The Palm Springs home of comic actor Bob Hope and his wife Dolores has been lusted after since its construction began in 1973. At last it's up for sale − with a $50 million price tag.

Designed by legendary architect John Lautner, the volcano-inspired property features six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, two swimming pools and is a work of art in its own right.

- Although Palm Springs has a well-deserved rep as a mecca for stylish architecture, it does have its drawbacks: It’s not an international business hub, for example, and a buyer would have to make peace with the laid-back desert locale. That partly explains why the brokers haven’t seen international interest from the ultra-high-net-worth individuals who are swooping in and buying property in America. Not a peep from Russia. A single busload of Chinese nationals who looked at the property for its investment potential. And talk of buyers from the Middle East never materialized into a solid offer. “If the home were in Los Angeles, it’d be gone in an instant, and probably closer to its original listing price of $50 million,” Smith said. “But when you look at the Coachella Valley, when you look at the high-end real estate market, in general it tops out at probably $3 to $5 million.” And even the ultrarich have their limits when it comes to upkeep. Though there are staff quarters on-site, the sheer size of the Hope mansion—23,000 square feet, with six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, three half-bathrooms, and two pools—makes it a formidable purchase for a buyer who won’t be there year-round. “We’re a second-home market,” Smith said. “In today’s world, there aren’t a lot of buyers who are seeking a 23,000-square-foot second, third, or fourth home.” Understood. Those enormous walls of windows don’t Windex themselves.

It’s difficult to find a home with a mixture of celebrity heritage, design pedigree, and desirable locale. And when properties that check these three boxes do hit the market, they tend to inspire a bidding war or a rapid sale.1

So why has the ultraluxe estate originally built for Bob Hope in the late 1970s languished on the market for over a year? John Lautner designed the home in supremely sunny Palm Springs, CA, and its many twists and price cuts have been covered extensively.

In fact, listing brokers Patrick Jordan and Stewart Smith told me the home has received far more press than any other property they’ve ever repped. And yet no buyer has stepped forward with the cash to close the deal.

As with most things in life, it boils down to dollars and cents—$24.99 million, to be specific. But it’s not all about the Benjamins—Jordan said it’s a finely tuned balance of buyer, price, and location.

“Of course, a purchase is predicated on a number of different things. First, being price. Now that we have a new, improved price of $24.99 million”—down from the $50 million it debuted with in February 2013—”it’s more palatable for those people that can afford that price point to begin with.”

“Secondly, the pool of buyers who are spending $25 million on a second or third home in a resort town are limited,” he added. “That said, it’s a really palatable price for the amount of work that went into the construction.”

Yes, about that construction. Lautner’s massive concrete structure—with a roofline that’s been likened to a spaceship—wasn’t an everyday build.