Though he’s well into his 70s, bestselling singer/songwriter and national treasure Neil Diamond is still a spry guy. Only 120 million records sold later, he still bounces around LA and he got married to his third wife, Katie McNeil, several years ago. And now he’s prepping for his 2017 “50th anniversary tour“.
So it’s really not such a surprise that he is also still on the real estate prowl. Yolanda happens to know for a fact that he recently forked out an impressive $7,250,000 for a house in Malibu, the beachside community that he previously called home for many years. More on his former residence inside the illustrious Malibu Colony in a moment.
The new house in question is located just off Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in a teeny-tiny (almost nonexistent!) oceanfront gated community called Blue Whale Estates in the remote northwest reaches of Malibu. There are just five homes within the gates. Mr. Diamond’s house of choice happens to be the largest of the five, though at 4,692-square-feet it’s big but definitely not humongous.
We’re not entirely sure what the proper architectural vernacular is here, but Yolanda will call the 1996-built casa a modern-minded mock-Mediterranean with some oddball prairie-style window treatments. A paltry .32-acres of land ain’t exactly generous, but the site more than makes up for it with stupendous ocean views and a privately-situated infinity pool.
Records reveal a blind trust (that Yolanda just happens to know is a front for Mr. Diamond) paid $7,250,000 for the property in November 2016. That’s a lot of money, but either Mr. Diamond got a deal or the previous owners overpaid like crazy, because that sale price is actually nearly a million bucks less than the $8,150,000 that the sellers — Taiwanese businesswoman Michelle Wong and her husband Ben Fan — forked out for the house in August 2010, when the recession was still in full swing. Yowza!
Yolanda is certain that a big celebrity like Mr. Diamond will appreciate that the house privately situated high up and behind privacy hedges. Essentially the only part visible is the two-car garage and wee driveway.
A flagstone pathway leads to the glass front doors, which open to an enormous great room with a vaulted ceiling and walls of glass. Sliding doors lead out to the terrace and pool areas.
Yolanda really doesn’t care for the kitchen. It’s oddly shaped and the colors do it no favors. And while counter space is abundant, the center island is arguably too big and that enormous commercial-style stainless steel range is just an eyesore. We hope Mr. Diamond will perform a complete gut job up in here.
Elsewhere there’s a formal dining and a breakfast nook with garden views.
The spacious master suite comes with a balcony that towers over the other homes and the private cove below. A built-in soaking tub occupies a lovely windowed nook that’s guaranteed to make Mr. Diamond believe he’s taking a scrub in his own private ocean.
Counting the master suite, the house has a total of 5 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms — some of which are very, very ’90s (see above).
Yolanda believes the best parts of the property are outdoors, where there is plenty of privacy-assuring foliage that give way to jaw-droppin’ views. There’s a covered outdoor dining set, a full BBQ/outdoor kitchen, and several other sexy nooks and cranny.
Most importantly, and despite the fact that the house is not oceanfront, there is private beach access directly below the property.
The Encinal Bluffs area of Malibu is one of the most sensationally scenic beaches in the area. It’s also — blessedly — one of the least crowded, due to its somewhat remote location and relative difficulty of beach access. Although we find that his new house could use some cosmetic updates, Yolanda likes Mr. Diamond’s choice of residence and wishes him and his family many years of happy memories at the beach.
Mr. Diamond’s current main residence is a multi-acre compound that is located directly behind the perennially fashionable Beverly Hills Hotel. Records show that he paid about $4,700,000 for the property way back in 1997. In addition to a tennis court, swimming pool and sizable lawn, the walled-and-gated structure encompasses more than 10,000-square-feet spread throughout a main house and guest house. Some of Mr. Diamond’s nearest neighbors include fashion fiend Paul Marciano and hedge hog Steven Cohen.
In 1996, just before he bought his big new Beverly Hills house, Mr. Diamond sold a Spanish-style estate located on what is arguably the best residential street in all of Los Angeles — South Mapleton Drive — for $5,300,000 to producer/director extraordinaire Sir Ridley Scott. Our Sir Scott continues to own the Holmby Hills property as of January 2017.
As we mentioned earlier, Mr. Diamond is certainly no stranger to the Malibu area. For many years he owned a property in the legendarily star-studded Malibu Colony guard-gated community. The double-lot house — which Mr. Diamond sold in 1989 for about $5,000,000 — is one of the largest in the enclave and sits right close up and personal on the sand.
For what it’s worth, the property happens to be owned currently by Canadian billionaire heiress Taylor Thomson, who paid a hardcore $21,450,000 for the residence back in 2010.
In his new Malibu gated community, Mr. Diamond’s four neighbors are not exactly famous. But two of the more prominent ones are orthopedic surgeon Rick Delamorter and Parasoft CEO Elizabeth Kolawa, who owns the triangular Ed Niles-designed architectural showpiece directly below Mr. Diamond’s new house.
Oops. We didn’t want to end this story on a somber note, so we’ll just say that we’re glad Mr. Diamond bought this house — otherwise we might’ve forgotten to score our tickets to his upcoming tour. Hurry up, you fellow old folks (and young folks with good taste in music!).