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House hits market at $10.7 million

Impressive Flintridge-area estate aims to set new bar for local real estate values.

April 13, 2011|By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com
  • The front of the home of Heather and Austin Kim, in La Canada Flintridge, on Monday, April 11, 2011. The Kim home is for sale and listed at $10.7 million, the most expensive home in La Canada Flintridge. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
The front of the home of Heather and Austin Kim, in La Canada…

A La Cañada Flintridge woman who spent years perfecting every aspect of an aristocrat’s dream home has put it on the market for a staggering $10.7 million, an asking price that aims to set a new bar for local real estate values.

It’s an impressive space: 8,000 square-feet of high ceilings, carved marble fireplaces, stately polished limestone floors, seven bedrooms and living spaces wide open to natural light that pours in from an expansive courtyard and pool area.

But for all of the grand aspirations, reminiscent of an 18th-century French royal chateau, the 567 Meadow Grove St. estate owned by Heather and Austin Kim is really a monument to obsessive detail.

Tiny flowers carved into a dining room’s coffered ceiling live in subtle varieties of red, orange and blue —all hand-painted down to each petal under the constant direction of Heather Kim, who conceived the home’s design. A small westerly window is barely noticeable above a grand stone and wrought-iron staircase worthy of Norma Desmond, but its tinted glass bathes the grand entry hall in different shades of light.

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OK, but $10 million? Who’s got that kind of scratch?

“We’ve had a few showings, but this caliber of buyer isn’t looking for an ordinary house,” said Sookie Mathews, the REMAX/Tri-City Realtor listing the home.

According to other area real estate agents, a $10.7 million sale would set a new bar for La Cañada residential property values.

“Ten million is unprecedented,” said Phyllis Harb of Prudential Realty of California’s La Cañada office.

By Harb’s memory, and a quick check of the Multiple Listing Service professional database, the last home sale to raise apparent market ceilings was a sprawling hilltop estate on Foxwood Road. Listed for $8.2 million, it sold in September 2005 for $7.37 million.

Harb also recalled the mid-2008 sale of a historic Dutch colonial on Flintridge Avenue for a little more than $6.2 million. That property and its 67,000-square-foot lot was listed for $6.5 million.

Meanwhile, the average closing price for the 15 homes that sold in La Cañada in March was about $1.4 million, Harb’s records show.

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