A $29M Los Gatos mansion for pre-IPO Facebook stock?

March 19, 2012 5:19:20 PM PDT
A Silicon Valley couple is offering an unusual deal to sell their house. Their 11.5-acre estate on Forrester Road in Los Gatos, California is selling for $29 million. But if you're short on cash, the owners will also take pre-IPO shares of Facebook.

It's known as the Forrester Estate. As the entry gate opens, you know instinctively only a fraction of the 1 percent can probably afford it. It boasts a flagstone driveway that took stonemasons over a year to set.

The six-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath mansion is just too large for a family of six with many of them gone or about to go to college. Owners Linda and Ken Raasch are willing to trade the mansion for pre-IPO shares of Facebook.

"If we're going to need to exit, we need to find somebody who actually could accommodate the selling price of our house, and pre-IPO shares of Facebook probably would be a way to go," Linda Raasch said.

The 10,000-square foot home has many touches that resemble the Hearst Castle. The grand staircase has ornately carved banisters. The ceiling mural overhead was painted by an Italian artist who helped to restore Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Fresco at the Vatican. The original owners picked out marble throughout the house on trips to Italy.

"I know that the owner went through and hand-picked each piece to place it, so there's a lot of pink and red going on in the house, but I think we've toned it down a little bit," Raasch said. "I think this is one of my favorite rooms of the house -- the dining room. I love to cook, so I love to do formal dinners."

The dining room ceiling features carved wood and the spacious kitchen has a floor made of 16th century French bricks from a castle. Did we mention the guest bath is large enough for statuary? And, there are garages for eight cars.

In case you don't happen to have any of those pre-IPO Facebook shares, the Raasches might consider an offer of cash, but you'll need quite a bit of it because there are no comparables for a property like this... and they might consider an offer of about $29 million.

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