Sunday, May 25, 2008

UPDATE: Kaufmann House

Alright my little puppies, Your Mama has been getting all sorts of inquiries desiring and demanding that we reveal the identity of the person who purchased the Neutra designed Kaufmann House that was auctioned off a couple of weeks ago as part of the Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art sale in Noo York City.

The children will recall that the mystery buyer agreed to fork over a reported $16,800,000 for the pristine Palm Springs property (plus taxes and auction house fees) and later made an agreement to purchase an adjacent parcel for an additional $2,000,000.

Your Mama would be pleased as a carb addict in a bakery to announce the name of the buyer. But alas, we don't know who the some-bitch is. What we can tell you, thanks to tipster Desert Danny, is that the sale has been canceled. Yes, y'all read that correctly, canceled.

According to MyDesert.com, the sellers of the Kaufmann house, a married couple named Harris who are selling their labor of money of love because they are getting a big dee-vorce, put the kibosh on the contract late last week due to a "breach of its terms by the buyer."

Oh dear. That sounds vague and uglee, don't it?

As Your Mama understands, there were only two serious bidders for the property, both unidentified and making bids over the telephone. We can only hope that the folks at Christie's are on the horn cajoling the losing bidder to get back in the game and buy the damn house so everyone can wash their hands of the much publicized matter.

Whatever machinations are at play on the back side, the children should stay tuned and make sure they have a big bottle of Bombay Sapphire close by because we think this may be another of those sordid real estate stories drags on for an eternity while all the juicy details drip slowly out and into the hands of tongue wagging real estate gossips like Your Mama.

Photo: Tim Street Porter

23 comments:

theflyingdutchman said...

Nice 'n Juicy. Can't wait for more to be squeezed though.

What's the deal with all the minimalist/modernist homes in Palm Springs? Does anyone know why and how it happened? Yes, I know when approximately and probably because of its proximity to LA but is there a story to it?

Anonymous said...

Oh boy... I guess this means I better go buy a lotto ticket maybe I'll hit the big one and can run off and purchase this magnificent home.

The poor Harris's, hopefully they don't need to sell it that badly... not sure any of the details as to how civil thier divorce proceedings are or how desperately either of them may or may not need the cash.

It would be interesting to see how much money they actually put into renovations to the house. How far are they really coming out ahead after the years of expensive renovations tracking down the best craftsman and finest original materials for the home. I believe I read somewhere that they even had a quarry re-opened after decades of being closed to get the original stone for the house.

Parker said...

Does anyone know how much the auction fees are? Just curious. I'm always so sickened by property taxes, and I can't imagine paying auction fees too. Is that in lieu of broker's fees, perhaps?

so_chic_darling said...

15-20% on top of sale price.

Coreigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alessandra said...

Bad form on the buyer's part. Not well played at all.

lil' gay boy said...

Hmmm, let's see;

Money, great historic architecture, money, art auction, money, sale falls through, money, possibly bitter divorce, money, community property fights, money . . .


Classic Americana.

Anonymous said...

Selling price = 15m
Fees = 1.8m
Option exercised to buy adjacent land = 2.1m

Total purchase and fees about 18.9m.

The Hollywood Mayor said...

Most of the time with auctions (at least ones that need court approval) you get a cashier's check from the buyer with at least 5% of the opening bid's price to make sure the buyers stay in the game - if they don't close on the property, the seller can keep the $$.

If the buyers have to walk away from that then at least the sellers have some consolation.

If this auction house didn't do that then shame on them and the sellers...

Coreigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Where in Palm Springs is this house? Do you have an address? Is it in "old" PS?

luke220 said...

It's on West Vista Chino.

I bet Christie's doesn't handle the next "go round".

Anonymous said...

In the Las Palmas neighborhood.

sandpiper said...

"The contract has been terminated by the seller by reason of a breach of its terms by the buyer," according to a statement issued by Christie's New York.

Huh? A breach? Oh-oh. The deal settle out at about 9-mil, incl. customary fees, et al.

What really happened? Will there be penalties?

Anonymous said...

Afternoon all!

Quick question as I must be missing something. I'm trying to find the property using Google maps and I can't. West Vista Chino is shown as a short street dead ending a few blocks west of North Palm Canyon Drive. I don't see a property that could be an apple orcahrd and I don't see a home the resembles this one.

A drink on me from Girl At The Bar if someone can help a fumblefingers out! Thanks

Peace
Joel

Coreigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
auntie-agent said...

Mama...Bombay Sapphire??? Like Diana Trent, I'll take Beefeater any day...

Gin! It makes a body good!

sandpiper said...

PS...Plz ignore my numbers in above post. Suffering from exchange rate confustion today. :)

Anonymous said...

Flyingdutchman - Palm Springs is noted for its mid-century modern architecture, a tradition that grew out of the aesthetics of the world-renowned German Bauhaus and is reflected in the work of Albert Frey (who designed the Palm Springs city hall, tram station, Movie Colony Hotel and airport), Donald Wexler, Richard Neutra, E. Stewart Williams, and other world-famous architects.

A home developer, Alexander Homes, popularized this post-and-beam architectural style in the Coachella Valley. Alexander houses and similar homes feature low-pitched roofs, wide eaves, open-beamed ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Restoration projects are now being undertaken all over the city to return these homes and businesses to their original condition. Students of mid-century architecture and design come to the city to study its heritage in this unusual style of the decorative arts.
Some of the Alexander homes have a "butterfly" roofline and are referred to as an "Alexander Butterfly". These are very popular, as are "front-loaded" pools (the pool is in the front yard of a walled and gated home). Couple this with a 35% gay population and you get a very hip desert city.....

Anonymous said...

if buyer bails or " is breach of terms " he is still on the hook for the auction house commissions.. could be a very expensive case of buyers remorse..
only time will tell..

Anonymous said...

Okay, we have this house and the Singleton house in Bel Air... are there any other famous mid century works of are presently on the market by (Neutra, Wright, Levitt, etc.)

Anyone know any?

Anonymous said...

I am still surprised the Singleton house hasn't sold. Personally, if a home in Palm Springs is fetching this type of bling, you'd think the Singleton house in Bel Air could get in the $20-25mm range if it wasn't so f'ed up by Sassoon. It seriously couldn't be more than $2-3mm to undo Sassoon's idiotic modifications. I'd expect someone to pay in the high teen millions for the place and begin and immidiate renovation.

Anonymous said...

Singleton sold under 10.0 to the Sassoon's and than they made this horrible renovation. Thank god no one want to pay for this mess