Warren Buffett is currently worth over US$70 billion but only takes an annual base salary of US$100,000, making him a legend for his fortune and frugality. It is well known that the so-called ‘Oracle of Omaha’ continues to live in the same 6,000-square-foot house he bought for US$31,500 in 1958, located in the Dundee–Happy Hollow Historic District of Omaha, Nebraska.
However, few would know that the prolific investor also purchased a house in Laguna Beach, California, for US$150,000 in 1971 — before the area became developed and affluent.
Buffett and his wife, Susan, reportedly enjoyed entertaining their friends at the house but found that there were often so many visitors that they decided to purchase the house next door. A stairway was built to connect the two homes. After the death of his wife in 2004, Buffett rarely used the home and sold the connecting property in 2005 for almost US$6 million.
Now, Buffett has put the remaining 3,588-square-foot beach home on the market for the first time in nearly 50 years. The six-bedroom residence is listed for US$11 million by Bill Dolby of Villa Real Estate.
Built in 1936 and renovated by the Buffetts, the home is located steps away from Emerald Bay, a private beach community in Laguna Beach. Emerald Bay features nearly a kilometre of continuous sandy beach, six tennis courts, a community centre and the Al Simmons Swim Center.
The sale listing states that there are terrific views of the sand, surf and the rocks of the south point of Emerald Bay from most rooms in the home. There are two bedrooms that have their own separate entrances — ideal for visiting guests to come and go without disturbing others. In addition, a family room with its own ocean-viewing deck is separated from the main home.
If his vacation home in Laguna Beach sells, Buffett will be down to owning only one home — his beloved Omaha residence, estimated by experts to be valued at roughly US$600,000 to US$700,000, which he told CNBC he “wouldn’t trade for anything”.