SELLER: Wendy Finerman
LOCATION: N. Faring Road, Holmby Hills, CA
SIZE: 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Major Reduction – Best value in Holmby/Bel Air – Owner has bought in New York. Sensational East Coast Traditional style on almost 1 acre in Holmby Hills. Move-in condition + 2 story guest house + pool + gardens. Charm & function. Master with his & hers + office. 35 mm state of the art projection. Loads of bedrooms. Great family home.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: If the children are not movie people, you may not recognize Ms. Finerman's name at first read. However, inside the "Industry," this notoriously pin thin producer holds a powerful position. Wendy Finerman has produced many films including the recent Meryl Streep comedy, The Devil Wears Prada–which you know Your Mama enjoyed–but she came to the fore after spearheading, cultivating, producing, and winning an Academy Award for the that foul Forrest Gump film back in 1994.
We know this movie was much loved by the public and received many prestigious awards. But honestly children, Your Mama did not care for sitting in the dark of the movie thee-a-ter being spoon fed saccharin life lessons we were supposed to find particularly profound because they were uttered by Tom Hanks playing a mentally deficient individual. "Life is like a box of chocolates..." Oh Lawhd, no. We are of the opinion the success of this movie had more to do with feeling sorry for the simple minded and, even worse, feeling self-righteous because we understood, appreciated, and could really see the wisdom of a retarded man. Please. Call Your Mama cynical if you like, but we prefer to have our own feelings than be told by a movie what feelings we ought to be having.
Anyhoo, Your Mama could probably work ourselves into a stroke talking about that movie, but we would like to return to discussing this house up in the Holmby Hills. First purchased back in 1988 with her then huzband, Hollywood hot shot Mark Canton, Finerman raised their three children up in this house. And a big-ass family-style house it is too. This house looks like it could have been The Beaver's house if the Cleavers had been multi-millionaire Hollywood types.
There are some discrepancies in the size and number of bedrooms of this house. The property records show five bedroom and six bathrooms in 5,985 square feet. An article on Forbes.com back in mid-2006 states the house has 7 bedrooms. And the listing information from the Westside Estate Agency shows a stupefying 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms in about 10,000 square feet. A contact who has been inside the house tells Your Mama he thinks the numbers from Westside Estate Agency include all the bedrooms and bathrooms on the property including those in the main house, the two story guest house, and the pool house.
Ordinarily Your Mama does not cotton to the more traditional style houses, and that is true of how we feel about the Finerman house too. Which is not to say we don't find some decorative choices that we approve of and appreciate.
We're not sure of the practicality and comfort of the sitting area off the kitchen with it's baby grand piano and those two chairs pushed up too close to each other in front of the fireplace, but we are appreciating Finerman's inspired doorway border of family photographs. This motif is cleverly repeated in other areas of the house including on the risers of the stairs in the front hall which can be seen if you view the virtual tour.
All the children must know Your Mama done wet our pants over that leopard print rug in the den/library room. We are disturbed by the flesh colored sofa, but otherwise we would like to curl up on the blood red sofa in front of a fire reading all the tabs.
And of course, we do so like to see a proper gated estate with heated pool, lighted, regulation sized tennis court, guest house, and drive court. Your Mama would like whomever is responsible for designing this property to know we recognize the effort and success of squeezing all that comfortably onto the fairly small acre+ sized lot.
There are of course, also a few decorative issues we'd like to discuss that are less positive. That formal living room, while formally balanced, looks like a little used room in Grandma's upscale Toldeo Colonial. Just because a house has as many rooms as this house, that is no reason to ignore the decor. Especially when there's funding for a nice gay decorator to come up in here and do it up right.
The kitchen, while it appears well appointed, and that Wolf range can easily prepare meals for 20, leaves us feeling hollow. For the heart of the home, it just doesn't appear very warm. Of course, this lack of warmth is likely to be of little consequence to the next homeowner if the room is only to be used by the kitchen staff.
That large and dowdy room seen in the photos, the one with the peaked and beamed ceiling, is in fact the screening room (the screen being at the end of the room not shown in the photo). Your Mama appreciates the generous size (seats 20) and the multi-level layout which is helpful for the sight lines. But we are concerned this room is just too frumpy and not befitting a pre-screening of a blockbuster film. Unfortunately, Your Mama thinks this room looks more like the sort of place where the next straight to video production is screened for an audience of unknowns.
The house was first put on the market back in the Spring of 2006 and a much higher price – close to $15,000,000 – but was recently lowered to it's current asking price of $11,950,000. The reduction in price, in addition to reflecting the actual value to potential buyers of the house, also reflects Finerman's desire to sell the house quickly. With the children nearly grown and out of the house, Finerman is now married to a New York based business man and looking to move East. In fact, the listing description states Finerman has already purchased in New York. (If anyone would like to let Your Mama know where, shoot us an email.)
It may not be palatial or gaudy enough for The Spice Gurl and Sexy, but with all the bedrooms on this property they could easily house their three boys as well as a retinue of assistants, cooks, drivers, and maids. Your Mama thinks they could probably even manage to fit a full time hair and make-up team down in the guest house by the tennis court.
If not for the right house for that property fickle duo, Your Mama is thinking this house might also be perfect for a very rich L.A. based polygamist family like the one in that blasphemous Big Love program on the HBO. The first wife could live in the big house, the second wife in the guest house, and the just-of-age third wife in the pool house. And the grounds are surely spacious enough for 12 or 16 children to play comfortably.
Sources: Forbes.com, Westside Estate Agency, Lukeford.net, Filmbug.net