Back in October, an oceanfront Del Mar house sold for a whopping $44.1 million, sending shockwaves through the quietly posh Southern California beach town and setting a new record for the most expensive San Diego County home ever sold. The out-of-left-field, off-market transaction came even as the San Diego real estate market has effectively stalled over the past year, with the deal pipeline choked by high interest rates, recession fears and low inventory. And the transfer also eclipsed Bill Gates’ recent $43 million purchase of an arguably more impressive house on the same strip of sand.
Property records indicate the $44 million house was purchased by a mysterious Delaware-based LLC, a common business tool used by the wealthy to cover their real estate tracks. But it’s certainly worth noting that the mysterious entity is managed by a longtime associate of Egon Durban—the high-flying, billionaire Silicon Valley dealmaker who has a known affinity for both record-breaking transactions and high-end real estate. Durban, the co-CEO of private equity giant Silver Lake, sports a personal net worth that tops $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.
Since the house was never on the market, photos are virtually nonexistent and details are few. But certainly the vast majority of its value lies in its oceanfront location—the property spans just over an acre of flat land, right on the sand—rather than the structures themselves. The main residence is unremarkable, large and well-maintained but visually dated. The property was built decades ago by prominent Hollywood real estate developer C.E. Toberman, founder of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl, and remained in the extended Toberman family until Durban’s purchase.
In addition to the U-shaped main house, which is single-story and painted a deep navy blue, there are two ancillary buildings on the property. Each of those includes a two-car garage and additional living space, likely for guests or live-in staff. The oceanfront compound also boasts a full-size tennis court—a very rare thing on the shores of Del Mar—and a gated, blacktopped driveway with off-street parking for dozens of cars. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool, plus a sizable backyard with a grassy lawn and a wooden deck with stairs descending to the sandy beach. Altogether, the estate sports eight bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.