In 1930, when the country was reeling from the stock market crash a year earlier, the society landscape architect Lockwood de Forest was putting the finishing touches to a Montecito, Calif., estate called Constantia. Designed in a South African Dutch-Colonial style (yes, that's a thing), the 9,771-square-foot house and 3.2 acres of grounds had views of both the Montecito mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
After passing through a series of owners—according to Zillow, it's been sold three times in just the past decade—the house has been listed again for $18.5 million by its current owner, Justin Chang, an executive with Los Angeles-based Colony Capital, a real estate-focused private equity company. "We acquired it in 2012 as a weekend property," Chang said in a phone interview. "It's served us really well as a second residence, but our family needs are evolving, and our kids are getting older. It's time to sell."
When Chang bought the home, for what Zillow says was $16.8 million, it had recently undergone a complete renovation, so there was very little work to do, he said. "We did some touch-ups, all with an eye to staying true to the architectural and historical heritage."
The house has six bedrooms, four full baths, and five half-baths. The entertaining rooms, which include a large wood-beamed living room, a formal dining room, a breakfast room, and a vaulted, eat-in gourmet kitchen, are all on the first floor, as is a master bedroom suite with something Riskin Partners, the real estate firm co-listing the property, calls a "morning room."
On the second floor are three guest bedrooms, a media and game room, and two small bedrooms intended to be used by live-in staff. The house also contains a mahogany paneled office, a basement media room (read: a giant TV), and a five-car garage.
The grounds, which are largely unchanged from de Lockwood's original design, are manicured and terraced and lead down to a large reflecting pond. In the back of the house are a swimming pool, spa, sunken garden, and outdoor terrace.
The house, which is located in the estates section of Montecito, is a short walk from the Knowlwood Tennis club and a five minute drive from the waterfront. "It's an amazing community," Chang said. "It's wonderful, private, and family oriented." It's about a two-hour drive from downtown L.A.
"You can see from the pictures that this is a special, somewhat unique place," Chang said. "It's been a wonderful time for us. I feel like, with a property like this, we're just stewards of an historical estate."
This article was provided by Bloomberg News.