55 Years Later, Jed Would Need to be a Billionaire to Afford Beverly Hills Estate

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In 1962, Jed Clampett and family moved from the Ozarks to Beverly Hills after oil was discovered on their land.  So started one of the most endearing television sagas of all time lasting nine seasons and 274 episodes.  In truth, the Kirkeby Mansion was built in 1933 by Arnold Kirkeby who built a chain of 16 upscale hotels. His first property was Chicago’s Drake Hotel and also included the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.  The architect was Sumner Spaulding and has an 18th century French Neoclassical design ethos. Other movies using the mansion include Mame and Cinderfella.

Mrs. Kirkeby was paid $500 per day for exterior filming along with a provision the grounds be returned to their original state after filming.  The interior shots were filmed on a soundstage and, as is often the case, bear little resemblance to the actual interior of the home.  Mr. Kirkeby was killed in a plane crash before the series began so never experienced the fame his home would achieve on television.

The most recent owners, A. Jerrold and Margaret Perenchio, were most notable as philanthropists and Mr. Perenchio’s co-ownership of Univision.  They bought the home in 1986 for $13.5 million.  His estimated wealth in 2016 was $2.6 billion, and his death in May of this year has prompted the sale.

Undated construction photo at the time of the gate removal, parking addition and extensive landscape reworking

Perenchio’s most infamous move for Beverly Hillbillies fans was the removal of the main gate at 750 Bel Air Road that relocated the main entrance to Nimes Road. Tourists were no longer able to gawk at the home.  As the crow flies, it’s quite close to the Hotel Bel-Air, but is quite circuitous by car.

The estate encompasses three homes — the 21,253 square feet main house has 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. The two smaller homes, acquired as Perenchio increased the size of the estate, include a 5,704-square-foot home with five bedrooms and six bathrooms along with a 1,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage.  In addition, there are a few guest houses on the property.  The 10.3 acre grounds consist of gardens, tennis court, 25-yard pool with pool house, and covered parking for 40 cars.

Its listing price of $350 million makes it the most expensive home ever listed for sale in the United States. Of course these vanity listings rarely come anywhere close to these headline-grabbing list prices.  Look at Dallas’ own Walnut Place that started at $130 million before selling years later for likely somewhere in the $50s. Zillow gives this home a Zestimate of $37,039,754 that they claim has a rental value of $134,103 per month. Los Angeles County tax assessor claims the home is worth $28,950,368. It’s also shown that the house was listed for a month in 2007 for $30 million.

The home is in good company price-wise with neighboring 924 Bel Air Road, “the world’s most expensive spec house,” currently listed for $250 million. That home boasts 38,000 square feet, 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, along with 17,000 square feet of outdoor decks.

The listing is too new for a public listing and photos. A press release lists agents Jeff Hyland, Drew Fenton, and Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland; Joyce Rey, Jade Mills and Alexandra Allen of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury; and Drew Gitlin and Susan Gitlin of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.

I don’t know about you, but I see Dallas’ Imperial House as a cheaper alternative for those seeking a little Hillbilly glow at a fraction of the price.

Remember: When I’m not stirring up trouble in Dallas, Texas or Honolulu, Hawaii for Candysdirt.com and SecondShelters.com, I’m off scouting interesting locations for a second home.  In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. If you’re a Realtor with second home clients who’d like me to feature their journey, shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com