Yolanda recently published a whole testament to how prices in the luxury markets of the San Fernando Valley have skyrocketed. And for more evidence that shows how far the Valley has come, look no further than Encino, once the redheaded stepchild of LA luxury, the butt of everyone’s suburban jokes. Yet look who got the last laugh! Prices here, nowadays, are anything but funny.
Yes, kiddies. Some Encino pricetags are currently nearly as sky-high as the Westside – or even higher, in certain cases. Like this one.
Three years ago – back in 2014 – a lady named Cynthia “Cyndi” Ruud-Johnson jetted in to LA. She paid $4,300,000 for a brand-new house in Pacific Palisades.
Ms. Ruud-Johnson is a mother of four (three girls, one boy) and has a lot of money. Her father, you see, is a Florida-based guy named Alan Ruud. Our Mr. Ruud founded something called Ruud Lighting, which he sold in 1997 for $35.5 million in cash (plus 3 million shares of stock), bought back in 2001 for $47 million, and sold yet again in 2011 for a whopping $525 million.
That’s more than half a billion bucks, for all y’all slow on the uptake.
Y’all may also be interested to know that three of Ms. Ruud-Johnson’s aforementioned four kids are child actors. They go by the names of Kylie Hart, Brett Alan Hart, and Paityn Hart. Each has more than 10,000 followers on their respective Instagram accounts and all three have appeared in feature films that Yolanda ain’t never seen and for which we are probably significantly older than the target audience demographic. Ah, well.
Anywho, Ms. Ruud-Johnson recently decided she wanted a change of address. She packed up the four kids into her ’96 Plymouth Voyager (okay, she probably rolls a new Escalade or big Benz but we like to imagine her in a minivan). And then she did something unexpected — she left the posh Palisades and high-tailed it up over the hills into the feared and loathed San Fernando Valley.
For those of you in disbelief, get ready for more shock. Although the Valley house that Ms. Ruud-Johnson selected is only marginally larger than her Palisades mansion, it is considerably more expensive.
That’s right — records show that Ms. Ruud-Johnson paid a very fat $6,995,000 through a blind trust for her Encino mansion. That’s not only almost 7 million bucks, that’s the full damn asking price! She must have wanted this place somethin’ awful — so let’s see what got her so excited.
The house is a brand-new spec-mansion and sits on a .48-acre plot of land that was once part of a two-acre sprawling ranch estate. A few years back, a savvy developer came and knocked down that ranch house, subdivided the lot into four separate properties, and built four different (but similar-looking) homes in its place. Ms. Ruud-Johnson’s residence is arguably the most luxurious of the four.
Immediately upon walking through the front door, visitors are wowed by the wide-plank hardwood oak floors and double-height ceilings. The 7,736-square-foot main house sports every luxury gadget known to mankind: Crestron lighting systems, a top-of-the-line security system, and range-topping appliances.
The formal dining room is sure to impress with its glassy wine rack, and the eat-in kitchen has a large center island with bar seating.
Numerous recreation spaces include a movie theater, a game room/lounge with pool table, and a full-size wet bar.
The main house has five bedroom suites in all, including a second-level master suite w/ fireplace, a soaking tub, and a walk-in closet that wouldn’t look out of place in a Rodeo Drive boutique.
The 2,669-square-foot, two-story guest house is a mini-replica of the main house and is larger than most Americans’ homes. It features three bedrooms and one bathrooms, plus a gym/massage area. Outdoors, there is a full-size pool plus a spa and an attached “kids pool”. Naturally, there’s also a built-in BBQ and outdoor loggia for entertaining.
As for her old house in the Palisades, the 6-bed, 6.5-bath structure was quickly sold for $5,200,000 this July (2017) to a non-famous couple named Gary & Rachel Levin. The three-story, 6,219-square-foot structure sits on a puny .16-acre lot that sports an outdoor jungle gym but no pool or spa.
We’re not sure why Ms. Ruud-Johnson has chosen to forsake the Palisades for Encino, but we don’t think the homes themselves played a big factor. The Encino compound is quite large — 7,736-square-foot main house, 2,669-square-foot guest quarters – but her Pac Pal pad wasn’t that much smaller at 6,219-square-feet. Plus, it’s not like she’s hurting for cash – if she wanted a slightly larger mansion with a guest house in the Palisades, we’re sure she could find (and afford) one.
More likely her kids go to school out there — the elite Buckley School is located nearby in Sherman Oaks — or maybe it’s more convenient for her kids’ acting gigs and all. The Valley holds many mysterious attractions, kiddies. Even to very rich folks like Ms. Ruud-Johnson.