Nearly 14 years after purchasing a four-acre waterfront compound for $4.6 million on Beachside Avenue in Westport, nationally syndicated talk show host Don Imus and his wife, Deirdre, have their Gustavian-style Colonial home on the market for just under $25 million, a reduction of 17 percent over the original asking price of $30 million.
Its sale, even at the reduced price, would make it the most expensive home in Westport now on the market.
According to Darlene Letersky, the listing agent from Coldwell Banker, the Imuses made the decision to sell their property at 106 Beachside Ave. in Westport because they are spending more time on their 5,000-acre working cattle ranch in Ribera, N.M. The couple also has plans to purchase a second ranch in Austin, Texas.
The reason the Imuses are selling their three-house property is that they spend all of their summers at the Imus Ranch helping children who are fighting cancer, Letersky said. Increasingly, they find they've been spending less and less time in town, averaging only about 50 days each year at their Westport home.
The New Mexico ranch is near and dear to the Imuses. They are the co-founders and co-directors of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. Neither could be reached for comment, but in an interview in April 2010 at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Deirdre Imus called the ranch "really pristine."
"We started the ranch in 1998 ... My husband grew up on a cattle ranch ... By getting (the children with cancer) up and making them do these chores and giving them a strong work ethic and a strong sense of responsibility they start to regain their self-esteem, their self-worth and sense of purpose in life again ... It's transformed every child," said Deirdre Imus, who is also the founder and president of the not-for-profit Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Their work with the children has transformed them as well, making it easier to leave Connecticut's Gold Coast for the vast open spaces of the western ranch.
But chances are they will miss the beautiful, professionally landscaped property and stunning Long Island Sound views. Virtually every room in the house has water views.
Don and Deirdre Imus purchased the Westport property in June 1997. The original home was built in 1941. The Imuses had the main and guest houses razed and rebuilt. The property also has a gate house.
It took more than three years to design and construct the new main house, which was completed in 2000 and comprises 10,000 square feet of living space on three floors, plus a guest house. Hobbs Construction of New Canaan was the builder.
The guest house includes two bedrooms, a kitchen and living room. The main house has 14 rooms.
There are seven fireplaces throughout the house including one in the master bedroom and one in the gourmet kitchen, which also features a hardwood floor and a center island topped with Carrera marble.
Transoms above nearly every window and the numerous French doors frame each room.On the second level, there is an exercise room that looks over the water, as do the his and her baths.
For more information, or to set up an appointment, call Darlene Letersky at 203-227-8787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE OF HOUSE: Custom-built
ADDRESS: 106 Beachside Ave., Westport
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 14
AMENITIES: direct waterfront on Long Island Sound, 215 feet of private sandy beach, beach rights, gated 4-acre property, three structures -- the main house, guest house and gate house, seven fireplaces, in-law suite, maid or staff quarters, hardwood floors throughout most of the house, sun room, play room, zoned central air conditioning, slate roof, porch, patio, deck, balcony, storm windows, exterior lighting, fence.
OTHER INFORMATION: five bedrooms, seven full and one-half baths, four-car attached garage, full unfinished basement, walk-up attic, 9-foot ceilings, second floor laundry room, zoned hot-air oil heat, septic system, city water.
TAXES: $135,889 at rate of 14.850 mills