BING CROSBY'S house in Rancho Mirage, California was the venue of many parties while he lived there from 1957 into the 1960s. Frank Sinatra, Ginger Rogers, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez lived nearby. The home's most famous guests, though, likely were the late US actress Marilyn Monroe and former US president John F Kennedy who according to Monroe's biographer, visited the house at the same time and may have made their rumoured love connection in the legendary dry heat.
A two-bedroom attached casita has been nicknamed the JFK Wing in Kennedy's honor. The 6,700-square-foot estate spread across more than an acre was built for the crooner and his second wife, Kathryn, in 1957.
The single-story home, with a 1,400 sqft master suite along with four other en-suite bedrooms, has been on and off the market since 2010, when it was first listed for US$3.4 million. It's also been available for rent through Airbnb for US$3,400 a night.
Now the home has reappeared on the market, with a price tag of US$5 million. The Spanish-style home is set in the Thunderbird Heights community of Rancho Mirage, a city near Palm Springs that's seen an increase in home values of more than 30% in the past six months, according to Douglas Elliman's Micro Market Report.
According to data from Douglas Elliman, Crosby's estate is valued at seven times the median home price in the same ZIP code. (Zillow, meanwhile, estimates its worth about US$3.2 million.)
"The home is all about indoor-outdoor living and traditional-meeting-modern design, and it overlooks such a gorgeous backdrop," said Fredrik Eklund, one of the four agents representing the listing.
That might be true, but the home's pedigree clearly adds perceived value. What other listing can offer the chance for carolling around a swimming pool and fire pit with such a level of celebrity history? The house is in decent shape but could use some upgrades. Along with a well-proportioned main structure with retractable glass walls, the purchase includes an adjacent half-acre lot on which owners can build a small guest house for future presidential affairs.
"Adapted from The Straits Times, 22 Dec 2018."