Actress Betty White died last year at the age of 99 and left behind a stellar legacy in the entertainment world. The Emmy winner also held some incredible real estate, including an oceanfront estate in Carmel, CA, that has surfaced on the market for $7,950,000.
The “Golden Girls” star and her husband, game-show host Allen Ludden, bought the prized property in 1978 for $170,000. They proceeded to build a custom home, which was completed in 1981. Unfortunately, Ludden died before the couple could enjoy the property together. White held on to the coastal retreat for the rest of her life.
Let’s take a look inside her beloved estate in Carmel.
Perched above the ocean, this property offers views of the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Ribera Beach, and Monastery Beach.
The quarter-acre grounds boast a storybook garden with lush blooms, groomed shrubs, and a winding path. There’s a back gate and path that lead to a sandy beach.
Continuity is key here: The grounds have been tended by the same gardener since the home was built.
Midcentury modern details
Designed by architect Richard Hicks, the space features key tenets of midcentury modern design, including wide-open spaces, wood paneling, beamed ceilings, and walls of windows. The three-story home measures 3,600 square feet and has four bedrooms and 4.5 baths.
The home’s low-key design turns the focus to its natural surroundings, notes listing agent Nicole Truszkowski, with Sotheby’s International Realty.
“It’s elegantly understated in terms of the home itself. It was designed to truly draw your attention to nature and the ocean, wildlife, and everything you see,” says Truszkowski. “I think it speaks to the owner of the home and the things she appreciated. The home is a reflection of that.”
The living spaces extend to the exterior decks overlooking the gardens and sandy beach. In the living room, there are walls of glass and a fireplace. The dining room is adjacent to the kitchen and also offers ocean views.
While White spent the last years of her life at her Brentwood mansion in Los Angeles, this coastal getaway provided her a place to “recharge and rejuvenate,” says Truszkowski.
“Spending time in Carmel was one of Betty’s favorite things to do. She enjoyed many treasured moments with her family and close friends. The home embodies the spirit of Betty and Allen,” she adds.
We especially love the primary bedroom with its ocean views, fireplace, and en suite bath.
Real estate prices in this elite enclave have catapulted since White snagged this property for $170,000 in the ’70s. Currently, the median home list price is an astonishing $2,195,000 and only 117 homes are available for sale, according to Realtor.com® data.
The rarity of an oceanfront abode coming on the market for the first time in over 40 years adds to its interest. The trustee will review offers on April 4, and if you’d like to put in a bid from the comfort of your home office, think again.
“You have to physically tour the property to submit an offer,” Truszkowski says. “If you really want to buy the property, hop on a plane, come, and look at it.”
She’s confident potential buyers will be impressed by the place once they set foot on the grounds—and not just because of its connection to the legendary actress.
“There’s an interest just because of that,” Truszkowski concedes. “But the property itself is really, really special. It’s super spectacular.”
Truszkowski and Zak Freedman with Truszkowski, Freedman & Associates of Sotheby’s International Realty–Carmel Brokerage hold the listing.
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