If someone bought Celebrity Net Worth for $100 million today, I would do the following three things tomorrow: #1) Two chicks at the same time, #2) Trade my Acura in for the top of the line Range Rover, and #3) Buy this $49 million mansion in Marin County, California.
Why this house? Well, it's roughly 20 minutes from where my parents live, which will be helpful if I ever have kids and need babysitters. It's also really close to San Francisco, which will be nice for networking with my fellow tech bazillionaires. And finally, being close to home will allow me to host all of my high school's alumni events, and that will in turn allow me to really drive home the point that I absolutely crushed life to all my former classmates.
More importantly though, this house is amazing and it's everything I dreamed about as a kid. Located in ultra-exclusive Tiburon, California, this 9,235 square foot mansion has five bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. It was originally built in 1904 by a banking magnate named Locksley. The house is still referred to as Locksley Hall. It sits on a one-acre flat lot with nearly 360 degree views of San Francisco Bay that include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and downtown San Francisco.
The house was purchased by a billionaire Canadian mining tycoon named Robert Friedland in 1995 for $5.5 million. Between 1998 and 2007 Friedland spent an additional $32 million restoring every square inch of the property. And after all that work was done, in 2007 he sold the house for $65 million, setting a sales record for Northern California at the time. Today the house is being offered by the current owner for $49 million. I guess the 2008 real estate bubble shaved the price down a bit.
This mansion has one really unique and awesome benefit that most mansions do not have. At some point during the renovation process, Robert Friedland wisely asked California to deem his house as being historically significant. Technically speaking, he lobbied to have the house covered under California's Mills Act. The Mills Act allows the owner of a historically significant home to drastically reduce his or her property tax bill in exchange for continuing to preserve and maintain the house. Here's why that is a big deal:
Normally if you buy a $50 million house in California, you would owe roughly $500,000 a year in property taxes. That's $41,667 per month just for taxes. That's $1,400 a day before you pay the gardener, the grocery bill, the mortgage, and the insurance. With a house that is covered by the Mills Act, the homeowner can basically write off any expenses used for maintenance and general upkeep. That's awesome because if you own a house like this, you're gonna be spending a fortune on monthly upkeep anyway. You might as well get a tax break out of it!
So for example, say it costs $20,000 a month just to maintain a house like this (which is probably not unreasonable). You were going to be spending that money no matter what. That's $240,000 a year that you can write off, effectively cutting your property tax bill in half.
So that's my dream house. What's yours? Where is it located and what's it gonna set you back?