Coachella Valley Home Spotlight: The Massive Mansion That Became the Most Expensive Home in the Valley

All photos: Banker

During the course of our Home Spotlight series, we’ve mostly focused on homes with history. More often than not, these have been hulking behemoths and architectural oddities that would be more difficult to build in modern times. When was the last time you saw a home constructed on a scale comparable to Bob Hope’s Palm Springs home? Or with the same kind of creativity as Lloyd Wright’s Mayan-inspired Sowden House? Or even the convention-defying oddness of the Las Vegas Underground House? You just don’t see ambitious houses like these being built anymore. Or so you’d imagine. But this Coachella Valley mega mansion is making us eat our words. And just last year, it dramatically outpaced other houses for sale in Palm Desert to become the most expensive home to hit the market in the area. 

The Most Expensive Home to Grace Palm Desert

You’ll find the gargantuan subject of today’s Home Spotlight roosting in the craggy hills overlooking the rapidly growing Palm Desert community. Built into the rocks themselves, the sprawling property surveys all beneath it including the easily accessible Bighorn Golf Club and sprawling desert communities. An intricate collage of textures and shapes fits together like a complex and mysterious puzzle, consuming eight acres of land. 

It’s easily one of the biggest private homes in the area… and that counts the aforementioned Bob Hope residence just up the path a ways. How big are we talking? All up, we’re looking at 32,000 square feet of living space. This takes into account the primary property with its seven bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. It includes the free-standing office. And, yes, the immense guesthouse. Yet, despite this behemoth’s mammoth size, its colors and patterns find it tastefully blending into the sun-scorched ridgeline. 

How This One is Different Than Other Massive Houses for Sale in Palm Desert

Still, we see massive homes all the time. We even regularly see massive homes for sale in Palm Desert. So what makes this one so unique that it would easily net the most expensive home sale in all of the Coachella Valley? 

The Swimming Pool…s

Where do we begin? Well, the pool seems like as good a place as any. Corrections: pools. Plural. Yes, this property boasts not one, not two, but three interconnected infinity edge swimming pools with a shared nautical theme. Bisected by bridges that lead to dedicated lounge areas, it’s like a mini resort unto itself. And that’s pretty much the only thing “mini” about this property. 

Sleeping with the Fishes

Another signature feature of the mansion is the aquarium lined corridor leading from the living room to the dining room. Vibrant exotic fish populate the flanking aquariums while sharks fluidly meander overhead. Yes, sharks. And, no, you didn’t need to be a James Bond villain to make an offer on this property.

People in Glass Houses

With the blurring of boundaries between indoor and outdoor living being all the rage, this mansion naturally uses retractable glass walls. Lined in bronze for majestic detail, these large glass panels allow for the best of both worlds. Sunlight bathes the interior as the entire region sprawls out below in panoramic splendor. 

The Most Expensive Home in Palm Desert Better Include Some Art

The mansion also features a great room with a titanium fireplace at its axis, crowned by a rustic wood plank ceiling. This area is further emphasized by an authentic built-in sculpture by renowned American blown glass artist Dale Chihuly. With Chihuly’s work gracing over 400 permanent collections worldwide, this original piece is a major selling point of the home. 

More Features of Palm Desert’s Most Expensive Home

The freestanding circular office we mentioned earlier could easily make work seem like a luxury. Jutting from the rocks, it boasts its own spacious deck with a wealth of breathtaking views. Then there’s the voluminous primary suite, outdoor spa, huge chef’s kitchen, glass elevator, tennis court, garage that accommodates 15 cars… we could go on. Basically, it’s not hard to believe this home surged past any other houses for sale in Palm Desert. 

The Benefits of a Copper Roof

One of the most immediately interesting features of the property is its distinctive roofing, made up from large curving pieces of copper. For a home with such a unique structure and design, the use of copper in the roofing is a savvy move. There are numerous reasons why copper was likely selected for the roofing. These include:

  • High durability
  • Resistance to elements and long life expectancy
  • Highly resistant to fire and thermal damage
  • Lightweight nature puts less stress on building structure
  • Flexibility perfect for shaping and installing

Creating the Most Expensive Home in the Coachella Valley

Construction started in 2007 on the most expensive home in the Coachella Valley, making it a newer addition to a community steeped in history. Architect Guy Dreier envisioned the home for resort developer and newspaper publisher Duane Hagadone. Construction crews completed the property the same year to the tune of $30 million. 

All Coachella Valley Stories Lead Back to Golf

While the home hasn’t had time to build much of a history for itself, its original owner definitely had a story. Hagadone was well known for revitalizing Idaho’s exclusive Coeur d’Alene Resort and Golf Course. In fact, it was Hagadone’s idea to create the famous floating 14th hole green that’s become synonymous with the resort. Guests of the Coeur d’Alene are invited to board a ferry to a miniature island punctuating a lake to complete the world-famous floating 14th hole. It’s just one of the upgrades Hagadone instituted upon purchasing the resort in 1983. 

Standing on the Shoulders of the Coachella Valley

Hagadone resided in the sprawling Palm Desert mansion until his death in April 2021 at the age of 88. The home wasn’t listed until November 2021 when agents from Coldwell Banker put it on the market with a record-shattering $49.5 million price tag. No home had ever sold for that amount in the Coachella Valley. And that’s still the case, since the price dropped down to a still-staggering $42 million before the property sold a month later. 

There’s a decent chance this mega mansion will hold onto the title of most expensive home sold in the Coachella Valley for some time. Why? Because even at $42 million, this home surpassed the next highest selling price for Coachella Valley homes by over $28 million! Now that’s how you set a record. 

The Bob Hope House – Get the Story in Our Palm Springs Home Spotlight
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The Spadena House – Get the Story in Our Los Angeles Home Spotlight
The Sowden House – Get the Story in Our Los Angeles Home Spotlight
The Underground House – Get the Story in Our Las Vegas Home Spotlight
The Lonnie Hammargren House – Get the Story in Our Las Vegas Home Spotlight
The Sam Maloof House – Get the Story in Our Los Angeles Home Spotlight
The Invisible House & Mirage House – Get the Stories in Our Joshua Tree/Palm Springs Home Spotlight
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