The ultimate real estate porn, you might say. As you may have heard, the Playboy Mansion is on the market for $200 million. THE most expensive house for sale in America. But the buyer will have to let 89 year-old Hugh Hefner live in the 89 year-old mansion until his death. Buyers will reportedly be allowed to tour the 29-room Holmby Hills house as long as they stay out of Hef’s bedroom. (Cranky old man doesn’t want you looking a his stuff!) That steep asking price may actually be pretty unrealistic. The property –worth more for its six acres, than the house itself– will likely sell for closer to $80 to $90 million, with our without Hefner. Real estate site website Zillow estimates that estate is worth closer to $34 million.
Built in 1929 (yes, the year Hefner was born) the English Manor-style house is 7,300 square feet with a double-height entry, formal living room, dining room, library, his-and-her powder rooms. The hotel-sized kitchen features an open plan with a morning room and butler’s pantry, opening to an outdoor terrace. A maid’s room in the rear of the house has a separate entrance. Upstairs are three bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The master suite, which includes a fireplace and walk-in dressing room with mirrored doors, overlooks the backyard garden. The walled estate backs onto the L.A. Country Club, includes a large motor court with three-car garage, rolling lawns and views of the golf course.
My old colleague and friend, author Anthony Haden-Guest, tells of his visit to the mansion on The Daily Beast. Hefner said to him,
“Playboy and my own lifestyle are a Rorschach test where people find their own fantasies. But you’ve got to realize that this isn’t where I ever expected to go. There was no parallel. There was no such lifestyle as this when I was growing up, that I could look to, and think: this is the life that I want to live. I mean, I didn’t know anybody who was fulfilling their personal, uh, aspirations to the extent that I’ve been able to.”
Anthony goes on to say,
“As for life in the monument to sybaritism nowadays, well, Down the Rabbit Hole, a tell-all by Holly Madison, Hefner’s seven year live-in girlfriend–he is now married to 29-year-old Crystal Harris–describes a bedding ritual which sounds like erotic pantomime, what with multiple women, mostly blondes, in matching pink pajamas, porno movies, pot, desultory penetrations. Still a Rorschach Test? Perhaps.
And the mansion? Hefner bought it and the five-acre estate in 1971 for $1.1 million, a record at the time, but the company, in which Hefner is now a minority shareholder at 30 percent, have been shelling out for the running costs for quite a spell.”
…and running that place must not be cheap. But Hef wants to live out his days there even though, it or the man himself, ain’t what they used to be. That’s life. Take a tour courtesy MTV Cribs, circa 2010 below. (Photos, Pacific Coast News)