Kanye West’s house in Malibu lists for $53 million — and a ‘Selling Sunset’ star has been tasked with finding a buyer

Georgie Mihaila
9 Min Read
Photo credit: Google Maps, insert Cosmopolitan UK, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ye has had it with Malibu.

The rapper, who’s been spending most of his time in Europe as of late, with paparazzi following him and wife Bianca Censori relentlessly while on tour, has just listed his uber-expensive Malibu pad for sale.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Tadao Ando, the Malibu Road house is one of the lauded Japanese architect’s few projects on American soil — another one being Beyonce and Jay-Z’s $200 million house, also located in Malibu.

When Kanye purchased it, the property was being touted as part beachfront residence, part modernist sculpture, making it a great choice for the artist whose minimalist-yet-daring style choices often grace the front covers of magazines.

But not much is left, as the structure has been altered considerably during Kanye’s ownership.

The Vultures rapper bought the roughly 4,000-square-foot beachfront house just two years ago, in 2021, for a whopping $57.3 million — though it’s worth noting that the property was once listed for $75 million.

Retired Wall Street financier Richard Sachs, best known as the ex-boyfriend of former Full House star Ashley Olson, sold it to the recording artist and Yeezy founder.

Now, Kanye West listed the 4-bedroom, 5-bath Malibu abode for $53,000,000, with Selling Sunset star and Oppenheim Group founder Jason Oppenheim landing the listing.

“I wanted to have a listing with such architectural pedigree,” Oppenheim told PEOPLE, adding that the property’s Malibu Road location is “one of the most desirable areas in the world.”

We don’t know whether that means that the rapper’s house will be featured in the upcoming Season 8 of Selling Sunset, but if you’d like to take a look inside Kanye West’s house in Malibu, Jason already put the pictures up on his Instagram (though it looks like he used the listing photos from the home’s last run on the market):

Ye’s crumbled plans for the property

The Malibu house was no impulse buy.

Kanye West had big plans for his beachfront spread.

First, he said he would work with businessman James Goldstein to make it more like his famous Sheats-Goldstein Residence — another concrete-heavy, modernist abode that bears the signature of lauded architect John Lautner.

Then, according to TMZ, he set out to turn the architectural property into a “bomb shelter from the 1910s,” removing all windows and electricity from the home. Here’s how it looks like now:

In fact, the rapper is even being sued by the former property caretaker and project manager he hired for the remodel.

Tony Saxon, who was reportedly hired in September 2021 as project manager, caretaker, and 24/7 security for the mogul’s Malibu home, is suing West, claiming he’s owed $1 million for the work he did on the property, which included several labor code violations.

“Tony worked as the construction project manager and 24/7 security guard when Kanye was having the home gutted, and Kanye put him through hell, violating numerous labor codes and employment laws in the process,” Saxon’s lawyer, president of West Coast Employment Lawyers Neama Rahmani, said in a statement released after news broke about Kanye selling his house.

“This house was ‘a Picasso on the water’ before Kanye ordered Tony to rip it apart. So, while we’re pleased Kanye may finally have the money to fulfill his obligations to Mr. Saxon, buyer beware.”

Now, what’s left of the Tadao Ando-designed home is a concrete shell exposed to the elements, per Robb Report.

How can Kanye’s house command such a high price in its current state?

If you’re wondering why anyone would consider paying over $50 million for a gutted house, or whether Kanye was completely off-base when setting the price, let us provide some context on how the property was priced.

#1 Location, location, location

We know all too well that location is the name of the game in real estate.

With enough funds, there’s almost nothing you can’t change about a house, except for location and lot size (and even the latter is debatable, as you can always purchase additional lots by convincing neighbors to sell).

But the location is the one fixed component that can command sky-high prices regardless of the state the structure is in.

And Kanye’s house is located on Malibu Road which is, like Jason Oppenheim said, “one of the most desirable areas in the world.”

The entire area is lined with million-dollar houses, often priced well above the $10 million mark. And Malibu in itself is prohibitively expensive, with the median listing price for homes in the area standing at a hefty $6.5 million.

#2 Architectural pedigree

Many million-dollar homes often come with name-bragging rights — and Kanye’s house excels here.

But there’s a whole other level of name-dropping that comes with owning a home envisioned by one of our generation’s leading architects.

Tadao Ando is an award-winning contemporary architect best known for his minimalist concrete structures, which have attracted some of the world’s biggest stars, from Beyonce and Jay-Z — who paid $200 million to buy one of Ando’s Malibu projects, setting a new record for the most expensive home ever bought in Califonia — to West’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, who’s currently working with the architect to build a home on an undeveloped plot of land in La Quinta, California.

And Malibu’s architecturally distinct properties often command sky-high listing prices.

For proof, look no further than this $59M Ed Niles-designed house that combines glass, steel and Feng Shui principles or architect Harry Gesner’s former personal home, the $22.5M Sandcastle House in Malibu.

#3 Building costs

Beyond the design element, building the property on the beachfront lot was no easy feat.

Construction required 1,200 tons of concrete, 200 tons of steel reinforcement, and 12 pylons to keep it from sinking into the sand, a feat that undoubtedly required millions of dollars.

#4 Beach access & ocean views

The property has direct access to the beach and offers stunning views of the ocean.

It has three levels with the ensuite guest rooms on the lowest floor, the living room and kitchen on the middle floor, and the master bedroom and rooftop terrace on the topmost floor — all opening up to unobstructed ocean views, a luxury that commands a premium in any market.

Now, it remains to be seen whether Kanye’s listing price is realistic or not, and if his star power coupled with the highly desirable location and the house’s architectural pedigree will attract a buyer willing to pay top dollar for the Malibu pad.

Those of us who are hooked on Selling Sunset already know that Jason Oppenheim isn’t a fan of properties priced over the $50 million mark, so it’s unlikely that he would have taken on the listing if he thought the price was unrealistic.

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Featured image credit: Google Maps, inset Cosmopolitan UKCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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With a decade-long career as a digital content creator, Georgie started out as a real estate journalist for Multi-Housing News & CPExecutive. She later transitioned into digital marketing, working with leading real estate websites like PropertyShark, RENTCafé and Point2Homes. After a brief but impactful stint in the start-up world, where she led the marketing divisions of fintech company NestReady and media publisher Goalcast, Georgie returned to her first passion, real estate, and founded FancyPantsHomes.com