America’s most expensive property – AKA”The Mountain” – which was listed for US$1 billion, has sold at auction… for just US$100,000.
You read that correctly. If the initial listing price wasn’t absurd enough, the outcome of the sale surely has you begging for answers as to what the absolute fuck went wrong there?
The 157-acre estate found smack bang in the centre of the 90210 postcode and perched atop some of the highest land in the city of Los Angeles sold at a foreclosure auction on Tuesday for 0.01 percent of its original asking price. Robb Report writes that an exorbitant debt, murky ownership and a lacklustre auction attended by only 20 people were contributing factors in the wild outcome.
The relatively vacant lot has an odd and convoluted past. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the property was purchased by the sister of the Shah of Iran in the 1970s and then sold to a man by the name of Merv Griffin. Herbalife founder Mark Hughes stepped in and bought it for $8.7 million in 1997, at the time making it the most expensive property sold in America, prior to his sudden death in 2000.
Hughes left it to a trust, however, which tossed it back and forth between dodgy companies only to finally be settled in court and awarded to the current owners, Charles “Chip” Dickens and his business partner Victor Franco Noval, who attempted to flog it off last year for the laughable figure.
However, unable to find a buyer (I wonder why) and reportedly stifled by debt, Secured Capital Partners, the pair’s limited liability company, apparently tried to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with no success.
A foreclosure auction was forced upon the property by the Hughes estate, which could either sell the lot and attempt to recover the losses – or buy it back. Opting for the latter and with no interest from other buyers, they succeeded.
The original listing was 10 times higher than any previous listing in the history of Los Angeles County, but hey, if you’re not shooting too high, you’re shooting too low. Well, maybe this was indeed a tad too ambitious. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?