When a famous property resurfaces on the market four years later at double the price, we’re compelled to take a closer look. So let’s peruse the case of the iconic “Basic Instinct House” in Carmel, CA.
It recently landed on the market with a price tag of $29,625,000—after selling in 2018 for $14,435,135.
We all became aware of this landmark property along the California coast back in 1992, when Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas made it famous as a prominent location in the 1992 erotic thriller “Basic Instinct.”
Seemingly designed for the silver screen, the property features unmatched views of the Pacific Ocean, extraordinary architecture, and natural beauty punctuated by Monterey pines.
It popped up on the real estate radar in 2018, when it hit the market for $16,995,000. A savvy buyer soon snagged it for a couple of million less.
In the years since, it’s been through more than a few changes.
In 2019, the home returned to the market for a whopping $52,375,000—with a caveat. It was part of a package offering known as the “Seven Coves of Spindrift,” named for the street on which the home sits. The compound included five properties with five livable homes, one them being the “Basic Instinct” house.
Eventually, that luxury package was broken up and sold as individual parcels. And after the breakup, the Basic Instinct house was given a gorgeous makeover.
“The current owner spent millions on renovations,” says the listing agent, Jonathan Spencer. “The home lives like new construction.”
It was originally built to hotel-level quality by the famous adventurer Steve Fossett in 1983. Spencer says it received a full overhaul.
“The current owner touched every room in the house,” he says, “with updated fixtures and finishes.”
Obvious updates can be seen in the kitchen, where dated counters, islands, and appliances were updated and replaced. Luxe features including a wood-burning pizza oven and a climate-controlled wine wall remained in place.
Other updates include three remodeled bathrooms and the creation of two new bedrooms — the California modern residence that has been featured in Architectural Digest now features six bedrooms and nine bathrooms in 12,100 square feet of living space.
A steam room and a commercial-scale gym with a killer view have been added.
All the mechanical systems also received upgrades, including plumbing, Wi-Fi, security, and water.
But the magnificence of the two-story library with a domed ceiling, as well as the breakfast room with an astounding view, have been left intact.
Outside, the beautiful pool with a multilevel waterfall remains, but equipment and plumbing were replaced, and a hot tub was added.
Landscaping on the 2.1-acre lot was also enhanced. New lighting and Wi-Fi speakers were added, along with a fire pit and more seating areas with those prime ocean views.
And thanks to the California Coastal Commission, this residence is really one of a kind.
“The size and expanse of this property cannot be replicated in today’s building environment,” said Spencer.
Beyond the beauty of the home, the location continues to enchant buyers from all over the world.
“The tech and new money buyers view the Carmel Highlands and Big Sur area as their coastal ranches. The smart money is coming to this coastline for its beauty, tranquility, and connection to nature,” says Spencer. “Over the past five years, numerous high-net-worth buyers have invested in this stretch of oceanfront real estate, in some cases pouring $20 million to $30 million into new construction, after purchasing the land for $10 million to $20 million.”
At a price that works out to $2,450 per square foot, the agent thinks this famous home “represents a tremendous value.”
He added, “The savvy buyer knows there is still substantial room for price appreciation at its current valuation. They will view this property as a trophy piece for generations to come.”