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Home of the Week

A scenic retreat in the high desert

May 11, 2003|Ruth Ryon | Times Staff Writer

It takes a ride up a long, private road in Palm Springs to find the mountainside home where a new dating show was recently filmed.

The as-yet unnamed NBC show is expected to air in June. By then, homeowners Gary and Sarah Magness, from Denver, hope to sell and move to the beach.

The Mediterranean estate, carved into the mountain, is a long way from the Pacific, but an ocean view wasn't what the original owners had in mind. William "Bit" Lansdale, then head of a Seal Beach-based oil drilling and investment firm, and his wife, Marianthi, dreamed of privacy and comfort as well as a contrast to their waterfront home in Huntington Harbour.

The resulting retreat, built in 1984, is a house that looks old but is technologically up-to-date. It sits on 18-plus acres with Coachella Valley views.

About this house: It is built on several levels so that nearly every room has a view.

Asking price: $5,150,000, furnished

Size: The home has six bedroom suites and 13 bathrooms in close to 15,000 square feet.

Features: The house, furnished by designer Steven Chase, has grand-scale rooms with 30-foot-high ceilings and Tiffany stained-glass skylights. There are a number of fireplaces. Among them is one in the master suite, which also has a gym, a sauna and a wet bar. The home has a media room and two verandas, including one with a fountain. The grounds have a pool, a spa, a cabana, a tennis court, and two guesthouse suites over six full garages.

Where: Palm Springs

Listing agent: Jonah Wilson, Prudential California Realty, Beverly Hills, (310) 777-2882, and Debbie Toohey, Re/Max, Debbie Toohey & Associates, Palm Springs, (760) 778-2600.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, please send color interior and exterior photos (copies only; we cannot return the pictures) and a brief description of the house, including what makes the property unusual, to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, or e-mail

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