Palatial Estate atop Crest Mountain | San Diego reader

Behold: crest peak.

Unless you grew up in East County or have been in San Diego for a long time, you probably don’t know the community of Crest, a small hilltop village of 2,000 accessible by just two main roads. Originally established in the 1920s (although at that time there were two warring factions that wanted to separate the city into the distinct communities of Suncrest and La Cresta), Crest was twice ravaged by fire and rebuilt: first after the Laguna fire of 1970, and most recently after Cedar Fire 2003. The result is a very mixed neighborhood in terms of housing. There are small, century-old huts that survived both fires and have been added and improved in stages over the years. And there are others, often on the same street, that look more like sensible family homes. And between the two, million-dollar properties built by astute owner-builders using hefty fire insurance payouts.

What you don’t expect to find, however, are palatial mansions with prices close to eight figures that would surpass some of the prettiest homes we’ve visited in places like Rancho Santa Fe or Del Mar. But lo, I found one, and we’re going to talk about it today. “Unobstructed views from this palatial mountaintop property!” screams the opening line of Zillow’s listing for 1903 Saxton Lane, a “13,631-square-foot custom-built and meticulously hand-crafted getaway” sitting on just over four acres halfway to Crest, well, crest as you ascend La Granite Crest Side of the mountain hills.

The photo gallery opens with an aerial shot that makes it look like we’re looking at a house built on the side of a hill, a house with a pool on top and another house on top of it. And when you consider that we’re working with better square footage than two or three regular McMansions combined, and more than the sum total of some 10-12-unit apartment buildings I’ve lived in, I suppose that’s entirely possible.

The pool patio you didn’t know you wanted until now.

We took a few more drone shots, including a gorgeous sunset view from the backyard, before passing through the “intricate double doors to high ceilings, expansive windows, intricate woodwork and stone floors” that make up the grand entrance hall. enough to house a grand piano that is more of a corner accessory than a piece that takes up considerable space. From there, we head into a formal living room, flanked by elaborately carved columns and equipped with a massive marble fireplace. Ceilings must be at least 20 feet high, and feature enough carvings and gold leaf to make them look perfectly at home in some plutocrat’s house built in 1913. But our subject today is 100 years younger than that. There’s also a wood-paneled office with a gleaming dome that’s both spacious and cozy, with a glass cabinet from which I can imagine the robber barons of centuries ago pulling out liquor bottles to toast their latest scheme to defraud the world. public. It’s a decidedly sinister space, and I like it a lot.

When we head back to another living area, passing a very formal dining room along the way, we see that “perfect transition between true indoor and outdoor life”. It has become a trope among real estate agents, but it seems to work here. There are two walls of glass that move away to incorporate a covered patio into what appears to be a family room, and what strikes me more than the fact that the walls are open is that while the house is designed with a classical sensibility, don’t sacrifice any modern luxury to get there.

The listing says the “gourmet kitchen is every chef’s dream, with opulent cabinets/utensils and Wolf appliances.” It’s pretty good, yes, and I’m definitely a fan of good kitchens, but I think this one is too big to be functional. There’s a center island larger than most apartment kitchens, and it doesn’t even have a bar for friends to hang out with for a drink while you cook a meal. Impressive, but I wouldn’t want to clean this place up after dinner. There’s another dining nook off the kitchen, and then we’re back in the foyer, where we’ve apparently missed the spiral staircase leading to the upper level as we enter. We see a theater with a bar and bright blue walls, but it’s unclear if we’re up there now, or if we’ve just stopped to admire the stairs before moving on.

When we get to the top floor, we are told to “choose the main retreats as all rooms have a private bathroom and offer a unique and breathtaking view”. But when we get to the scene of a closet that looks like a fashion boutique, I think it’s clear that there is indeed a master suite that is slightly larger than the others. Then again, looking at the room dimensions, the smallest of the five still takes up over 400 square feet, so maybe they’re all really that luxurious. A bunch of bedroom and bathroom photos seem to confirm that yes, maybe there’s no wrong bedroom to claim. So we’re back out there.

Now we’re looking at a patio space with a bunch of blue skylights that – wait, we’re on the lowest level now, looking at the glass bottom of the pool. Tidy. A handful of wide arches lead to a spring and beyond to the El Cajon Valley a few kilometers below. There’s also an outdoor kitchen/bar down here, along with a ping pong table and lots of furniture which, while outdoors, is all upholstered in white.

We only have a photo of the living area for the separate one bedroom residence that adjoins the outdoor living area on the lower level, but I’m sure it would be a perfectly useful place for your guests to sleep a night of partying in. instead of taking the risk of driving down La Cresta, a road that regularly claimed the lives of reckless teenagers during my high school years in the 1990s.

Public records indicate that ownership of the Saxton property currently rests with Eliya Boji, a Michigan real estate investor and developer. It was first listed in late April with a price of $9,995,000 which remains unchanged to date.

1903 Saxton Lane | Crest (El Cajon), 92021

Current owner: Eliya Boji | Listing price: $9,995,000 | beds: 5 | Baths: 9 | house size: 13,361

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