Friday, March 27, 2009

Don Imus's Surprisingly Dignified Digs

SELLER: Don Imus
LOCATION: Beachside Avenue, Westport, CT
PRICE: $30,000,000
SIZE: 10,000 square feet (approx.), 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Direct waterfront estate on Westport's premier "Gold Coast." 10,000 sf post Greco-Georgian main house built by Hobbs Construction. New 2 bedroom guest house and renovated 2 br gate house. Total of 10 garage spaces. 215' of private beach.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama is a little late to the fair on this one having already been discussed first in The Wall Street Journal and then again by Mister Big Time. But we're weighing in anyway because seldom do we get to discuss insanely expensive properties in Connecticut and seldom are they owned by such a controversial ignoramus. Don Imus, the grumpy cowboy hat wearing radio host who has nearly killed his career in the last couple of years making repeated and obnoxious racial slurs...on the damn air, has put his Long Island Sound front estate in Westport, CT on the market with an impressive asking price of $30,000,000. Westport, CT is, of course, the same waspy enclave made famous by Miz Martha Stewart, who only pretends to be a wasp. The matron of impossibly perfect housewifery shacked up and filmed her television program at Turkey Hill, her long time estate which she's done sold now that she's living her post-prison, high-wasp lifestyle on a big farm north of New York City.

Anyhoo, property records and reports reveal Mister Imus purchased his 4-acre estate on Beachside Avenue in 1997 for $4,600,000. Listing information indicates the Mister Imus' mansion was built in 2000, so presumably this was either a vacant lot at the time of purchase or he ripped down the existing house and built his own dream house. Whatever the case, according to listing information, the 16-room so-called "Greco-Georgian" style pile measures approx. 10,000 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, 8 fireplaces, garaging for 9 or 10 cars, 9-foot ceilings, a formal dining room, great room, family room, gore-may kitchen with breakfast nook and pantry, a library/study, an office/computer room, a recreation room and a year tax bill of $131,863.

The grounds include a 2 bedroom gate house as well as a newly built 2 bedroom guest house. There does not appear to be either a swimming pool or a tennis court, but there is 215-feet of water front.

According to Mister Big Time, this is not the first time Mister Imus has tossed this big house into the real estate rodeo ring. Apparently, back in 2005, the mouthy and opinionated radio icon wanted to sell the house and listed it at $30,000,000.

We find Mister Imus and his radio ways to be rather repellent and since it makes us feel a little dirty to even discuss him, the only thing we're going to say about the day-core of Mister Imus's digs is that they are far more dignified than we would have expected from a man who has shown a stunning lack of decorum and class the last few years. None the less, since fair is fair, we'd be completely remiss if we did not acknowledge that Mister Imus, who very recently announced that he has been diagnosed with stage two prostate cancer, has spent a great deal of time, money and energy founding and running their 4,000 acre cattle ranch in New Mexico where children with cancer and and blood disorders are invited to experience what it's like to live and work on a functioning cattle ranch. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

Records reveal that Mister Imus also owns a penthouse apartment on Central Park West that he's owned since at least 1994. Records indicate Mister and Missus Imus also own a maisonette style unit in the same building which they purchased in February of 2006 for $2,030,000.


Georgica Pond said...

Finally! Proof that both property and celebrity actually exist on the eastern seaboard! Nice work, mama. And what are you doing working on a Saturday? Mmmmmmmmmm.....Dr. Cooter out of town?

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the AImus ranch was investigates? How many kids go per year vs. the cost of the ranch and the benefit Imus gets? I'm sure Imus is doing thisout of the kindness of his heart- no reason for ANYONE to look into this themselves.....

Old Hag in a house said...

What did you call me?

Anonymous said...

What is a "maisonette style unit" ?and why would anyone need a second unit in the same building when they own the penthouse ?

Georgica Pond said...

maisonette is a ground level apartment, usually a duplex, accessed by both the building lobby and a street facing entrance.
the premise is supposed to be your own little house ( as in the translation from French) attached to the building at large. I personally don't want to be at street level in Manhattan, but some like the privacy entrance deal, I suppose.

Old Hag in a house's accountant's son said...


The money is gone. Your house is being forclosed upon. My father has jumped from his 30 story balcony. He left a note - "Tell the ol' b*tch to get ready to move to the home".

So sorry.

Anonymous said...

How old is Don Imus??? Must be older than God. He has been around for years.

He needs to get one of his super rich friends to buy it.
I heard "Larry the Cable Guy" made tons of money last year, maybe if can pony up that easy money.

I know his wife will go to the deepest pockets she can find once he is gone. Won't want to give up that plush life style and the snooty philanthropic work. And the ranch will be the first thing sold by her ASAP. She hates horses!

More pics -

Anonymous said...


I am also surprised by the dignified decor.

It just means he told a decorator to give it an old money conservative look.

Many new money people with NO taste and pedigree play it safe.

And I would NOT give any kudos for opening his ranch to children. Not many are ever there, and it is good PR and tax write off.

Mrs. Imus will unload that ranch to an urban millionaire wanna be cowboy as soon as Don kicks off to Ghostriders in the Sky turf!

Anonymous said...


I mias the salty sarcastic wit of your old columns.

Did moving to LA mellow you down too much.

The last column that displayed your glorious barbs was Victoria Gotti's manse mess up for sale.

Did that ever sell and please come back to your waggy wit.

Anonymous said...

His place looks beautiful. Where's my checkbook?

StPaulSnowman said...

A beautiful home and site. The butterfly architecture is a great plan to provide some sheltered exterior spaces in windy areas. Some fantastic examples of this are found on the English coasts in magnificent Arts and Crafts houses. I would love to live here.

Anonymous said...

another half a billionaire files for bankruptcy. it is on luxist

I love it how these jerkoffs are really worth 10MM and with loans and creative financing they are all of the sudden worth hundreds of millions when all along they were only worth 10MM

I wonder if one of them is going to offer imus 30MM for his wreck of a home, write him a check for 30MM but right before imus cashes it the new owner declares bankruptcy, so imus will have no 30MM and no estate to sell

is that possible ?

Anonymous said...

What a bitter, dark, and nasty post. Regardless of the subject matter, you really indulged your discordant inner life upon the page with your shrill Imus and Martha rant.
Consider reviewing your life. The way you're doing it now is not emotionally healthy. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

my life is fine

I just wish I knew that I could have turned my 10MM net worth into 500MM instead of losing it all in the stock market

I guess lying and cheating is the way to go yes ?

Anita Valium said...

we need more children like st paul snowman. imagine somebody actually commenting on the DAMN HOUSE instead of going sideways on some rant about ANYTHING BUT THE DAMN HOUSE.

Anonymous said...

People that buy these homes are truly simpletons with money.
He bought the land for $4.6 million.
I live in Michigan and the cost to build a premium home with stone, brich, 2 kitchens, granite, Sub Zero, Viking, walk out basement etc is about $200 a square foot. And before you go ranting about Michigan is not California and blah blah blah, that is the price that one of the founders of Google paid for his aunt and uncle's house in my neighborhood to be built with all that stuff I mentioned including a 4 car garage, theater and elevator in the house.
Materials and labor and so on cost pretty much the same everywhere in the country so even if they did some super duper stuff to the house which does not look like it and spent $300 a square foot, it would have only cost $3 million to build the house. A total combines cost of roughly $8 million. So how on earth did they arrive at a $30 million price tag?
These people are seriously out of their mind. That is why these houses are languishing on the market. People have realized that they are overpriced and these dreamers still think people are coming to buy them. Wake up the drunken oil men for the Middle East that were buying $15 million license plates are gone for now and no one else is spending insane money either.
I have seen Mama list many many mega priced homes for sale, I can't recall any of them selling so far.

Mars said...

As someone not of this world and big real estate in general can someone tell me why so many people are selling in this market? Is it cuz they need money? MORE money, that is?

Babe Parish said...

"surprisingly dignified" hahaha you're so cute.
and right. :)

Babe Parish said...

p.s. for some reason i can't stop laughing at the pic of the bench with the flag over yonder...

Anonymous said...

Mama is fair and balanced.
Unlike Fox News.
That's a compliment.

Anonymous said...

I think that there is a serious financial epidemic underlying this whole real estate market more than we can understand.
I have never seen so many $20+ million homes for sale and considering how bad this market is, it must mean that these people really need the money or really need to save money by unloading these homes.
There are really not a great deal of buyers for these homes and I have seen little if any sell.
What is shocking to me if how many celebrities are now renting their homes out now. I can't recall ever seeing that before.
Kind of scary.

Georgica Pond said...

is anyone else out there getting tired of these monster sized houses? oh, how I yearn for the good old days of the simple little 5,000 square foot cottage!

Such wretched excess.....and it certainly seems to be backfiring. Why in New York City, where you can't unload mega condos and coops to save your life, studios and 1 bedrooms are making up virtually all of the recent sales. Sure, much of it is investors, but I am feeling that the days of "oh silly me, I can't tell you how many rooms we have!" is over, over, over.

Georgica Pond said...

PS and for all of you Dolly Lenz fans, and I know you're out there, everything she is today (at least financially) began with lots of little investment studios. Perhaps we are going around in circles...........

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but isn't this the one that his wifey Deir-drahh decorated and had featured in AD?

Anyway, this property is sooo overpriced, even for this section of Westport. Given the way this home is sited, even a minor category 1 hurricane is going to do major damage to this puppy. I lived in this area during the last one and it was not pretty.

Anonymous said...

they are all trying to get other new suckers to catch falling knives

they are greedy, it is that simple

even my own parents they have home/estate on the beach in hawaii it is worth 6MM but a few years ago they saw homes like theirs going and selling for 20MM so they are still trying to get 20MM for theirs, and I keep on telling them that the days of selling high are way over but they do not care and will not come way down on the listing, meanwhile the poor real estate agent is asking them for a retainer because she can't sell it so my parents fired her and got another one, if my own parents are greedy how do you think the rest of the world is ?

Anonymous said...

I love this house...their architect and interiors person did a wonderful job of making it feel old.

Anonymous said...

Michigan is NOT California, it's not even North Florida, and the materials and labor do NOT cost the same as elsewhere in the country.

Is a masionette only on the ground floor? I used to rent a studio in a nice building at the south street seaport, and they would always advertise about their "maisonette style" 4 penthouses, that had 4 floors each. Is a maisonette just a townhouse style apt?

Maryam Webster said...

mai·son·ette (mz-nt, -s-)
n. Chiefly British
1. A small house.
2. An apartment occupying two or more floors of a larger building and often having its own entrance from outside.

[French maisonnette, diminutive of maison, house, dwelling, from Old French, from Latin mnsi, mnsin-; see mansion.]

Anonymous said...

"one of the founders of Google paid for his aunt and uncle's house in my neighborhood"

So we know where said founder of Google's aunt and uncle live...but what about the founder him/herself?

Anonymous said...

So Anon 11:51,

Are you telling me that a 2x4 in California or New York cost ten times that of Michigan?
Are you serious?
Please explain where you came to that deduction?
And you are correct, Michigan is not California or Florida, our construction labor is actually higher. Most of our construction guys are white American men that get paid high wages, whereas in California and Florida there is a great deal of cheap labor from Mexico and Latin American countries, so in theory it should cost much less to build in those areas than Michigan. Your builders are just ripping you off and it is showing now by the plummeting house prices in those areas.
I'd much rather have a million dollar home sell for $750,000 than a $3 million home sell for $2 million or less.

HEY YOU: ANON 8:50 said...

Dearest Anon 8:50 PM

Grow up. Mama's post is no where near as dark, bitter and nasty as the racist sewage and obnoxious rhetoric that has spewed forth from Imus' mouth for years. It clearly states in the disclaimer that this blog throws in a little gossip for fun...the only sad part is Mama's "rant" on Imus is based on TRUTH, not hearsay. So go ahead and feel the need to defend such a cretin. This blog is about FUN and if you think that you need to call Mama out on what you claim is a "discordant inner life", you are obviously in the wrong place. Even Martha has learned to poke fun at herself. A humbling stint in prison may have had something to do with that. Get with the patois of this site, or step off.

StPaulSnowman said...

Patois of this site..........I love that!

Anonymous said...

4:11 - What a racist crock of sh*t. There are minorities working in construction in Michigan. And there are whites working in construction in California & New York. I realize this is a story about a racist old man but that doesn't give you the right to come in here and spew your racist crap around.

The cost of LIVING is higher in California and New York. That dictates HIGHER salaries, not RACE.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:25.
Are you a moron.
What I said was not racist and you know it.
And for your information, I am not white either, so you can eat it.
It is a well known fact that Mexican immigrants/day laborers work for much less money than American citizens.
Why do you think most of the large landscaping companies use them?
I am in the real estate and construction business in Michigan, so I wold know better than you who the employees are here.
Salaries in California than Michigan, but only slightly, not enough to justify the exorbitant price gouging you guys endure. So, are your carpenters and dry wallers making $300,000 to $500,000 a year out there each? If so, then you should be ok and there will be no housing crisis anymore because they will be able to buy all the houses out there with their super high salaries.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

7:45 - I know Michigan is backwoods but I suspect they have such a thing as building codes, contractor licensing, and inspections. But just in case they don't, in California, you can't hire day laborers and put them to work as carpenters and drywallers.

I am entitled to my opinion, and that opinion is that you made a racist comment.

The fact that you seem to think only a white person can make a racist comment and that you couldn't have made a racist comment because you aren't white (I don't believe that either) shows just ignorant and racist you truly are.

Anonymous said...

Um, Michigan is facing the worst real estate slump in history, and NYC is, well.. not?

You really need to calm down. Everything in NYC costs more. It has nothing to do with higher salaries and higher cost of materials, the fact of the matter is, these prices can be commanded for top suburban neighborhoods in the better areas of the USA: West LA, Bergen County NJ, Westchester County NY, Fairfield County CT.

I think it's in MI where people were paying $500,000 for houses last year that are worth $200,000 now, and here it says he paid 4.6M and it is now 30M.... hmmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

New York housing prices are not plummeting, Michigan pricing is.

Anonymous said...


NY prices outside of manhattan have dropped by 40% in manhattan 20%

as a matter of fact it is common knowledge to offer 50% to anyone currently selling outside of manhattan, many homes and estates have recently sold in the hamptons 50% off of their listing price

Anonymous said...

btw the same house that rented for $3000 in the hollywood hills is now renting for $15,000

Georgica Pond said...

Anon 12:46 is quite correct about the drop in NY real estate, especially The Hamptons. If the primnary home market is tanking, consider the second home market.
I will die out here with my cats and racoons, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Oh stop it, stop it! You can't become a bloody fiscal hermit crab every time the Nikkei undergoes a self-correction, Asia's market has nowhere to go but up!

Anonymous said...

To the poor s.o.b. who can't afford the coasts and who tries doggedly to convince himself that he's luckier to live in Michigan than California or anywhere else -- you're only reminding the rest of us to get down on our knees and kiss our own rattling earth. Michigan! Give it up, Jeff Daniels.

StPaulSnowman said...

Hey.......what's the new word id thing at the bottom of the comments section? I have never seen it before.

Anonymous said...

Dear Georgica--- interesting... not only did Dolly earn her stripes flogging studios, she did it wearing the most appalling schmatas... but with success came a makeover. You go, girl. Who doesn't want to be the next-generation Dolly?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 7:55:
Old Man: "Interesting"
Stewie: "Indeed"

Thanks for the additional pics! (to Anon who provided the link)

Question, how does one reliably gut-check the value of real estate in the Hamptons when there are so few trades and the houses are all one-off's anyway? I'm thinking that if ten houses are listed at $25-40 million and five chop their prices to $15-25 million, does that mean the 'market has fallen by 40%' or does that mean that those particular houses had a hard time finding buyers at extremely elevated pricing?..And then, if the 11th hits the market with a $30million asking price and a retired hedgefund mgr pays list because he/she fell in love...does that mean the market has rebounded?

Anonymous said...

Ok, let's just stop the NY/ Michigan comparisons. What it comes down to is you're stuck there, and that's fine with me.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I envision the Michigan commentor as Chevy Chase's "Clark Griswold" character.

Anonymous said...

Good luck getting that inflated price now.

The huge lot that is two doors to the north of their's is the ex-Phil Donahue/Marlow Thomas house. They sold it a few years ago at around 25mil. Someone needs to double check Zillow.

The Donahue house is older and smaller, but the lot is just huge with expansive lawns and monster water front. I think they sold it to the ex-ceo of Merrill Lynch? Good timing to unload it when they did.

I'll take large property over a fancy house any day.

Picture of house -

Anonymous said...

Anytime someone posts the word "zillow" in a serious context.....

I back away slowly.

Anonymous said...

Zillow is total kryptonite to greedy realtors! LOL

They don't want buyers to see what things have actually sold for, or what people are asking nearby.

Keep on stepping backward. Better yet, run and HIDE if you are a realtor!

Anonymous said...

Zillow is about as factual as Average Joe.

There are much better and more accurate ways for consumers to find out what properties have sold for, what nearby properties are listed for, and how to set an asking price.

There is a fixer-up in the Hollywood Hills that has been on the market forever with an asking price about a million dollars more than any listed comps. I'm not talking a many million dollar home trophy home, it is an entry level house that needs a lot of work.

Why is it listed for so much more than it should be? Because the sellers are heirs who live on the east coast and think the Zillow value is accurate. They are making all kind of excuses as to why many houses have come and gone on the market while they cling to an inaccurate Zillow number. The listing has gone through 3 brokers without a single offer.

Anonymous said...

The Zillow debate again?

Zillow is a joke when it comes to property valuation.

You can't rely on a computer program to assign value, you have to hunt and peck through the recently sold records to make sure you're comparing like houses. Apples to apples.

Zillow regularly compares apples to bananas when valuing property.

But I will say, they've managed to bamboozle a huge segment of the population into believing what they say is totally, completely and wholey accurate. How did they do that?

Anonymous said...

8:32 - They managed to do it in the same way that Bernie Madoff bamboozled people into believing he was their best option for investing. They prey on people who don't have the ability to think for themselves and are insecure about it. Their insecurity creates a distrust of anyone who knows more so they lash out (like 6:41 writing "greedy realtors")...or women who automatically assume an auto mechanic is going to rip them off. These kinds of people THINK they are leveling the playing field by using Zillow when in fact they are showing their hand - brokers know anyone quoting Zillow is uninformed and CAN be taken advantage of.

lucas law center said...

Wow The house was so beautiful. Looks like my dream house. Hope I could buy a house like that one day. Or maybe it just only in y dreams.


Anonymous said...

Hello....MCFLY... Zillow does list ACTUALLY LISTING PRICES. And the taxes they pay on it.

ANON 8:26, 8:32...Stick that in your pipe and SMOKE IT. Can't stop the information Zillow has on asking prices baby! It is a great benchmark for prices in a given area. That is a fact! That is how listing prices go up and down.

WHO CARES ABOUT VALUATIONS!!!!!!! HOME PRICES CHANGE HOURLY IN LA, New York and any other elitist area.
Zillow uses a formula based on property sold over many years, so it is only a reference on valuation. But, the way prices are falling it soon will be back inline.

Sorry for yelling, but total idiots need to be screamed at.