Oceanfront resort towns like Laguna Beach and Malibu have long been famous for their prototypical perfect SoCal weather, their gorgeous Pacific vistas, and their stunning (for California, at least) beaches. Not to mention their many famous residents and punishingly pricey real estate. But the somewhat secluded nature of both cities — both are accessible via only a couple roads — means that traffic is a constant nightmare, what with resident commuters, tourists, and out-of-towners all fightin’ for their place on the sand. But we digress.
Though Malibu and Laguna remain popular with many celebrities (particularly the former), we are quite certain the congestion and nonstop lookie-loos have driven some publicity-eschewing famous folks to locate their vacation homes in other, more slower-paced areas. One of them is the tiny, low-key beach town of Carpinteria (CA), that is located about 80 miles northwest of Beverly Hills and directly south of high-toned Montecito.
The 101 freeway bisects Carpinteria, and most folks pass right through on their way to Santa Barbara or the Bay Area. There’s certainly no Nobu or Montage up here. The 13,000 (or so) residents adhere to a slower pace of life with more modest surroundings. Unless you’re talking about Padaro Lane, of course. That rustic road runs parallel and between the 101 freeway and the Pacific Ocean and features dozens of oceanfront homes. These range from modest cottages to family-sized mansions to supersized estate compounds — but all of them worth many millions of dollars.
Yolanda has a friend — a handsome, scholarly fellow from Santa Barbara whom we’ve previously referred to as Barbara Bane — and he assures us that Padaro Lane can be every bit as searingly expensive as Carbon Beach in Malibu or Irvine Cove in Laguna Beach. After all, at least one Padaro Lane resident has spent more than $80 million to construct a monumental monument to his fabulous wealth.
Now then! Yolanda discussed George Lucas’s new $34 million Bel Air compound just the other day. While we were yappin’ away about the estate, we also mentioned how Mr. Lucas caused a gosh-darn ruckus up on Padaro Lane recently when he tore down a $20 million Modernist stunner to build a ho-hum Cape Cod crapper of a mansion that he probably only uses a handful of times per year anyway.
Well, kiddies, call it the peculiar draw of this quaint beach town, but following our discussion Yolanda went on a little virtual tour of Mr. Lucas’s Carpinteria neighborhood. And right away we stumbled over something interesting. On the very same street as Mr. Lucas’s house — just a quick jog away — lies a smaller property that sold for a big-time $10,100,000 just a few days ago (early June 2017).
The seller was a non-famous fellow and the buyers’ identities are carefully shielded behind a generically-named corporate entity that links back to a New York City address. However, y’all, Yolanda just happens to know the new owners are a married couple named Christopher & Milena Kutcher — better known, of course, by their professional names: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. Yolanda also just happens to know that there was no loan involved in this transaction. That’s right — Mr. Kutcher and Ms. Kunis paid cold, hard cash for their $10.1 million mini-compound. Ballers!
That the Tesla-driving Mr. Kutcher and Ms. Kunis would buy a $10 million house in Carpinteria should not come as a shock to anyone. The pair love the low-key neighborhood and have been photographed on vacations up here numerous times over the years. And they’re both really rich, in case y’all somehow didn’t know. The Ukraine-born, LA-raised Ms. Kunis’s net worth is routinely estimated at somewhere between $30 and $45 million, while the Iowa-born-and-bred Mr. Kutcher — a very successful tech investor who was for quite some time also the highest-paid TV actor — makes do with $140 million (or so) to his name.
Before we get to photos of the famous couple’s new pad, we wanted to quickly call y’all’s attention to something. Yolanda has long been amused by the “brokerbabble” used by many real estate agents and the description of this property is particularly enjoyable because the listing agent mentions absolutely nothing about the house itself. Yolanda just couldn’t resist copy-and-pasting it here.
Imagine driving down secluded, tree-lined, Padaro Lane. Smell the fresh breath of the ocean signaling the weekend’s pleasures to come. Cross the estuary and turn into a private drive. As the gate slowly rolls back you you are greeted by a vista of the ocean and islands that beckons you to leave the week’s travails behind. You can’t wait to race down the path to the beach. Feel the warming sun and cool sea breeze. Listen to the lonesome cry of the gulls and the pounding of the surf. Feel the cool wet sand between your toes. This is the moment you have waited for.
Actually, it’s kind of a ballsy description. Like “it’s Padaro Lane, bitches. What more info do you need?” And it may not give many details away, but it certainly sounds nice — don’t it?
Listing information indicates the two-house, two-parcel compound sports a total of 3,100-square-feet of living space, divided between a 2,000+ square foot, two-story main house out closer to the street and a one-story, sub-1,000-square-foot cottage that overlooks the beach itself. There are a total of 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms located on the .71-acre property.
Records indicate that the seller (that non-famous but clearly very rich fellow) purchased the property in two separate transactions in 2009 and 2012 for a total investment of $9,100,000.
Inside the main house, there wide-plank white oak floors and lots of white paint, which Yolanda has no problem with in a beach residence. We do have a problem with those barstools that look like they could double as some sort of weird kinky sexual torture device, but whatever.
On the second floor of the main house is a cavernous great room with a vaulted ceiling, a large fireplace, and walls of glass that open to a balcony overlooking the grounds of the property and the ocean beyond.
Both structures on the property are styled almost identically, so please excuse Yolanda if we’re having difficulty tying this or that bedroom to which house. About all we know is that there’s plenty of space for Mr. Kutcher, Ms. Kunis, and their two munchkins. Plus a nanny or cook or whatever sort of domestic help they may or may not employ.
Okay, so this porch is definitely on the second floor of the main house and located off the master suite.
Like nearly all the other houses along Padaro Lane, Mr. Kutcher & Ms. Kunis’s new spot has no swimming pool. We suppose there’s really no need when your backyard is the ocean, but the spoiled Yolanda can’t stand the beach — all that sand and saltwater and surf just brings us down — and so we’d have preferred to see a cement pond out back here. C’est la vie.
Oh well, at least there’s an above-ground hot tub.
Back in LA, the couple reside in a guarded (but not gated) and legendarily celebrity-filled community called Hidden Valley in the Coldwater Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills Post Office, which is itself a neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Whew!) Records show they acquired the property back in 2014 in an off-market $10,215,000 deal from veteran entertainment exec Tom Freston. Some of their nearest and dearest neighbors are a whole slew of A-list showbiz folks like Adele, Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban, Penelope Cruz, Katy Perry, Cameron Diaz and her Madden boy, Nicole Richie and her Madden boy, Zoe Saldana, and Jennifer Lawrence.
And though their new home in Carpinteria lies almost 100 miles outside of Hollywood, they’ve got plenty of new neighbors out there who are famous in their own way, too. In addition to George Lucas, other Padaro Lane homeowners include Oscar winner Kevin Costner, soap opera actor Doug Davidson, Calvin Klein co-founder Barry Schwartz, direct marketing guru Greg Renker, billionaire hedge funder Bruce Kovner, and pioneering internet entrepreneur Lynda Weinman.
P.S. Yolanda is gonna give you young’uns some schoolin’. If you’re ever up in the Carpinteria area, kiddies, y’all have just gotta try the lovely Padaro Beach Grill. Yes, you Fancy Nancys may turn up your nose because there ain’t no valet parking, but seriously it’s a charming place with some seriously good food and views. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even see the Kunis-Kutchers chowing down at the table next to yours one of these days. But use some sense and do not harass and/or sass the young family — unless they’ve given you permission to do so, of course. They could probably afford to buy and sell your life a thousand times over.