Union-Tribune columnist Diane Bell’s La Jolla Cove seacliff estate

Ocean and coastline views, spanning from La Jolla to Dana Point

The above-ground wine cellar (wine not included).
  • The above-ground wine cellar (wine not included).
  • From Realtor.com

The Seacliff Estate — that’s what listing materials from realtor.com call the 12,000-square-foot home found at 1369 Coast Walk in La Jolla — is billed as an “iconic gated Hamptons-style estate that has been meticulously upgraded yet has kept all the architectural integrity of its wonderful past.”

Seacliff, the listing continues, “was perfectly placed on this private bluff above La Jolla Cove to capture the most enchanting ocean and coastline views, spanning from La Jolla to Dana Point while being just steps away from the magic of downtown La Jolla.”

Upon entering the estate’s front gates, you’ll first pass a two-bedroom guest house, built in 2004, the the same year the historic main house (which datesfrom the early 1900s — the city’s historic register refers to it as the “Carey Crest-El Paradon Seacliffe House”) underwent extensive remodeling.

“A short drive past the pool brings you to the main house, where you are welcomed through the doors to a formal entry complete with a grand staircase.” (Given that the entire grounds occupy just under a third-acre, that drive is indeed short.)

You could play pool for $1 in a dive bar, or...

You could play pool for $1 in a dive bar, or...

From Realtor.com

Past the entry, the “expansive living and dining area opens onto the glassed-in porch and view terraces” looking onto the ocean below while “offering plenty of room for entertaining and ideal indoor/outdoor living.”

The first floor includes the requisite “chef’s kitchen” with informal dining and two private offices. Take the grand staircase (or an elevator) to find the second, “informal entertaining level,” where you’ll discover a recreation room with pool table and bar, wine “cellar” with tasting room, home theater, exercise room, and additional ocean view decks.

The master suite, also on the second floor, “enjoys the same panoramic views of the vast blue sea and coastline and includes a fireplace, separate his and hers bathrooms with natural lighting, walk-in closets, and private viewing deck.”

“No details were spared in the construction of Seacliff where privacy, luxury, and comfort come together perfectly,” concludes the listing

Outside, sandwiched between the pair of homes is a black-bottomed pool with lounge area and a small front lawn for the main home. The back of the property is flanked by La Jolla’s Coast Walk public trail, which passes above the neighborhood’s well-known sea caves and follows the edge of the cliffs for about a half mile.

Public records indicate Seacliff is owned by Roy and Diane Bell. Mr. Bell heads a downtown law firm, Mrs. Bell is a long-running columnist for the Union-Tribune. The last reported sale of the property occurred in 1995 for a reported $6.9 million, but after the addition of the guest house and concurrent extensive remodel of the historic main residence the property was valued at only $3.3 million by the county tax assessor in 2019.

Originally listed for sale in early 2018, the estate failed to attract a buyer with a price tag of $29.5 million, which was lowered to $24.8 million for a second listing this March. A third attempt to market the property, now reduced to $19,995,000, began in late October. That price remains unchanged to date.

1369 Coast Walk | La Jolla, 92037

  • Beds: 6 | Baths: 11 | Current Owners: Roy & Diane Bell | List Price: $19,995,000

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Who'd a thunk it? She's a La Jolla socialite and writes a column. Thinking back, the U-T (or maybe the Union prior to the demise of the Tribune) hired her as a society writer, and then when those went out of favor, converted her to a general-interest columnist. Her daddy must be doing very well in law practice to afford a place like that--they didn't swing it on her salary. Ah, how sweet it is for some folks!

Why hire Bell when you already have Burl?

So if you're rich, it's clutter and you're eclectic.

If you're poor, it's hoarding, social services steps in, you end up with a huge bill from the government and your house is sold while you're in the loony bin, to satisfy the clean up lien.

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