LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,054 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It looks to Your Mama like stage and (small) screen actor Barrett Foa caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle. Less than a year after picking up a city view contemporary perched on a semi-private promontory just above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, CA, he's flipped it back on the open market with an asking price of $1,397,000.
New York City born and bred Mister Foa—blond, fair-skinned and hazel-eyed despite the vaguely Asian-sounding surname—was engaged from a very young age in The Theatre and the thespian's respectably lengthy and impressive list of professional credits include loads of regional musical theater, a handful of Shakespearean plays and a healthy handful of hit Broadway productions. For six months starting sometime in 2001, the slender, square-jawed actor sang and danced in the original Broadway cast of Mamma Mia! and In 2005 he was elevated from understudy to lead in the wildly successful, three time Tony nominated Avenue Q. The Broadway baby went Hollywood in 2009 when he landed a few small roles on big boob toob programs like Numb3rs, The Closer, and Entourage). For the last several year Mister Foa has strutted his perfectly toothed stuff as techno-geek Eric Beale on the long-running and very popular police procedural NCIS.
The 35-year old openly homosexual Showbiz veteran of unknown romantic status acquired the fully renovated residence in question last June (2012), for $1,410,000. The children will note the purchase price was $81,000 more than the last known $1,329,000 asking price. A couple quick clicks and clacks of the well-worn beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows Mister Foa faces a small but still unfortunate $13,000 loss on his real estate change of heart, not counting carrying costs, improvement and real estate fees.
The two-story, 1960s post and beam abode sits high above the street off a semi-private driveway shared with four other similarly sized residences, including one Your Mama knows to be owned by actor Jason Biggs (American Pie, American Wedding, American Reunion). Mister Biggs snatched up his 2,756 square foot city-view contemporary in March 2007 for $2,249,000 from all grown up child star turned director/producer Fred Savage (The Wonder Years). Anyhoo....
Listing details and property records show the chunky, brick-shaped home comes in at a fairly modest 2,054 square feet with just two bedrooms and two bathrooms. A steel and opaque glass fence and secured entry gate gives way to square concrete pads set into (what appears to be) a rigidly aligned gravel path that, in turn, show the way to a floating, open-tread exterior staircase. At the top, double glass doors connect through to the property's primary living space, an intimately scaled combination living/dining room and adjoining open-concept kitchen.
Underfoot there's some sort of banal, oatmeal colored wall-to-wall carpeting** and overhead an exposed wood ceiling with the heavy, exposed wood beams that typifies post and beam construction. At the far end of the main room a simple but pleasingly muscular concrete fireplace*** lends a strong structural counterpoint to the barely there walls of floor-to-ceiling windows that allow easy visual and physical transition to a cantilevered wrap-around deck that provides the exact sort of expansive canyon and city views of which many L.A. real estate dreams are laced.
The kitchen, open to the dining area over a three-stool snack counter, isn't huge but does has an unexpectedly generous amount of poured concrete counter space. At some point, not too long before Mister Foa purchased the property, the kitchen was remodeled and fitted with custom, pale dove gray flat-front cabinetry plus an stylishly appropriate L-shaped suspended cherry cupboard over the snack counter. There are also, according to listing details, high-grade stainless steel appliances, an indoor grill and a dumb waiter. How much, children, do we love a dumb waiter? Even more than a laundry chute, that's how much.
As for the day-core in the main living area and, indeed, throughout every corner of the house...Well, hmm. What can we say? It's, uhm, there, right? Listen, puppies, Your Mama really has no idea if the self consciously inoffensive but weirdly generic furnishings and soul-free abstract artworks seen in listing photographs reflects the intensely affect-less decorative taste of Mister Barrett or—as we seriously hope—the interior decorating skills of Staging Lady in Pink Toyota. But, of course, the day-core is of no relevance, really. It's the house and its fittings that are being sold, not the single-noted and way too matchy-matchy furnishings.
The upper level master bedroom has a full wall of mirrored closet doors that just about reach the ceiling where there's a giant sky light directly above the bed for late night star gazing. A wide sliding glass door connects to a wee private balcony with canyon and through-the-tree-tops downtown skyline view. The attached master bathroom has two sinks set into a floating cabinet, a dedicated built-in make-up vanity area and a separate shower/tub cubicle sheathed almost completely in what may or may not be marble or some sort of travertine.****
As spacious and nicely equipped as the master bathroom appears to be it is was not, alas, designed for the exclusive use of the occupants of the master bedroom. A second door opens into the hallway near the front door and indicates the master bathroom also serves as the (only) upper level powder room. We also regret to inform the children but it appears to Your Mama the very same oatmeal colored wall-to-wall carpeting in the main living area continues not only into the master bedroom but right on into the adjoining master bathroom/powder room. Not only are carpeted bathrooms a personal pet peeve of Your Mama we addressed it succinctly and sharply as Rule Number 7 in Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Don'ts. Rule Number 7, in case some of y'all don't already know, emphatically states: "It is and will always be absolutely verboten to install wall-to-wall carpeting of any kind a powder room or bathroom." Even sisal, children, gets downright nasty unless it's changed semi-annually. Do we even need to hint at the sort of pearl clutching detritus one would surely find buried in even the shortest of piles in a bathroom? It is better, butter beans, to install the absolute cheapest and ugliest linoleum money can buy than to put in carpeting in a bathroom. But, we digress yet again....
A floating, open tread maple wood staircase—one that would surely vex the bejeezis out of a boozy individual like Your Mama—descends from the upper level main living area to a fully-carpeted den/office with room-wide wood built-in with desk space, enclosed storage and open book/display cubbies. Also downstairs, according to listing information, is a guest bedroom with attached bathroom, laundry facilities, and a temperature controlled split system wine cellar lined with custom redwood racks able to hold upwards of 1,000 bottle of wine or other mood altering spirits.
Downstairs rooms open to small but desirably flat, courtyard-style back yard that—as best as we can tell—embraces two sides of the rectangular residence. There isn't a swimming pool or—so it seems—a spa but there is plenty enough room to replace the pictured patio furniture with a picnic table and a couple of chaise lounges. The Dr. Cooter would add a spa too because he likes to sit in a boiling cauldron of water on a regular basis. Your Mama, on the other hand, avoids them for all the obvious reasons.
Other notable features include controlled access and a serious security system, a dog run and off-street parking for five cars, plus the two more in the garage.
*In all honestly, my little chickenadiddles, Your Mama doesn't have a clue if the materials we've named are actually the materials used. We've identified them, of course, based entirely on what they look like to our not entirely sober eyes. Okay? Anyways...
****Once again, see above.
listing photos: Nourmand & Associates