San Diego County has long resided on the uppermost echelon of the national real estate scene with an impressive number of multi-million-dollar home transactions, placing Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla, and Del Mar in the searchlight of notables across the country. Buyers are hailing from East Coast cities such as Boston, Greenwich, New York, and Miami, while half of the high-end buyers are from the West Coast including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
In 2020 there were an astonishing 23 residential sales in San Diego above $10,000,000, as reported by 1st American Title. Topping the list was the $43,000,000 compound on the sand in Del Mar, famously purchased by Bill Gates. There are now approximately 30 active listings over $10 million in San Diego.
One such stunning offering is “Villa Encantada,” an enchanted architectural masterpiece with 11 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms offered for the first time at $22,000,000. Located on 8.13 acres in the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant, approximately 20,000 square feet encompasses a 15,000+-square-foot main residence with a tennis cottage, recreation/guest house, and staff house. The walled and gated compound also features an outdoor pavilion, pool, tennis court, vegetable garden, and garages for seven cars. “Villa Encantada” provides an extraordinary sanctuary for safety, peace of mind, and privacy from the outside world.
Thoughtfully designed by the owners with architect Don Edson, AIA, the main house, built in 2001 by custom builder Ray Schooley, has an international design. The romantic Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was influenced by the grand rancheros and luxurious estates of Argentina. A soaring 22-foot-high ceiling in the palatial living room features massive imported wood beams from an estate home in France. The front doors with wrought iron windows were also imported from France. The recreation/guest house, originally called the “music room,” once boasted a grand scale Wurlitzer pipe organ and was known for huge gatherings of music-loving guests. This rare property is graced by botanical specimens such as towering star pines, heritage cork oak trees, tropical plantings, hedged rose gardens, and acres of horticultural delights. It is believed that much of the grounds were planted at the same time and with the same trees as Balboa Park during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Listing broker Gerry Kirkeby with Wisdom Properties is abundantly familiar with mansions and fine estates. Her history with luxurious Southern California properties extends far beyond her 40 years as a broker in Rancho Santa Fe. The fourth generation Angelino was married at her husband’s family home, the Kirkeby Mansion in Beverly Hills/Bel Air, which sold a year ago for $150 million to Lachlan Murdoch and was one of the highest priced homes sold in the United States. Its entry was famously used as a backdrop for the TV sitcom, The Beverly Hillbillies. Kirkeby’s 25th birthday party was thrown by friend Conrad Hilton at his Bel Air mansion while she was living at her Hollywood Jeffersonian Colonial mansion built by Douglas Fairbanks. With her knowledge of fine estates, she then moved to the Ranch and began buying land and building homes. Loraine Dyson, owner/broker of Wisdom Properties, says of Villa Encantada, “Gerry’s listing is the quintessential expression of Rancho Santa Fe — a juxtaposition of luxurious palatial living with grounds that have an authentic rustic ranch ambiance.” 858.755.3100, wisdom.realtor