This $ 35 million estate in San Diego was modeled on Monet’s garden in France

Villa Nafissa, a unique resort located 26 miles north of downtown San Diego in Rancho Santa Fe, includes nearly 40 acres of park-like land, private lake, waterfalls, over 3,000 species of idyllic flora and gardens designed to evoke the famous water garden of impressionist painter Claude Monet in Giverny, France.

The domain, listed for $ 35 million, reflects a decades-long effort that transformed the property from a field of land into a lush oasis that is expansive but full of intimate spaces. Tucked away behind gates and largely hidden by the hill that surrounds it, the park-like property has the feel of a modern day secret garden.

Despite many large open spaces, the area is quite hidden and something “to discover”, explains the specialist in luxury real estate. Jerome Kerr-Jarrett of Hilton & hyland, who co-registers the property with Jeff Hyland and Monica Sylvester from Willis Allen Real Estate.

“A few times I got lost walking around the property,” Kerr-Jarrett says jokingly, thinking about the size and scale of the estate. “I don’t quite remember where the foyer area is; you have to take several different paths to find it.

Getting lost in the field is a magical experience, says Kerr-Jarrett. “One minute, you are by the lake in a French garden. The spa area is hidden under the pool and you have to take a natural stone path to get to this large spa with a waterfall and walled gardens. Walk down another trail and you’ll feel like you’re in England with rows of arches and climbing roses above your head.

Think of the gym, sports fields, children’s playground, jogging track, yoga area and the production of organic vegetable and fruit gardens, and there are little reason to leave the property, says Kerr-Jarrett. “He has everything you could want.”

The primary residence, measuring approximately 16,000 square feet, was custom built and positioned to take advantage of the lake and gardens below. A showcase of noble materials and craftsmanship, the residence combines elements of contemporary and European design for a timeless look.

Two separate guest houses combine to provide an additional 10,000 square feet of living space. Privatized in their own setting, with landscaping and pool views, the guest residences have been designed to be fully independent from the main house and integrate several bedrooms, living areas and kitchens.

A dedicated pavilion sits by the pool and includes a large dining room, commercial grade kitchen, media room and upstairs office. An eight-car garage and a 13-car fleet complete the popular offer.

The San Diego County Real Estate Boom

The property is coming to market at a time when luxury homes, especially those with a lot of space, are selling for a high price. San Diego County, in general, sees real estate records broken month-to-month. In April, the county’s median home price broke previous highs to reach $ 700,000, a 17.8% year-over-year price increase, according to data from CoreLogic.

The surge in the market was fueled by a combination of record mortgage rates and continued demand for more space which many believed crystallized during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sylvester explains.

“Throughout the pandemic, I think the buyer’s mindset has been, ‘I can live anywhere in the world and I can work anywhere in the world and be just as productive,’ Sylvester said. “It put Rancho Santa Fe, Northern County, and the San Diego Coast on the map because [buyers] see the value there.

The emphasis on remote working and flexible living has helped create a larger pool of buyers for San Diego’s luxury markets. Many now realize they can get more for their money in areas like Rancho Santa Fe, Sylvester says.

“This same property in Beverly Hills, Atherton or Woodside would cost more than $ 80 million in the north. The San Diego area, especially Rancho Santa Fe, is great value for high-end buyers.

If one thing seems certain, the San Diego County luxury market looks set for even more activity this year.


Hilton & Hyland and Willis Allen Real Estate are exclusive members of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer market and a network of elite broker members selling the world’s most luxurious homes.


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