In 1971, Warren Buffett bought a contemporary-style beach home in Laguna Beach for $150,000 - long before prices on the Southern California Pacific Coast began to skyrocket. He has had the six-bedroom home listed for over a year at $11 million, but recently cut the price by $3.1 million, now asking $7.9 million.
Known for his Midas Touch in choosing investments, Warren Buffett is equally well known for being a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to living like the billionaire he is. Never one to be led by societal advancements, he refrains from using popular technology and has no egotistical need to keep up with the Joneses or prove that his anything is bigger and better than his peers. Of course, with a worth of almost $85 billion, he has few peers. The only visible evidence of his largess is the private jet he purchased in 1989, only because it saved time in getting to his meetings.
One of the most unexpected things one would expect from a billionaire such as Buffett is that he would still be living in an average family home that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 in Omaha, Nebraska - the city where he was born. That’s not to say that he didn’t make one splurge in personal real estate. While married to his first wife, Susan Thompson, he did buy a beach house in 1971 where the family of five would vacation and spend holidays. He purchased it for $150,000, overlooking the Pacific and only a short walk to the sandy beach. Now that it is no longer used, he put it on the market in early 2017 and is now ready to make a deal reducing the price by $3.1 million.
Today in a much more developed community than when he bought in, the house is located in a gated community that sports multiple tennis courts, swimming pool and beach volleyball courts among other amenities. He and Susan enjoyed entertaining their friends at the house but found that there were so many visiting that he also bought a house next door and built a stairway to connect the two. After Susan died in 2004, Warren rarely used the home and sold the connecting property in 2005.
At 3,588 square feet, the Laguna Beach house is much different than Warren’s traditional Omaha home which is worth about $600,000. His California home is very contemporary with six bedrooms and seven baths, big windows, sculptured ceilings and recessed lighting to spotlight the home’s modern art, a long fireplace and multiple built-ins. Two of the bedrooms have private entrances so guests can come and go without disturbing others. All rooms, including the large family room and decks, have ocean and beach views and the rock cliffs spilling onto the beach of Emerald Bay. Though Buffett will no longer be playing his uke on the deck or bridge with his friends, it is an excellent property for enjoying family and friends with plenty to do on one of California’s most popular beaches. Newly priced at $7.9 million, the listing agent is Bill Dolby of Villa Real Estate, Emerald Bay, California.
Photo credit: Todd Tankersley Photography