Financier Evan Stone pays $25M for house in Laguna Beach’s Emerald Bay

Mortgage financier Evan Stone has bought a 7,600-square-foot manse in Laguna Beach’s Emerald Bay for $25 million.

The CEO of Champions Funding bought the quarter-acre estate at 145 Emerald Bay, according to the Robb Report. The sellers were Raymond and Maria Francis, parents of “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis.

The off-market deal represents one of the biggest sums ever paid for an Emerald Bay home without direct beach access.

The Francis couple bought the gated Emerald Bay property in 1996 for $2.2 million. They then bulldozed an existing house and built a two-story home in 2007 with views of the bluffs and across the Pacific Ocean.

The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom villa has high coffered ceilings, custom millwork, ornate stair railings, hand-crafted chandeliers and clerestory windows, according to Robb. It also has two wood-paneled offices, a wine-tasting room, wet bar, screening room and sauna-equipped gym. 

The home has formal living and dining rooms, a gourmet kitchen, butler’s pantry and breakfast nook. 

Its master bedroom has a fireplace, sliding glass doors that open onto an ocean-facing patio, a walk-in closet and spa-inspired bathroom.

The landscaped grounds contain terraces, a fountain, built-in barbecue and putting green. 

In addition to co-founding Champions, a provider of non-traditional mortgage loans, Stone also serves as chairman of Community Savings Bank, based in Chicago. 

He also co-owned Rep 1, a sports agency for pro athletes such as Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp and Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff that was recently acquired by Excel Sports Management.  Last summer, he bought a smaller home in Emerald Bay for $8.5 million.

In September, a retired Pimco executive sold a 3,900-square-foot beachfront home in Emerald Bay to a likely “Baywatch” actor for $43 million, in another off-market deal. In August of last year, a 4,900-square-foot spec house in Emerald Bay sold for $43.5 million.

— Dana Bartholomew

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