If you’re looking for a crash pad at the “high” end of the market, you could do worse than Tommy Chong’s home in West Vancouver, which just went on the market for a mellow $7 million.
That’s a lot of Acapulco gold.
Chong, a Canadian-American actor and performer, rose to fame in the 1970s, along with creative partner Richard “Cheech” Marin, with a series of weed-inspired Cheech & Chong comedy routines and movies, like the cult classic Up In Smoke.
Chong, who has roots in Vancouver, and is also known as a marijuana legalization activist, has owned the secluded home on West Vancouver’s Stearman Beach at 4488 Ross Crescent, since the 1970s.
In earlier decades, Chong and his family spent considerable time there, said real estate agent Stephanie Orr with Century 21 In Town Realty, but it hasn’t been their permanent home for some time.
Now that their family is older and Chong, 81, and his wife are on the road a lot when they aren’t in L.A., they’ve decided it’s time to let the house go, she said.
Chong may be best known for embracing reefer madness, but his West Van joint hardly screams stoner chic.
Built originally in the 1930s and renovated, the 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom home tucked away on one of West Vancouver’s most private and exclusive streets is elegant, bright and airy, with lots of windows to let in natural light.
A stream runs through the property, with perennial gardens, lush bamboo shoots and a path that leads to the ocean just outside the door.
“All of the windows and skylights just bring nature in,” said Orr.
It’s more modernist understatement than showboat confection.
“If you’re looking for a big fancy, schmancy McMansion house, this is not the house,” she said. “There is nothing mainstream about this house.”
Granted, you’ll probably still need a pretty big fancy schmancy bank account to consider putting in an offer. Property taxes alone will run you about $21,000 a year.
“It’s a trophy property in a trophy location,” said Orr. “It’s for people in a certain income bracket who can be affording a house like that.”
Orr said there has already been considerable interest in the property with Realtors calling her for information.
The buyers – besides having considerable means – will likely be people who value their privacy, she said.
Although knowledge of Chong’s waterfront home location has never been a secret in West Vancouver, it’s not the kind of place that’s attracted looky-loos. From the street, “you wouldn’t even know the house was there,” she said.
And no, said Orr, there is no lingering odour of Maui wowie in the elegant surroundings, although it’s a question she’s been asked a few times by the media.
“If you were using the wood-burning fireplace you’d have smoke,” she said. “But I don’t believe that’s what you’re referring to.”
Property records show Chong and his wife bought the home in September 1979 for $230,000.
The property is currently assessed at $5.3 million.