When billionaires go house-shopping, their needs are invariably more complex than those of ordinary, run-of-the-mill millionaires. There is space for full-time assistants and estate managers to consider, not to mention bodyguards and chefs. And one can’t forget the extended family — what member of the three-comma club would buy a place for themselves and not buy a nice nearby house for grandma and grandpa, too? What would the neighbors think? Perish the thought.
So when ultra-wealthy San Francisco locals Marc and Elisa Stad recently came down to Montecito looking for a vacation property, they didn’t come home with the keys to just one estate. They bought two.
The first Stad deal closed in mid-September, when records show the couple forked out $12.2 million for a shingle-sided mansion with 7 bedrooms and a whopping 13 bathrooms in nearly 14,000 square feet of living space. The mostly flat, 2.1-acre lot also includes two ancillary buildings that could “be used as offices … or staff/guest housing,” per the listing.
Built in 2008, some of the estate’s highlights include a full-size sports court, a 65-foot swimming pool with inset spa and Baja shelf, a 10-seat movie theater, mirror-walled gym, and two 3-car garages. There are elegant formal living and dining rooms, plus an eat-in kitchen and a wood-paneled library, and some parts of the lush backyard sport ocean views.
Less than three weeks after buying their first Montecito home, the Stads closed on their second — a $29 million Mediterranean-style mansion tucked even further up in the Montecito hills, with spectacular views of the sea. The nearly 13,000-square-foot structure was built in 2005 and offers a formal motorcourt that’s more reminiscent of an palazzo in Italy than an ordinary American driveway. There are huge expanses of grassy lawns, a swimming pool set into a broad stone patio, six bedrooms, a gym, and a sumptuous kitchen with dual islands.
Somewhat unusually — particularly for an ultra-high-end property — the second house has had five different owners in the last five years. Built in 2005, it was sold by the original owner in 2015 to telecom billionaire Craig McCaw, who paid $25 million but only held onto the property for three months before flipping it to private equity tycoon Jack McGinley for $27.5 million. McGinley, who recently paid $44.5 million for Rob Lowe’s Montecito mansion, flipped the former McCaw estate for $27 million this September to a mystery buyer — the same buyer who, incidentally, paid a whopping $49 million for Dennis Miller’s Montecito compound. After barely a month of ownership, that person flipped the former McCaw-McGinley property for $29 million to the Stads. (So it goes in the high-stakes Montecito property games, a very adult version of musical chairs.)
Though he’s deliberately kept a low public profile, in recent years Stad has attracted increased media attention for his reputation as one of the tech industry’s most successful investors. His Dragoneer Investment Group collection of hedge funds, headquartered in the Bay Area, owns a big chunk of Uber and funded pre-IPO debt for Spotify, among lucrative investments in a number of other high-growth tech companies. Today, Dragoneer has more than $8.6 billion in discretionary assets under management, according to WhaleWisdom.
Stad, a Harvard alum who was born and raised in the working-class Los Angeles neighborhood of Montebello, has made Northern California his home in recent years. Property records reveal the 41-year-old and wife Elisa maintain an eye-popping property portfolio that includes a $10 million home on one of San Francisco’s best streets, a multimillion-dollar mansion in Lake Tahoe’s exclusive Martis Camp community, and property in Napa Valley. There’s also plenty of evidence in records that suggests Stad was the mystery buyer who — back in 2018 — paid $39 million for a 1930s Pacific Heights mansion, an amount that remains the most ever paid for a home in the city of San Francisco.