A Marin County couple bought a $4 million dollar house next to their already pricey $19 million dollar home -- to tear down for a better view.
The five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house in Belvedere featured views of the bay, San Francisco skyline and Golden Gate Bridge. But after paying $4.2 million for the property earlier this year, the couple next door is tearing it down and replacing it with bushes and trees.
Clark and Sharon Winslow purchased their current home in 2008 for $19 million. That 11,200-square-foot house includes a "resort-style health club" with a 60-foot pool and 5,000 square feet of stone terraces, according to a real estate listing. However, the house lacked a large yard or garden, and its view was partly blocked by its neighbor.
A solution to both problems emerged about two years ago when the owners of the house next door fell behind on their mortgage and eventually abandoned the house.
The house, which sold in 2004 for $7 million, was repossessed by Bank of America and the Winslows purchased it at an auction for $4.2 million.
The demolition, which has been underway for several weeks, appears to be popular with neighbors. Several residents voiced their support at a Planning Commission meeting to consider a demolition permit.
Olivia Hsu Decker of Decker Bullock Sotheby's International Realty, who has sold many high-end homes in Belvedere and lives across the street, said the project will improve the neighborhood and increase her own view. "The house was pretty beat up anyway," she said. The people hadn't lived there in the last two years."