From the L.A. Times:
Nicolas Cage is leaving Bel-Air. And not by choice. The fate of the sprawling Tudor mansion owned by the actor, who won an Oscar for his role in “Leaving Las Vegas,” was decided Wednesday far from the baronial estate. It was up for auction Wednesday morning — along with a handful of other foreclosed properties — on the steps of the county courthouse in Pomona.
After a rapid-fire spiel by the auctioneer, the bidding was opened at $10.4 million, far less than the $35 million that Cage had tried unsuccessfully to sell the house for.
To put it mildly, the house, though impressive, was not to everyone’s taste. Real estate agent Bret Parsons, who toured it most recently in October, described the interiors as “fascinating and bizarre.” “The design was ‘frat house bordello,’ ” Parsons said. “There must have been 300 comic book covers elaborately framed and hanging on the walls.” Model train sets on raised tracks a couple feet below the ceiling circled the inside of the breakfast room and two bedrooms.
There were also no takers in the courthouse sale, and in less than a minute the auction closed, with ownership reverting to the foreclosing lender — just one of six holding a total of $18 million in loans on the property.
The pattern of repeated borrowing against equity is familiar to Bob Baker, sales manager of County Records Research, a Huntington Beach-based company that supplies information about foreclosure properties. “This is a microcosm of what’s going on in our state,” Baker said. “We’ve seen as many as 13 loans on a house.” When people keep borrowing, he said, it has “a snowball effect.” The final loans often are taken out to meet expenses, he said. “It’s a survival tactic.”
This is not the only property lost to foreclosure by Cage, who was ranked last year by Forbes as the fifth-highest-paid actor in the U.S. with earnings of $40 million. Cage’s publicist said the actor could not be reached for comment.
In October, Cage sued his former business manager, Samuel J. Levin.
The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accused Levin of having “lined his pockets with several million dollars in business management fees while leading Cage down a path toward financial ruin.”
Levin filed his own countersuit, describing Cage as setting off “on a spending binge of epic proportions” and states that by July 2008 Cage owned “15 palatial homes around the world,” four yachts, an island in the Bahamas, a private Gulfstream jet and millions in art and jewelry.
The Bel-Air manse, at 11,817 square feet, has a central tower, custom wine cellar, 35-seat home theater, six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and an Olympic-size pool.
Borrowing against it included a first mortgage of $425,000 in 2005 and, in 2007, a second of $10.35 million and a third of $5.5 million.
The fourth, fifth and sixth loans, totaling $2.1 million, all came in 2008.
The courthouse event practically eliminated the lenders’ chances to collect on the last four loans because they’re no longer secured by the real estate.
If I were the 3rd-6th loan holders, I would be going after some of that $40M he makes per year. Perfect example of someone to go after for a deficiency, since clearly not purchase money loans.
Why doesn’t Cage just star in three or four movies and wipe out his debts? I don’t get it. This guy can easily get three $30 Million roles per year for the next five plus years if he wants.
What happened to just going to work, making some money, paying your debts?
Have you seen some of the movies he’s been in lately? He’s churning out crap to pay the tax man
looks like that may be his plan:
Jim – Totally off topic. I’m renting and I was told a couple looking for an investment wanted to come see the house for a 2nd time tomorrow. The last time they came the property mgmt. company showed it. I thought it was just for 1/2 hour. Now the management company just called me and said a realtor just called and is showing the house and wants me out for four hours and she is showing the house to 2 or 3 couples (with only two interested in it for an investment), but will wait in her car to see if anyone else shows up.
There’s no sign in my front yard, and the house isn’t listed on the MLS. Isn’t this a “pocket listing”? Is that even legal?
I tell ya, I’m ready to buy a house!
Ghost Rider 2? National Treasure 3?
Yikes! He’s going for broke! 🙂
I’ve always said to myself that if ever I’ve had a huge wad of cash fall into my hands, I’d never hand it over to a financial manager. There’s simply too many stories of embezzlement out there, and it’s even worse today with all the Ponzi schemes being uncovered, especially here in Canada.
30 million dollars per movie, and it’s all gone. What a complete waste. And did he really buy all that crap? The only item that was remotely useful was the jet. He could have operated a corporate charter business while he wasn’t using it.
Do we need anymore evidence we have become a banana republic?
What we’re witnessing Jim is the grotesque decline of our country. And it was done by ALL the so called leaders of our country, in just about every field and at every level (you might call that a failed culture).
The next 3 years or so are going to be absolutely nuts for real estate. Have we reached bottom (even in San Diego)? No way. No way. The underwater homes alone are going to be a huge drag on what’s left of our economy for years to come.
But, we can’t separate this stuff out. All of our fundamentals are wrong and there is just no easy fix what ails us.
If Jim hopes to stay the “Jim The Realtor” we know, he’s going to need some help. Because we’ve become a gangster country that’s not safe for women, children and principled realtors.
Consultant, I am so on your wavelength today. If the political will were there, even if the votes in congress weren’t I’d feel some small hope. But we got nothing but more of the same at the core with some changes on the margins.
Consultant-You exaggerate greatly. Russia is a good example of a gangster country. America most certainly is not. If you think the country is overall more corrupt today than a decade or two ago you are quite mistaken. As for pricing, I would expect, overall, pricing to be similiar to that during the 1990’s-that is, flat for a decade.
Susie-Pocket listings are perfectly legal. I don’t understand why a seller would agree to one, however, since the more people that see a property, the higher the final sale price. But it might be step one in listing it-that is, the seller agrees to a pocket listing at first, and if they get a good price off the bat, then they sell it then. If not, they list it openly on the MLS later.
According to the LA Times article, he owns 16 homes as well as planes and yaughts. He is living as if he were a billionaire when he is not. It is his own foolish behavior that has gotten him into trouble.
Susie- Most rental contracts state a 24 hour posted notice is required, no exceptions. If the PM calls and makes a phone arrangement and you don’t want to, then don’t. Also, appts are during “normal business hours” so no weekends if you don’t agree. Also, you do not have to leave.
I agree with being cooperative, but don’t get walked on.
Anyone see this in the LA Times? “California Legislature Approves Tax Break for People in Foreclosures, Short Sales”. Full article:
Mahalo for your comments, Geotpf and Justabroker. I’m happy to know about no weekends unless I agree. I have a $2,500 deposit on this rental so I realize it’s important to be cooperative.
This whole “adventure” makes me realize it’s time to buy a house.
Susie- The deposit is security for condition and rental terms being met. When you do leave, take pictures of condition, keep copies of your proper notice and note when it was sent. PM has 21 days to disposition the deposit. Receipts from vendors are required for deductions. If there are schenanigans- small claims court is your recourse.