This is an entry in the Active Rain Buyer Challenge:
Dear Ms. Hilton:
I would first like to thank you for your generous time to discuss your housing needs here in the San Diego area. The Beverly Hills Hotel is such a charming place for meetings and I appreciate the time you spent with me over lunch sharing your requirements for your second home. The tour of your new Beverly Hills estate was quite helpful to better understand your lifestyle. I am honored that you have selected me to assist you in this important search.
YOUR REQUIREMENTS: We discussed your interest in having a home near the beach which will serve as a getaway from your busy life in Los Angeles. Some specific requirements include a pool, 4+ bedrooms, and a minimum of 4000 SF. You also said you might consider a penthouse downtown which would enable you to enjoy the nightlife and restaurants in San Diego, provide fabulous views, and permit easy access to our airport.
You mentioned that, because of your busy schedule, public appearances, interviews and charitable activities, you would like the chance to escape LA and have some privacy to entertain friends and relax. A gated community or estate in an area where other residents respect and desire personal privacy and security will allow for maximum privacy; a luxury high-rise downtown would also provide the level of privacy and security you are seeking.
We discussed budget and price range, and it was clear that finding the right home is of paramount importance, and that I should not limit my search to any particular price range. Because of the wide range of luxury properties here in San Diego, there are a number of options that meet your criteria.
Before I discuss the homes that I have for you to consider, I'd like to address your requirements in more depth and share some helpful information:
TRANSPORTATION/AIRPORT ACCESS: I have been careful to keep in mind your frequent travel needs. Living downtown will enable you to get to the airport quickly. There is an excellent limousine service that can arrange for a car and driver to be available for you within a short period of time to whisk you from your home to the airport (you can either call or reserve on-line or have your assistant do that for you). If you prefer, you may charter a helicopter from Montgomery Field in San Diego to take you back to LA (flying time is 1 hour or less) or to LAX where you will have greater choices of international flights. You can use the same driver service from the areas where the other homes are located as well. If you would like to charter a private jet, or have friends visiting who are flying in on their own aircraft, the Palomar Airport in Carlsbad provides easy access. The best charter service for you is SCHUBACH AVIATION.
PRIVACY AND SECURITY: I understand that being a public figure means you are in the limelight a great deal. We talked about your desire to live where you could be fairly anonymous, avoid the paparazzi, and maintain your privacy. With that in mind it is important we find you an estate in a gated enclave, or a penthouse in a luxury high-rise, where you can enjoy that privacy and security, and where your neighbors, despite their own high-profile lives, also seek to maintain a low-key, private lifestyle.
THE HOME SEARCH AND BUYING PROCESS: As I'm sure you know first hand, as a celebrity you are in the public eye, where every move is watched. This presents a challenge for high-profile clients who are engaged in a home search. Please know that I will safeguard your privacy at all times, including which homes you are looking at.
This brings up an important issue we should discuss. Given your celebrity status, it is possible that some homeowners, if they know the name of the buyer, might seek to take advantage of your name and financial status, which could impede your ability to negotiate a fair price. I know that despite your ability to pay whatever it takes to buy the home you love, you certainly don't what to pay more than fair market value or to be taken advantage of. If you wish, we might consider having your spokesperson or some other representative serve as intermediary and keep your name completely out of the negotiations. The property could even be purchased in the name of your trust to maintain anonymity. We can arrange private showings so no one will know that you are the buyer, if you prefer to remain anonymous.
HOMES TO CONSIDER: I have selected three properties that I believe meet your needs.
HOME #1: The first is a very private gated estate of almost 7 acres in RANCHO SANTA FE (I suggest you click on the link for a virtual tour of Rancho Santa Fe) on 7 acres. DELICIAS, in the village, is one of my favorite restaurants - you would enjoy it! This community is one of the most expensive in the US, according to Forbes, and the majority of the homes are gated and very private, to enable residents to enjoy the low-profile they are seeking here.
The fact that you only plan to live here part-time will not be a concern, since perhaps 40% of the residents are themselves only here part of the year. Many, in fact, have multiple homes elsewhere in the US and abroad. Rest assured you will have fine company; there are a number of billionaires, CEOs, philanthropists, and socialites who maintain residences here.
Given your desire to escape the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Rancho Santa Fe provides an excellent place to get away, since homeowners tend to prefer a very private, low-key lifestyle away from the public eye. You will want to keep in mind this community does not offer the nightlife and other amenities that you are accustomed to in Beverly Hills - but you can easily get back to LA for the evening in just a couple of hours.
The main house is almost 13,000 SF with a separate guest house. Completed in 2006, this estate offers you 7 bedrooms and 9 baths, and wonderful entertaining opportunities, including a unique outdoor theatre seating up to 100, a wine cellar, and a sophisticated audio and video system throughout. There are several outdoor fireplaces, an exquisite pool and spa, and many custom finishes including Portuguese limestone, onyx, and mahogany cabinetry. Entertaining your friends from Los Angeles and Beverly Hills will be a pleasure (by the way, the best catering company is The French Gourmet). This is truly a magnificent property, priced at $18,500,000.
HOME #2: The second property is an exquisite 2-story penthouse in SAN DIEGO'S luxury Renaissance Tower in the Marina district, with fabulous 360-degree views of the city and the bay. Your privacy is assured with the 24-hour security with closed circuit TV, a private elevator, and a full-time concierge is available to meet your every need.
This wonderful home has almost 4400 SF of living and entertaining space, 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. A state-of-the-art media/screening room, a wine cellar, and game room are just some of the unique amenities; there is a wrap-around 1500 SF outdoor terrace to revel at the views and entertain your guests on the 22nd floor. Exotic stones and woods, custom-built fireplaces, and extensive use of gold, silver and bronze leaf are just some of the finishes. This home, possibly the most breathtaking high-rise home ever offered in Southern California, is priced at $12.5 million.
HOME #3: Living in LA JOLLA could be ideal, with many similarities to the lifestyle you enjoy so much in Beverly Hills. Known for its extraordinary beauty, glitzy boutiques, exclusive spas and salons, fabulous ocean views, and as an international hotspot, Prospect Street in La Jolla could be your new Rodeo Drive.
The home I have in mind is a Spanish-style gated beachfront estate that will remind you of the property you loved renting on the beach in the Malibu Colony last summer. Many Hollywood celebrities have spent time here, and the legendary Cliff Robertson was a recent owner. With over 6000 SF, 7 bedrooms and 5 baths, and a detached guest house, you can enjoy the privacy you seek directly on the ocean, yet within a very short distance to trendy La Jolla Village. Approved landscaping plans will allow you to create the patios, pool and lush grounds you seek rather than having to remodel someone else's creation. This historic estate is priced at $22,500,000.
HOME #4: I also wanted to mention an extraordinary opportunity for you - something that few people ever have a chance to do here in Southern California - and thought it might appeal to your sense of creativity, and wish to own something "over the top."
An amazing property in DEL MAR, where you may create the home of your dreams on possibly the best piece of ocean-front land ever available in the area, has come on the public market. With more than 396 feet of frontage and about 6 acres, you have a chance to build exactly what you want (within the limits of the permits approved by the town).
I can provide the names of several revered architects who have built homes for demanding high-profile clients in the area, depending on the style of home you would prefer.
Currently there is a large two-story home on the property which needs extensive remodeling, but the highest and best use would be to create your own masterpiece; you can also add a large guesthouse so friends will have a private place to stay. This gated oasis is a short distance from the Del Mar Race Track so you and friends can easily attend Opening Day festivities, always a highlight of the San Diego social set in the summer. The boutiques and salons of Del Mar are a short distance away, as is the village of La Jolla, our "jewel" of Southern California.
Priced at $76 million, this is an incredible opportunity for you, and one which will surely reap financial benefits in the future should you decide to sell.
STAFFING YOUR NEW ESTATE: As a part-time resident in either the Rancho Santa Fe or La Jolla homes (or in Del Mar if you choose to build), you will need a staff to ensure your estate remains in pristine condition at all times, inside and out: the grounds and pool will need to be maintained, and you will probably want to ensure the home is always ready for your arrival at a moment's notice, with the necessary food, beverages (I know you are a fan of Bling H20 as is your dog) and general supplies. A small staff can be on hand whenever you need them for entertaining, or simply to ensure your comfort while in residence.
If you wish to have a chauffeur to drive you to and from shopping, the airport and social events, I would suggest Private Driver as the best source. If you decide not to drive down from Beverly Hills but prefer to have a car of your own while in residence, I would suggest San Diego Prestige - you might enjoy renting their Bentley GT convertible, or the Aston Martin Vantage (by the way they have several fabulous yachts for charter...perhaps a party on San Diego Bay for your friends?).
For groundskeepers, you can hire either permanent live-in staff or bring in a service to maintain the grounds. Kingstree Service and Landscaping has an excellent reputation in San Diego. Your pool will need regular care as well, and the Pool Butler will serve your needs nicely, so you never have to worry, whether you are in town or not.
If you would like to hire a housekeeper, personal chef, butler or other live-in staff, Chadwick Village Staffing is THE place to go. Let me know and I will arrange an appointment for you with them once you have decided on the property you wish to buy.
PREPARATIONS FOR YOUR VISIT: I have taken the liberty of having all the particulars on these properties, including videos, community information, and more, couriered to your home for your review. Once you have had an opportunity to look over these materials I will arrange your private tour.
Please let me know if you will be driving in or flying down so I can arrange the necessary transportation for you, and escort you to these fine properties. If you plan on staying for a few days, may I recommend a suite at the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad.
I look forward to your visit and assisting you with the purchase of the home of your dreams here in America's finest city!
Jeffrey K. Dowler