Friday, October 30, 2009

Frank and Jamie McCourt Have a Lot of Houses

By now, anyone and everyone who follows the money trail around Los Angeles knows there's a War of the Roses about to erupt on the staid streets of the Holmby Hills where the dueling and dee-vorcing owners of the L.A. Dodgers Frank and Jamie McCourt own an impressive compound on Charing Cross Way.

For those who do not recognize their names, Mister and soon to be ex-Missus McCourt made piles of money developing commercial real estate in Boston, Mass. In 2004, they cashed out and purchased the L.A. Dodgers baseball franchise for a whopping $430,000,000.

Missus McCourt, an attorney with a Masters degree in business, was installed as vice-chairman and named president of the team in 2005. In March of 2009 she was promoted to CEO making her the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball earning $2,000,000 per year. Until last week, when her soon to be ex-huzband fired her.

The gory he said/she said details of Missus McCourt’s termination are all over the interweb, but suffice to say she says it’s unwarranted and he says she was insubordinate and that she was having an improper relationship with her bodyguard/driver. Your Mama does not know what is true and what is not true, but what we do know is that the people at gossip juggernaut TMZ managed to get a hold of the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage filed by Jamie McCourt on October 27, 2009. How they do these things, we don't know, but the document was not only posted on their site it was also forwarded to Your Mama by Sandy Spreadtheword. It took us the better part of half a day and a pitcher of gin and tonic to read the 137-page document which details the couples accumulation of wealth, how they spend all that money and what kind of spousal support the soon to be ex-Missus McCourt is looking for.

By far the most interesting sections of the long document are those that detail the couple's personal real estate holdings and the amounts of money required to maintain them. By our count, the McCourts maintain 7 private residences and own two more parcels of prime property on which they intended to build two more. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2004, the couple lived in Massachusetts so that seems a good place to begin a chronicle of their real estate lives based on information culled from public property records and the dee-vorce docs.

According to previous reports and property records, prior to moving west, Mister and Missus McCourt called a Brookline, Mass mansion home since 1993. As best as we can tell, the couple coughed up $4,500,000 for the 8,249 square foot Cottage Street estate that ballooned to a gargantuan 18,216 square feet. Records show that property was sold in August of 2007 for $16,000,000. Interestingly, and somewhat eccentrically, when they sold the property they reserved the right to remove the entire kitchen–lock, stock, and counter tops–if the kitchen was ever to be remodeled or the mansion torn down.

Like many moneyed people in Massachusetts, Mister and Missus McCourt and their four sons often spent vacations on Cape Cod. In the year 2000, the then happy couple dumped $19,500,000 for a 5-parcel ocean front estate on Main Street in the Village of Cotuit, MA that spans more than 90 acres and includes two private ponds.

The main house was built in 1909, measures 7,516 square feet and includes 10 bedrooms and 6.5 poopers. A second, smaller house on the property has another 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers which all adds up to an unlucky 13 bedrooms and 10 terlets in 8 full and 2 half poopers.

Court documents indicate the McCourts spent $605,000 on improvements to the property and that they have an $18,000,000 equity line of credit secured by two of their properties, this being one of them. Court documents also indicate that the massive estate is quietly being shopped around with a hair-raising asking price of $50,000,000. Considering they’re into the place for just over twenty million smackers, a fifty million dollar sale–which Your Mama imagines is a bit of a pipe dream–would next them a mind boggling thirty million dollars.

Before buying the big estate on Cape Cod, in 1998, the erstwhile couple spent $775,000 on what is described in the dee-vorce docs as a “golf home” on Willowbend Drive in Mashpee, MA. The house contains a total of 9 bedrooms and 4.5 poopers, some of which according to the dee-vorce docs are in the finished basement.

Upon arriving in LaLa Land in 2004, they immediately cowed and wowed all the real estate people that fill the fancy offices on Cañon Drive in Bev Hills buy plunking down $21,250,000 for an estate on Charing Cross Road, directly across the street from the Playboy Mansion. Court documents reveal an additional $14,000,000 has been spent on improvements to property which included replacing the outdoor tennis court with an indoor Olympic size swimming pool that has its own pool house, sauna, steam room, shower, dressing room and massage room.

The post-renovation main manse,–their primary residence before busting up–now measures approximately 15,000 square feet and in addition to the 4 bedrooms and 10 poopers, there is also a fully-equipped work out room, a dance studio and guest quarters. The house also contains the kitchen from their Brookline mansion, which they spent $180,000 to remove and ship to California.

According to court documents, the monthly costs for the McCourt’s massive Charing Cross Road mansion total a toe curling $202,716 and include $68,313 for decorating and furnishing, $29,997 for domestic staff, and $5,866 in utilities. Think about that for a few seconds my butter beans. Mister and Missus McCourt and paying more every month to keep their lights on and the lawn watered than most people make in a month. There is, according to records and court documents, an elephantine $13,800,000 mortgage on the property.

A few months after buying the Charing Cross Road residence, in November of 2004, the couple scooped up the property next door for $6,500,000. Their intention, according to dee-vorce docs, was to utilize the 8,385 square foot, 8 bedrooms and 10 pooper property as guest quarters. However, despite spending an additional $4,800,000 in basic improvements and architectural fees, the property has been used for little more than storage. There is no mortgage on the property. However, between the two Holmby Hills properties, according to court docs, the McCourts have spent a mouth drying $46,550,000. It’s certainly not the ninety or so million Gary Winnick paid for his Bel Air spread, but it’s none the less a heart stopping mound of moolah.

In July of 2007, the couple went a-searchin’ for a Malee-boo beach house and found what they wanted in a swoopy John Lautner designed house on Carbon Beach for which they paid actors Courtney Cox and David Arquette $27,300,000. Since splitting with Frankie, Jamie has been occupying the Malibu residence exclusively. According to dee-vorce docs, the 4,486 square foot, 4 bedroom and 5.5 pooper architectural tour de force costs $151,054 per month to maintain, most of which goes to property taxes and servicing a $16,500,000 mortgage.

A few months later, in January of 2008, the couple decided they needed more room at the beach and purchased the property next door to their dee-voon Lautner house. Records and court documents reveal they paid $19,000,000 for the 3 bedroom and 3 pooper property where their children and guests stay when visiting them at the beach. Because the soon to be ex-Missus McCourt is a swimmer, a lap pool is being installed at this property because the small pool at the Lautner next door is, apparently, not big enough for lap swimming. According to dee-vorce docs, this property swallows up $88,106 in monthly costs and was used to secure an $11,400,000 mortgage.

In 2004, about the same time they moved west, the property mad McCourts forked over $6,000,000 for a 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom condominium on East Core Creek Drive in Vail, CO. Although the condo was paid for with cold, hard cash, according to the dee-vorce docs, an $18,000,000 equity line of credit was secured with this condo and their Cape Cod compound as collateral.

The couple own two additional pieces of land on which they planned to build two more luxurious residences. In 2006, they spent $7,700,000 for unimproved property at the by invitation only Yellowstone Club in Montana. No house has been built on the property.

In late 2008, seemingly just before they called it quits, they spent $4,625,000 for a vacant parcel of land at the dee-luxe El Dorado Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A residence for the property has been fully designed by not yet built.

A few flicks of the well-worn beads of our bejeweled abacus reveals that Mister and Missus McCourt have spent $167,050,000 on dee-luxe real estate for their personal and private use and are carrying a diarrhea inducing $59,700,000 in mortgages. How do y’all like them real estate apples?

In addition to chronicling their extensive real estate holdings, the dee-vorce docs also detail the couples lavish monthly expenses which include 24/7 security at both their Holmby Hills home and their Malibu properties when they are in residence as well as racking up $6,870,000 in Net Jets costs in 2008 and 2009. According to Jamie and her forensics accountants, the couple’s monthly household expenses total a staggering $760,209 which includes $538,029 in real estate related expenses, $55,782 per month in personal expenses, which we take to mean hair care, fresh flowers and other luxuries, $33,756 per month in expenses related to their four adult children–three of whom are currently attending Stanford University, charity donations in excess of $30,000 per month, and concierge health care services to the tune of nearly $90,000 per year.

Lo-word have mercy, Your Mama needs a nerve pill just thinking about monthly bills in excess of three-quarters of a million clams. Every. Damn. Month. Jeezis. Even Rich people have gotta understand that is a shocking amount of money in monthly bills.

Due to their profligate ways–which they appear to be able to well afford–Missus McCourt is asking the courts to grant her non-taxable spousal support to the tune of $320,967 if she is reinstated to her two million dollar per year job at the Dodgers or $487,634 if she is not reinstated.

Given that California is a community property state and given that Missus McCourt gave Mister McCourt $1,000 for his first bidness deal and given that Missus McCourt has been an integral part of the couple’s wealth accumulation, it seems to Your Mama–who is not an attorney–that Jamie will not only be awarded stunning sums of money in monthly spousal support but will also end up owning half of the couple’s assets.

Whatever happens, expect the dirty details of their dee-vorce to be played out in the media.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Was Michael Jackson House Hunting Before He Passed on to the Great Gloved One in the Sky?

Oh dear jeezis in heaven, the salacious gossip about Michael Jackson's crazy real estate ways hasn't stopped even though his poor, pale little body has been stuck up for eternity in the wall of a fancy mausoleum at the Forest Lawn cemetary.

According to the peeps at gossip juggernaut TMZ, prior to his death in June of 2009, Michael Jackson was negotiating to buy an insanely opulent architectural extravaganza in Los Angeles which can only be described as Mister Rococo making and unholy marriage with Missus Baroque and then proceededing to have influential and torrid affairs with both Sister Size Queen and Blistering Bad Taste. Assuming the report is accurate–and we really don't now if it is or is not–what else would one expect of an eccentric man-boy who kept zebras for pets, wore sequined socks and ladee's garments, wished he was Peter Pan, and had a damn ferris wheel in his backyard?

The 2.4 acre, three parcel estate in question sits in the swank Bel Air area of Los Angeles with a Revuelta Way address but in reality the bulk of the estate faces famed Sunset Boulevard. According to listing information for the house, which is currently on the market with a shocking asking price of $37,995,000, the vast estate includes approximately 20,000 square feet of immoderately lavish interior space with 15 bedrooms and 16.5 poopers spread throughout the main house and the 2-story guest house that over looks the swimming pool complex, spa and fitness center.

According to TMZ, ol' MJ had his beady little eyes set on the eye-popping property as far back as 2001 when he entered escrow to purchase the estate but backed out when he turned up short of funds. Fast forward to 2008/2009 when MJ was living in a leased house a few twists and turns down Sunset on N. Carolwood Drive. The TMZ reports says MJ was hoping to use some of the proceeds of his This Is It tour to buy the property and began chit-chatting with the current owner about making a second go of buying the improbably palatial property. He even, allegedly, took his trio of children to tour the property which, according to listing information, includes garaging for 20 or more cars, a dining room for 50 or more, 5 fireplaces, a cigar and wine tasting room, more gilded this and thats than in all of the Hermitage, and a vast master suite with three wall-mounted televisions, two massive marble poopers with gold fixture including one with gold swan shaped faucets, and a behemoth bed sitting on a raised platform with a blood red velvet and gilded headboard so absurdly extravagant even Marie Antoinette and Saddam Hussein would have said "Oh hunny, pleeze, no. That's just too much for a simple person like me."

The estate, sometimes referred to by real estate junkies in L.A. as the Tar Estate or–less nicely–as the Tar Mahal, is currently owned by Yousuf Tar. Among other assets, Mister Tar owns the Bernini Clothing and Fragarance lines. The children might recall that Chuck Woolery's suits were furnished by Bernini when he hosted Love Connection.

Henry Simmons Lists Hollywood Hills Hideaway

SELLER: Henry Simmons
LOCATION: North Orange Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,397,000
SIZE: 2,026 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Celebrity owned 3BR/2/5BA beautiful Mediterranean oasis updated w/ contemporary finishes throughout. Gated mini-compound graced w/ tropical grounds offering total privacy & located blocks from Sunset Strip & Runyon Canyon. Open floor plan is complimented by French doors, glass tiled fireplace, cozy library, high ceilings & dark wood floors. Remodeled kitchen connects to adjacent family room w/ vaulted ceilings. Master suite features walk-in closets, steam shower & tumbled marble complete w/ outdoor spa.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter sat on the sofa all bug-eyed with mortification as as that poor Jeff Lewis from the Bravo's Flipping Out program broke up with his bestie Ryan Brown right on national tee-vee. Love him or hate him children, that was genuine reality tee-vee. During the too many commercial breaks we multi-tasked and maximized our precious free time by combing through the new real estate listings in LaLa Land and it wasn't long before we came across a house low down in the Hollywood Hills listed with an asking price of $1,397,000 described in the listing as "celebrity owned."

Well, Your Mama does not have to tell you that our mouth went dry, our blood began to race and we immediately began sifting through the property records. Lo and behold and much to our chagrin, we came up empty handed. So we took a moment to regroup, watched the big lips of Jeff Lewis quiver in honest to goodness sadness and then took a few more minutes to peep and poke around the interweb, twisted our data inside out in the hopes our property record machinations would flush out the identity of the famous owner. But alas children, we wound up still empty handed. We next dashed off a quick missive to our always well informed aide de camp Lucy Spillerguts and waited patiently for her reply. Early this morning while sitting quietly with the I.V. machine slowly drip, drip, dripping caffeine directly into our sleepy veins, we received a succinct communique from our dear Lucy who swears on her new house that the property on N. Orange Grove Drive is owned by actor Henry Simmons.

No babies, we did not know who Mister Simmons was either until we Blackled his name and discovered the tall and dark drink of water has a long list of television credits that includes–but is not limited to–a couple of years on the legendary soap opera Another World in the late 1990s, more than 100 episodes of NYPD Blue during the early to mid 2000s and, from 2006-2008, he appeared in thirty some episodes on a show called Shark, a now canceled program that Your Mama had neither seen nor heard of.

Property records reveal that Mister Simmons scooped up his 2,026 square foot Mediterranean casa at the foot of the Hollywood Hills in November of 2003. It's a wee bit unclear to Your Mama just how much money Mister Simmons paid for the property. One record we accessed shows a sale price of $1,120,0011 while another document we located shows $999,000. We're really not sure why a purchase price discrepancy exists, but one does. Let's just say Mister Simmons paid around a million clams for the property and call it a day.

Listing information indicates the walled, hedged and gated single story house includes 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers even though documents on file with the tax man say the house has only 2 full poopers. Again, we don't know why all the documents don't agree, but we're going to go with listing information and say there are three terlits in two full and one half bathrooms.

The front of the house presents a number of different styles that include the classic ocher and red tile roof of a southern California Mediterranean, an almost Regency style bay window on the left side, and a lot of Zen-like bamboo-y plants that shield and obscure much of the front facade. It's all a bit messy, but it sort of works in an organic food shopping, Prius driving, baby carriage left out in the front yard sort of way.

The interior of the 1922 house has been updated, upgraded and opened up to include wide openings between the living room and dining rooms as well as the dining room and the family room/kitchen at the back of the house. The living room has buttercup colored walls, dark chocolate wide plank floors and a wood burning fireplace with an ebony glass tile surround. Mister Simmons, clearly a fan of a colorful and international sort of day-core, has outfitted the room with wicker arm chairs, a leather sofa, multi-colored pillows and various knick knacks and paddy whacks that look to Your Mama like they were prolly bought at Pier 1 Imports rather than in Nepal or Tibet.

The chocolate wood floors–and the Pier 1 Imports day-core–extends into the unfortunately chandelier-less dining room painted a pale shade of melon. Some sort of tortoise or capiz shell chandelier would have worked wonders in here. Anyhoo, the dining room has a small bump out painted a rich shade raspberry that opens to the side yard through a pleasant wall of French doors framed by shiny–possibly silk, coppery-orange curtains. Listen chickens, although Your Mama does not care for Mister Simmon's decorative tastes and while we do l.o.v.e. the color orange, we feel very la-dee-dah-meh about the melon color. None the less, credit where credit is due, we do appreciate how Mister Simmons–or his nice gay decorator or his paint specialist or whomever–used darkening shades of color to entice and draw the eyeball from the front of the house towards the back even if we're not loving the actual colors.

A wide set of French doors opens from the dining room into the family room/kitchen/breakfast room which is all hexagonal Mexican tile on the floor and multi-paned windows on the back wall that open through more French doors onto the rear terrace. The kitchen has honey colored cabinetry, a big ol' sky light and all the blah blah blah of a well equipped kitchen even if the stainless steel appliances are not as industrial grade as we might prefer in one point four million dollar crib. The children will note that it appears that someone cheaped-out on the kitchen counter tops which appear to be granite tiles instead of granite slabs. Listen babies, Your Mama knows that everyone has a budget and not everyone's budget extends to the latest, greatest and most expensive materials. However, trust Your Mama when we tell you that granite tiles are a strict no-no. Granite tile counter tops are what Home Despot addicted landlords install in the kitchens of their crappy rentals when they are trying to fool a prospective tenant into thinking a house or apartment is high end when it is really middle-brow.

The home's three bedrooms include a master with a walk-in closet, a private pooper with a steam shower–which we love even if it's not a pretty steam shower, wall to wall deep shag carpeting–Oh, come on! No! Pleeze.–and a set of French doors that open to the rear terrace where there is a sunken spa surrounded by foliage. This is, obviously, the perfect spot for anyone who sees sitting in hot bubbling water as foreplay. The terrace leads down to a another larger terrace surrounded by towering and privacy making bamboo. Somewhere on the property that looks like it might be in some sort of basement, Mister Simmons has installed a home gym with rubber matting, a rack of free weights and a treadmill. Your Mama doesn't care for home gyms but it ain't easy looking all rock solid the way Mister Simmons does so it makes perfect sense he'd have a set up like this at home.

Mister Simmons home is well situated for easy access to the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, West Hollywood, the studios in Burbank and, one of Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's favorite places in L.A., Runyon Canyon where pooches of all sizes and breeds are allowed to run free and sniff each others booties. Your Mama hasn't a clue where Mister Simmons will be headed next, but wherever it may be we wish him a happy home free of granite tile and super shag carpeting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Colin Hanks the Younger Buys Modest Casa

BUYER: Colin Hanks
LOCATION: Hollyridge Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,025,000
SIZE: 1,560 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1.75 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Magical Spanish-style home designed by famed architect Paul R. Williams. Located on desirable Hollyridge Loop, the residence is situated on a knoll behind a gate for privacy. This house features a large open living rm w/ hi ceilings, fireplace & banks of windows, FDR & sunny kitchen. A few steps up lead to the 2 bedrooms, each w/ en-suite baths & the library/den which opens outside. There is also a separate studio. The property consists of lovely grassy gardens, tranquil patio spaces & views.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some siblings and offspring of Tinseltown types grab hold of their famous family member's coattails and milk their fame for all it's worth. They pine for publicity and make secret deals with the paps so they can get their pix in the tabs. They frequent all the star-studded hot spots in Hollywood and appear in reality tee-vee programs that often expose them as no-talent nepotists. Sometimes–for better or worse–their efforts to trade on the family name lead to fame and fortune as is the case with folks like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and her former bff Nicole Richie. For others, their story often ends in obscurity after their 15 minutes of fame evaporates like water in the desert. Those in this category might include Aliana Lohan, Brody Jenner, Sean Stewart, Ashlee Simpson and all the other Kardashian ladees not named Kim whom Your Mama strongly recommends bank what they're earning now because it is our humble and meaningless opinion that they are simply not interesting or talented enough to cultivate long term fame and fortune. Infamy? Maybe. Fame? Pleeze. No.

Then there are those that manage to forge their own way in the wicked world of Hollywood. Those might include peeps like Kate and Oliver Hudson, Tori Spelling, Rashida Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross and wild child turned earth mommy goddess Angelina Jolie. Listen children, Your Mama is not so stoopid that we don't recognize there was most likely some amount connection making nepotism involved in the careers of each of these people. However, whether you like them or not, they have proven they are more than just the child of a celebrity by having resumes that does not include amateur porn videos.

Colin Hanks–the early thirties son of super star Tom and his first wifey Samantha Lewes–falls into the latter category and it him and his recent purchase of a decidedly un-celebrity style house in Los Angeles' Bronson Canyon neighborhood that we'd like to discuss this afternoon. Mister Hanks the Younger started his own modest climb up the ladder of fame in the late 1990s when he appeared on the ill-fated UFO serious Roswell. He has gone on to make short arc appearances on The O.C., Mad Men, and Numb3rs on the boob toob as well as roles in films such as W, The House Bunny, My Mom's New Boyfriend and King Kong. According to his growing resume on the IMDB, the younger Mister Hanks also has meaty roles in several upcoming films in which he'll appear opposite big names like Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Tambour, Ann-Margaret, and Chloë Sevigny.

Now then, let's get down to property tacks. Property records show a 1926 Paul Williams designed Spanish style house on Hollyridge Drive was purchased in early October of 2009 for $1,025,000 through a trust that sounds like it was chosen by a Buddhist. A few clicks, clacks and inquiries on our trusty laptop lead to a covert communique from our nearly omniscient aide de camp Lucy Spillerguts who tells Your Mama that the buyer of the casa pequeña is indeed Colin Hanks, son of Tom. Listing information we received via Babbling Babette tells us the one story but two level casa measures a modest 1,560 square feet and includes just 2 bedrooms and 1.75 poopers.

The gated, white stucco and red tile roofed house sits atop a small knoll above the street where there is a detached 2 car garage. A meandering flight of brick stairs leads to the pergola shaded front door which opens directly into the living room which has wood floors, a wood burning fireplace, many paned windows and a gently arching, barrel vaulted ceiling. A small dining room with a high, peaked wood ceiling that mirrors the wood on the floor sits between the living room and the kitchen which has had a few updates (i.e. the stainless steel dishwasher) but is none the less all manner of hot mess. It appears the old, flat fronted cabinetry was stained a deep charcoal, which we like as an inexpensive alternative to all new and expensive cabinetry. However and sadly, Your Mama's positive comments on the petite cooker end there. There is an old fashioned jalousie window above the sink and the counter tops are a vibrant, almost violent shade of tur-qwaze tile. In the right circumstances a case can be made for jalousie windows and vividly colored counter tops that scream, "EASTER!" Lo-ward knows Your Mama is drawn to bright colors like a vampire to blood but this tur-quaze in simply awful. It is not, the children will note, not the worst of the kitchen issues. Let's begin with the insane placement of the dishwasher which when open prohibits use of the sink. Next might be what we fear is linoleum floor. And lastly, perhaps the most heinous of the bunch is that brown, built in relic of a range which just makes Your Mama's blood boil with surly objection. Just like ev-er-ee body else, we are all for re-using and recycling, but this crazy cooking contraption drags that concept so far over the line it makes Your Mama need a damn nerve pill to settle our jumpy decorative sensibilities. Who thought it was a good idea to keep this thing in the kitchen? Seriously? Who?

In addition to the two bedrooms which, according to listing information, are located a few steps up from the main level and each have en-suite poopers including one in which marble counter tops have been laid on cabinetry from the 1950s, there is a library/den that opens to the rear garden through French doors. The terraced back yard has several flat seating areas including a long, narrow strip of lawn perfect for exercising long bodied bitches like our Linda and Beverly and a flag stone tiled terrace that provides a view of downtown L.A. from over the roof top and through an army of palm trees.

Your Mama has one last thing to say about Mister Hanks the Younger's new crib: It's always so refreshing to see someone who grew up the privileged and wildly rich child of one of the world's most beloved and successful movie stars who none the less buys a lovely but small and unassuming house. Of course, this being Los Angeles, it's still an insanely expensive house compared to houses in most parts of the country, but still... We're certain Mister Hanks the Younger could have turned on the charm and squeezed a few more shekels out of Mister Hanks the Elder and bought something more lavish and celebrity style. But he did not. And that, my butter beans, is to the credit of his parents who, apparently, raised a son not saddled with the sort of sickening entitlement too many scions and siblings of Hollywood's elite seem to suffer from.

Anyhoo, Mister Hanks the Younger's new neighbors include Danny Masterson and his ladee-mate Bijou Phillips who purchased Chuck Berry's former 5 bedroom and 4 pooper property directly across the street in June of 2007 for $2,995,000.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mish Mash Monday

Thanks to our fab friend Kitty Glitter, we've learned there's some good news and some bad news for The Real Housewives of Orange County's Simon and Tamra Barney. Y'all remember these two, right? Who could forget them without the help of handful of mood stabilizers, a few pain pills and a bottle of gin? She's the fun loving but fork tongued blond "real estate agent" with the behemoth bazooms and he's her former Mercedes salesperson huzband who now pimps tequila.

The good news for the Barneys is that listing information shows their approximately 4,300 square foot faux-Tuscan tract house in Ladera Ranch, CA is looking for a back up offer indicating their 5 bedroom and 5.5 pooper real estate problem might soon belong to someone else.

The bad news for the Barneys is that the current asking price of $1,149,000 is substantially less than the $1,320,500 property records show they paid for the property in August of 2005. It is also, unfortunately, far less than the would like you to believe they are rolling in dough duo owe on the property which, according to public records, is at least $1,317,000.

To make matters worse, records show a nasty Notice of Default was filed on the Barney's primary mortgage in September of 2009 which makes the urgency to sell even more intense lest the property fall into the cruel jaws of foreclosure. Unless some damn fool was stupid enough to bid way over the asking price, Mister and Missus Barney will have to beg the bank for mercy and plead with the peeps at JP Morgan Chase to accept a couple (or few) hundred thousand dollars less than is owed on the property.

Listing information shows the Barney's Pointe Circle property in the religious sounding Covenant Hills planned development community was first put on the market back in late October of 2008 with an entirely unrealistic price tag of $1,599,000. The asking price was cut at least three times before the property was taken off the market in January of 2009 and then re-listed in July with its current asking price of $1,149,000. For some reason, the property has been de-listed and re-listed three more times since July of 2009.

The new season of The Real Housewives of Orange County starts up soon and Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter will be watching like hawks looking for any signs that this couple is short on cash. Of course, we're 100% certain they'll maintain the veneer of wealth and continue to say–as they have in the past–that they're willing to take a huge loss on this property in order to take advantage of sagging prices which will allow them to buy an even better property. However, besides their RHoOC paychecks, neither of these two appear to have regular or stable jobs that would indicate to a bank they can handle an even larger mortgage then the one they've currently defaulted on. Do y'all smell a disingenuous fish? Your Mama shore do.

Maybe ol' Tamra and Simon can wedge her big ol' boobies into the Mercedes and move into the Irvine, CA condo fellow housewife Jeana Keough's been trying to sell the last few months? Just a thought. Or maybe, could be these two lovebirds are headed for the court of dee-vorce? Hmm.

Turns out Tamra Barney isn't the only busty blond with real estate troubles. Former Baywatch babe turned cliché Tinseltown tragedy Pamela Anderson is facing her own real estate and financial melodrama regarding her house behind the gates of the star studded Malibu Colony community in Malibu, CA.

According to a recent article in the Daily Mail thoughtfully sent to Your Mama by Leonard Londoner, Miz Looking Rode Hard and Put Up Wet Pam Anderson recently gave an interview in which she, allegedly, told former EastEnder actor Joe Swash that the costs for the total overhaul of her home in The Colony has sucked money out of her once fat bank accounts like an industrial strength vacuum cleaner leaving her with only $4,000. Oh dear, the literally poor lamb. Four thousand clams probably barely covers the cost for Miss Pam's hair extensions which will be a real problem when her tracks start showing.

Making matters worse, Miss Pam claims to be three million clams over budget and needs another $800,000 to finish the extensive renovations that include tiling the swimming pool with platinum. Platinum tiles in the swimming pool? Oh gurl, no wonder you're in a financial pickle. Listen missy, Your Mama would feel sorry for your broke ass–iffin indeed the reports are true that's yer down to your last few grand–but low-ward have mercy what in the devil were you thinking tiling your damn swimming pool with platinum tiles? Seriously? Are you on drugs? Did you really think those tremendous tetas of yours were going to allow you to trade on your sex appeal for the rest of your life? Guuurrrl, pleeze. You should have been more prudent with your damn dollars and put some away for a rainy day instead of tiling your damn swimming pool in platinum. Pleeze.

Anyhoo, Miss Pam, who told Mister Swash she was planning to sell the house in the Colony, is currently living in a Malibu trailer park with her electrician boyfriend Jamie Padgett. Listen chickens, don't be fooled by the words "trailer park." While she does live in what is technically a manufactured mobile home in a Malibu trailer park, trust Your Mama when we tell you these "trailers" in the Paradise Cove Mobilehome Park can easily cost a half a million smackers or much more depending on the proximity to the beach. Like all them real estates says, location, location, location, butter beans. Like it or not, a "trailer" on the ocean in Malibu is still worth many times that of a house in less coastal environments. We're sure some of you people in less coastal environments will have something to say about that.

It was only a few weeks ago that Avril "I'm a punk rock chick" Lavigne dumped her huzband Deryck Whibley and bee-hawtcha is already rumored and reported to be house hunting with another man. And that man–believe it or not my little beauties–is Brandon Davis. That's right, he of the Lindsay Lohan "firecrotch" infamy. Riot gurl really knows how to pick 'em, don't she?

Recent reports reveal that Little Miss Acts Like A Rebellious Sixteen Year Old has been getting down and doing the bowm-chicka-bow-bow with the large lipped Hollywood scion who, apparently, dated–or did–both Paris and Nicky Hilton back in the early 2000s, an idea just too grotesque on so many levels that Your Mama is truly speechless on the subject.

All the reports say that Miss Lavigne, whose career seems to have hit a bit of molasses lately, is going to sell her big manse on Stratford Circle in the the Bel Air Crest gated community. Records and previous reports reveal Miss Lavigne bought the chunky, 12,184 square foot mansion in March of 2007, turning over $9,500,000 to sellers Travis Barker–from Blink 182–and his on again off again wife Shanna Moakler, the feisty former Miss USA who really gave it to that Christian gurl Carrie Prejean over the gay marriage.

Reports reveal that Mister Davis–who was widely reported to be broke, or next to–lives at Lionsgate, his mother's Bel Air estate that happens to be adjacent to the compound the Jonas Brothers recently leased and more recently vacated which is next door to Mister and Missus Jennifer Lopez's estate on St. Pierre Road, which has long been for sale with an asking price of $7,900,000. But we digress. Reports also reveal that Mister Davis and his soon to be dee-vorced faux punker ladee friend Avril have been spotted house hunting in the Hills of Beverly and Hollywood.

We shall see, but Your Mama–who doesn't know a paper plate from a Rolls Royce–is convinced that this unlikely and unholy pairing of Avril Lavigne and Brandon Davis will only end in tears and another multi-million dollar mansion for sale. Mark Your Mama's words on that one puppies.

UPDATE: Turns out The Spitter's dalience with Mister Davis was short lived because much more recent reports indicate she's holing up with Pineapple heir Justin Murdock who, as fer as Your Mama knows, still lives up on Laurel Way in the Bev Hills in a groovy ranch style house with a classic kidney shaped swimming pool.

Is anyone surprised that reports are starting to circulate that sassy and smug music mogul/American Idol gazillionaire isn't the best neighbor a person could ask for? According to an article in the Daily Mail forwarded to Your Mama by Leonard Londoner, Mister Cowell's new neighbors in Beverly Hills are all kinds of pissed off. They complain that Mister Cowell makes a lot of racket with late night parties and that he forbids construction workers to park in his driveway which means their trucks and cars clutter up the usually pristine N. Palm Drive. All these parked cars, quite natch, annoys residents who have to suffer the indignity of driving up to their ten million dollar mansions in their shiny rides only to have a dozen dirty trucks parked in front of the house. Quelle damage!

Mister Cowell recently moved into his recently completed mansion located just below Sunset Boo-layvard in the flats of Bev Hills and which reportedly includes a private solarium, indoor swimming pool, a private cinema, a home gym, more bedrooms than the moobish mogul will ever need and according to the Daily Mail, a Dynasty style marble stair case which seems a bit of a strange description of a staircase in what is essentially a very modern, very crisp, very black and white, very Armani Casa mansion.

According to deeds filed with the City of New York and a recent report by the always on top of things Max Abelson at the New York Observer's Manhattan Transfers column, egotastic artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel has finally managed to unload the triplex penthouse unit at his much maligned, pinkish-red, quasi-Italianate tower on New York City's West 11th Street which he humorously named Palazzo Chupi.

The 3,845 square foot penthouse first came on the open market in early 2008 with a ridiculous asking price of $27,000,000. The price tag was soon, surprisingly and stoopidly, raised to an even more hair brained $32,000,000. The 3 bedroom, 3.5 pooper, 7 terrace triplex languished on the market for-evah and underwent several price chops before, according to property records, a Bay Area based financier named William J.P. Brady stepped in to relieve the financially beleaguered Mister Schnabel. The sale price, according to the deed, was a shocking $10,691,625. A few flicks of the well worn beads of our bejeweled abacus reveals that figures is exactly one-third of the highest asking price of $32,000,000.

If the name of the buyer seems familiar to any of the children it's because Mister Brady already owns one of the other units at Palazzo Chupi. Back in October of 2007 it was widely reported that Mister Brady forked over $15,500,000 for "Unit 1" of Mister Schnabel's 17-story pink palace. It's unclear why Mister Brady would want a second condo in the Chupi, but we're sure a man with as much money as he does has his sound but unfathomable reasons.

Besides Mister Schnabel–who is getting a very expensive dee-vorce from him long time wifey Olatz–and Mister Brady, the only other owner/resident of the tower is still smoking hot actor Richard Gere and his lucky wifey Carrie Lowell who tried to flip their condo at the Chupi soon after closing at a $5,000,000 profit. The comely couple quickly took their condo at the Chupi off the market, probably when they realized they severely overpaid and could never in a sinking market make their money back let along make a few million extra.

Mister Schnabel still has one more unit to sell at the Chupi, the 3,850 square foot doo-plex currently listed at $12,950,000. Given that he just fire-sold the triplex for ten million and change, Your Mama predicts the doo-plex will soon sell for even less...shall we say eight million and some change?

Is Another Real Housewife Biting the Real Estate Dust?

All the children know that Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are unrepentant reality tee-vee junkies who will watch just about anything short of programs that feature former celebrities attempting to grab 10 more minutes of their former fame and glory or even worse, those who are despereate for a paycheck. Those programs, like I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, are simply too sad to watch. One of our most beloved guilty pleasures is The Real Housewives of... franchise on the Bravo channel. We just can't seem to get enough of all those nipped and tucked boojie behawtchas getting into the most ridiculous and petty grade school gurl cat fights. It's all kinds of ugly children, but it's good ugly. Like the Jerry Springer Show only with expensive clothes and jewelry.

The notch in Andy Cohen's reality tee-vee belt is The Real Housewives of New Jersey. While each of the five "housewives" in Jersey were jaw dropping and eye popping in their own way, it was fiery tempered table flipper Teresa Giudice who rocketed to pinnacle of reality tee-vee fame for coining the brilliant put down, "prostitution whore"–which Your Mama uses all the damn time–and for humping around town with a house cat sized wad of cash in her purse. Do y'all remember that episode where she swanned around some furniture warehouse on some turnpike bragging about how she always paid cash for everything while peeling off more than $120,360 to buy a lot of ugly furniture for her ugly new house?

As it turns out and despite that flagrant and vulgar display, Teresa and her huzband Giuseppe–a.k.a. Joe–did not pay cash for a piece of property they own in nearby Lincoln Park, NJ because according to recent reports, the self-proclaimed all cash couple failed to make the mortgage payments on the .47 acre piece of land. Missus Giudice–which Your Mama thinks is pronounced either joo-duh-say or gwee-dee-chee–owes $127,500 on the property and the peeps at the DLJ Mortgage Company want their money or they're going to move to foreclose on the property according to papers filed with the New Jersey Superior Court.

It appears the couple's newly built onyx and marble monstrosity on Indian Lane in Towaco, NJ–which, by the way, backs up to the very bizzy and very loud Interstate 287–is not about to be foreclosed as was reported far and wide earlier today. However, a peep and a poke around the public property records reveals that the couple also carry a hefty, $1,720,000 mortgage on their 10,000+ square foot manse which means they didn't pay cash for that property either which kinda makes Missus Giudice a big fat fibber.

No doubt there is more to this story than meets Your Mama's gin soaked eyes and we're sure Mister and Missus Giudice will soon issue a press release saying it was all a paperwork mix up or some such nonsense. In the meantime, Your Mama is crossing our fingers and toes that the Giudice's real estate dra-muh is captured for the next season of the New Jersey installment of Andy Cohen's reality tee-vee baby.

Jann Wenner and Matt Nye Head to the Hamptons

BUYER: Jann Wenner and Matt Nye
LOCATION: Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY
PRICE: $11,900,000
SIZE: 6,300 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...Reach out and catch the waves from all rooms in this 6300 square foot home with vaulted living room and dining room and huge stone fireplace, additional great room with eating area, office, exercise room, 8 bedrooms and plenty of entertaining space. Newly updated with a clean palate. Outdoor ocean side multi-level patios and decking including huge oceanfront hot tub...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Today we learned that the Feds unloaded Bernie and Ruth Madoff's Montauk, NY beach house for well over its $8,750,000 asking price and yesterday we learned the publishing pooh-bah Jann Wenner and his long time man-friend Matt Nye scooped up a new vacation house just down the beach. Since we've already spent some time wallowing in the schadenfreude of these Madoff people this morning, let's move on and have a look-see at what a couple of a-list gays do with their real estate dollars.

Mister Wenner is, of course, the co-founder, owner and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine and his eponymous company Wenner Media also owns Men's Journal and the celebrity gossip glossy US Weekly. Mister Nye is (or was) a fashion designer. Together they have three young children. Prior to going gay, Mister Wenner was married–and technically still is married–to a ladee named Jane with whom he has three children. By all accounts all parties are amicable, Missus Wenner is still on the payroll at Wenner Media and still occupies the uber-contemporary ocean front estate in East Hampton she once shared with her formerly hetero huzband.

Listing information for the Hamptons house the glammy gays bought shows the ocean front "compound" on Old Montauk Highway was listed with an asking price of $14,900,000. All recent reports on the matter state a purchase price of $11,900,000 but, as of this morning, Your Mama can't yet confirm that with any of the property records we accessed.

The property includes two parcels that combined total almost 1.5 acres with 200-ish feet of ocean front magnificence that tumbles gracefully down to the soft sand. The architecturally wonky and ass-uglee Cape style house stands three stories on the water side, measures 6,300 square feet according to listing information and includes 8 bedrooms and 6.5 poopers.

There are, according to listing information, several indoor entertaining spaces including a "great room" that includes an eating area, and another living and dining room with a massive stone fireplace, ocean views, Mexican paver stone floors, and a steeply peaked and undeniably churchy wood beamed ceiling. We swoon for the ceiling but Your Mama recommends Misters Wenner and Nye have all that Mexican paver tile pulled up and replaced with something stunning like waxed Ipe or reclaimed black walnut like in Adam Lippe's Manhattan penthouse we discussed yesterday. A material like that will surely make more work for Mister Wenner's minimum wage house gurls (or boys) and our imperious house gurl Svetlana would have a conniption to end all conniptions if we installed a waxed wood floor in a beach house, but...we'd do it anyway.

In addition to all of the eight bedrooms, listing information indicates house also contains a den, a study, office, and an exercise room which is excellent because all the children know how the homosexuals enjoy pushing weights and working the cardio machines in order to keep their pectorals pumped, abs six-packed and boo-tays as hard as stone.

A deck runs most of the length of the middle floor and has an exterior stair case that leads down to the backyard which includes a narrow strip of lawn and several ocean view patios and a party-sized hot tub. A curving path that cuts through the scrub provides easy access to the shore. Listing information indicates the there is room and plans for a guest house and a swimming pool.

Nearby neighbors include a number of high finance folks, Academy Award winning actor Robert Deniro, and fashion designer Ralph Lauren who owns a sprawling multi-acre compound just a couple doors down and whose company has been in the p.r. hot seat lately for digitally retouching an already paper thin model to look so skinny that her head was actually wider than her impossibly slim hips.

Misters Wenner and Nye, no strangers to dee-luxe digs, own a posh townhouse on West 74th Street in New York City as well as a ski house in Sun Valley, ID and a 69.1 acre upstate New York country spread overlooking the Hudson River in Tivoli, NY for which they forked over $5,800,000 in early 2008.

UPDATE: Bernie Madoff

According to the Wall Street Journal, fallen financial swindler Bernie Madoff's Montauk beach house was sold to real estate bigwig Steven Roth. Mister Roth is the chairman of a company called Vornado Realty Trust which owns and manages massive amounts of retail and office space around the country as well as a having a substantial stake in Toys "R" Us.

The Madoff's Old Montauk Highway property had been listed by the Feds with an asking price of $8,750,000 and there was a flurry of interested buyers. Mister Roth's winning bid was $9,410,000 a figure our bejeweled abacus (and the Wall Street Journal) tells Your Mama is almost six percent over the asking price.

Mister Roths new nearby neighbors include Robert Deniro, Ralph Lauren and publishing magnate Jann Wenner who just scooped up an ocean front property on Old Montauk Highway for a reported $11,900,000.

The Madoff's Manhattan penthouse remains on the market with an asking price of $9,900,000 as does their Palm Beach spread listed at $8,490,000.

Meanwhile, mum is the word from ol' Ruthie Madoff who seems to have successfully gone into hiding and recent reports snicker about how the once big living Bernie is making friends in prison with drug dealers and child molesters, a mafia boss and an Israeli spy. Your Mama wonders how long it'll be before Bernie gets a husband.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Designer Adam Lippes' Calacatta Marble Filled Penthouse

SELLER: Adam Lippes
LOCATION: West 12th Street, New York, NY
PRICE: $5,750,000 (monthly maintenance: $2,764)
SIZE: 1,700 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Traditional details were painstakingly restored to the building's original intent. Replicas of floor-to-ceilings rolled-steel windows, specified by architects in the 60's, are now flanked on either side by 8 floor to ceiling glass doors, accessed from every room. Featuring 2 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms & their own private terraces; additional powder room of calacatta vision slab marble; guest bath of pure white sculptural marble, steam shower & Boffi fixtures...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Since Your Mama has been inundated with all kinds of ass-uglee the last couple of days–from supposedly sterile hospitals to Whitney Houston's hot residential mess to Eddie Murphy's mob-worthy mansion in Englewood, NJ–we thought it might be nice to look at a little real estate pretty even if the owner of the property we're going to discuss barely qualifies as a celebrity. While reading the always informative CityFile the other day we learned that up and coming fashion designer Adam Lippes–we know chickens, we'd never heard of him either–who recently listed his dee-voonly done, David Schefer and Eve-Lynn Schoenstein designed Greenwich Village penthouse with the not very up and coming asking price of $5,750,000. And it's gorgeous.

Located atop the white glove building on West 12th Street known the world around as The Butterfield House, Mister Lippes' 5 room, 1,700 square foot pristine penthouse pad has two bedrooms, each with a private pooper, as well as a powder pooper bathed in costly Calacatta slab marble.

The penthouse's front door opens to a generously sized entrance hall with the living room on the left, the kitchen and dining room straight ahead and the private quarters to the right. The sun washed, south facing living room has warm, reclaimed black walnut wood floors that anchor the winter white walls and create a delicious and necessary tension with the monolithic fireplace wall of cold, but drop dead Calacatta slab marble. Custom made, floor to ceiling rolled steel windows open to the Ipe wood decked terrace and custom made black walnut bookcases opposite the fireplace slide open to expose a flat screen boob-toob and surround sound system. Mister Lippes has kept the living room furnishings clean liked and neutral in color giving all the glory over to a goose pimple making view of lower Manhattan.

The dining room, which opens to one of the larger sections of the wrap around terrace through more custom made floor to ceiling rolled steel windows, has hand-painted, embroidered English silk walls–which sounds hideously expensive don't it?–and a glass dining room table lit by a large Pink Blossom Swarovski crystal chandelier by design star Tord Boontje which–in case any of the children would care to know–runs a Birkin bag busting $27,300 at Moss, the design emporium to end all design emporiums. The adjacent galley kitchen is Manhattan sized meaning it's teeny tiny. None the less, no pennies were spared decking out the the itty-bitty space which is well organized with large window for natural light and ventilation and has been fitted Calacatta slab marble counter tops and back splash, a trendy trough sink, and full sized, high grade appliances. As lovely as all that is, Your Mama thinks the most impressive element in the kitchen is the forest's worth of black walnut wood that was not only used for the flat fronted upper and lower cabinets but also as paneling on the walls and on the ceiling. Mar-vuh-luss. It looks like the most expensive trailer home we could ever imagine and, to quote Bravo channel reality tee-vee drama queen Rachel Zoe, we die for it.

The guest room has, according to listing information, a private pooper "of pure white sculptural marble" with a steam shower and Boffi brand fixtures. Above the bed in the guest room, in what appears to be gilded capital block letters are the words, "What would Oprah say?" We can only hope Mister Lippe is being ironic because, quite frankly and even though she is without question one of the most powerful people on the planet who does all sorts of good works in the world, Your Mama does not care a whit about what the Big O might say about anything. As far as we're concerned the wildly rich, pulled herself up by her bootstraps bee-hawtcha has simply gotten too big for her designer britches. She's got a private jet, a forty million dollar weekend house in Montecito, CA and more money jangling around in the bottom of her purse than most people will earn in a lifetime and she thinks she's down with all the regular people who struggle to make a damn car payment? Pleeze. But we digress...

One wall in the master bedroom opens up to custom fitted closets and a second wall opens up to a private part of the terrace. The master bathroom is divided into two spaces, both bathed in black walnut and even more Calacatta slab marble. One side of the master bath contains a sink/vanity, a walk-in Calacatta marble shower and a Calacatta marble soaking tub. The separate wash closet is, unfortunately, without a window, but we covet a divided master bathroom so Your Mama can wash our teeth without having to bear the indignity of hearing the Dr. Cooter tinkle before bed at night.

Other notable amenities in the penthouse, according to listing information, include a multi-zone HVAC system, electronically controlled solar shades, custom lighting and sound throughout the apartment, and custom made bronze terrace containers that are heat and wind resistant on the Gregg Bleam designed terraces. The highly prized, much lauded and very desirable Butterfield House was built in 1962 and offers lucky residents, an on-site manager, full time doormen, a staffed service entrance–which Your Mama loves, a private fitness facility, storage lockers, a bicycle room and a central laundry room not to mention a central location on Greenwich Village's Gold Coast.

Listen chickens, Your Mama has 2 and only 2 real problems with this penthouse. Everything else is a meaningless splitting decorative and design hairs:

1. The laundry facilities appear to be located in a closet inside the powder pooper. While Your Mama and our demanding house gurl Svetlana do appreciate that Mister Lippes and his team of smart architects managed to squeeze clothes cleaning contraptions into the apartment, we do not care to launder our fashions and undergarments in the same room where guests expose their bare asses and set on the damn terlit.

2. Much as we L.O.V.E. all that Calacatta marble in the master bathroom (and in every other room), the slab marble soaking tub is a wee too sarcophagus-like for our personal taste. Since Your Mama don't find anything relaxing about sitting in the filth of bath water and probably would never use that thing for anything other than bathing our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly, iffin we were going to take a soak in the bath, we don't want to feel like we're entombed.

Other than that, we're ready to pack up our Louis Vuitton cases, write a damn check and move back to Manhattan. The only snag in the plan is that pesky problem of not having five and some million clams to spend on an apartment. Maybe one of Your Mama's wealthier readers would like to buy this place for us? We'd make the monthies. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UPDATE: Eddie Murphy

In other New Jersey celebrity real estate news, wildly rich actor/comedian Eddie Murphy has chopped the asking price of his Englewood, NJ estate to $14,990,000.

The 4+ acre Brayton Street estate was originally listed five years ago with an astounding $30,000,000, a price that by December of 2006 was reduced to $22,000,000 and then again to $19,500,000.

The colossal Colonial style beast–known by the cutesy name of Bubble Hill–measures 25,000 square feet and contains 32 rooms with 8 bedrooms, 12 terlits in 8 full and 4 half poopers, an indoor swimming pool with an arched glass roof, two lane bowling alley, a paneled billiard room, full sized racquetball court, a professional recording studio, a carriage house with a home gym, at least three fireplaces, garaging for at least 5 autos, and, of course, an elevator because people this rich do not use stairs.

Bubble Hill is not the only large and lavish estate Mister Murphy has on the market. Back in June of 2007 Your Mama discussed Clove Hill Farm, Mister Murphy's 205-acre spread in upstate New York. At that time, the 5 bedroom and 5.5 pooper property in rural Poughquag, NY was listed with an asking price of $8,995,000. The price tag now stands at a significantly reduced $5,995,000.

As far as we know, Mister Murphy's primary residence continues to be an 18,598 square feet behemoth in the guard gated Beverly Park development in Beverly Hills, CA that records indicate includes a staggering 10 bedrooms and 17 poopers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Whitney Houston Lists New Jersey Properties

SELLER: Whitney Houston
LOCATION: North Gate Road, Mendham Township, NJ
PRICE: $2,500,000
SIZE: 12,561 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Extraordinary living space abound in this stunning home on a peaceful, gated 5 acre lot. Soaring ceilings, abundant natural light, and circular-themed interior spaces are the hallmarks of this home.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last night Your Mama received a covert communique from from Yougotta B. Serious that Grammy winning-pop-gospel Whitney Houston has listed her former home in Mendham Township, NJ with an asking price of $2,500,000. In addition to a brick faced mansion that troubled couple owned in Alpharetta, GA, this circular themed house was on occasion featured in the high-lariously camp, jaw dropping and more than likely drug fueled reality program Being Bobby Brown that ran for only one season in 2005 on the Bravo channel.

At that time, Ms. Houston and all her people were still denying that the singer was smoking crack, freebasing cocaine or partaking in any other kind of illegal substance. Oh children, remember Ms. Houston's mortifying and absurd interview with Diane Sawyer when she said, "Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack...Crack is whack!" Oh yes, that was some good tee-vee times. Good times. Maybe it makes us callous and shallow, but there is nothing so amusing to Your Mama than a famous person–or even better, a politician–doing a terrible job of lying like a rug right up on the national tee-vee.

Ms. Houston has since admitted publicly–on Oprah Winfrey's show, natch–that Bobby Brown was her drug of choice and that together they were hooked on the cocaine and the mary-jane. She told the Big O that, "It was me and him together. You know, we were partners. And that's what my high was. Him. He and I being together. And whatever we did, we did together. No matter what, we did it together." Lo-ward have mercy, even sober this bee-hawtcha is all kinds of crazy.

Anyhoo, prior to her lost years as a dope fiend, Ms. Houston sold millions and millions of records earning high praise, oodles of accolades and bazillions of dollars. She was one of the most famous and successful singers of all time. However, back in the mid 2000s her life at the top was making a mad dash down the terlit. Thanks to an intervention by her fed up momma Cissy Houston, but Ms. Houston finally quit Bobby Brown in 2006, moved to the west coast, got herself some new chomper–or at least they looking like new ones, and started singing again, releasing an album in October 2007 that has produced at least two hit singles. And good for her. We don't care for Ms. Houston's brand of power pop-gospel ballads but we do appreciate her rising Phoenix-like out of Bobby Brown's sad ashes. Speaking of Bobby Brown, well that little lamb floating is around looking all kinds of broke down and road hard, making a child with one baby momma and getting hauled into court for not paying support to another baby momma. We don't know nuthin' from a burlap bag but Your Mama imagines poor Bobby Brown is probably shopping around some tawdry reality tee-vee program and wishing he was still aboard his the Mrs. Money Train.

Anyhoo, we're not here to discuss Ms. Houston's private life and heaven knows it is not our prerogative to discuss Bobby Brown so let's get on to the matter at hand. Property records indicate Ms. Houston snatched up her circular-themed mansion in Mendham Township during the height of her fame in July of 1987. Records show the North Gate Road estate sprawls across 5.1 gated acres and includes a meandering, multi-winged modern mansion the measures a hefty 12,561 square feet. There's no question that twelve and some thousand square feet is huge, but it would feel like a picayne cabin in the woods iffin Your Mama had to live in that house with Bobby Brown and his thinks-he's-so-charming and over-sized ego.

Listing information reveals Ms. Houston's home contains 5 bedrooms with 4 full and 2 half poopers including a round master bedroom painted a hair raising shade of peach that makes Your Mama want to run bamboo shoots into our eyeballs. The massive master bedroom has a curving wall of floor to ceiling glass that looks out on to the back yard, another wall of frosted, curving glass that acts as an interior wall, wall to wall carpeting and a built in bed sitting atop a circular platform. To quote Ms. Houston herself, Your Mama says, "Hell to the no" on the dreadful architecture and day-core of her boo-dwar. Just to clarify, the master bathroom in this New Jersey mansion is not the crack den bathroom which her sister in law Tina Brown so kindly sold photos of to the tabloids. That was, allegedly, her bathroom down in suburban Atlanta.

A wide walkway though the neglected landscaping in the front yard leads to the front door which opens to a long, gently curving entrance hall with a peach colored tile floor that is separated from the circular living room by a curving curtain of Frank Lloyd Wright-ish stained glass. The "formal" living room has 4 or more puffy white sofas lined up along a soaring wall of curving glass with sheer drapery, a monolithic stone fireplace, a sunken bar with swiveling barrel "bar stools," a massive dome-like sky light and wall to wall carpeting that Your Mama imagines has as much cocaine trapped in its fibers as is in all of the country of Columbia.

The large dining room also has peach colored tile floors, a curving wall of floor to ceiling glass, and a long, glass dining room table with 10 chairs that went out of style way back in 1987. The kitchen has more peach colored tile floors, a large work island with a circular sky light over head, white cabinetry that looks like cheap Melamine but is probably–we hope–a material of higher quality, and a dark peach tile back splash that gives Your Mama the chills, but not in the good way. The kitchen opens to the family room which has, yes, even more peach colored tile floors, a fireplace, a long curving wall of floor to ceiling windows that have been swagged with an ass-uglee yellow schmatta for which someone probably charged Ms. Houston $40,000 or some other absurd amount that sounded reasonable to a coked out Ms. Houston. The children will notice that the rug in the family room is the same as in the dining room. Perhaps the rug dealer was having some sort of special that day?

As best as Your Mama can tell the grounds include large lawn areas that likely take a lake to keep green, a number of patios and terraces that ring the rear of the house, a swimming pool with adjacent pool house and a tennis court. Oh low-erd children, just try to imagine Ms. Houston swinging a damn racket at a little yellow ball.

Whitney also owns the house next door, at 1 Cross Way, which she picked up in July of 1993 for $573,477. Presumably this house was used for staff, family, guests or perhaps as recording studio. Or maybe it's where Ms. Houston made Bah-BAY live when he got particularly obnoxious. That house was also listed for sale in mid-September with an asking price of $949,900 but appears to be under contract and no longer available. The property, connected to the first only by a meandering pathway, measures 5.07 acres and includes a 3,410 square foot house (as per assessor) with 3 bedrooms, 3 poopers, an indoor lap swimming pool and a full size basketball court in the back yard, and a children's playground for the now teenaged Bobbi Christina.

Property records indicate that Ms. Houston still owns a waterfront condominium in North Bergen, NJ that was purchased in November of 1989 for $955,000. Back in their salad days, Whit and Bah-BAY owned an 8,022 square foot house on Tullamore Place in Alpharetta, GA. Although it was widely reportedly that the Tullamore Place property was seized and sold by the lender after the erstwhile couple failed to keep up with the mortgage, it was, according to records and Mister Big Time, actually sold in a more traditional sale in May of 2007 for $1,190,000.

Ms. Houston is reported to be living down behind the Orange Curtain in a southern California community called Laguna Hills, but honestly chickens, we've not been able to confirm that. Your Mama's powers of celebrity real estate discovery are only so powerful.

P.S. Thanks for all the well wishes in the last couple of days. Just to clarify, it was the Dr. Cooter's mother–Mama Cooter–that went under the knife and not Your Mama. All went well and thanks again. We made sure Mama Cooter saw some of the missives, comments and communiques and she was thrilled.