It’s another sign of the times as yet one more mega-mansion goes on the auction block due to bad timing. Like so many others, though on an unusually massive scale, Southern California’s #1 agent was in the process of following his dream when the American real estate market began its unanticipated downward spiral. In 2003 when John McMonigle purchased the 12.47 Newport Beach acres for $3.2 million, for a wealthy man, his dream of building the Italianate Villa del Lago was a large dream but not out of reach.
Though it is unknown how much has been expended to get the home to its current state of 95% finished structure and 85% finished grounds, it is believed that the property value reached $87 million. When Mr. McMonigle was finally forced to file for bankruptcy, the home was put on the market initially at $57 million where it sat for two years and was finally reduced to $37 million, by which price it is still listed with Hom Sotheby’s International Realty. Having sat at $37 million for just over a year, the Orange County compound is now headed for bankruptcy court-approved auction on April 26, 2012. Drawing worldwide attention from qualified buyers and dreamers alike, the already discounted listing price may turn into a dramatic bargain at auction and is being carefully watched.
The property includes the manse at 17,706sf with 8 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms and wine cave. Views include the Pacific, Newport city lights and mountains and overlooks a private lake with terraced waterfalls. Being the largest private estate in Newport Beach, there is a vineyard, a horse stable and riding area, a 17-car garage and gatehouse as well as tennis court. It is estimated that the new owner will need to invest at least another $3 million to complete the property.
April 26th auction expected to bring possible 35% discount to the already hugely discounted current listing price of $37 million.