Sitting on a cliffside in the Carmel Highlands is a striking house that was designed by the prominent early 20th-century architect Charles Sumner Greene for the writer D. L. James. Known for championing the American Arts and Crafts movement, Greene “built up the outer walls so that they appear to be growing out of the cliffs,” and the interior was decorated with sensitivity to the surrounding flora and fauna.
Fast forward to the present day, and the sandstone and granite residence with arched windows, a tiled Mediterranean-style roof and Pacific Ocean panoramas is in the hands of Brad Pitt, a fan of craftsman-style properties.
Sold for $40 million, it represents one of the priciest deals closed in the upscale area. Indeed, the market there is fast-moving, with the beloved beach house owned by the late Golden Girls actress Betty White recently selling for $10.775 million, nearly $3 million over the asking price.
Pitt joins a long line of celebrity residents, with Doris Day, Bing Crosby, John Steinbeck, and Clint Eastwood also choosing to settle in the Carmel area in their lifetimes.
The attraction is clear: rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, awe-inspiring ocean views, and two of the most scenic (and exclusive) golf courses in the world – Cypress Point and Pebble Beach.
Top Carmel Highlands homes for sale on JamesEdition
Carmel Highlands boasts unique properties tucked away in its idyllic coves. Here’s what you can buy in the locality right now.
Beautifully designed 84-acre estate overlooking the Monterey Peninsula
Offering some of the most dramatic views on the Central Coast, this three-bedroom detached home on Mount Devon Road was designed by local architect John Mandurrago and constructed using stone and cement tiles. Spanning 6,005 square feet, noteworthy features include generously sized luxurious suites, a three-car garage with an elevator leading to the main level, a self-sufficient solar system, and high ceilings complete with mahogany wood beams. Additional highlights? A bathroom with a freestanding tub looking out to the lush landscape and the water beyond, and an outdoor seating area complete with a fire pit to enjoy the spectacular sunsets from. There are also multiple patios, offering plenty of indoor-outdoor living. From the garden, take in fabulous Pacific Ocean, Point Lobos, Carmel, Pebble Beach and Monterey Bay vistas; look to the east and the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains can also be seen.
Recently upgraded serene coastal retreat
With three spacious bedrooms, each boasting their own decked balcony and stunning views of the Pacific, this light and airy detached home is the perfect place to entertain family and friends. The crisp, modern interior and beach house feel is complemented by charming remnants of the original property in the living and dining areas, including wood paneled walls, stone fireplaces and vast picture windows, which offer breathtaking sunset views of the coastal oasis below. Set out over almost 2,600 square feet, the characterful property also has a double garage, 2.5 bathrooms and luscious gardens.
Rare 40-acre opportunity with sweeping ocean vistas
This huge plot of land on Red Wolf Drive is currently empty, offering adventurous buyers the chance to build their dream home from scratch. The superior parcel sits in the Carmel Highlands at an elevation of 1,100 feet, and comes complete with approved permits from renowned architectural firm Studio Schicketanz. Plans allow the construction of a 5,500-square-foot contemporary residence, plus a separate two-bedroom guest house. Boasting glorious views in all directions – Palo Corona Park, Carmel Bay, Pebble Beach, and the Santa Lucia Preserve – you’re just minutes from downtown Carmel. Part of The Lobos Ridge Estates – a prestigious gated subdivision with only nine properties – there’s already a domestic well, state-of-the-art ozone purification system, two water storage tanks, and underground utilities at the “shovel-ready” site.