More than two years after the groundbreaking success of 2018’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” the nation’s highest-grossing romantic comedy since 2009, director Jon M. Chu has finally celebrated his accolades with a major real estate upgrade — the $3.7 million purchase of a bucolic ranch tucked into the scenic hills between Malibu and Calabasas, in an unincorporated region known as Monte Nido.
The nearly 2.7-acre property is about as quiet and secluded as any in the greater L.A. area, set at the very end of a semi-remote cul-de-sac accessed via a whimsical wooden bridge. Hidden behind stone walls and big gates, the estate features a Craftsman-style main house originally built in 1954, per tax records. Painted a rich henna color with teal trim, the nearly 4,800-square-foot structure packs in five bedrooms, lustrous pine floors, and numerous custom upgrades.
On the main level, the airy living room is accented by massive wooden ceiling beams, triangular clerestory windows, a stone fireplace, and two sets of glassy French doors leading to the gardens. Likewise, the formal dining room also sports French doors of its own and a vaulted ceiling, while the adjoining kitchen has a distinctly 2000s flare with speckled granite countertops, plus custom cabinetry and top-of-the-line Wolf and SubZero appliances.
There’s also a huge den with enough space for large-scale events, and somewhere lies a so-called “bonus den,” with wood-paneled walls and big picture windows, that could be a home office or library. For social-distanced exercising, Chu and his wife Kristin (née Hodge) will enjoy a private gym. Upstairs, the master bedroom includes a cinematic wraparound wall of windows with views of the oak tree-studded grounds, and shoehorned into one corner of the room is a unique circular banquette-style lounge, perfect for curling up with a good book. For its part, the master bath is somewhat dated but offers dual vanities, redwood cabinetry, and a built-in soaking tub overlooked by skylights.
But the real star of the property show are the sprawling, ultra-private grounds, which contain native plantings, a canopy of mature oaks, fields of California poppies, and a fruit/veggie garden with plum, peach, and apricot trees. Various play and picnic areas line the trail to the far rear of the property, where there’s a large swimmer’s pool set into a stone patio, plus a BBQ and spa. Elsewhere on the lot is a detached five-car garage, plus off-street parking for several more vehicles.
Chu, 41, was born and raised by a Taiwanese mother and a Mainland Chinese father in California’s Silicon Valley. Before “Crazy Rich Asians,” he was perhaps best-known for directing the second and third installments of the critically-panned “Step Up” film series, in addition to directing the Justin Bieber’s lucrative 2011 and 2013 concert films.
For the moment, Chu continues to own his “starter” house, a renovated 1930s traditional-style estate in L.A.’s tightly-packed Beverly Grove neighborhood, acquired in 2015 for $2.7 million.