The house was the set for ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ TV series before becoming the long-time home of late billionaire Jerry Perenchio
BY BECKIE STRUM
The most expensive home for sale in the United States is the grandiose mansion from the 1960s TV-series “The Beverly Hillbillies,” which hit the market Monday for $350 million.
The main mansion, which fans of the sitcom might recognize as the lavish neoclassical house of the rags-to-riches protagonist Jed Clampett, was the real-life home of billionaire Jerry Perenchio, who died in May at the age of 86. Perenchio lived in the historic mansion for 30 years and during that time, embarked on a landgrab of neighboring parcels that has nearly doubled the estate to 10.3 acres, according to property records.
The main residence of the $350 million estate has only traded hands twice before this. Architect Sumner Spaulding built the colossal home in the neoclassical, French chateau style in 1933. It sold in the 1940s to hotelier Arnold Kirkeby, whose family rented the home out for the set of the “Beverly Hillbillies” and later sold it to Perenchio for $13.5 million in 1986, according to property records.
These days—even factoring in inflation—the Beverly Hillbillies’ newfound oil wealth of $25 million could barely cover a down payment on the home. The new listing beats out the last record-holder, a spec home in Bel Air, by a whopping $100 million.
Perenchio renamed the 25,000-square-foot estate “Chartwell” and engaged designer Henri Samuel—whose client list included the Vanderbilts, Rothschilds and fashion designer Valentino—to redesign the palatial home, according to information released by a lineup of top Los Angeles real estate agents hired to market the home.
The media mogul, whose famous deals included promoting the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier boxing match in 1971 and buying failing Spanish-language channel Univision and selling it 15 years later for $13.5 billion, was worth an estimated $2.7 billion at the time of his death.
Today, Perenchio’s limestone chateau has a “world-class” wine cellar, a ballroom, formal salon and a paneled dining room, according to the listing agents.
Over the past three decades, Perenchio added onto the property acre-by-acre through the purchase of at least four additional parcels costing tens of millions of dollars, according to property records. The most recent was a 1.3-acre lot on Nimes Road, for which he paid $9.2 million in 2009.
Now, for $350 million, the property includes a long private driveway, a guest house by architect Wallace Neff, tennis courts, a 75-foot pool and pool house, manicured gardens—which drew scrutiny for their water use during California’s drought—and covered parking for 40 cars.
Listing agents on the property read like a who’s who list of the area’s top brokers, including Jeff Hyland, Drew Fenton and Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland; Joyce Rey, Jade Mills and Alexandra Allen of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury; and Drew Gitlin and Susan Gitlin of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. The brokers announced the listing through a spokeswoman on Monday, but have not yet entered the property into the multiple listing service.
Before his death, Perenchio also purchased the nearby home of Nancy and Ronald Reagan—a friend and former client—for $15 million.