Off the market, there are options a little pricier (like the $90 million Carolwood Estate and $150 million Owlwood Estate) but L.A.’s most expensive home listed for general public consumption is known as Singleton House, a Wallace Neff colonial in Holmby Hills at 384 Delfern Drive. The asking price for the 10-bedroom, 12.5-bath estate on 7 acres is $75 million. Neff, of course, is the architect best known for old Hollywood marvels like Pickfair, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks’s Beverly Hills estate.
To learn a little more about the Holmby Hills (aka Bel Air) property that went on the market a month ago, I spoke to listing agent Joyce Essex of Essex & Harvey in Beverly Hills.
What makes the Singleton House worth so much?
In layman’s terms, it’s the land. The property is situated on three separate parcels over 7 acres total. What’s unusual is that around five or more acres are flat. Basically what that means is that you have a park of your own in prime Holmby, where flat land is typically valued at 10 million per acre.
What’s on all that flat land?
The property is laid out extremely well. There’s a tennis court, a large lake, a massive motor court, a pool, rolling lawns and entryways in addition to a remarkable amount of parking for staff, for guests and also for residents. What’s also wonderful is the privacy. The entire acreage is gated and hidden. You can be almost anywhere on the grounds or in the house and not be seen from any of the nearby lots.
Say a little about the history.
It’s one of the last Wallace Neff originals. He was the architect on so many of the grand traditional homes in Beverly Hills and his structure is unbelievable. What you don’t see from the outside is that there’s a 7,500 foot basement underneath. The man who originally built the house [Henry Singleton, who died in 1999] started [electronics company] Teledyne, so the engineering is tremendous all around. Overall, it’s timeless and elegant.
What’s it like inside?
Even by neighborhood standards, it’s a standout. The oval hallway is reminiscent of Versailles. Extremely high ceilings throughout, a two-story foyer, walnut parquet, white marble. There are six bedrooms upstairs and each is extremely spacious. The flow of the rooms is magnificent. Although it was built in the 1970s, it doesn’t look like it. It feels like a 1930s house. Crown moldings, coffered ceilings.