Seems as though California’s former First Lady is feeling a bit crowded in her neck of the Brentwood woods. But rather than move, Maria Shriver has spent big for some additional elbow room, making the classic choice to buy out her neighbors.
Shriver has owned her current Brentwood home since 2011, the year she split from Arnold Schwarzenegger. She originally paid $12.2 million for the East Coast traditional-style mansion, which offers about 11,000 square feet of living space, an attached three-car garage, gym, home theater and wine cellar, and subsequently gave the walled and gated house a thorough interior remodel that likely cost another small fortune.
Now Shriver has spent an additional $12 million to buy the much humbler house next door, a midcentury ranch-style structure originally built in 1947 and owned by the same family for decades. Records reveal the place was sold by an elderly widow whose late husband was once president of the Petersen Publishing Company, the juggernaut behind popular automotive magazines such as Motor Trend and Hot Rod.
It appears that family had owned the house for at least 50 years, and records suggest they originally acquired the property for well under $300,000, making the $12 million Shriver paid a very nice return on their investment. Since the house was never publicly offered for sale, details are slim, but the unassuming structure packs in more than 4,000 square feet of living space. The flat lot spans more than a half-acre and includes a big grassy backyard and a small guest cottage. At the far rear of the lot lies a swimming pool.
Had this house been listed, the property would likely have been purchased by a developer. Other midcentury ranch homes on the same street have sold in the $10-12 million range, including Betty White’s longtime residence just up the road, which recently sold for $10.7 million — as a teardown, naturally. So the $12 million Shriver paid is a very fair price, although it’s not yet clear what the NBC news correspondent plans to do with the place.
When combined with her longtime home next door, Shriver’s new residential purchase gives her more than an acre of land on one of Brentwood’s most exclusive streets, where other homeowners include Disney chairman Dana Walden and Arianna Huffington.
And before she moved out and crafted her own two-house compound, Shriver and Schwarzenegger lived in a 15,000-square-foot mansion elsewhere in Brentwood, tucked away within an exclusive guard-gated community in Mandeville Canyon. Sited on a six-acre knoll, the massive home (below) has ocean views and remains occupied by Schwarzengger.