After nearly two years on and off the market, not to mention at least two canceled escrows, ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham at long last sold a luxurious and comfortably low-key gated estate in Encino, Calif. for $4.1 million. While many times the cost of what mere financial mortals can afford, the sale price was none-the-less more than a million dollars below its original asking price of $5.199 million and, unfortunately for Dunham’s bank accounts, $150,000 less than the $4.25 million the international headliner paid for the property in July 2009. Built in 2008 on a fully landscaped .42-acre parcel, the stone-faced and vine-encrusted residence offers five and potentially six en suite bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms plus a 670-square-foot, two-room poolside guesthouse with another bathroom.
Obscured behind a high stone wall and secured with a comprehensive state-of-the-art security system, the two-story residence is entered through a walled, gated and stone-paved courtyard where a wrought iron adorned wood and glass door set into a shallow arched porch opens to snazzily circular entrance hall. Dark, hickory wood floors flow throughout the main floor living spaces that include a sitting room/piano alcove that adjoins a formal living room with fireplace and a large formal dining room with an exposed stone wall and a vaulted, exposed beam ceiling. A butler’s pantry with bar sink and under-counter beverage cooler connects the dining room to a cook-friendly kitchen with two center islands and premium-grade appliances. The kitchen is open to a small breakfast nook that overlooks the backyard as well as a commodious family room that features rustic wood-beams across the ceiling, an imposing floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and wood-trimmed glass sliders to the backyard.
Just off the main floor living room there are two potential en suite bedrooms, one of them outfitted as a library/office with half-paneled walls and built-in bookshelves. In addition to a den/media lounge with corner fireplace, wet bar and built-in bookshelves, the second floor contains three more en suite bedrooms, two with access to a small shared balcony, plus a private master suite. Situated in its own wing on the upper floor, the master suite encompasses a circular entry vestibule, a bedroom with vaulted exposed wood beam ceiling, a massive stone fireplace and glass sliders to a large private terrace. There’s also a custom-fitted walk-in closet and a bathroom with double vanities, a soaking tub beneath a raised fireplace set into a stacked stone wall and an over-sized, multi-head steam shower.
Ceiling mounted heaters in the stone-paved dining loggia off the family room allows for year round al fresco dining and lounging and a grassy yard with tropical landscaping surrounds a lagoon-style swimming pool and spa with sandy beach entry. There’s also a well-stocked outdoor kitchen, a large stone terrace with an outdoor fireplace and, beyond the swimming pool, a two-room guesthouse with full bathroom.
Dunham, who released the Netflix comedy special “Relative Disaster” in 2017 and is currently criss-crossing the country on his 60-city “Passively Aggressive” tour, and his second wife, fitness trainer and nutritional consultant Audrey Murdick, long ago decamped affluent Encino for the even more prosperous guard gated and celeb-packed Hidden Hills community in the far western suburbs of L.A. where in May 2014 they shelled out $4.033 million for a 7,204-square-foot Tuscan villa advantageously positioned on a 2.3-acre knoll with six-bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and panoramic views the sweep over the San Fernando Valley.
listing photos: Ferraro & Associates