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Housing Collapse: Malibu Style

So you bought a house a few years ago, and now you want to move. You're not behind in your mortgage payments, not underwater, this isn't a distress sale, you just want to sell, like people used to do back in 2007.

Good luck.

Source: Zillow.com

Even if your house is a castle sitting on its own 150-foot long stretch of Malibu beach, you may have a hard time getting many nibbles.

Next month, the most expensive home ever to be auctioned in the U.S. is going on the block in California, with a minimum bid of $22 million.

That's a lot of money, right?

Not when you hear that the original asking price was $65 million.

According to Forbes, the 10,500 square foot home is owned by William J. Chadwick, a managing director at a real estate investment banking firm. A realtor says the family is moving out of state. Yes, California is probably not the best place to be in real estate investment banking. He put the house in the market for $65 million in 2008, but since it failed to sell the traditional way, Chadwick has opted for the auction route. The minimum bid is a 65 percent haircut, and that hurts, even in Malibu.

Details of the auction on September 18 are here.

You can see more pictures of the house on Zillow.

Neighbors reportedly include Paul Allen, Larry Ellison, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen (what is THAT block party like?). The mansion comes with all the usuals, including a $1.5 million home theater and the mandatory "tequila tasting room." The 75-foot two-lane lap pool is "the biggest ever permitted to be built in Malibu," the patio alone is 4,500 square feet, blah blah blah.

But this caught my eye.

The home's foundation goes down 47 feet into bedrock. That thing will survive The Big One. Yours could be the only mansion in Malibu still standing after an earthquake. Imagine the view then.

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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