Although the property was never available on the open market, Julia Roberts and longtime husband Danny Moder have sold one of their “spare” Malibu homes in a quiet $8 million deal, representing a modest increase over the $7.45 million they paid for the 1.2-acre estate four years ago, back in January 2016. The landlocked house, located in Malibu’s celeb-favored Point Dume, lies directly across the street from the couple’s much larger, longtime main residence.
Records indicate the off-market buyer is Silicon Valley-based hedge fund tycoon Thomas Laffont, who also happens to own the house immediately next door. Laffont picked that charming place up last year, paying $13 million for the low-slung ranch, which was once owned by Equinox gyms founder Danny Errico. His Point Dume holdings now encompass a hefty 2.4 acres of lush land, all sited on one of the neighborhood’s most prestigious streets.
While it seems unlikely that Roberts and Moder ever actually spent a night in the just-sold Malibu house, the modest cottage includes four cozy bedrooms and three bathrooms. As befitting a casual beach bungalow, there’s no traditional front door; rather, guests must enter through a sliding door that opens directly into an informal dining area. A sunny kitchen contains medium-grade stainless appliances, and a large living room has whitewashed walls and a vaulted ceiling.
But the estate’s real value lies in its land. The sprawling, pancake-flat lot is fully landscaped, with wideset lawns and tall hedges for privacy. Gorgeous sprays of bougainvillea abound, and there are secluded lounging areas for private, outdoorsy pastimes like reading, contemplating life or enjoying romance with a summertime lover.
Laffont, the tech-focused investor who founded Coattue Management with his more famous brother Philippe Laffont, made a name for himself with big, lucrative early bets on tech companies like Uber, Lyft and Snapchat. He and wife Elizabeth continue to reside primarily in the swanky Silicon Valley town of Atherton, Calif., where they own a $13.8 million mansion.
As for Roberts, the longtime real estate whale continues to maintain her primary residence, a blufftop Point Dume estate that she’s owned since 2003. She also holds the deeds to a multi-acre vacation getaway on the dreamlike coast of Hanalei, Hawaii.
Some of Roberts’ other luxe residences include three apartments in an elegant, prewar building in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park area and a massive ranch in the semi-remote town of Taos, New Mexico. And earlier this year, she paid $8.3 million for a historic home in San Francisco’s searingly expensive Presidio Heights neighborhood.