Real Estate News

For $12 million, you can have the former Granite Bay home of actor Eddie Murphy

It could be the ultimate house flip. A Granite Bay mansion that set a Sacramento-area record when it sold for $6.1 million in 2007 is on the market again, this time for $12 million.

The former home of movie star Eddie Murphy in the gated Los Lagos neighborhood has hardly been touched or lived in for the past six years. It’s owned by Patrick Willis, an investor from Nevada and founder of repossession company American Recovery Service, based in Sacramento.

Willis kept the home’s purple marble floors shined and stocked at least one of its 14 bathrooms with tubes of Colgate Shrek toothpaste.

But otherwise the 12,600-square-foot house is just as Murphy’s wife, Nicole, left it when they divorced, and she sold it. That means it still has a semi-circular purple sofa in the living room, a cassette deck in the family room, a Shrek-themed bedroom and a vintage Ms. Pac-Man machine in the video arcade.

There’s a professional-quality gym, an infinity pool with a two waterfalls, a movie theater with purple seats, and a 5,200-square-foot guest house.

“As soon as you walk in it has that wow factor,” said Nick Sadek, one of two listing agents for the property and a specialist in multimillion-dollar homes. The Granite Bay house was built for the Murphys and their five children because Nicole Mitchell Murphy was from Sacramento.

Sadek sold the same house last time around, hitting a price that has yet to be equaled in Sacramento or its suburbs. Only homes near Lake Tahoe have sold for more in the greater Sacramento region.

This time Sadek is hoping to outdo himself.

Several reasons justify the price, he contended.

Building a similar house today would take years and cost much more than $12 million, he said. The home occupies the highest point in one of the region’s most exclusive enclaves, with sweeping views of Folsom Lake and the Sierra Nevada. Prices for luxury properties have risen since 2007, when the housing market had crashed and the financial world was in turmoil.

And then there’s the connection with Murphy. The house has a Hollywood cachet that’s unique in Sacramento, he said.

“This is an icon,” Sadek said. “It’s the only one that carries a mystique about it.”

The asking price might make local buyers gasp, but the target audience won’t blink, he said. The buyers Sadek has in mind include high-tech titans from Silicon Valley, hedge fund managers from New York and overseas investors from China and Russia.

“If we expand our marketing sphere, $12 million doesn’t seem like a lot,” he said.

With the house featured in The Wall Street Journal, there have already been a few inquiries from “out of the area,” he said.

But Sadek said he’d really like to see Vivek Ranadive, the managing partner of the Sacramento Kings, buy the house. It’s already done up in the basketball team’s primary color, from its purple pool table to the purple concrete around the swimming pool.

Its 10 bedroom suites, some with their own sitting areas and kitchens, make it perfect for hosting events and housing rookie players and those trying out for the team, he said.

Sadek said he planned to send a polite email to Ranadive soon.

Adam Keigwin, who represents the Kings with Mercury Public Affairs in Sacramento, said Wednesday it was unlikely the Kings or Ranadive would respond immediately to the idea of buying Murphy’s house.

“I think it’s kind of random,” Keigwin said.

Pat Shea, president of Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, questioned the asking price.

It’s true that the high-end market has improved since 2007, but homes haven’t doubled in price, he said. And even if the buyer was from out the area, the house is still in the Sacramento region, where even the highest-end homes don’t go for anywhere near that much.

In New York, $12 million would buy a luxury apartment; in San Francisco, a house in an exclusive neighborhood.

Lyon released data Wednesday showing that sales of luxury homes in the Sacramento region jumped more than 50 percent from the year before. But in this area, the highest-end homes sell for $750,000 and above, the cost of a simple family house in many Bay Area communities.

Lyon agents sold two of the highest priced houses in the region last year. A 13,690 square-foot mansion in Granite Bay sold for $4.7 million in November and a house on Crocker Road in the Sierra Oaks neighborhood sold in February for $4.75 million. It was the highest priced home ever to sell in Sacramento County.

Shea compared the asking price on Murphy’s former home to the asking price for the The Manor – a 56,000-square-foot French chateau built by television producer Aaron Spelling in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles.

It went on the market in 2009 for $150 million, making it the most expensive home ever listed in the United States. But it sold two years later for $85 million.

“They’re going to be challenged,” Shea said. “The market hasn’t totally recovered in the upper end. We certainly haven’t doubled since 2007.”

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