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Location: Laguna Beach, Calif.
The Skinny: Finding a sprawling, Mediterranean Revival clifftop villa with a private beach, amazing views and a National Registry of Historic Places pedigree is no small order, but Laguna Beach's Villa Rockledge ticks all the boxes and then some to make for a trophy property of the highest order. Built by Riverside's Mission Inn developer Frank Miller beginning in 1918 (working from a design by Arthur Benson, who also designed the world-famous Inn and numerous other buildings in Southern California) the estate was formerly known as Mariona, named so after Miller's second wife. After being bought in 1972 for the unbelievably low sum of $420K, the home stayed in the same family for 40 years before being placed on the market in 2009 for $34.9M. What followed next was PriceChop upon PriceChop until the home sold at auction in 2012 for less than a third of the original ask. Apparently the new owner now finds the real estate market much more amenable to high-priced homes, asking $30M for the 12-bedroom, 11-bathroom estate, which would represent an extremely tidy profit on a $10M investment.