How does such a talented actor such as Nicolas Cage wind up losing his beautiful home. Nicolas blames it on his manger Samuel J. Levin who he is suing. Nicolas accused Levin of having “lined his pockets with several million dollars in business management fees while leading Cage down a path toward financial ruin”
Levin filed his own counter suit, describing Cage as setting off “on a spending binge of epic proportions” and states that by July 2008 Cage owned “15 palatial homes around the world,” four yachts, an island in the Bahamas, a private Gulfstream jet and millions in art and jewelry.
It was up for auction Wednesday morning — along with a handful of other foreclosed properties — on the steps of the county courthouse in Pomona, Calif.
After a rapid-fire spiel by the auctioneer, the bidding was opened at $10.4 million, far less than the $35 million that Cage had tried unsuccessfully to sell the house for.
To put it mildly, the house, though impressive, was not to everyone’s taste. Real estate agent Bret Parsons, who toured it most recently in October, described the interiors as “fascinating and bizarre.”
“The design was ‘frat house bordello,’ ” Parsons said. “There must have been 300 comic book covers elaborately framed and hanging on the walls.”
Model train sets on raised tracks a couple of feet below the ceiling circled the inside of the breakfast room and two bedrooms.
There were also no takers in the courthouse sale, and in less than a minute the auction closed, with ownership reverting to the foreclosing lender — just one of six holding a total of $18 million in loans on the property.
This is not the only property lost to foreclosure by Cage, who was ranked last year by Forbes as the fifth-highest paid actor in the U.S. with earnings of $40 million.
The Bel-Air manse, at 11,817 square feet, has a central tower, custom wine cellar, 35-seat home theater, six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and an Olympic-size pool.
Borrowing against it included a first mortgage of $425,000 in 2005 and, in 2007, a second of $10.35 million and a third of $5.5 million.
The fourth, fifth and sixth loans, totaling $2.1 million, all came in 2008.
The courthouse event practically eliminated the lenders’ chances to collect on the last four loans because they’re no longer secured by the real estate.
” It was once owned by singer Dean Martin, who in 1974 commissioned Colcord to add a 2,500-square-foot entertainment complex. When another singer, Tom Jones, owned it, a $60,000 wall was erected around the property to keep adoring fans at bay.
Parsons blames the pricing for the fact that Cage couldn’t unload the house, even after it came down to $17.5 million. But the real estate agent also noted that the lot was squeezed with the addition of the entertainment complex. And, he said, there was no room left for a tennis court.
“People at that level want all the requisite amenities,” he said.
Still, he thinks it’s a rare find for the right buyer. “It is a superb home,” he said. “The floor plan, craftsmanship, location. It’s a great house.”
So it seems like Cage followed in the footsteps of many people who used their home for a piggy bank. The prices on homes appreciated so fast before the bubble burst and money was so easy to get, that the temptation to borrow on a home and buy new cars and other toys was too much for some people.
John J. O’Dell
Real Estate Broker
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