Yo-yo price on Rancho Santa Fe estate

A property so special that it gets its own name

“New rectlinear pool and spa”
  • “New rectlinear pool and spa”

6605 La Valle Plateada, Rancho Santa Fe, 92067

Beds: 7

Baths: 10

Current Owners: Hugh III and Joy Bancroft

List Price: $10,800,000

Marketing materials describe the Rancho Santa Fe estate at 6605 La Valle Plateada using the name Il Incanto, Italian for “the charm.”

Encompassing 12,254 square feet of living space spread across “nearly six sprawling acres in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe’s exclusive Covenant” neighborhood, the property features a single-level main residence with five en-suite bedrooms, a “well-appointed and private guest home,” and “complete equestrian facilities.”



“Characterized by traditional and European finishes,” the main residence includes details such as herringbone wood floors and Venetian plaster walls, “detailed crown and base molding,” and leaded-glass entry and passage doors. The library features walls that were “walnut-paneled by artisans,” while the family room is highlighted by “walls of windows and French doors.” The master suite, in addition to a nearly-600-square-foot bedroom and sitting area, has a spa-inspired bath with “dry sauna, steam shower, massage area,” and “private garden patio.”

The bath

The bath

Outdoor living and entertaining areas include a “new rectilinear pool and spa,” a “recently remodeled loggia” with a “complete outdoor kitchen” including a pizza oven and a “fireplace-warmed patio.”



Elsewhere among the manicured grounds, “a verdant paradise of rolling lawns, towering trees, koi ponds, and lemon orchards” surround the main estate, 1600-square-foot guest residence, and eight-stall barn with “pasture areas, tack room, full bath, and hot walker.” Garage parking provides storage for five cars.

“Il Incanto truly is the epitome of Southern California living in one of America’s most desirable communities,” promise marketing materials for the estate.



Ownership of Il Incanto currently lies with Hugh Bancroft III and his wife Joy, who purchased the estate in 1998 for $5.9 million. The Bancroft family controlled Dow Jones & Company and the Wall Street Journal for over 100 years before selling out to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in 2007 for $5.6 billion. Until this year, the clan was ranked by Forbes Magazine as among the country’s 100 richest families.

In 2007, the Bancrofts also spent $2.6 million to purchase the home of former Rancho Santa Fe resident and congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who had been sentenced to prison and forced to relinquish most assets as part of a plea deal after being caught accepting bribes from defense contractors.



While the former Cunningham residence at 7094 Via del Charro has not been offered for sale since, Il Incanto has proven to be a difficult listing. It was first marketed in 2007 for $14,250,000, though that listing was pulled after no buyer came forth. The same goes for two 2008 attempts to sell for $12,994,876, and another offering from late 2011 to mid-2013, when the asking price dropped as low as $6,495,000, less than half the initial list price.



During this time the property was also offered for lease, reportedly fetching a $14,000 monthly rent at one point.

In September 2015, the property went on the market again, this time with the price increased to $12,850,000, though by April 2016 the price had dropped to $10,800,000, which remains unchanged to date.

After nearly a decade of on-again, off-again marketing, it appears the Bancrofts are ready to finally complete a sale. They’ve enlisted Concierge Auctions to sell the property to the highest bidder on December 15 — the property is being advertised as having no reserve minimum bid.

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


If you can't use a home like that one, and it would appear that is the case here, by all means it should be sold. Some of those really immense estates in RSF have their names, and could justify their own ZIP code; this one isn't that large. I note that the fad of calling something "artisan" has crept into home descriptions. Soon every nice house will have some feature described that way, just as this one did of its walnut paneling in the library. Despite the astronomical prices of such homes, they are not in high demand. The seller can often wait for years to get a really advantageous price, and during that time the upkeep, taxes and insurance can take a large toll. Maybe this one just isn't as gorgeous as its description indicates.

As they say, "sell the sizzle, not the steak."

Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader