This mansion is ‘just one signature’ away from being sold, one of 20 homes destroyed in coastal fires

The 10,000-square-foot mansion, which was “scorched black” in the coastal fire, was “just one step away” from selling, listing real estate agents said. Now, the deal has effectively evaporated.

The unidentified owner of another home in Canada watched helplessly from abroad as security cameras showed the fire looming and eventually killing the home.

Listed at just under $10 million, the mansion may be the most expensive of the 66 homes in the gated ridge Coronado Pointe community with ocean views.

Eleven homes were damaged and 20 destroyed in the fast-spreading wildfire in the Laguna Niguel community west of Crown Valley Avenue, fire officials said.

According to Zillow’s latest home value “Zestimates,” fire-damaged homes along Cape Coronado range in price from $2.85 million to $9.61 million, with an average price of just under $4 million. A mansion in a cul-de-sac at the north end of the block is listed for just under $9.9 million.

Most homes range from 4,000 to over 6,000 square feet. It’s impossible to find a home this size in nearby Laguna Beach.

Homes are destroyed after a coastal fire burns through Laguna Niguel, California, Thursday, May 12, 2022. At least 20 homes were destroyed as wildfires swept through Orange County’s coastal communities. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“It’s a very unique neighborhood, … very quiet,” said Newport Beach real estate agent Leo Goldschwartz, who is selling a palatial French-designed mansion on the north end of the neighborhood. “It’s a little-known underground luxury community.”

future plans destroyed

According to news clippings, Coronado Pointe’s original gated, single-street community dates back to the late 1980s, when a partner called Coronado Pointe LP started construction. Most of the homes were built by the original developers, but the six at the north end were custom homes built later.

  • A firefighter is spraying adjacent homes, including this one on Vista Court in Laguna Niguel, Calif., after a coastal fire destroyed about 20 homes. Crews continued to clean up on Thursday, May 12, 2022. The fire was first reported at Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A woman walks the trail behind her home in Cape Coronado...

    A woman walks behind her home in Coronado Pointe after a coastal fire in Laguna Niguel, California, destroyed about 20 homes. On Thursday, May 12, 2022, crews continued to clean up as burn scars were visible in the canyon. The fire was first reported in Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Coastal fires continue to smolder in Aliso Woods Canyon...

    The Coastal Fire continued to smolder through Aliso Woods Canyon in Laguna Niguel on Thursday, May 12, 2022. The fire was first reported at Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, and rose rapidly into steep terrain. The fire broke out on about 200 acres of land. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Firefighters put out hot spot on Thursday, May 12, 2022…

    Firefighters douse a hot spot inside a home in Cape Coronado, Thursday, May 12, 2022, after the Coast Fire destroyed about 20 homes in Laguna Niguel, California. The fire was first reported in Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Homes in Cape Coronado continue to smolder after coastal...

    Homes in Cape Coronado continued to smolder after a coastal fire destroyed about 20 homes in Laguna Niguel, California. Crews continued to clean up on Thursday, May 12, 2022. The fire was first reported at Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A house in Cape Coronado has just a few walls...

    A home in Cape Coronado has only a few walls left after a coastal fire in Laguna Niguel, Calif., destroyed about 20 homes. The fire was first reported in Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. The fire broke out on Thursday, May 12, 2022 on approximately 200 acres. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The staff posted a hot spot on Thursday, May 12, 2022…

    Crews remove hot spots in a canyon after a coastal fire destroyed about 20 homes in Laguna Niguel, California, Thursday, May 12, 2022. The fire was first reported in Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Firefighters put out hot spot on Thursday, May 12, 2022…

    Firefighters douse a hot spot inside a home in Cape Coronado, Thursday, May 12, 2022, after the Coast Fire destroyed about 20 homes in Laguna Niguel, California. The fire was first reported in Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The staff posted a hot spot on Thursday, May 12, 2022…

    Crews work through a canyon Thursday, May 12, 2022, after a coastal fire destroyed about 20 homes and left about 200 burn scars in Laguna Niguel, California, Thursday, May 12, 2022 hot spot. The fire was first reported in Aliso Woods Canyon just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and moved quickly toward steep terrain. (Photo by Paul Bersebach of Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Homes destroyed after coastal fire rips through Laguna...

    Homes are destroyed after a coastal fire burns through Laguna Niguel, California, Thursday, May 12, 2022. At least 20 homes were destroyed as wildfires swept through Orange County’s coastal communities. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The custom mansion at the north end of the block is the crown jewel of Cape Coronado, with an elegant car park in front, wings extending into the canyon, and a curving back wall overlooking the pool, golf course and Aliso Beach distance. Built in 1999, the house was designed by a French architect with a feng shui sensibility, Goldschwartz said.

“It’s a very special property. You can’t replicate that house,” said the agent who works for Compass Real Estate. “The house has separate wings. The adults go one way and the kids another way. …like a palace. The house is a very beautiful home. The finish is impressive.”

Potential buyers have been destroyed, Goldschwartz said. They are planning a massive makeover. A custom home next door was also badly damaged by the fire and recently completed an extensive remodel.

Goldschwartz added that the mansion is insured, but as global warming and drought increase the risk in wildfire-prone California, fire insurance is becoming harder and more expensive.

“I do a lot of business on the coast and over the past three years, a lot of my clients have had a hard time getting insurance,” he said.

step back from the danger zone

Insurance spending has risen sharply: UC Berkeley researchers found in a study published last year that between 2011 and 2018, insurers paid about $4 billion a year to cover wildfire losses, but the recent fire season has led to more Homeowners paid $26 billion in claims. More than 12 California homes are located in high fire hazard areas where more than 500,000 new homes could be built under current state regulations.

The UC Berkeley study concluded that the state should overhaul policies that allow homeowners to rebuild their homes after wildfires.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that AIG and ADA are exiting California’s regulated fire insurance market and offering policies in higher-cost excess and surplus lines.

Following massive wildfires in Santa Rosa, Paradise and Ventura counties in 2017-18, other insurers abandoned tens of thousands of California homeowners in rural areas and other fire-prone areas of California, despite the trend Has eased recently.

“After the wildfires of 2017 and 2018, we saw an increase in insurers not renewing, but there have been some positive signs recently,” said Michael Soller, the state’s deputy insurance commissioner. “In our latest data, the number of unrenewed homes fell by 10 per cent, which means there are about 22,000 fewer unrenewed homes in 2020 compared to 2019.”

Homeowners have received discounts to reduce the risk of wildfires in their homes by using measures such as using non-combustible materials and removing flammable brushes and vegetation around their homes.

New state regulations “will require insurers to recognize wildfire safety measures that homeowners take when pricing,” Soller said. “If you work hard to make your home safer, you should see a return.”

In addition to discounted pricing incentives, California’s Safer From Wildfires insurance framework aims to increase transparency in the wildfire risk scores that insurers use to assess risk, Soller said.

“Most homeowners don’t know there’s a score to measure their risk,” Soller said. “This will require those scores to be available. If you’ve added a fire rated roof or double pane windows, that score needs to reflect that.”

Soller said he expects the new rules to be implemented this summer. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara also initiated legislation to strengthen consumer protections for wildfire survivors and evacuees.

Protections include providing upfront payments for claims without a detailed inventory, at least two weeks of additional living expenses to cover mandatory evacuation costs, increased payout for total loss if you choose to relocate instead of rebuilding, and for those who choose to relocate. Disaster survivors provide additional insurance rebuilds to cover updated building codes.

Soller advises homebuyers to consider the cost of the property’s insurance during the buying process. Fire survivors can contact the Insurance Department at 800-927-4357 or visit bit.ly/calinsurancehelp if they have any questions about their policy or how to file a claim.

SCNG Art Director Jeff Goertzen and Bay Area News Group contributed to this report.

US News.

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