Leaving home: Danielle Steel’s $9 million listing

08/21/2014

Bestselling romance novelist Danielle Steel’s adoring, 12-year love affair with her home at 164 Seadrift appears to be coming to an end with a listing for sale last week. But like some divorcées, Ms. Steel won’t be leaving the relationship empty-handed: her 3,425 square-foot home with four bedrooms, a solarium and two fireplaces; a guest house; and a hot tub all looking out over the ocean have an asking price of $8,995,000. On two-thirds of an acre, the home comes fully furnished with handpicked art, steel animal sculptures in the garden, designer furniture and bikes. 

“It has everything, down to the linens,” said realtor Lotte Moore of McGuire Realty. “It’s a turnkey opportunity. Someone just needs to bring their toothbrush and a swimsuit.”

Ms. Steel, had owned another home—“her personal play house”—across the street facing the lagoon, but she sold that property in 2008. The writer found that her family has been using the property less and less now that her kids are grown and since she started living in Paris part-time, Ms. Moore said.

Ms. Steel has featured the beachside town and wealthy enclave of homes on the spit as the backdrop for several novels. In her very first, “Going Home,” published in 1973, a New Yorker shooting an ad on the seaside cliffs sparks a sizzling love affair with a shaggy-haired man after skinny-dipping with him across the lagoon, making out on the sand and trotting along the shore together on horseback. “Quit kissing me or I’ll make love to you right here on the open beach,” the man tells her.

In her 72nd novel “Bungalow 2,” the 2007 story of a Ross housewife who becomes an acclaimed screenwriter, one of the first things the woman does after winning an Oscar is to rent a house in Stinson Beach for a weekend. 

And in her 1987 novel “Fine Things,” a wealthy New York department store executive buys a young girl a bathing suit and is then invited by her mother, a recently divorced teacher, to visit Stinson Beach. He drives up the winding highway loaded with bags of chocolates, cheese, caviar, pâté and wine and gives the guard at the Seadrift gate his name. “But other than the security, it didn’t look like a fancy place. The houses were on a very human scale, and the people who wandered by were bare-foot and in shorts. It looked like the kind of place where families went, like Long Island or Cape Cod.” 

The two fall in love while sunbathing and eating out at the Sand Dollar—“the only show in town, but fortunately the food was very good”—and he proposes marriage in the next chapter, just three weeks later. “Drive home carefully,” she tells him after their first weekend together. “He grinned at her, peering out from the open window as he laughed. “I’ll try not to throw up on the way back.”