Brother, Can You Spare $5 Million? Bing Crosby’s Home Is for Sale
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Well, you won’t have one in the desert climate of Rancho Mirage in California, but you can own the former estate of Bing Crosby, that swooning crooner from days gone who once held both Hollywood and the record industry in his pocket. Up for grabs at $5 million, take a peek inside the Old Groaner’s former home near Palm Springs.
It Was Built by Crosby
This place wasn’t just owned by Crosby. It was custom built by him. According to NBC, Crosby had the single-level midcentury home built for him and his wife, Kathryn Grant, after the two married in 1957.
Crosby’s Rancho Mirage home has an impressive 6,700 square feet of living space along with five bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms. That comes to about $746 a square foot, more than double the median listing price-per-square foot of $243 for most homes in the area, according to Zillow.
A Life in Thunderbird Heights
The home is located in the exclusive Thunderbird Heights area of Rancho Mirage, a neighborhood that came to popularity during the Golden Age of Hollywood as a retreat for the rich and famous. Big name actors and actresses like Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Buddy Rogers, the Marx Brothers, Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra flocked to the area, turning the sleepy, then-unincorporated area into a playground for the stars and presidents.
Currently, President Barack Obama is known to golf at nearby Thunderbird Country Club (which Crosby helped found), and is rumored to take up residence there. President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford had also owned a home in Rancho Mirage.
There’s a ‘Kennedy Wing’
Speaking of presidents, it’s not a secret that Marilyn Monroe and President John F. Kennedy were rumored lovers, but did you know at least one of their alleged late-night trysts happened in Crosby’s home? Gary Giddins, who wrote two Crosby biographies, "Swinging on a Star" and "A Pocketful of Dreams," confirmed that the nighttime deed, if it did indeed occur, happened here.
Previous owners have nicknamed one portion of the house the “Kennedy Wing” — likely the attached 1,400 square-foot casita with two ensuite bedrooms — in honor of where JFK may have gotten to know Monroe a bit better.
The Front Doors Are Amazing
“The Road to Morocco,” a 1942 comedy starring Crosby and Bob Hope, may have given Crosby some architectural ideas. These imposing Moroccan entryway doors are 10 feet tall and are hand carved.
You Can Rent it
Crosby’s piece of desert living isn’t just for would-be homeowners. You can spend some time in the crooner’s former abode by renting it out. Which explains why there are videos of people getting ready to party at the house on YouTube. And the pool table converts into a ping-pong table.
But It Will Cost You
If you do decide to take a vacation to this home, it’s going to be a very expensive and very long vacation. For whatever reason, the minimum number of days required to rent Crosby’s estate is 60 days — which will cost you around $280,000 or more, depending on the season.
There’s a Lot of Space to Change
Before you go swinging on a star out on the town, you probably want to change out of those golf pants or swimsuit. The master walk-in closet is a room unto itself, with tons of storage space and door-length mirrors, so you can check yourself out from any angle.
Catch a Flick in the Theater
Have a stroll down memory lane and pop in a Crosby film — or just watch whatever you want — in the elegant home theater. It features a projection screen framed by wood shelving, a comfy looking leather couch and of course, posters of Crosby’s movies.
I’ll Be Seeing You, Inside or Outside
The home is made for indoor/outdoor living, with sandstone flooring and huge sliding glass doors that open up to a fantastic backyard pool area and Coachella Valley views.
What a Patio
Outside, the patio is a thing of beauty, with recessed lighting and huge, stately Tuscan pillars and a separate barbecue dining area.
The Pool Belongs in Our Hearts
You’re only a few feet away from swimming at any given time. Pop open those sliding glass doors and take a dip in the pool and then swim between two fire features and over to the spa area.
Bathe with a View
The master bathroom features a spa-style tub encased in marble, with expansive bay windows that feature lush views of the 1.36-acre Palm Desert property. But if you feel like getting closer to nature…
There’s an Outdoor Shower
Whether you feel like taking a quick shower after some laps in the pool or if you just feel like bathing in the perfect weather of Rancho Mirage, pop on over to the outdoor shower. Don’t worry, there’s a privacy wall on the property.
And a Putting Green
If you want to work on your short game, have a few putts at the patch of putting green out back. We’re not sure if it’s the same one Crosby used, or if they installed it later, but our money is on the former. Crosby was a huge golfer, and created the longest-running celebrity professional-amateur golf tournament, which is now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. In 1973, Crosby died while playing golf near Madrid.
The Price Has Increased
Crosby’s Thunderbird Heights home has been on and off the market since 2010, says realtor.com, and somehow it has been increasing in price. In 2012, the home listed for $3.495 million, meaning it has increased by 43 percent since then.
But It Wasn’t His Main Home
It’s unclear just how long Crosby and Grant stuck around, because they moved a few years later, after Crosby had yet another home built in Palm Desert. Crosby owned a heckuva lot of homes — the most famous being the true Crosby Estate, a 40-room mansion in Hillsborough, California. You can visit that home on select days — the current owners sometimes host a non-profit music event in the home’s enormous ballroom.