When a property is listed for years instead of months, it's time to wonder why. In the case of Malibu's most-expensive listing -- La Villa Contenta which came on the market at $75 million in December of 2010 -- it was a problem of bad market timing. The remedy in the case of La Villa Contenta is a price slash of epic proportions: It's down to a mere mortal's $54 million, according to Coldwell Banker listing agent Chris Cortazzo. OK, he didn't say the mere mortal part, but he did confirm the price drop.
Real estate wags have never been kind about the pricing of the eight-acre ocean-view estate that has multiple structures. It came on the market listed two ways: Buy the whole enchilada or just buy the main house. The enchilada's price is now $54 million; the main house alone was originally $35 million, then dropped to $28.5 million and is now $23.8 million. Some agents said buyers interested in the main house were confused about who would own the rest of the estate, how it would be broken up, etc.
Plus the piece de resistance of the estate isn't the 12,000-square-foot main house with its two-story hand-carved limestone entryway and its hand-laid pietra-dura mosaic made from reclaimed antique marbles. Nah. While stunning by anybody's standards, the main house still doesn't get the press of the natatorium. Right, a natatorium -- an indoor pool that is Romanesque in style, that owner Richard Weintraub built himself. It has a frieze over the doorway and is made of more than a million seashells. The room has two changing rooms paneled in rare onyx and decorated with more seashells. The pool is tiled in Murano glass and the room has 20-foot-tall glass ceilings.
The estate also has one of the largest private greenhouses in California; it accommodates several thousand orchids. A walkway of travertine slabs that "float" on water connects the desert garden, pool pavilion and greenhouse.
And of course, this being Los Angeles and all, it has earned its movie chops too. The house was Queen Sophie's mansion on "True Blood," and was also used in the films "Funny People" and "I Love You Man."