough for the star who was nominated for two American Country Music Awards last year.  Ms. Crow extensively redecorated what was once a very traditionally-styled Southern mansion, aiming for a more family-friendly home – though some more macabre touches, like the vintage bar she installed in the barn, flanked by two Wild West death masks, edged back into Southern Gothic territory.

But Cross Creek Farm clearly no longer feels like home to Ms. Crow, and she’s anxious to sell.

It might be all she wants to do, but mortgage advisor Zillow says Ms. Crow’s home might still be on the shelf because the price is still too high.

According to Zillow’s calculator, ‘Zillow Blog says, ‘a buyer could expect a monthly payment around $15,489, assuming 20% down on a 30-year fixed mortgage,’ placing the home at the high end of College Grove’s housing market.

The 10,433 square foot farm’s spec is certainly strong enough to sell: it has a 14-horse barn, an outdoor pool and indoor arena.

The path to a successful sale has been a winding road, though.  Ms. Crow first put Cross Creek Farm on the market back in 2010 for $7.5 million and relisted it in 2011 with a 40% price cut.  Now the property is back on the market a third time for $3.85 million, though it has been cut down in size to make a sale easier – the original 175-acre parcel of land was proving to be ‘a handful to sell,’ according to The Tennessean’s Nancy Mueller.  After a handful of price manoeuvres and an unsuccessful online auction, Ms. Crow is still struggling to move the farm.

If you’re considering moving to a mansion in rural Tennessee, Cross Creek Farm might be just what you’re looking for.  For $3.85 million – offers may be accepted – you’ll get 50 acres of land, a saltwater pool with fountains, the main estate home, staff quarters, that barn, of course, and a basement recording studio, as well as two solar systems that take care of about 50% of the farm’s energy needs – and a ‘rocking-chair porch’ thrown in.  The farm is also a great hay producer.  Well, if it makes you happy…

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Image source: WikiMedia

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and unsurprisingly, it’s on a golf course.  Michael Jordan’s love of golf is almost proverbial, and the NBA star already owns a 28,000 square foot mansion in Jupiter, Florida, also home to a great set of links.  His Airness’ Florida home was chosen for its proximity to the Bear’s Club and his neighbour is Tiger Woods.

But Jordan can’t stay home full time.  He has a sports team to manage.  In the winter of 2010 Mr. Jordan took over as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, replacing Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson.  So he needs a home in North Carolina, preferably one with golf course access.

A little shopping around found Mr. Jordan this foreclosed 12, 310-square foot property, located on Lake Norman in Cornelius, about 22 miles from the Charlotte Bobcats’ Time Warner Cable Arena.  Mr. Jordan bought the $2.8m home through a trust, the Jordan Family Gift Trust.  And he got a deal on the house too: it was originally listed for $3.99m in 2011 and relisted in 2012 for $3.49m.  Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy told the Charlotte Observer that he though the deal was “fantastic.  He got a great buy on that house.”

The home has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, a mansion by anybody’s standards but less than half the size of Mr. Jordan’s Jupiter home.  And Tiger Woods isn’t nearby either, but the house is on a golf course.  In fact it’s located at the seventh hole of The Peninsula Golf Club.  The listing states that the site features “stunning panoramic lake views from almost every room.”  It also has a jetty into the lake with its own launching platform.

And drag racer Doug Herbert, who previously owned the house, said the property is “a great place to entertain friends and have people over.”  Mr. Herbert only left the property after his two sons were killed in a freak traffic accident in 2008, on Jetton Road, near their home.  After the tragic loss of his sons Mr. Herbert said it became emotionally impossible for him to live there.  “It was a difficult trip to take every day to got to work,”  Mr. Herbert said.  “It became hard to live there.  It was time to go.”

The gated community is glad to have Mr. Jordan moving in.  Resident Patricia Potts said she hopes Mr. Jordan’s presence will put the country club on the map as a ‘five star golf community.’  Other residents said they were unsurprised that Mr. Jordan had chosen their community.  Given that other celebrity residents included former Boston Celtics centre Robert Parish and Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, ‘it makes sense,’ said resident Gary Marine.

Mr. Gilroy sums up local sentiment: ‘We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a legend like that as a Cornelius resident.’

One thing that Mr. Jordan’s new home lacks is the full-size regulation basketball court that graces his main home in Florida.  So he has to make do practicing with the now-conveniently close Bobcats.

According to team members, there’s a tradition of one-on-one practice at the Bobcats that endures despite Mr. Jordan’s relatively advanced years.  At nearly 50 does Mr. Jordan still have anything to offer as a trainer? According to Bobcats captain Gerald Henderson, “he’s the best ever to play and he’s still got that competitive nature.  He always feels he can help you.”  And coach Mike Dunlap feels he probably can: “There’s a stew down there – a mixture of instruction, humour, competitive spirit and care.  Also, if a guy is not feeling good about his game, it gets the cobwebs out.”








Photo of his $12.4m Florida Home


Article written by Kunle Campbell

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Unbelievable.That is the only word fit to describe the fact that the world’s tallest, most luxurious, lavish and downright most expensive single-family home has been left lying empty for what is now more than a year since its completion. People are understandably angry at the waste. But that is not the only unbelievable thing about this mammoth building built by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

most expensive home in the world - full view of antila residence mumbai

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Donald Trump is furious about a proposed off-shore wind-farm near his £750 million golf resort development in Menie on the Scottish Aberdeenshire coast — so much so that he has written a letter to Alex Salmond. In the letter, Trump calls the proposed 11-turbine wind-farm “disastrous and environmentally irresponsible”, one wonders if he would think it was so disastrous or environmentally irresponsible if he wasn’t about to see completion of a golf resort a mile down the beach from it.

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The most expensive single-family home ever sold in America has just been bought for $100 million by a Russian billionaire. The lush mansion in Silicon Valley has been compared to a French Chateau, thankfully they said on steroids because apart from its size, the mansion has little else in common with any Chateau!

With 5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, a ballroom and indoor and outdoor pools the 25,500 square meter mansion on 11 acre grounds is certainly an impressive home. However its buyer, Yuri Milner, who lives in Moscow with his wife and family, told the Wall Street Journal through a spokesperson that he has no intention of moving into his grand new acquisition.

49 year old Milner made his fortune with Digital Sky Technologies and well timed $200 million investment in Facebook 2 years ago, which is now worth $10 billion. Yuri Milner also invested in GroupOn.

Meanwhile, back in the real US world — where people still buy houses to live in them — house prices are still falling practically across the board, with the average house price in some major cities lower than it has been for 11 years.

Larry Page Yacht

There has been a big fuss made because the founder of Google Larry Page bought a super yacht second hand but many say the decision should be applauded.

Larry Page is married with one child, and he has bought a 195 foot yacht with 10 bedrooms, a massive dining room, helipad, gym, and multi-level sun decks, including a deck with a cinema projector on an overhanging ceiling. This is more than enough space and entertainment for his small family and his friends so doesn’t the measured purchase simply indicate that he has more sense than money as oppose to the other way round?

Take the crew of 14 for a 195 foot yacht, if my maths are correct the 400+ foot yachts owned by Page’s competing tech-mogul billionaires will have crews of double that or more and their yachts cost upwards of 5 times the price.

Larry Page can therefore run his boat for ages before the purchase costs him as much as the larger yachts, and without even counting their running costs.

When the recession hit many Russian billionaires were forced to call of such purchases, and others to hold a fire sale of the assets they owned. If the tech bubble bursts were to burst it would surely trigger another recession, during this Larry Page will find it a lot easier to sell a 195 foot yacht for 20 million than others will find it to sell 400 foot yachts for 150 million.

On the other hand, these yachts are not usually bought to take the family out on a jaunt around the local sea. They are bought as a symbol of wealth and status. So, looking at it from this angle, Page is either trying to be the bigger man, to rise above such petty manhood measuring, subconsciously in fear that Google’s global dominance is not as secure as it once was, or his wealth and status is not as great as the likes of Paul Allen and Larry Ellison, who own yachts of 415ft and 454ft respectively, both costing over $200m.

Which is it? Does it matter? The Senses, formerly owned by New Zealand brewing heir Sir Douglas Meyer is a yacht that us mere mortals can only dream of owning.

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Michael Jordan has spent $12.4 million dollars on a new luxury home in the Bears Club, a prime golf community designed and owned by Jack Nicklaus. A lover of privacy Jordan chose not to go for one of the remaining waterfront properties, but instead bought the most expensive home without direct access to the water.


The secluded property includes a guard house, a pool house and a guest house as well as the main house, within 28,000 square feet of grounds.

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Update: World’s Most Expensive House – Antilia (Mumbai) Lays Empty! (click here to read more)

The world’s most expensive home is complete. The $1 billion (£630 million), 27 storey tower block in Mumbai is the home of Mukesh Ambani — the richest man in India, fourth richest man in the world –, his wife and their 3 children. It is difficult to know what to call it. It is far too big and grand to call it a house, the fact that it has more floor space than the palace of Versailles and 600 staff would ordinarily make it a castle, or Mansion, but can you call a sky scraper a mansion?