Yolanda is well aware that this story has already been featured on just about every real estate gossip website, but we are determined to hop on the bandwagon because Ms. Snyder has long been one of Yolanda’s absolute faves. She’s no Tina Trahan, mind you, but she comes close. And we have been drinking this evening, so there’s that. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Meow. And time for a quick history lesson.
Way back in 1948, a nice young couple founded a small burger stand on the side of a highway in Baldwin Park, California, about an hour east of LA and a million miles removed from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Harry & Esther Snyder — for those were their names — started fryin’ burgers because they just needed income to provide for their two sons.
Along the way, the couple made history. One sunny day — so the stories go — Mrs. Snyder suggested to her husband that they should install a window on one side of their original location so people could drive up, order, and drive away. That foresight made her the “mother of the American drive-thru“.
Anyway, the rest of the story is pretty obvious. The Snyders were honest, down-to-earth folks who made some tasty food. Their little burger joint became popular. Eventually they opened a second nearby location, and then a third.
For all their unpretentiousness, the Snyders were also surprisingly shrewd businesspeople — they set up complicated trusts to ensure the business and their family wealth would be protected for generations to come. They carefully expanded and refused to ever franchise, go public, or sell out. They also paid their employees — associates, the Snyders called them — well above what their competitors did. In the short term, those decisions probably erased much of their profits and allowed their steadfastly mom-and-pop company to be dwarfed by their corporate rivals.
But those decisions also helped generate a legendary, almost cult-like mystique about In-N-Out that no other burger joint can touch. Today, In-N-Out is ranked as a better place to work than Google. And slowly, over time, the Snyder family became extraordinarily rich.
That’s not to say it was all smooth sailing to the top — far from it. Tragedy repeatedly struck the Snyder family. Harry Snyder died unexpectedly in his early 60s, and neither of the couple’s two sons lived to see their 50th birthdays. Rumors of cocaine use, adultery, and family tensions ran rampant at the company.
But against all odds, the company continue to prosper. And today, well, the rest is history. Some 60 years after In-N-Out’s founding, the firm now has 326 locations across six states and now hauls in $870 million in revenue each and every year. The company recently announced plans to open a new distribution center (and up to 50 drive-thrus) in Colorado.
And then there’s the family money. That is what we are gonna discuss today, right? Forbes says that 35-year-old Lynsi Snyder (the Snyders’ only grandchild and sole heiress to/owner of the firm) is now a billionaire — worth $1.3 billion, to be precise.
Ms. Snyder — who now reigns supreme as President, CEO, and owner of In-N-Out — is a bit of an unconventional heiress, as heiresses go. The burger billionaire is a drag racing aficionado, a devout Christian, and famously reclusive. Homegurl hardly ever grants an interview, although she did get surprisingly personal in a recent I Am Second religious-themed video.
Y’all should know that Ms. Snyder’s turbulent personal life has long been tabloid fodder, so we will keep it classy and not even mention it today. But we must note that Ms. Snyder is currently married to her fourth husband, a local San Gabriel Valley boy named Sean Ellingson. Our Mr. Ellingson is an ex-In-N-Out employee and also a military vet.
Ms. Snyder has a total of four children under the age of 12 — one with Mr. Ellingson, and three other kids from her two prior marriages. And though rumors of bickering persist, she remains close with her relatives, including her two older half-sisters and their extended families.
But we digress much too long. Property records (and Our Mama) reveal that Ms. Snyder used a blind trust to pay $17,411,000 (in cash!) in August 2012 for her current home, a 4.16-acre compound within the exclusive and guard-gated Bradbury Estates community. At the time, it was the second-biggest residential sale ever in the entire San Gabriel Valley. But it has since been bumped down to fourth place and now it’s popped back up for sale with a $19,799,000 ask.
At some 16,600-square-feet, the main house is unquestionably giant. Then there are several additional structures on the 4.16-acre property — a 2,500-square-foot guest house, a 1,300-square-foot cabana — that balloon the compound’s total square footage to more than 20,000.
None of the estates’s 10 bedrooms or 16.25 (!!!) bathrooms have been photographed for the current listing, and a little birdie tells us that is because Ms. Snyder and her family are still currently living on the premises. It’s only natural that they wouldn’t want any pesky photographers disturbing their living quarters, after all.
For those who don’t know, the tiny and equestrian-oriented city of Bradbury is located deep in the San Gabriel Valley, in the foothills just below the Angeles National Forest. It’s about 22 miles northeast of downtown LA and only about 7 miles due north of the original In-N-Out Burger stand in Baldwin Park.
The hulking manor house was custom-built in 2010 by professional baseball player (and potential hall-of-famer) Adrián Beltré and his wife Sandra. The property was constructed by local luxury homebuilder Mur-Sol Construction.
Although it is located in a guard-gated community, the property itself is also double-gated and surrounded by a bevy of security cameras for the utmost privacy and security. That’s a boon to Ms. Snyder, who has suffered at least two kidnapping attempts in her life and Yolanda happens to know that she now employs a full-time personal security team with bodyguards and all that jazz.
Even so, despite all her precautions, Yolanda has also heard that Ms. Snyder suffered at least one security breach while living in this house. Perhaps that is why she has opted to move; perhaps not.
The interiors adhere to a very beige theme, and a quick comparison of listing photographs suggests that Ms. Snyder has done little to alter the residence during her five years of ownership. It even appears that she retains some of the same furniture that was in the house at the time she purchased it.
The kitchen is large enough to feed an army of folks: there are two Toyota-sized center islands and top-of-the-line appliances (Miele, Wolf, Viking) everywhere.
In true California style (would an In-N-Out owner have it any other way?) the property blends indoor and outdoor spaces with a full outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and extensive terraces with numerous options for dining or lounging. There arre deep, shaded dining and lounging loggias; vast terraces that step down to an infinity edge swimming pool and spa; a children’s playground with jungle gym and sunken trampoline; a north/south aligned tennis court and separate basketball court; built-in fire pit; several putting greens and sand traps set into an acre or more of rolling lawn (made of fake grass).
Also around is the big ol’ negative-edged pool and spa, which is accompanied by a house-sized pool cabana with a full outdoor kitchen and dining room.
All of this luxury might seem like wretched excess and way too much space for a 35-year-old gal. But y’all should keep in mind that Ms. Snyder has four childen and a husband. Plus Yolanda happens to know that she employs a small army of people to assist her family: nannies, maids, a driver/chauffeur, and the personal security team that we have already mentioned. Apparently Ms. Snyder likes living on an estate that feels more like a busy small city than a regular ol’ house.
Because of her large family and extensive staff needs, Yolanda can’t imagine that Ms. Snyder would downsize. But we also can’t fathom why she would need to upsize — 20,000-square-feet of living space is huge by any standard, and her property has plenty of land. And Ms. Snyder couldn’t leave LA entirely — all of her ex-husbands (two of whom are fathers to her first three childen) still live in LA.
Yolanda would guess that Ms. Snyder’s decision to move is driven by her desire for a change of scenery, and not the want to upsize or downsize. Maybe she’s planning to head over to the Westside? Or maybe she’s headed for one of the many guard-gated communities in Newport Beach, CA. That’s near In-N-Out’s Irvine headquarters and it is also where her uncle Rich was renovating his own celeb-pedigreed mansion before his untimely 1993 death in a private jet crash.
We shall see!
Before moving to Bradbury, Ms. Snyder lived for about 6 years in the guard-gated Gordon Highlands enclave in Glendora, CA, about 10 miles due east of her $20 million mansion. She bought the Tuscan-style mansion (above) as a spec-build in 2006 for $3,150,000 and sold it in 2013 for just $2,665,000. Coincidentally, the buyer of her Gordon Highlands mansion (a local car dealership mogul named Steve Nelson) spent a significant amount of money renovating the entire property and now has the 2.66-acre spread up for sale with a $4,278,000 ask.
Back in Bradbury Estates, Ms. Snyder has several interesting neighbors. Directly across the street from her estate is an even larger compound that is owned by “exiled” billionaire Hong Kong tycoon Yung “Benjamin” Yeung. And Adrián Beltré has purchased another property just a few doors down from Ms. Snyder, where he is custom-building another 20,000-square-foot mega-mansion.
Just a quick skip away from Ms. Snyder is Pastor Melissa Scott, whose 20+ acre ranch is probably worth $25 million or more today. And right next door to Pastor Melissa’s pad is a smaller ranch that was owned for decades by Jim & Eleanor Randall, who moved away from Bradbury two years ago, after paying $46,250,000 for the “Liongate” mega-mansion in prime Bel Air.
Even if Ms. Snyder were to sell her Bradbury property today, she would hardly be homeless. Records show she still owns a Hermosa Beach house that she inherited from her late uncle, as well as a 100+ acre fortified compound in the remote Shasta County area of Northern California.
Lynsi Snyder’s agent: Robin Marquez, Coldwell Banker