Elon Musk may have just surpassed Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world (at time of press), but with a net worth of $191.4 billion and owning the properties he does, he’s not bound to lose any sleep over the news. Bezos, like other billionaires, has a complex and wide-ranging real estate portfolio that includes everything from Beverly Hills mansions to the Corn Ranch near Van Horn, Texas.
It was also announced last year that Bezos cracked the top 25 list of people that own the most land in the U.S., with 420,000 acres.
Here’s an overview of Jeff Bezos’ real estate portfolio:
Mitt Romney has sold his oceanfront La Jolla home for $23.5 million. The Utah senator, and former Republican presidential candidate, completed the sale June 30, according to the San Diego County Recorder’s Office.
A small part of American history, the home became an example of what opponents in the 2012 presidential election said was an example of Romney being out of touch as he attempted to build an elevator on the property for his cars. The “car elevator” house was often tied to Romney’s opposition to the bailout of the auto industry during the Great Recession. “The cars get the elevator, the workers get the shaft,” said former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm in one of the most often-quoted speeches from that time.
The sale price makes it the fifth-most expensive home sale in San Diego County history, and the third-most expensive for La Jolla. The biggest purchase in San Diego County history remains the 2007 sale of an oceanfront home in Del Mar for $48.2 million. The same house was later sold to Bill and Melinda Gates for $43 million in April 2020.
The grant deed said the Romney home was sold to William Rastetter, and his wife, Marisa. Rastetter has been a force in San Diego’s biotechnology and venture capital scene for more than three decades. He’s perhaps best known for his 20 years at IDEC Pharmaceuticals, where he served in leadership roles including chief executive, president and director. While there, he was the co-inventor of Rituxan, the first monoclonal antibody cancer treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. IDEC merged with life sciences giant Biogen in 2003 for $6.8 billion.
Rastetter also served as board chairman of gene sequencing giant Illumina for 11 years, and has been a director at myriad other local life sciences firms. They include Neurocrine Biosciences, Regulus Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics and Receptos, which was acquired by Celgene Corp. in 2015 for $7.2 billion.
Romney and his wife, Ann, purchased the property at 311 Dunemere Drive in 2008 for $12 million. The existing 3,009-square-foot home was torn down to build an 8,153-square-foot mansion with five bedrooms, six bathrooms and 65 feet of ocean frontage. It is one of roughly 30 beachfront homes in La Jolla.
The home was sold off-market, making a photo of the notorious “car elevator” hard to find. A 2020 assessment of the property, valued at $15.3 million, said the four-car garage was completed.
Room for parking in San Diego beach communities is rare. The most expensive La Jolla home sale, $24.7 million at 8466 El Paseo Grande in January, has a two-car garage. Romney’s campaign in 2012 said the lift was necessary to create a four-car garage because he has many children and grandchildren.
Romney revealed he had sold the home in late June in a virtual discussion about infrastructure sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber, and was first revealed by The Salt Lake Tribune . At the time, his staff declined to discuss the details, including the price.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in 2015 that Romney had been considering selling the home near the end of its rebuild. The project was opposed by several neighbors and conservationists for what they said was an out-of-place design in La Jolla.
Romney was not the only well-known person to live at the property. The original home was owned by former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor and her late husband, Bob Peterson, founder of Jack in the Box restaurants.
Mitt Romney recently paid $12 million to buy a home on the ocean in La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego. His son Matt lives in the same area. The former Massachusetts governor, whose main residence is in Belmont, Mass., says he has no plans to become a California resident, and the purchase has nothing to do with a possible future presidential run.
“I’ve always wanted to have a place on the beach where you could hear the crashing waves,” Romney says. “And you know, I’m 61; I’m not going to live forever. I said, ‘Ann, I want to get a place on the beach. I don’t care what size it is, but I want a place on the beach.’ And this spot, it’s not a huge home, it’s 3,000 square feet, but it is right on the beach, and you open the windows and hear the waves crash. It’s heavenly.”
Here’s a local sample of the new whiz-bang partial ownership craze.
The spec builder tried to sell this for three years before taking this $8.25M cash deal. The same seller/Compass agent has the listing now, on behalf of the new owners:
ABOUT THIS HOME
This is multi-tasking, La Jolla style: Catch the perfect sunset as you splash in the ocean waves or sip a cool drink in the rooftop saltwater pool. The surf breaks just steps from this 3-bedroom, 4½ bath custom home.
Everything is designed to make the most of the Pacific views. Vanishing window walls transform indoor spaces into open-air living at its finest. The open plan living space has a gas fireplace and a sleek kitchen with a curved island and a space for formal dining.
Exotic materials and touchable textures are used throughout the home, including a back-lit Brazilian granite steam room.
The master suite has a luxurious ensuite with double sinks, soaking tub and walk-in shower. A vanishing window wall opens to a private balcony and stunning ocean views.
Enjoy the rooftop infinity pool area with its 8-person spa and adjoining lounge area with wet bar. Restock the bar from the home’s wine room. And when you’re ready to leave this Pacific paradise, there’s a hydraulic driveway and a turntable garage floor that ensures you always leave facing the ocean.
The home comes turnkey, fully furnished and professionally decorated.
Most videos of FLW homes are a brief overview, but here the realtor pointed out a number of his details. I don’t know about the price ($8 million), but the house is a classic Wright which should add something:
The values of nearby condos should benefit greatly from the housing shortage around UCSD: http://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=5997c243-aa01-4fdd-96f6-d71d8fd7f25a - As numbers boom, UCSD embraces its more social side
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!