NBC San Francisco
Aug. 16, 2023
The Tuscan-style mega villa that sits high atop Malibu has just been put back on the market with a $44.5 million price tag.
The residence, known as Malibu Rocky Oaks, sits on 37 acres at an elevation of 2,000 feet in the Santa Monica Mountains. At that altitude, under certain weather conditions, the house often sits above the clouds.
"If you have a God complex, this is the house for you," listing agent Shawn Elliott of Nest Seekers International told CNBC on a recent tour of the property.
Nest Seekers International
The view at 2,000 feet sometimes puts the villa high above the clouds.
The property also includes a 10-acre vineyard with more than 10,000 grape vines sprouting across the estate's sun-soaked hillside.
"To me, this is like the eighth wonder of the world," Elliott said.
A view of the stone-clad villa's sundeck and infinity pool.
But Elliott, who is the latest in a long list of brokers that has tried to sell the estate, admits it hasn't been easy to price it to sell. In fact, prior to Elliott coming on board, public records show the home has been on and off the market for about 14 years at a wide range of prices. Back in 2009, it was first listed for $65 million, the home's all-time high asking price. By 2013, the asking price dropped to $36 million, the lowest list price so far.
The home's tiered stone deck and infinity pool at sunset.
Last August, the on-again-off-again listing came back on the market, with a $49.5 million asking price. But after just five months with no takers, it was once again pulled off the market. This week, almost exactly a year later, it debuts again with a new price tag and a broker who is looking to finally nail the number and close the deal.
"We're doing a $5 million price reduction because I really think that's going to be the number that's going to drive buyers," said Elliott.
A private driveway ascends the vine-covered hillside and delivers visitors to the villa's stone courtyard and three-car garage.
At 9,000 square feet, the home's new asking price puts the price per square foot just under $5,000, or almost three and a half times more than the average price per square foot achieved in Malibu's second quarter, which was just under $1,500, but still well below the almost $7,500 average price per square foot achieved for the town's beachfront properties, according to the Elliman Report.
Its size alone is an outlier in Malibu where the average home sold in the second quarter was just 3,200 square feet with a median sales price of just over $4.4 million, down almost 2% over last year.
Even the pricier beachfront properties that have sold recently pale in comparison with an average size of just over 3,000 square feet and a median price of $10.5 million — that's up 13.9% over last year according to the Elliman Report.
Public records show the estate was purchased back in 2005 for $3.5 million by entrepreneur and real estate investor Howard Leight Sr. Construction was completed on the giant Tuscan manor, designed by architect Bob Easton in 2009. Leight made his fortune in the hearing protection product industry and sold his eponymous company for a reported $125 million.
The great room features a 35-foot ceiling and an interior balcony off the primary bedroom that overlooks the living area from the second level.
The French limestone-clad villa's more recent history includes being featured on reality TV and film. The Kardashians visited in 2014 for an episode of their show on E!, the reality show "The Bachelorette" was shot there in 2013 and in the same year, the high-end real estate was featured in the film, "The Hangover Part III."
Today, Leight's son, Howard Leight Jr., is the face of the villa-vineyard combo and its Instagram account. The property is currently made available for rent by the night and for events. Elliott told CNBC the going rate for an overnight stay during the high season is $15,000, or $105,000 per week, but the estate is also marketed on Airbnb where depending on dates, the rates can drop below $2,500 a night.
Here's a look around the Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate.
The dining room of the villa.
The dining room opens to outdoor stone terraces on two sides and arches in a stone wall lead to the great room.
The primary suite.
The primary suite includes vaulted ceilings and two balconies, plus a wraparound terrace.
A terrace off the primary suite with a fireplace and views of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The view from the primary bedroom's interior balcony.
The primary suite's third interior balcony overlooks the great room where 35-foot ceilings are clad in walnut wood.
The primary suite's marble-clad bathroom and arched ceilings.
The villa spans three levels with five bedrooms and five bathrooms.
One of the home's ensuite guest bedrooms.
The commercial-grade kitchen includes stainless-steel appliances, stone countertops and hardwood floors with an arched window that can open to the dining room.
Grapevines can be seen on the hillside just below the infinity pool. The most popular varietals of the vineyard's 10 grapes are cabernet, merlot, syrah and chardonnay.
Outdoor seating area with a stone fireplace.
A dusk view of the estate's grapevine lined hilltop.