Friday, February 29, 2008

UPDATE: Rachel Hunter

Back in early February of 2007, Your Mama came across a 5 bedroom and 5 bathroom house up in the hills of Hollywood on N. Crescent Heights Boulevard that carried an asking price of $3,600,000. We had a devil of a time sorting out ownership and by the time we managed to figure out that the house was owned by ex supermodel and Rod Stewart ex wifey Rachel Hunter, it was late May and the asking price had been karate chopped to $2,995,000.

The property lingered on the market for quite some time with the lower price and then, POOF!, it vanished, apparently unable to attract a ready, willing and able buyer. The 4,078 square foot sort of Tudor style house (which is now be marketed as an "English country farmhouse" evaporated from our mind until just the other day when, KABLAM! the property popped back up on the MLS with a new asking price of $3,250,000.

Whhaaat? Please.

All due respect to Miz Hunter and her pee-pol, but what's the thinking process behind re-listing the property with an increased asking price after it languished on the market for a good long while at a lower price? Are we missing something?

39 comments:

Parker said...

U-G-L-Y and I hope someone doesn't trip, fall in the pool and smack their head on one of the swim steps. Clearly not a house for anyone with kids (or pets for that matter, other than ducks).

Anonymous said...

This type of brave in your face marketing was first developed and utilized by MR. h himself, put a property on the market at 4,500,000 oh, also have complete flooding of house occurr, then brazening ,, flush with insurance funds.put it back on the market for 6,000,000 sell to hot young singer for 5,000,000 or more recently market for 12,500,000 reduce to 10,000,000 then sell for 12,600,000 its a very effective marketing tool, the key ingredient is mixing in really foolish rich people or celebrity.

Anonymous said...

anon, what are you talking about? parker, i completely agree with you.

Alessandra said...

This trend of jamming a swimming pool into a wee back yard is really tiresome. It goes back to the admonition that "just because you can...doesn't mean it's a good idea."

Anonymous said...

Ick. Poorly done English style completely out of character for Los Angeles. If it's a small lot in the Hollywood Hills then a smartly designed contemporary is in order. Just look at the houses up above it. Spanish would work too but it all depends on the lot. Psuedo-English is just poor taste...

Anonymous said...

Rachel is sooooooooo HOT!!!!!!!!!!

so_chic_darling said...

WHAT? I'm from the English countryside and there is nothing like this in any county in England.There are almost no wooden houses of any kind in the UK because of fire regulations that go back 200 years.In other words ticky tacky is not a building material known to the Brits.
Why oh why call something English that is nothing of the kind?

lil' gay boy said...

ENGLISH?

It looks more faux-Craftsman gone to seed than anything else.

And Parker and Alessandra are right; way too much pool, way too much house, and way too little land. Even a fountain would have been pushing the envelope.

Even condos have more space around them.

sandpiper said...

English country farmhouse? Eh? I'm speechless. Where are the sheep and goats?

This is a comment job for PCH. I'm unworthy.

Big Ed said...

This just in

Michael Jackson almost loses encino mansion

According to public records, Jackson repeatedly failed to make mortgage payments on his Encino, CA property.

Docs show that M.J. had almost $154,000 in missed payments (on a $4 million loan) as of January 17th. However, the default was withdrawn early February.

pch said...

Wow, we're sure spending a lot of time near the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights lately! This place is all of a minute from the Alexander and Akroyd manses.

Sandpiper, yo! Some wacky additions (and a way-too-yellow hue) for what was probably a pretty charming storybook-ish house built in 1931 on a nice big usable 9,250-square-foot lot. With some editing (read: demolition), the restoration of original details (e.g. vintage windows, maybe a more sympathetic roofing material) and the right landscaping, it could be a super-appealing example of an early Hollywood aesthetic...still wouldn't be everyone's bag, but it could be an asset to the neighborhood.

Also gonna get a little contrarian on the pool front -- I don't love this design, but it doesn't bug me when a pool occupies a fairly small space. Especially on a hillside -- I'll bet this one doesn't feel as hemmed in as the photograph makes it seem.

Anonymous said...

Did any of you click over to the original posting? the pool is not quite as wedged in as you seem to think.

Anonymous said...

so_chic_darling - I suspect the term English and Tudor are used because the style is loosly (and I mean very loosly) based on old New England homes. The surmise that old New England was based on England itself leeds to the improper labels. There are some gorgeous Tudor Estates on Cape Cod and coastal Maine, but this house in Los Angeles is just plain U-G-L-Y!

Bruce said...

To me English Tudor style in LA has always seemed completely out of place. I can see ultra- modern or Spanish Hacienda type homes, but Tudors belong across the pond.

Parker said...

You know, I'm not usually a proponent of bulldozing a house, but I think it's warranted in this case.

KC said...

They could always turn the pool space into a garden deck space with a bridge over a more reasonable sized pond.

Wiredoncaffeine said...

I agree with Parker, you definitely want to know how to walk-the-runway to be able to walk-the-edges of this backyard. Downside- I'll need a crane handy to pull my Fat friends who keep falling into the pool because they can't walk sideways. Upside- when they fall in, my plants, rocks, and asphalt shingles all get watered.

pch said...

Bit buzzed at the moment, so hopefully this is coherent...

But I honestly think people would be pleasantly surprised if we limited demolition to some of the poorly designed additions like that horrendous second-floor gallery, blocky room and f'd up roofline. This place can be salvaged. For real.

And though the use of storybook/norman/tudor/whatever-you-want-to-call-them elements in Los Angeles might not look right to some eyes, they're very much a part of the local architectural vernacular. Los Feliz, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, Santa Monica, Pasadena, anywhere they built houses in the 1920s, they're there.

I'm a native Angeleno, and it all seems normal to me. But there will always be those who agree (to some extent, or entirely) with Nathanael West, who was a New Yorker: "Only dynamite would be of any use against the Mexican ranch houses, Samoan huts, Mediterranean villas, Egyptian and Japanese temples, Swiss chalets, Tudor cottages, and every possible combination of these styles." From The Day of the Locust, one of my favorite novels about Hollywood.

lil' gay boy said...

PCH,

Not too buzzed to make perfect sense. The more I read about Lost Angeles Houses from 1885 thru 1935, the more sense their stylings make.

Awful lot of reconstruction to bring back its original charm (maybe a partial teardown?); perhaps the original plans could be found and reproduced.

Have one more drink and then go to bed. Peace.

lucy said...

It looks like the exterior of a Residence Inn. I hate the pool. Blech.

Tom Thumb said...

I'm with the drunk and funny PCH on this one.

Have any of you people who think this "style" of house does not belong in LA ever been to LA?

LA is filled with these kinds of 1920s mock Tudor/English Country whatevers. Love them or hate them, they're classic LA homes if you understand the vernacular of LA architecture.

Are all the houses in Connecticut white clapboard colonials with black shutters? Of course not.

I'm not saying this place is a gem, but suggesting it be bulldozed is just being overly dramatic.

Parker said...

tom thumb, I am a native Angeleno and to say that this house is a classic L.A. home should be clarified but what part of L.A. you're talking about. To me this looks like a classic San Fernando Valley home. This would be perfect in Woodland Hills or similar locale. Now, I don't know when this was built, but my L.A. home was built in 1923 the two can't be compared. And that's not to say that mine is fabulous, I'm just saying that neither mine nor any of my neighbors' exhibit this 'valley look'.

Unlike many others here, I have no architectural or design experience whatsoever, so my opinion is pure speculation based strictly on what I've lived around for the past almost-40 years.

bentley said...

Rachel Hunter stole my grandmother's bed!

Rachel Hunter has a ginormous plasma leaning at an alarmingly precarious angle above her fireplace - I just can't take it anymore.

The pool in one pic looks like it's on an entirely different property. What gives??

luke220 said...

I think that the interiors of the house are quite charming. The MLS pics show that the pool is separated from the house by a garden and a curved walkway, so not as bad as the feature pic indicates. It looks like a house one would find in Outpost Estates.

It looks lived in and not fussy. My only objection is the big tv over the fireplace.

Alessandra said...

No, I looked at the MLS photos and the pool is still jammed up against the house. I think the other "pool" is a spa/hot tub type thing. The two photos, when you look at them closely, side by side, do not match.

And what is up with the damned white slip covers over everything? That used to be what people did with their homes when they closed them to winter in Palm Beach or summer in Newport. I get shabby chic, but that interior decor is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

The MLS shot is of the teardrop pool from the opposite angle. Configuration is a bit odd- the pool is raised, with steps going up to the pool, not a lot of area for lounging but not hard against the house either.

so_chic_darling said...

Parker,Lucy and PCH although I am a New Yorker I visit LA at least 5 times a year and it is one of my favorite places in the world.One of the things that makes it so gerat is the mixture of weird and wonderful architecture from the 20s and 30s.If done well the mock Tudor,Normandy,Spanish or whatever can be very charming,this house however sucks.
My most favorite houses are the ones that look like gingerbread houses with witches hats,not sure if I would want to live in one but they always make me smile because they have a personality.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:29pm & 9:35am,

I see what you mean when I click and look at Mama's original story on the place with the multiple pics.

lil' gay boy said...

I'm with Bentley, Alessandra and So_Chic on this one:

This place looks practically abandoned.

Hate every single chandelier (especially the laundry room?!?) What's up with that mess of a room? Could they not at least have found a white washer/dryer combo to match the cabinets or don't they make them anymore?)

And please explain to me the mixing large-paned French doors with diamond paned windows in the living room, and the funeral home chairs in the kitchen?

The tufted bed is atrocious, the roof lines mismatched, and the rug in the living room looks like a used, dirty bedsheet.

There was no Prius in the driveway the day they staged this mess.

Anonymous said...

give poor rachel a break, this is a long ways from NORTH BEVERLY PARK.. and the 30million dollar house she used to share with hubby, before she decided she could no longer share the sack with that sack of bones.. what surprises me is after "doing time" with that old crooner, she did not walk away with more bank. he must have had THE donalds prenup service that donald used with marla maples, even with popping out kids from these dinasours, they got very little money. compared to the lifestyle they were "accustomed to"

pch said...

Okay, I went and checked the place out. Which I might have to stop doing because the low-profile tires on my car don't like the rutted roads in this part of town. Seriously, the deterioration is beyond thunderdome in some places. All that property tax ain't goin' to CalTrans, apparently.

It's set somewhat above the street, with a long driveway, which isn't too steep, that leads to a garage at the back of the property. Has one of those after-the-fact black iron gates that's basically jerry-rigged across the bottom of the driveway. They always look terrible, and I think there's got to be a better solution. Nice, broad terrace in front of the street facade, and surrounded by a fair bit of open space.

Anyway, I know some of you still won't believe me, but by removing and/or massaging the more egregious additions, restoring the right colors and details, etc. this place could be very nice and totally appropriate to the neighborhood. Esp if you run with the picturesque ball and put in window boxes and a pretty English garden. Even with all of that, it wouldn't be the most amazing house ever, and god knows it's not my favorite architectural genre, but it could be much better than passable. I almost want to buy the house just to prove it can be done :)

Final note: Rachel Hunter is the most pleasant supermodel type I've ever met. I'm inclined to think well of her.

luke220 said...

Thank you, PCH! Some of these posters have probably never been to LA.

Maybe Rachel will let you have it for a good price?

lil' gay boy said...

Coming Soon - "PCH, The Real Estate PI"

Wouldn't it make for a great segment on Mama's show?

Picture it; a darkened, sharply curved lane, high in the hills follows an ice blue Jag from above as it slews through the twists and turns of the canyon roads, roaring to a tire-smoking stop in front of the camera, focused on the vanity plate:

PCH RE PI

What do you think, chilruns?

kerri said...

Have to say I love the blue bed - very glam/befitting of a super model. I kinda like Rachel Hunter. Hope she gets the best price possible for her abode - since she obviously didn't get much from Mr. Raspy.

pch said...

Thanks for the laugh, LGB. And a big "get well" shout out to your BGD.

Anonymous said...

PCH, you're making me want to drive over and take a look too.

lil' gay boy said...

PCH,

Thanks - BGD is doing much better.

Anonymous said...

I've walked through this house. The pool is TINY. Also, the master bath (which is really nice) is probably bigger than the master bedroom, which is not very big at all. The house feels old...needs work. Windows don't close tight, floors creek. Bedrooms are small. There is a gameroom downstairs which needs to be completely redone...it's dark and dank with an old beige carpet that is just gross. Also, the driveway is super narrow and hard to negotiate in a big car.

Anonymous said...

They are holding an open house this Sunday.