Looking for a Last-Minute Summer Rental? This One Can Be Yours for $750K a Month
This Malibu home features a 168-foot-long pool purported to be the longest residential swimming pool in California. And that's just one of the luxe properties up for grabs this summer as Rob Reiner's Malibu place rents for $100,000 in July and "it’s hard" to find anything under $150,000 in the Hamptons.
This story first appeared in the May 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
For the first time in more than a decade, the dollar is nearly equal in value to the euro, making foreign travel much more attractive to Americans. And as the summer holiday season in tony Malibu kicks off, real estate agents are seeing the impact. "In the past, people would book a house for the entire summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day. Now they just want one month," says Sotheby's agent Michael Gardner. Explains Coldwell Banker's Irene Dazzan-Palmer: "Lots of people want to spend one month on the beach and the next month in Europe, since it costs about the same."
This is not to say that Malibu's high-end rental market, which boasts an average rental fee of $100,000 per month during peak season, has cooled down; instead, there's more turnover. Dazzan-Palmer notes that, at one time, many property owners were reluctant to rent their homes for periods shorter than a full season, but in this post-Airbnb era, "the savvier ones" have come around. One such owner is director Rob Reiner, whose oceanside cottage in the 24-hour-guarded Malibu Colony is available for the month of July for $100,000 with five bedrooms, six bathrooms and a nearly 7,000-square-foot lot.
If one is looking for something cheaper, say in the $30,000 to $50,000 monthly range, tough luck — those properties get snapped up by March. However, several superdeluxe pads still are up for grabs. By far the most over-the-top rental in Malibu is the megamansion owned by celebrity real estate broker Kurt Rappaport. Perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean, the 15,000-square-foot residence features seven bedrooms, 10 baths, a screening room, a game room, a gym and a 168-foot-long pool purported to be the longest residential swimming pool in California. Designed by Scott Mitchell, the house also is decked out with artworks by Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha and Richard Prince — and is listed at a jaw-dropping $750,000 a month.
In addition to Reiner's, a number of properties in the star-studded Colony are available, including a 1930s cottage that has been home to both Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne and Juicy Couture co- founder Pamela Skaist-Levy. The three-bedroom house comes furnished with bikes and surfboards. Then there's the Colony compound formerly owned by Leonardo DiCaprio. Sold for $17.4 million in December 2013, the Cape Cod-style property features a main house, two guesthouses, a huge viewing deck and expansive beach frontage. Rental fee is $175,000 a month — up $100,000 from when DiCaprio was leasing it out.
For the architecturally inclined, the Krause House, owned by philanthropists Richard and Cindy Troop, is a three-bedroom modern on Malibu Road designed by the legendary John Lautner. Boasting huge geometric windows, a spiral staircase and 57 feet of beach frontage, it is rentable for $80,000 a month.
Chalk it up to East Coast attitude, but Jared Seligman at Douglas Elliman in New York has this to say about renting out east: "In Malibu, houses for $20 million to $30 million are so small: You are touching your neighbors and are on rather-exposed beach. In the Hamptons, you can get substantial land, a sense of privacy and a bit of old-world charm with history and landscaping."
The Malibu Colony oceanfront 1930s cottage was owned by both Hollywood scribe Towne and fashion mogul Skaist-Levy.
Summerlong rentals still are on the menu for the Hamptons and Montauk, with the top rental in the latter asking $495,000 for the season. That's with Montauk's "high-end real estate market still being new and developing," says Matthew Breitenbach, a Hamptons-based broker with Douglas Elliman. Montauk has some of the cachet of more established parts of the Hamptons: Ralph Lauren, Paul Simon and J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler (who bought Andy Warhol's $30 million compound in 2014) all own houses there. Bonus: less expensive rental prices, which average $75,000 a summer for high-end leases (compared to the Hamptons' $250,000 during peak season). "The special stuff on the water, like an oceanfront with great views, four to five bedrooms, goes for $325,000" for the season, says Breitenbach. "In Sagaponack, it would be $625,000 or even more." (The commute plays a factor — up to three hours from Manhattan to Montauk; Southampton can be reached in two.) That doesn't deter those drawn by the seclusion and rocky bluffs of the Hamptons' furthest point: "The Ralph Laurens of the world, they're going to be flying into East Hampton [Airport] on a private jet, anyway," says Breitenbach. Montauk offers quiet exclusivity, he adds: "There's some very unique real estate, and a lot of it is under the radar."
In the Hamptons proper, "if you want something in a great location that's beautifully finished, it's really hard to find something for less than $150,000 for the season," says Seligman. The broker adds that many rental companies won't even take on a listing for the season if it's less than $250,000. "Prices are steep and climbing, especially for August and properties near the water."
Even without a beachfront, the summer house of Scarface producer Martin Bregman and his wife, Cornelia, located on Southampton's Gatsby-like First Neck Lane, is on the market for the season for $275,000; the traditional five-bedroom home is rumored to have been rented in the past by Barbara Walters. The Hilton family's recently renovated 10-bedroom house, located in Water Mill's private Fordune community, also is available for the summer for $450,000.
For those looking for still-higher-priced properties, "there are a few million-dollar rentals available, including a 30,000-square-foot house with a bowling alley and tennis courts on 12 acres," says Gary DePersia, a Hamptons-based associate broker with the Corcoran Group. DePersia is the agent who recently handled the inaugural full-season rental of Grey Gardens, the 10-bedroom estate depicted in film and television that underwent continual and extensive renovations by late Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and wife Sally Quinn after they purchased it in 1979 (they reportedly found 52 dead cats inside). "It's one of the most famous houses on the East Coast. It's not the latest designer-style interiors, but it's more laid-back, like the Hamptons in the '40s or '50s," DePersia says of the estate, which rented for $250,000.
Reiner’s more-than-2,500-square-foot oceanside property is available only for the month of July.
In the East, historic houses such as Grey Gardens stir up interest, while celebrity-owned properties, like the Hiltons', do little to draw renters on name alone. "Our market isn't driven by celebrities — I'm sure in Malibu, it is," says DePersia.
Yet Hamptons leases for celebrities do occur — they're just at times invisible to the public: Breitenbach, who works in Douglas Elliman's new sports and entertainment division that launched May 11, handles many confidential, unlisted transactions with high-profile clients. "Brokers that deal with celebrities don't tell people, 'I worked with so-and-so,' but work within a network of realtors and friends when they come out east. It's more, 'Can so-and-so stay at that house?' "
The 1,700-square-foot beachfront property of "Baby" Jane Holzer, producer and former muse of Warhol, is one such unlisted property this year. In previous summers, the Fowler Beach house in Southampton had been listed for $450,000 a season. Purchased in 1997, it underwent an exterior remodel by Francis Fleetwood in 2000. "It's nothing that fancy," demurs Holzer. "Not like the beach mansions like Larry [Gagosian's] in East Hampton. We have this little spit on a dirt road, but it's really nice."
Not all rentals are seasonal, or even monthly. Last summer, DiCaprio leased a $6 million European villa in Water Mill for one week. "It was a young hedge-fund guy's bachelor pad," says Breitenbach. It was estimated at about $50,000 for the week.
That may seem steep for one week, but options indicate otherwise. One of Breitenbach's listings this summer includes the Bridgehampton home of public relations CEO Alison Brod, which is going for $100,000 for a week in July. Not advertised in the listing: the celebrity shindigs that have been held at the five-bedroom modern abode, including a party for Entourage creator Doug Ellin.
$50,000 a week: Rough estimate of DiCaprio’s one-week rental of this $6 million European villa-style mansion.
3 Cheaper Rental Options
1. SANTA MONICA: $39,000 a month Designed by John Byers for silent-film star Norma Talmadge, this 1928 Spanish features seven bedrooms, six baths, two fireplaces, a pool and loads of Old Hollywood glamour. 1020 Palisades Beach Road, weahomes.com
2. OJAI: $1,700 to $5,000 a night The historic Casa Barranca (aka the Pratt House) was built by Charles and Henry Greene in 1909 and is on an estate that hosts the area's first organic winery. The Japanese-meets-Arts-and-Crafts five-bedroom, six-fireplace and three-sleeping-porch residence overlooks the valley. casabarranca.com
3. SANTA BARBARA: $13,500 a month This Spanish grande dame in Riviera was designed by Reginald Johnson with four bedrooms, six baths, a media room, pool and views. 1731 Lasuen Road, trulia.com
The Palisades Beach Road estate in Santa Monica.