‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Unloads Pastoral California Estate for $5 Million

About six months ago, Hollywood producer/director Jon M. Chu dropped $11 million to buy Halsey’s lush estate in the semi-remote mountains between Malibu and Calabasas. So it’s hardly surprising that the prolific filmmaker—he’s best known as the director of the 2018 blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians—has now sold his old house, a smaller but likewise gated and lush estate in the same general neighborhood as Halsey’s former spread.

Tucked into the unincorporated region known as Monte Nido, the nearly 2.7-acre ranch is about as quiet and secluded as any property in the greater L.A. area, set at the very end of a hidden cul-de-sac accessed via a whimsical wooden bridge. Screened behind stone walls and big gates, the estate features a Craftsman-style main house originally built in 1954, per tax records. Painted a rich henna color with teal trim, the nearly 4,800-square-foot structure packs in five bedrooms, lustrous pine floors, and numerous custom upgrades.

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The house sold for just a hair under $5 million, a healthy jump over the $3.7 million Chu paid for the place just over three years ago. Per records, the buyer is an LLC linked to New Jersey-based real estate developer Robert Paulus.

Jon Chu House Calabasas
Secreted away behind gates and ancient trees, the bucolic property spans about 2.7 acres.

On the main level, the house offers an airy living room is accented by massive wooden ceiling beams, triangular clerestory windows, a stone fireplace, and two sets of glassy French doors leading to the gardens. Likewise, the formal dining room also sports French doors of its own and a vaulted ceiling, while the adjoining kitchen has a distinctly 2000s flare with speckled granite countertops, plus custom cabinetry and top-of-the-line Wolf and SubZero appliances.

There’s also a huge den with enough space for large-scale events, and somewhere lies a so-called “bonus den,” with wood-paneled walls and big picture windows, that could be a home office or library. For social-distanced exercising, Chu and his wife Kristin (née Hodge) will enjoy a private gym. Upstairs, the master bedroom includes a cinematic wraparound wall of windows with  views of the oak tree-studded grounds, and shoehorned into one corner of the room is a unique circular banquette-style lounge, perfect for curling up with a good book. For its part, the master bath is somewhat dated but offers dual vanities, redwood cabinetry, and a built-in soaking tub overlooked by skylights.

But the real star of the property show are the sprawling, ultra-private grounds, which contain native plantings, a canopy of mature oaks, fields of California poppies, and a fruit/veggie garden with plum, peach, and apricot trees. Various play and picnic areas line the trail to the far rear of the property, where there’s a large swimmer’s pool set into a stone patio, plus a BBQ and spa. Elsewhere on the lot is a detached five-car garage, plus off-street parking for several more vehicles.

Chu, 41, was born and raised by a Taiwanese mother and a Mainland Chinese father in California’s Silicon Valley. Before “Crazy Rich Asians,” he was perhaps best-known for directing the second and third installments of the critically-panned “Step Up” film series, in addition to directing Justin Bieber’s lucrative 2011 and 2013 concert films.

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