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Baby Del estate sale

Fancy house, happy home

Baby Del: asking price, $24 million. But what was inside?
Baby Del: asking price, $24 million. But what was inside?

What do rich people hoard? I tear over at 8am to find out. This is when the Baby Del estate sale begins. Baby Del’s owner, Susan H (she doesn’t want to give her last name), doesn’t fit the wealthy landowner image. She is an accomplished diver and ranch owner. Her two daughters spent their childhood in this house. But they are grown now, already raising their own kids. And the other day, the family slapped a notice on their front gate. “Baby Del moving. Estate sale starts 8am in the alley!”

Gent: “I got it for $30.” Wife: “Come over in two weeks with $20. He’ll be sick of it.”

If they’re like me, this morning crowd of early risers is coming mainly to see this magnificent 1887 Victorian from the inside. You get a giddy “Upstairs, Downstairs” feeling when you enter the property. It’s like an unofficial tour, almost embarrassingly intimate. Everything’s for sale, from dolphin sculptures to bedside commodes.

Incredibly, I run into Susan H herself, wearing a blue denim apron and running the sale like someone from Christie’s. Her daughter Vanessa says a lot of people are here because they want an actual piece of the Baby Del. A wine glass, a Father Christmas, an actual sand castle, pairs of leaping dolphins, sentimental seascapes. And yet, you’d see the same stuff in PB or IB.

The house is already in escrow. Its sale closes on October 19th. “It was going for $24 million,” says Susan. “I can’t tell you what it sold for because I’m not allowed to. But it was dropped to $18,900,000. I’m [selling] because I have another place I live at. Two houses was one house too many! I live on a ranch, and I have horses, and I can’t have horses in Coronado, and I have chickens, and I can’t have chickens in Coronado, and I’m a beekeeper and I can’t keep bees in Coronado. So I’m living my life out there in Bonita.”

Lori and her $6 sunflowers. “But I’m just thrilled to see inside.”

But she loved her life here. “This was a beautiful house, I raised my two children here. They had all the freedom in the world. All their friends hung out here. I usually never had fewer than ten kids in the house, so it was perfect for that whole time period.”  

But with this very public house, was it like living in a goldfish bowl? “There were times when it was frustrating because people just wanted to see into your house all the time, but for the most part, it was just fun,” says Vanessa. “It’s a rad house.” She says there’s a little playroom in the turret with a tunnel with lights, and a special tiny room for kids, and a rope swing in the back yard. “It was the house that all my friends came to, and we had a pantry full of food, and we’d come and play in the yard. So it was a huge house, and a known house, but it was still just a family house.” 

So what kind of stuff are they selling?  No diamond-encrusted dog collars, for sure. “I don’t live like that,” says Susan. She looks up at the tower house. “I just lucked into this I guess.”

People shuffle towards the alley loaded with things. “I’ve got what I came for,” says Lori. She’s clutching a giant vase of artificial sunflowers. “Thank you for sharing your life with us today,” she says to Susan.

A guy with an old wooden model yacht I admired comes up. He looks at Susan. She looks back. “Would you consider sixty?” she says.

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Baby Del: asking price, $24 million. But what was inside?
Baby Del: asking price, $24 million. But what was inside?

What do rich people hoard? I tear over at 8am to find out. This is when the Baby Del estate sale begins. Baby Del’s owner, Susan H (she doesn’t want to give her last name), doesn’t fit the wealthy landowner image. She is an accomplished diver and ranch owner. Her two daughters spent their childhood in this house. But they are grown now, already raising their own kids. And the other day, the family slapped a notice on their front gate. “Baby Del moving. Estate sale starts 8am in the alley!”

Gent: “I got it for $30.” Wife: “Come over in two weeks with $20. He’ll be sick of it.”

If they’re like me, this morning crowd of early risers is coming mainly to see this magnificent 1887 Victorian from the inside. You get a giddy “Upstairs, Downstairs” feeling when you enter the property. It’s like an unofficial tour, almost embarrassingly intimate. Everything’s for sale, from dolphin sculptures to bedside commodes.

Incredibly, I run into Susan H herself, wearing a blue denim apron and running the sale like someone from Christie’s. Her daughter Vanessa says a lot of people are here because they want an actual piece of the Baby Del. A wine glass, a Father Christmas, an actual sand castle, pairs of leaping dolphins, sentimental seascapes. And yet, you’d see the same stuff in PB or IB.

The house is already in escrow. Its sale closes on October 19th. “It was going for $24 million,” says Susan. “I can’t tell you what it sold for because I’m not allowed to. But it was dropped to $18,900,000. I’m [selling] because I have another place I live at. Two houses was one house too many! I live on a ranch, and I have horses, and I can’t have horses in Coronado, and I have chickens, and I can’t have chickens in Coronado, and I’m a beekeeper and I can’t keep bees in Coronado. So I’m living my life out there in Bonita.”

Lori and her $6 sunflowers. “But I’m just thrilled to see inside.”

But she loved her life here. “This was a beautiful house, I raised my two children here. They had all the freedom in the world. All their friends hung out here. I usually never had fewer than ten kids in the house, so it was perfect for that whole time period.”  

But with this very public house, was it like living in a goldfish bowl? “There were times when it was frustrating because people just wanted to see into your house all the time, but for the most part, it was just fun,” says Vanessa. “It’s a rad house.” She says there’s a little playroom in the turret with a tunnel with lights, and a special tiny room for kids, and a rope swing in the back yard. “It was the house that all my friends came to, and we had a pantry full of food, and we’d come and play in the yard. So it was a huge house, and a known house, but it was still just a family house.” 

So what kind of stuff are they selling?  No diamond-encrusted dog collars, for sure. “I don’t live like that,” says Susan. She looks up at the tower house. “I just lucked into this I guess.”

People shuffle towards the alley loaded with things. “I’ve got what I came for,” says Lori. She’s clutching a giant vase of artificial sunflowers. “Thank you for sharing your life with us today,” she says to Susan.

A guy with an old wooden model yacht I admired comes up. He looks at Susan. She looks back. “Would you consider sixty?” she says.

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1

Baby Del estate sale. What a fun story! And a fun sale. It was very kind of Susan to share her home and story with people who wanted a piece of the Baby Del. How cool.

Oct. 13, 2021

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