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Rare Malibu Midcentury: A Beachfront Buff and Hensman Sells for $17.5M

A remarkable seaside dwelling with a serious architectural pedigree sold in just a month.

Designed by Buff and Hensman—one of Southern California’s favorite teams of midcentury modern architects—the Malibu home has 60 feet of ocean frontage on one of the town’s most sought-after beaches.

It was listed for $18.2 million in early January, and a deal was sealed less than 30 days later, at a price of $17.5 million.

Prior to this recent sale, the four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom beach house also served as a luxury monthly rental, with lease fees running as high as $50,000 per month.

Since its last sale for $9 million in 2009, the home has undergone careful updates, with plenty of respect paid to its original design.

“In my opinion, Buff and Hensman captured the feeling of the quintessential beach home,” says the listing agent, Susan Monus, a global luxury specialist with Coldwell Banker.

The architects are noted for creating numerous midcentury modern classics, including a Case Study House, as well as residences for the actor Steve McQueen and for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The property is on the beach side of the famous Pacific Coast Highway. You enter this 4,241-square-foot home through a humble red door, but walk into an anything but humble courtyard with a bubbling fountain that masks any external traffic noise.

“When you enter the courtyard from the street, you see straight through to the ocean, which is one of my favorite features in this beach home,” says Monus.

Malibu beachfront home designed by Buff and Hensman

Unimposing front door

Spacious courtyard

Before the new owners take a dip in the nearby ocean, they must first pass through a light and airy great room.

“The great room spans the whole width of the house, allowing for generous entertaining and gathering space,” says Monus.

Great room with unobstructed beach views

Adjacent to the great room is a lounge alcove with a cozy fireplace, a modern, open kitchen with a breakfast bar, a dining area, and several additional seating areas.



Breakfast bar

Dining area

Just off the great room is a relaxing deck that spans the width of the home.

From there, you can step right off onto the sand and surf. Retracting walls of glass keep the division between indoors and outdoors nearly imperceptible.

Beachfront deck

There’s also a generous upstairs deck, accessed from two bedrooms, with unobstructed views from Santa Monica to Point Dume.

The three bedrooms upstairs include a primary suite with a charming reading nook and an onyx bathroom mirroring the shades of the sand and surf.

Bedroom with deck overlooking the beach

Primary bedroom with reading nook

Primary bathroom

A bunkroom upstairs has room to accommodate as many as four younger beachgoers.

Beach bunkroom

Another unique aspect of the beachside property is the detached guest suite at the front of the property. It’s ideal for either long-term guests or friends and family looking to spend the night.

Detached guest suite

Berry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown Records, once owned this classic residence on Malibu’s La Costa beach, which has attracted many celebrities.

The actor Stephen Dorff owned a smaller Buff and Hensman on the same beach, and a fellow thespian, Paul Dooley, was also a resident for many years.

Monus represented the sale of the home. Kurt Rappaport with Westside Estate Agency represented the buyer.

Back exterior

The post Rare Malibu Midcentury: A Beachfront Buff and Hensman Sells for $17.5M appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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