Balboa Peninsula: Duffy house sells for more than $35 million, shattering record in Newport Harbor

Duffy House

By Sandra Barrera, Orange County Register

Remember the waterfront mansion on Newport Beach’s Balboa Peninsula that generated international buzz with a YouTube video that spoofed Cali Swag District’s viral dance hit “Teach Me How to Dougie?”

The video for “Teach Me How to Duffy” helped sell the house for $35.008 million – about 22.2% less than the $44.995 million asking price when it hit the market in Oct. 2018.

Even so, the house, which sold on Aug. 28, set a record.

The sale is highest-priced home to ever sell in Newport Harbor, said Tim Smith of Coldwell Banker, the listing agent. The record previously was held by the home of actor Nicolas Cage, which sold in 2008 for $35 million.

But Smith expected as much.

The house was designed by Robert Sinclair, built by Patterson Custom Homes and finished by Blackband Design.

“The type of buyers that buy these (homes), and the buyer that bought this isn’t going to go through the five-year entitlement process and build a house,” he said. “They’d rather have something turn-key and they’re OK paying for it. That’s why we had more than one offer.”

The towering 14,000-square-foot, five-bedroom house presented as party central in the “Duffy” video stretches across three lots, with 90 feet of bay frontage. It boasts a theater, sauna, solar system with three Tesla batteries, 57-foot-long pool with underwater speakers and a private beach with a dock.

“You can park eight Duffies on the dock just for starters,” goes the song in a viral video that starred Smoove da General and Mr. Swag of Cali Swag District and a variety of young Instagram influencers, models and dancers.

Other highlights include a floating underlit staircase illuminated from above by a large skylight, 16-foot stone fireplace and 1,100-gallon aquarium.

There’s also a five-car garage with EV plug-ins.

“The job of the ‘Duffy’ film was to let everybody in real estate, especially, know about this house,” Smith said. “It did its job and because of that it gave us exposure that we never would have got.”

More than half of the showings, he added, were people from outside of the area and saw the film first.

Tara Foster Shapiro of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer, whom she wouldn’t identify.

But she said, “Their interest in the house stemmed from their admiration in architect Rob Sinclair’s work. That is why we toured the property.”

Photo Credit: Tim Smith, Coldwell Banker