Thursday, February 25, 2010

Your Mama Hears...

...From an informant we'll call Buhneeda Beansouttathebag that the whispers and murmurs that have been circulating and slipping down the real estate grapevine for many months about decorator du jour Kelly Wearstler and her property developer huzband Brad Korzen wanting to sell their recently rehabbed Beverly Hills house are true.

After Buhneeda gave us the deets we immediately got on the horn to another of our Bev Hills real estate insider pals–this one we'll call Candy Canconfirmit–who quickly corroborated Buhneeda's not entirely unexpected scuttlebutt.

Now children, this is where you should probably do what Your Mama did when we first heard about this: Brace yourself with a stiff gin & tonic and a nerve pill because according to Buhneeda, La Wearstler and Mister Korzen have quietly floated the legendary estate on the market with an asking price of somewhere near–are you ready for this lads and lassies?–fifty million dollars. That's right, 50,000,000 biggins.

It seems to Your Mama's pea brain that there's a bit of a trend developing in the recent listing and "listing" of major estates in Lala Land with fifty million dollar asking prices. In the last week alone we saw the Yorkin estate on Delfern Drive get hoisted up at $49,500,000 and, on the very same damn day, recently widowed rich gal Bren Simon heaved her behemoth Bellagio Road beast onto the market with an asking price of exactly $50,000,000. The fifty million dollar fad (allegedly) continues with La Wearstler and Mister Korzen unofficially goosing their big ol' Bev Hills estate on to the market.

Your Mama can't help but wonder if this spreading rash of fifty million dollar listings (and "listings") has something to do with a kind of reflected real estate optimism due to Dreamworks' Jeffrey Katzenberg recently laying out $35,000,000 for his new spread on Loma Vista Drive, just a few blocks away from La Wearstler and Mister Korzen and around the corner from Jennifer Aniston's recently completed Hal Leavitt overhaul on N. Hillcrest Road. It could be. Or it might be that these people have their heads in the financial clouds and need what MadTVs Tovah McQueen and Velma Buttons would call a real estate reality check.

Whatever the case, the estate of La Wearstler and Mister Korzen has a storied past. The Georgian meets Hollywood Regency style house, completed in 1934, was designed by oft over looked architect James Dolena. There are several versions of who owned the property and when, but the following is the one that seems most plausible. The property was once owned by insanely prolific actor and director Hobart Bosworth. In the early 1930s the property was purchased by mustachioed actor William Powell who, at the time, was married to legendary film actress Carole Lombard. The couple commissioned Mister Dolena to build them a significant house commensurate with the vaunted position they held in the Hollywood lexicon. But alas, as is, has always been and will always be on the romantically fickle streets of Tinseltown, their love quickly faded and the couple decamped to the court of dee-vorce in 1933 before the mansion was completed.

At some point–we don't know exactly when but guesstimate it was in the 1950s–the estate was purchased by Albert "Cubby" Broccoli whose claim to Hollywood fame and fortune was his role as the mastermind behind the James Bond film franchise. Cubby produced 17 James Bond movies including Dr. No, Goldfinger, Your Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy. Cubby also produced a large number of non-James Bond films, a list that includes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, and the kinda creepy sounding How to Marry a Rich Uncle. The prolific and powerful producer owned the estate for around 40 years until he passed on to meet the big producer in sky in 1996 at the ripe old age of 87. After Cubby's death, according to the folks at the Movieland Directory, the estate was leased for a number of years to actress and architectural fanatic Diane Keaton.

Are y'all keeping with Your Mama?

That brings us up to the mid-2000s when in walks hot hot hot decorator and notorious fashion daredevil Kelly Wearstler and her hotelier/property developer huzband Brad Korzen who were 19 kinds of flush with cheddar from a number of whirlwind years of scorching and seemingly endless success. The mid-2000s were the salad years for design-minded folks like Mister Korzen and La Wearstler. The impressively ambitious pair capitalized on an insatiable market driven by post-mid-century modernist 20- and 30-something year old style mavens armed with pocketfuls of money and who, in response to a decade of mid-century-inspired decorative minimalism, craved a more eclectic lifestyle wrapped in buttery soft leather sofas, golf ball sized cocktail rings, and a lot of 1970s retro-chic chrome things. These were the years that made celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe rich and almost as famous as her clientele who at that time included gossip glossy publicity magnets like toothpick thin Nicole Richie, tabloid train wreck Lindsay Lohan, troubled actress Mischa Barton and hates being famous Keira Knightley.

But we digress. We're not here to speak on Miss Zoe and her wild and wooly fashion ways but the stylist to the star's reference ought to provide the children with some informative background noise that illustrates the time period and social orbit in which La Wearstler and Mister Korzen became so successful they could afford to spend well into 8 figures on the fabled Brocoli estate in Bev Hills.

Mister Korzen, who owns the privately held hotel and property development company The Kor Group, is the man responsible for all the intensely stylized Viceroy hotels located in chic (and "chic") hot spots like Palm Springs, Miami, Santa Monica, Snowmass (CO), and Anguilla. In addition to his hotel ventures, Mister Korzen spearheaded a number of high-profile condo conversions in Los Angeles including the Eastern Columbia in downtown L.A. and The Broadway Hollywood on the famed corner of Sunset and Vine.

La Wearstler, who once bared her boobs as a Playboy playmate of the month, is the ladee decorator responsible for doing up the interiors and lobbies of most if not all of Mister Korzen's projects. Ain't nuthin' like a little mutually symbiotic professional nepotism to ensure the money stays in the family.

Anyhoo, whether y'all love or hate their much ballyhooed and prodigiously publicized projects–and people do seem to either adore or loathe them–La Wearstler and Mister Korzen became–and still are–one of the west coast's most successful power couples in the harsh and often unforgiving worlds of real estate and interior design.

Property records show that La Wearstler and Mister Korzen scooped up the Cubby Brocoli estate in July of 2005 for the not exactly bargain basement price of $25,000,000. Some will scream and shout and snicker and state with self-imbued real estate authority that the dee-ziney duo over-paid for the property by many millions. We don't know about that. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. Remember puppies, although they were not everyday occurrences, $25,000,000 for a potential fabulous fixer weren't exactly unheard of at that time either.

What we do know–well, okay, we don't know, but we imagine–is that after closing on the property these big livin' bizzy beavers spent years and a major mound of money making updates, upgrades, redos, renovations, and restorations to the 3.91 acre property. Add in the property taxes, which the tax man says are in the neighborhood of $300,000 per year, the upkeep and repair costs, insurance, and mortgage servicing–public records show the Wearstler/Korzen couple carry a titanic mortgage on the property–and Your Mama needs another damn nerve pill just to think about thinking about the size of their monthly nut. We don't, of course, have any idea what their actual monthly nut is, but extrapolating from what's freely available in public property records, Your Mama thinks it's safe to say the high hoggers hemorrhage more moo-lah every single month than most of the children make in an entire damn year.

Current property records show the house measures in at a massive but not overly bloated 11,371 square feet and includes 8 bedrooms and 10 poopers. We are pretty sure that the eleven and some thousand square feet does not include the interior of the rather large pool house, but we don't know if bedroom and pooper count is still accurate. It's entirely possible the couple re-purposed a bedroom, combined 2 into 1, added a pooper or all of the above. We just don't know.
La Wearstler and Mister Korzen have had their house photographed for about 49,000 publications and other things including Hue, La Wearstler's newest, high-lariously serious and seriously camp coffee table tome that celebrates her own passion for her own wildly exuberant taste and style. Therefore, it's not hard to find bazillions of photos of the house both online and in bookstores. Your Mama, thanks to Buhneeda Beansouttathebag, came across a considerable online cache–a virtual tour by one of Los Angeles' busiest real estate listing photographers Everett Fenton Gidley–that presents the property in a most magnificently vivid and mesmerizing manner.

As one glides through the pillared gates, ascends the gently curving drive with the chunky and intricately articulated residence sitting high on a knoll to the right, and swoops into the massive motor court there is nearly no indication of the brazen and brassy extravaganza of saturnalia behind the giddily ornate but still dignified facade. The only hint, perhaps, is the inverted shell motif above the glossy black front doors. However, it only takes passing across the traditional threshold to discover that the interior rooms are done over in Kelly Wearstler's special brand of decorative ka-ray-zee.

Much of the manse appears to retain its original architectural detailing, which La Wearstler has used to great effect as a major player in her luridly dramatic, mixy but rarely matchy, and fearlessly excessive day-core that exudes a kind of shameless confidence few people have–bully for her–and many might find off-putting, even egregious to the nth degree.

La Wearstler has did up and worked the house over in her signature style of funkified, 1970s disco-chic super-abundance. She is hardly the first or only big name decorator of note who pushes the edges of decorative abandon–think Jonathan Adler and Miles Redd–but our Kelly...well, our Kelly goes much further and quite simply ignores and obliterates many and most of the rules and regulations adhered to by less courageous interior designers. She is however, arguably, the one who gets the most pages in the glossy shelter magazines whose editors bow and scrape the bottom of her feet with smoke and praise hoping to catch a few shards of her reflected glory in the form of an agreement to feature one of her many projects.

It does not take a decorating historian–which Your Mama is certainly not–to see that Miz Wearstler has mined–some might even say strip-mined–the iconic and idiosyncratic decorative milieu of iconoclast decorators such as David Hicks, Billy Haines and, most notably, the dee-voon Tony Duquette, the man who pretty much trademarked the more is more style of day-core. In fact, Tony Duquette was so famous for his bawdy and baroque designs that a man named Hutton Wilkinson produced a sumptuous book on Miss Duquette titled, More Is More. We'd bet everything we have that La Wearstler's copy of the book is as worn out and dog-earred as a southern preacher's bible.

Your Mama knows at this point we've likely worn out our welcome with the childrens' attentions so we won't trouble y'all with detailed descriptions of every single aspect, corner, delight and nightmare of La Weastler's abode. We will simply hit on a few of the highlights that we can't seem to shake from our inner eye despite an early morning cocktail meant to soothe our awe and flabbergast.

Let's begin where the house begins, at the entrance foyer. La Wearstler sets the stage here in the petite and sky lit ten-sided room where a faboo custom commissioned glass topped hands table by Mexican born Dadaist artist and furniture maker Pedro Friedeberg sits squarely in the center of the star burst patterned and visually arresting but utterly dignified marble floor. We don't hate it–in fact we l.o.v.e. the table– but it's all so so brazenly madcap and such self-consciously bizarre combination with the inlaid marble floor that it makes Your Mama a wee bit woozy and we've barely taken two steps into the house.

Moving deeper into the bowels of La Wearstler's Bev Hills beast we arrive at an essentially circular space where a sensually curving staircase with spiral iron work was paired with walls painted in an abstract tangle of coral squiggles and swoops in what looks to Your Mama like a not particularly subtle homage to pop artist Keith Haring. All that would be far more than most might be able to endure in their own homes but because this is Kelly Wearstler's house we get more more more starting with a couple of mis-matched chairs–one of which looks like an early version of an electric chair–and a whimsical, bulbous bronze statue of a horse. She then goes even further off the decorative deep end with the staircase where in an already intensely challenging room she slathered the treads in an eye crossing and complex pattern of black and white carpeting. To her credit, La Wearstler manages to take some of the rough edge off the searing and wildly incongruous space with the black and white zebra skin rug laid out on the dark stained hardwood floor that provides just enough continuity and similarity with the carpeting on the stairs that the room stops a heensy-teensy bit shy of causing anyone with a weak decorative stomach to pass out from over-stimulation.

The complex abstract patterning on the walls of the stair hall are repeated with a different but no less aggressive wallpaper treatment on the ceiling of the "formal" living room. La Wearstler has set the random, pick-up-sticks like arrangement of black lines against the white background in a tray surrounded by over-sized dentil molding that together give the room a tension that Your Mama can only describe as not entirely unpleasantly schizophrenic. Most decorators would probably stop there even if they had the balls to go there which almost none to. Not La Wearstler, bee-hawtcha is just getting started up in here where she added a 18th-century crystal chandelier, did the herringbone patterned hardwood floors in a shiny but somber gray, lacquered the walls with an even more somber, almost tomb-like gray, and then she recklessly plopped a massive bronze head on a black and white checkerboard chunk of a coffee table. Finally, like icing on an already heavily frosted cake, she installed a couple of organically shaped and tufted sofas covered in rich blue leather that look like something out of the pool house at Robert Evans' John Woolf designed estate in Beverly Hills, circa 1973.
Nowhere in this huge house is La Wearstler's brave decorative shamelessness and unrestrained obsession with over-blown tableau more evident than in the room that is supposed to be the dining room. The dee-lishusly capacious room has multi-paned windows and French doors on opposing walls and in between a surfboard shaped table surrounded by 12 or 14 three-legged chairs. The table is stacked and cluttered with innumerable objet, busts, statues and statuettes, most of which appear to be body parts: heads, hands, feet, and nekkid torsos with a few horns and plant shapes for variety. It's astonishing, really, and perfectly interesting to look at for a few minutes but, have mercy Kelly hunny, you must have to keep a couple of minimum wage gurls on retainer who can clear that damn table iffin you ever want to use it for something so novel as eating dinner. Remember eating dinner, dearie?

In addition to her compulsion to decorate with the implicit intention to overwhelm and her deep seated need to distort perception through mis-matched proportions, the children will note another of La Wearstler's signature trick o' her stock in trade in the dining room. While La Wearstler has the gutsy color sense of The Madwoman of Chaillot and just about every room in her house looks like a fancy auction house exploded, she typically maintains a rigorous and often monochromatic palette that not only creates an optical juxtaposition between the many (things) and the one (color) but also tends to tone down her playfully riotous and wonderfully whackadoodle day-core.

In the pickled oak den/family room that sits next to and is open to the very glossy stainless steel and brass accented kitchen, La Wearstler went for a darker, more cocaine-friendly environment. We're not saying the ladee does lines in this room or anywhere else for that matter. We do not purport to know a single damn thing about her entertainment proclivities or lack thereof. We're saying that should there actually be a flat surface in the room that is not chock-a-block full of tchotchke, this room looks like the sort place one might be expected to snort a few lines of devil's dust. The burnt orange, black and ecru carpet–which has an ethnic, kente cloth sort of thing going on–provides a complicated base on which to place all that black leather, black lacquer and brass that might otherwise get lost in a room that is almost all black and reflective surfaces that, natch reflect all the black back on itself.
The Wearstler/Korzen boo-dwar is a sexy, paneled affair on the second floor where a cone shaped and amber colored chandelier casts a wickedly cool pattern on the surprisingly plain white ceiling and casts a soft glow over the marital bed dressed with some sort of (possibly faux, possibly real) animal pelt. The deep chocolate hardwood floors are partially covered by a silky looking rug that gives a distinct snake skin vibe. A similar rug covers the floor in the suite's window wrapped sun/sitting room where a couple of curvy swervy pale tan colored leather couches with zebra striped throws casually tossed across the backs are having a Mexican standoff with a (possibly onyx, maybe marble) coffee table in between. This show down of identical davenports has an audience comprised of couple of massive but severely gaunt busts that lord over the room's corners and two, gilded bergere chairs upholstered in black leather judge the decorative death match. Because La Wearstler is a lot like the Winchester Mystery House ladee and just does not know–or care–to stop, she's had a very 1970s black and white rainbow pattern put on the few portions of the walls that are not windows. This patten not only plays with the zebra throws and the snake skin-y rug it obviates any need for costly artwork that no one besides the family and domestic staff will ever see or be suitably impressed by.

We read with relief in a recent article in Vogue magazine written by the extraordinary Hamish Bowles that La Wearstler and Mister Korzen opted to preserve what he called "the elegant Art Moderne bathrooms with their spindly pilasters and exotic marbles, and the dainty Directoire and Carolean paneling that Dolena installed." Your Mama has no idea what "Directoire" or "Carolean" paneling is, but we're thrilled they chose to keep these things as well as all the dizzying and visually combative marble because the bathrooms–while definitely not a place we'd feel very comfortable doing our dirty bizness nor rooms in which a naked body would look anything but freaky–are examples of exquisite little jewel boxes that perfectly depict how a good thing (the unusually veined and colored marble) can become deranged in the most wonderful and brilliant manner in the deft hands of an architect like James Dolena.
The lavishly landscaped and meticulously maintained grounds include boxwood gardens, rolling lawns, a myriad of terraces, fountains, massive, mature and well-laced trees, a few out buildings of unknown uses, a well groomed and lighted tennis court, and a lavishly long, rectangular swimming pool with a protruding half circle of shallow water, and an adjacent pool house that looks to Your Mama like it's larger than the average American home. But let's be honest chickens, do we really think that La Wearstler actually sweats or gets wet? What happens to a vintage Balmain bikini when it gets dunked in chlorinated or salted water? Nothing, because you don't wear a vintage Balmain bikini into the swimming pool.

Listen chickens, we know this house is about as far from a Calabasas tract mansion as it gets and the demanding day-core could very easily swallow up a person without the towering gumption and deep inner-strength of a person like La Wearstler. However, before you go pointing the ugly stick at the house, Your Mama asks that you have a good, long and hard look at it. We're not saying we'd want to live in a menagerie of mostly useless things and lord knows we wouldn't and couldn't come within 3 feet of those upsetting five-legged goose chairs in the library/office/whatever room with the arching bay window. However, we can appreciate and, yes, we respect its unapologetically garish audacity and we have no trouble finding a number of very appealing and interesting decorative moments throughout the house and even some real pearls here and there. Only time will tell if La Wearstler's knee deep in decorative debauchery style of day-core will endure and say what y'all will–and y'all will say–but people, look at the chandeliers. If nothing else, look at the chandeliers. Gurl knows a good damn chandelier when she sees one.

And, of course, do keep in mind that unless a buyer negotiates for it, La Wearstler's demonically profligate day-core will all be removed at the time of a sale, which will leave a perfectly elegant if not quite so quirky house that the new owner can do up in his or her own version of fifty million dollar mansion that will not likely have the joi de vivre and in your face personality of La Wearstler's day-core. It's like art, kids. You're not meant to like everything but if it gets your attention and gets you talking and makes you feel something–desire, revulsion, envy, hatred, anything–then it's done at least part of its job.

Now children, if any of you have reached this point, Your Mama wants to remind y'all that the alleged off-market listing of La Wearstler and Mister Korzen's Bev Hills estate is still, at this point, just rumor and gossip. Rumor and gossip that has landed in Your Mama's laps from two well-connected sources, but rumor and gossip none the less. Even more of a mystery, of course, is the actual asking price. We heard $50,000,000–and in our gut we do think it's fifty million–but that does not mean it is fifty million. We won't know that until we hear from La Wearstler on the matter and coax the actual number–and a private tour–out of her.

listing images (from February 2010): Everett Fenton Gidley for Westside Estate Agency

A Price Cut To End All Price Cuts

Patricia Kluge, wine maker, philanthropist and former wife of billionaire John Kluge, listed her 300-ish acre estate in rural and horsey Charlottesville, VA in October of 2009 to much publicity and hullabaloo due to the teeth chattering and bone chilling asking price of $100,000,000.

Ex-Mrs. Kluge–that's pronounce cloo-gee, lambs–built the English Country style manor house in 1985 when she was still married to Mister Kluge. They christened their palatial new pad with the very English sounding name of Albemarle. But alas.... In 1990 the wildly rich Kluges went their separate ways but not before they duked it out in the court of dee-vorce the result of which left ex-Missus Kluge as the owner of Albermarle and, it was widely reported, granted the ladee of the house alimony in the amount of $1,600,000...per week. Spend a minute or two thinking about that children. Be honest, what wouldn't y'all do for a million six a week?

Anyhoo, we don't know if the alimony amount is accurate but what is true, according to listing information, is that neo-Georgian style pile measures in at a monstrous 23,538 square feet and has 45 rooms including 8 bedrooms and 13 full and 2 half poopers. The brick built house was designed by noted classical architect David Easton and in addition to all the expected public rooms, the house includes a state of the art home theater, library, an in-home fitness center with spa and sauna, a card room and an Islamic gallery with an antique Syrian fountain.

The extensive grounds include a pool, pool house, a greenhouse, several staff cottages, three stocked ponds, a croquet lawn, an authentic log cabin guest house, and a front yard large enough to play polo or to accommodate the 18-hole Arnold Palmer designed golf course that was drawn up but never built.

Now here's the meat of the matter children: With no titans, tycoons or foreign potentates barking up her real estate tree, ex-Missus Kluge did what most people do who are eager to sell their house. She lowered the price tag. But children, ex-Missus Kluge didn't just lower the asking price, she chopped, lopped, hewed, hacked and whacked it all the way down to $48,000,000. That's a heart stopping 52% cut according to our hardworking and bejeweled abacus.

Your Mama cain't wonder in our itty-bitty and booze saturated brain why if ex-Missus Kluge was willing to list the property at forty-some million she would first go through the motions of listing the estate with such an outrageous, even ludicrous price of $100,000,000? Could it be all the brouhaha and free publicity the estate has received from all us naughty real estate gossips? Hmm. Could be. Or did she simply have a real estate reality check and realize there just ain't nobody but no-bah-dee spending a hundred million clams on a high maintenance country house nowadays?

source: TTR Sotheby's

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Beckhams Buying Clooney's Villa? Uh, Not According to Clooney

Oh dear lord, has the inevitable Vicki and David Beckham real estate crazy started in Italy? It seems to have and this time their whirlwind of alleged property purchasing has sucked an American film star and, natch, a Russian billionaire into its self-propelling vortex of real estat absurdity.

Today the Daily Mail reported that those crazy Beckhams are hot hot hot to buy one of George Clooney's two villas in Laglio, on the shores of Lake Como. The property in question is Villa Oleander, an architecturally symmetrical 18th century pile with 15 bedrooms that Mister Clooney bought back in 2002. The Oscar winning actor has used the dignified villa as a frequent vacation getaway despite his rumored frustration with all the dumb ass pee-pole who perpetually cruise by in their boats and snap photos of his dee-lishusness, his famous friends and his constantly rotating coterie of ladee pals. The villa is said to have a private swimming pool, tennis court, gym, and jetty that juts out into the lake that laps up against the wall that protects the well tended gardens.

According to the Daily Mail–whose real estate reports are always juicy but, as you'll soon see, sometimes not quite correct–Villa Oleander is reported to be quietly on the market with an asking price of £20,000,000. A quick consult with our currency conversion contraption shows that amounts to 30,856,600 U.S. clams at today's rates. The tawdry tab goes on to say that the Beckhams, those oh so fickle Beckhams, are in negotiations to purchase the villa, an act meant to scratch the couple's Italian real estate itch that allegedly came about when Mister Beckham moved to the boot shaped country in order to kick and pass balls for the AC Milan people.

The tattooed soccer stud–or soccer dud depending on who you ask–has reportedly been staying in a Milan hotel while on loan to AC Milan and, it would seem, Vicki's decided it's high time that they gear up to settle down in a real damn house where they can raise up their three piglets in proper superstar style.

The Daily Mail goes on to say that the Beckhams, bless their little real estate hearts, have competition for the purchase of Mister Clooney's villa in the form of a moon-faced Russian billionaire who built his fortune selling vodka and chocolate. 'Tis true. Well, the part about Tariko Roustam's source of wealth is true. Whether he's offered comely Mister Clooney the £30,000,000–that's $46,284,900 in the U-nited States–the Daily Mail says he did is another matter that Your Mama can't accurately speak to the accuracy of. What we will say is that if Clooney's casa is indeed for sale for twenty million British pounds then what would possess this Roustam chap to offer £10,000,000 more than that? Are y'all starting to smell a real estate fish?

Let's parse this bizness a bit, children. It makes Your Mama go 29 kinds of cross-eyed with skepticism–and it should do the same to y'all–when we consider the bizarre notion that these Beckhams–as mercurial as they may be–would go and spend thirty and some million smackers for a house in Italy when Mister Beckham is only scheduled to shake his money maker in Italy for the next few month. After that, we understand, he's a free agent who may or may not have a job in Italy come the opening of the next soccer season.

Plus, let's all recall that we've been through all this mad merry-go-round of rumor and reporting that a big name celebrity might buying Mister Clooney's villa on Lake Como before. Remember when everyone thought that Tom Crooze was going to buy Villa Margherita, Mister Clooney's other villa in Laglio? Bollux! Didn't happen. Then there were the ridiculous rumors that the high priestess of Scientology was going to marry his ladee-mate and baby maker Katie Holmes on the grounds of Clooney's villa? Crap. All crap. There are additional and recent reports that Mister Clooney, who is reported to be tired of dealing with all the looky-loos at Lake Como is considering purchasing a private island in Italy. More trash talk.

Despite the Daily Mail printing a quote from an I-talian fellow named "Mr. Proto" who said, " We are not in charge of the actual sale [of Mister Clooney's villa] but of finding suitable clients, the sale will be handled by an American real estate company," Mister Clooney's mouthpiece has finally weighed in on the matter producing a statement from his hotness himself that said, "I'm not buying an island an am not selling my house in Italy...the story was made up...then picked up...and now denied...end of another riveting day of false news."

So there you have it, children, all the cards on the table so to speak. According to Mister Clooney, his house is not for sale and according to "Mr. Proto"–whoever he is–the sale will be handled by an American company. We're going to let y'all decide who you believe but Your Mama sure knows who we this is speaking the truth...or at least the truthiness on the matter.

photo: Pacific Coast News

Bren Simon Lists Bel Air Beast at $50,000,000

SELLER: Bren Simon
LOCATION: Los Angeles (Bel Air), CA
PRICE: $50,000,000
SIZE: 19,584 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Buckle up babies, this is going to be a long and bumpy ride.

On the 16th of September of 2009, burly and bearded mall magnate Mel Simon went to meet the great property developer in the sky. Just five months later his second wife and widow Bren Simon listed the couple's palatial pile in Bel Air with a spine chilling asking price of $50,000,000. So we thought it might be fun for the children to not only have a look-see at the Simon's sumptuous spread in Bel Air but also to have a roam around some of the other properties in the wildly rich widow's real estate portfolio.

Before we get to the real estate, Your Mama would be remiss in our "reporting" if we did not first discuss the increasingly litigious kerfuffle over Mister Simon's billion dollar-plus fortune. The warring parties are, as y'all might expect, the Widda Simon and her three step-children. The Indiana-based Mister Simon, who co-owned the Indiana Pacers basketball team for many years, was one of the richest men in the Midwest with a staggering fortune that has been estimated between one point three to well over two billion bucks.

According to multiple previous reports, until about seven months before Mister Simon expired at the ripe old age of 82, his will granted one-third of his fortune directly to Missus Simon. Another third was to be placed in a trust with all proceeds flowing to Missus Simon and upon her passing the principal of the trust would then be divided between Mister Simon's three offspring from his first marriage and a daughter born to Missus Simon from her first marriage. Mister and Missus Simon were and are well known and generous philanthropists. They once gave a stunning $50,000,000 to Indiana University, twenty five of which was earmarked for cancer research. In accordance with and continuing their tradition of big giving, the remaining third of Mister Simon's fortune was to go into charitable trusts that would fund tens of millions of dollars in donations to charities every year. After a predetermined period of time, any funds remaining in the charitable trust(s) were to be divided among Mister Simon's children.

The meat of the ugly dispute between Missus Simon and her trio of adult step-children is that just months before his death Mister Simon signed new documents that changed the terms of his long standing estate plan. Much to the chagrin of the Simon siblings, the new documents give Missus Simon half of the estate directly as opposed to just one-third. That's a difference, kiddies, of a couple hundred million clams, so you can see why everyone is so bothered and betwixt over the issue.

In early January of 2010, one of Mister Simon's children filed a lawsuit that claims that in the spring of 2009 her dear departed daddy was dealing with dementia and was far too compromised to sign a new will. The lawsuit states that Mister Simon's signing would have required someone hold a pen in his hand and assist in moving his arm as he "signed" the documents.

Misssus Simon has, natch, filed her own lawsuit. Interestingly, Missus Simon's filing does not dispute that her dying husband needed help with the signature due to his "Parkinsonian symptoms." Missus Simon also contends that although he needed assistance holding the pen, Mister Simon was in his right mind, understood the ramifications of the alterations and was the captain steering the ship that would reassign a huge chunk of his fortune.

Missus Simon declares and explains in her court documents that Mister Simon changed his will in a manner that greatly increased her share of the estate in part because at the time of the signing the economy was swirling down the terlit and due do dwindling stock prices Mister Simon's net worth and income had declined considerably. He was, she says, concerned about her having enough income to sustain her lifestyle. At the time of the signing, the shares of the Simon Property Group, a publicly traded enterprise of which Mister Simon owned a significant chunk, had dipped to $38 per share. Since the new will was put in place the share price has bounced back to over $70 per share, increasing the size of Mister Simon's fortune by hundreds of millions of dollars. Missus Simon also claims in her filing that an additional reason Mister Simon opted to alter his will was due to concerns that his three children would not act in the step-mommy's best financial interest should they be in a situation in which they would have some control over her financial affairs or business interests. Oh dear. Ouch! That's an ugly stab in an open wound, ain't it?

That, children, is where things currently stand in the legal stand off between Missus Simon and her step-children and is the pedestal on which we stand during our discussion of Missus Simon's hoity toity habitat in Bel Air.

Property records show that in August of 2006, Indiana based Mister and Missus Simon laid out $27,500,275 for their West Coast crib that occupies a prime position on Bellagio Road in a prestigious old Bel Air East Gate location. At first Your Mama thought we didn't even need to pull our bejeweled abacus out of is bedazzled case to figure out that Missus Simon rather audaciously thinks her big ol' beast of a house has nearly doubled in value despite having bought it at the tippy-top of a white hot real estate market that has since cooled considerably. However, a bit more peeping and poking around the property records reveals that in June of 2007 Mister and Missus Simon bought the adjacent property for $8,800,000. The couple proceeded to knock the the existing house down and replace it with a private parking area. That's right, a parking lot. Taking the addition of the adjacent property into account brings Missus Simon's outlay for the entire estate for just over $36,000,000 less any renovations, repairs, upgrades or do overs. Even still, my little lemon bars, slapping that fifty million smacker asking price on the property in a molasses-y market takes some serious real estate cajones, which Missus Simon clearly has.

Before we get into some details let's look at Missus Simon's house by the numbers: the compound is comprised of two lots that cover approximately 1.5 acres. The house, according to the tax man, stands three stories and measures a monstrous 19,584 square feet. Listing information indicated the royalty worthy abode contains subterranean parking for 10 automobiles, 7 fireplaces, 1 elevator, 8 bedrooms and an astonishing 16 poopers that surely require Missus Simon keep a full time minimum wage gurl who does nuthin' but scrub terlits all day long. The master bedroom alone, according to listing information, spans 2,000 square feet, which is almost as large as the average American home. Think about that for a moment. If that's not enough to get some righteous dander up, we don't know what is.

A long, gated, crushed granite driveway leads to a narrow motor court that gives way to to a second motor court through an arched tunnel. The exterior appears to be clad in limestone.. Listen, don't none of you children go repeating that like you know what you're talking about because we don't really know what the house is clad in, we're just guessing it's limestone of some sort. Anyhoo, the lavishly appointed interiors include a lovely if stuffy looking living room with an over-sized herringbone patterned hardwood floor, a wood coffered ceiling, and a slew of French doors that open out to the terraces and gardens the ring the residence.

Other public rooms include a banquet hall sized formal dining room and a library with intricately detailed and inlaid wood paneling and celadon accented day-core. Family quarters include a gourmet kitchen that we presume Missus Simon has seen only a few times, a family room, a media/music room with leathers chairs and horrendous wall to wall carpeting woven with a swirling pattern of movie film, a billiard room, a wine cellar, and work out facilities that contain gym equipment, a spa, sauna and swim pool. There is also, according to listing information, an attached guest apartment and a poolside lounge.

A rectangular swimming pool has been wedged into the backyard between the house and the golf course of the Bel Air Country Club. But, honestly chickens, Your Mama has a tough time seeing the the well preserved Missus Simon out of door let alone slathered in cocoa butter and catching a tan in her buh-keenee but that's really neither here not there about our subject matter, is it?

Missus Simon's nearby neighbors include Gary Winnick and his $90,000,000 estate, Sandy Gallin and his freshly rehabbed house on Siena Way that's listed at 26.95 million clams, and semiconductor tycoon Walter "Jerry" Sanders the Third. So the property is in proper company to fetch a high price. A tumble to the real estate listings shows that there really isn't a lot of competition out there in the $50,000,000 market. In addition to any of the major estates being shopped around off market, there's Iris Cantor's pile on St. Cloud Road listed at $53,000,000, there's the Yorkin estate on Delfern that was listed this week with an asking price of $49,500,000 and there's that insane 30 bedroom and 40 bathroom monstrosity on Nimes Road listed at $36,000,000. A small number of homes in that price range might seem like a good thing since it creates a certain sort of demand. But let's get serious for a second butter beans, how many filthy rich people are going to throw real estate caution to the wind in this kind of slumpy, dumpy economy and opt for a fifty million dollar manse when there scads of mansions in the twenty to thirty million dollar range? Plus, given that there hasn't been a fifty million dollar sale in Los Angeles in years, Your Mama thinks Missus Simon and her real estate people just might be in for a Sisyphusian challenge.

Now then, let's move on to some of the Simon's other super luxe digs. Unfortunately Your Mama simply does not have the time, energy or–we confess–the inclination to perform a full accounting of all the many other properties around the U.S. of A. owned by Mel and Bren Simon. Instead we've opted to narrow our focus and touch on just a few of the more important properties that are currently or were recently owned by the Mister and Missus Simon who as a couple were, clearly, a couple of unrepentant real estate size queens.

The house on Bellagio Road is not the Simon's first foray into insanely pricey property in the platinum triangle. In October of 2006, just after buying the Bel Air house she's currently looking to unload, the Simons sold a vacant parcel on Bel Air Road for $8,500,000 to her then neighbor, media mogul and multi-billionaire Jerrold Perenchio. As we all know from the run down Your Mama did on Mister Perenchio's real estate holdings in late January of 2010, the high priced property vacuum owns no less than 6 parcels on Bel Air Road that comprise his elephantine estate, the mammoth main house of which was originally used for the exterior shots of the classic program The Beverly Hillbillies.

The following year Missus Simon rid herself of a 10,774 square foot triple story residence adjacent to the vacant Bel Air Road parcel she sold to Mister Perenchio. Missus Simon scooped up the elaborate mansion, which was modeled after Le Petit Trianon in Versailles and contains 9 bedrooms and 12 poopers, in June of 2005 for $13,000,000. She sold the hulking house in August of 2007 to big biznessman and hotelier David Adelipour for $16,000,000.

Records also show that in January of 2007 Missus Bren bought a modest home in Encino, CA that happens to be just down the road a piece from Joe Simpson....That would be Ashlee and Jessica's daddy. The 3,504 square foot house has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and we can't think of a single reason Missus Bren might buy this house unless it was to house her staff.

In 1986, Mister and Missus Simon pulled themselves up to the big boy real estate table in Palm Beach, FL when they forked over about $6,000,000 to buy Villa de Venezia, a monumentally scaled oceanfront mansion built in 1929 by Harold K. Vanderbilt (shown above). Technically, the manse is in Manalapan, just south of Palm Beach, but anyhoo.... It seems almost comical now, but at that time the purchase represented the second highest price paid for a private residence in Palm Beach County. The politically active pair hosted many events at the dee-luxe estate including a dinner for then president Bill Clinton and later a dinner for his wife and senator to be Hillary Clinton.

In 2000, the Mister and Missus Simon sold the 52-room pile for $29,900,000 to Veronica and Randolph Hearst. This was just months before Mister Hearst breathed his last breath. Many of the children will surely recall that despite many machinations, delays and a hurried sell off of art and jewelry, Miz Hearst lost the staggeringly huge and elegant house to the hungry jaws of foreclosure. It appears to Your Mama that the Simons did not purchase another house in the Palm Beach area.

In addition to several condos in particularly posh parts of Colorado, records show that in May of 1995 Mister and Missus Simon spent $5,990,000 for a 10,328 square foot ski house in Aspen, CO that sits on 5.43 acres and contains 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Missus Bren continues, according to the tax man, to own the property.

The Simon family seat has long been their unimaginably vast estate on Ditch Road in swanky Carmel, IN that is surrounded by its own private 10 green golf course that can played in a variety of ways that give it 27 different holes. Previous reports indicate Mister Simon bought the property–or at least began buying up the multi-parcel property–in 1973. Eventually the estate ballooned to more than 100 acres. In 1999, the original house burned to the ground and Mister and Missus Simon replaced it with a behemoth 43,000-plus square foot mega-manse they dubbed Asherwood. In addition to all the usual accouterments such as tennis court, swimming pool, guest house and perfectly manicured gardens, Asherwood includes a 2,700 square foot spa, and a 1,300 square foot library.

There have been whispers and reports that Mister and Missus Simon were considering donating Asherwood to Indiana University, but the $1,000,000 per year required to maintain the sprawling property was a concern for the learning institution and an additional cash gift to be used for maintenance would likely be included if such a donation were to be made. It makes sense that the property would be donated because, seriously sweeties, how many people can afford–or even want–a fifty or hundred million dollar estate? In Indiana.

(Don't none of you Hoosier people get your panties is a bunch. Your Mama's momma has kinfolk in Indiana and we have made many wonderful trips to your fair state. While Your Mama could never live stomach living that far from an ocean, we always found the folks in those parts to be incredibly open and hospitable.)

In 2008, according to previous reports, the couple initiated plans to downsize and purchased a Beaux-Arts style residence in the nearby village of West Clay. The couple paid around $2,500,000 for the three story, 4 bedroom and 4 bathroom residence. It's unclear if either Mister or Missus Simon spent a single night in the home nor does Your Mama have any idea whatsoever if Missus Simon plans on keeping or occupying the property.

Your Mama doesn't have a clue what Missus Simon plans to do or where she plans to live now that she's an incredibly wealthy single gal about town but wherever she lands, it will surely be big, opulent and far more expensive than most people could even dream of spending on a home.

source: Jerry Jolton / Coldwell Bank Previews International and Bing (aerials)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Celeb Selling at Colossal Loss

SELLER: Sharon Stone
LOCATION: N. Beverly Drive
PRICE: $8,995,000
SIZE: 6,640 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just like so many regular folks around this U-nited States of America, celebrities are facing leviathan losses on the sale of property and it seems that almost everyday brings more news of another high-profile person stuck between a rock and a real estate hard place. In February alone Your Mama has discussed real estate losses endured or expected by Beck in Malibu, Lil Wayne in Miami, Kate Walsh and Ashley Olsen in Los Angeles, Ashlee Simpson in Beverly Hills, Eddie Cibrian in Calabasas, and the current grandmuhmah of celebrity real estate calamities, Scarlett Johanson who recently listed her house in the Outpost Estates area of Los Angeles for a staggering $2,050,000 less than she paid for it in May of 2007.

The next cynosure of celebrity up to Your Mama's increasingly crowded plate of real estate catastrophe is Sharon Stone, the former Mack-Donalds counter gurl turned Oscar nominated actress, three times dee-vorced single mommy, tireless AIDS activist, fearless fashion maverick, and all around koo-koo bird. The middle aged vamp and dee-voon vortex of cuh-razee has a Beverly Hills, CA white elephant on the market for a seizure inducing $2,000,000 less than she paid for it nearly 4 years ago.

Let's get in our celebrity real estate time machines and go back to the beginning because this is quite a saga and Your Mama wants all the children to have a full understanding of Miz Stone's epic struggle. In March of 2006, the boob baring she-devil paid $10,995,000 for a N. Beverly Drive estate, purchasing the property from the very same gentleman who, y'all might be interested to know, subsequently bought the former Ridgedale Drive domicile of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Almost immediately, our favorite and ever so fickle femme fatale–who never even occupied the North Beverly Drive digs–had a real estate change of heart and just 4 months after signing on the dotted line flipped the posh property back on the market with a much inflated and characteristically cocky asking price of $12,500,000.

The 4.85 acre estate was de-listed and re-listed several times over the next year or so until November of 2007 when it vanished from the open market. In May of 2008 the property popped back up on the market with a new asking price of $10,000,000, a figure that represented a painful, million dollar plus loss for Miz Stone. At that point, our favorite mercurial minx decided that if no one wanted to buy the damn house then maybe someone would pay her a colossal clump of cash to lease the property. So that's just what She-rah Sharon did. According to multiple reports from the time, Miz Stone and her team of real estate people leased the property in the fall of 2008 at a rate of $35,000 per month to a bidness person whose name Your Mama knows but is of no consequence.

Sadly, butter beans, Miz Stone hasn't worked her sexpot stuff in a film of any note or success since 2006 when she appeared in Bobby and that embarrassing bomb Basic Instinct 2. Democrazy in 2007, $5 a Day in 2008 and Streets of Blood in 2009 just don't compare, count or keep a high-maintenance bee-hawtcha like Miz Stone rolling in clover. We're not saying the ladee is broke because she is most assuredly not. However, by late 2009 Your Mama imagines Miz Stone–not to mention her accountant–was 49 kinds of miffed, peeved and annoyed that this North Beverly Drive estate was still dragging down and draining her bank account. Once the tenant vacated the premises in the fall of 2009, the North Beverly Drive property was again hoisted onto the open market with a reduced asking price of $8,995,000. It doesn't take much bead flicking on our bejeweled abacus to figure out that's a mind numbing and ball busting two million dollars less than Miz Stone paid for the place nearly 4 years ago.

The privately situated estate sits at the tail end of North Beverly Drive, at the base of a steep hillside that rises dramatically like Miz Stone's personality up to the guard gated enclave of Beverly Park. The unoccupied property is, in fact, so close to Beverly Park that should our gal Sharon be so inclined she could strap on a pair of rubber-soled stilettos and scamper right up the hillside and into the backyards of Sylvester Stallone, Sumner Redstone and/or Paul Reiser. Spend a few minutes visualizing that tender morsel of dee-lishusness, children. Imagine settin' out back by the pool, the breeze rustles the leaves in the trees while your skin browns like butter in a hot saute pan and the birds chirp with summertime glee. Then, all of the sudden, up out of the scrub comes Sharon damn Stone in nuthin' but a fishnet bathing suit and those rubber sold stilettos. Her lips are painted red like fire, her eyes a-glitter with audacity and you know in your soul she wants a pound of flesh because, well, Sharon always wants a pound of flesh. After picking a few nettles from her cattywompus weave and pretending to regain some composure and dignity she says, "Syl, hunny, it's me, Share-bear... What? Oh, stop it right now Sylvester. Don't you worry that cock-eyed little mouth of yours about the bushes I busted up climbing over your damn fence. I'll send Hector and Waynie over to fix that shit tomorrow. Now listen dolly, stud, man of many muscles, Momma Sharon needs a cup of sugar, a new Bentley and, damnations and tarnations, we gotta pay the got-damn property taxes on that albatross down there. We need a job. So, yummykins, do you think you could find it in your I-talian heart to throw this well preserved ol' bag a bone and slip me into a lead role in Rambo 17? Or maybe something in Rocky 12? Whaddaya say beefcakes? Can you show Share-Share some love?"

Anyhoo, listing information shows the new-fangled mock-Mediterranean main house measures 6,640 square feet and includes 5 bedrooms and 6 poopers. In addition to a state of the art media room and work out room, an additional detached guest house contains another 2 bedrooms and 2 poopers bringing the estate's total to 7 bedrooms and 8 poopers.

The interior rooms, all done up and did over with Venetian plaster, include a living room with inlaid and honed limestone floors, a fireplace and a row of glass sliders that disappear into the wall. The adjacent dining room, separated from the living room by a built in freestanding entertainment center, has a trio of gently arched windows that look out to the gardens and the gore-may kitchen has a not entirely harmonious combination of granite and butcher block counter tops, parquet flooring, and a walk-in pantry. Interestingly and much to Your Mama's chagrin, there is a mish-mash of appliances in the cookery. The range, which is, strangely, half the size of the vent hood, is stainless steel but the wall ovens are black. The main sink, a giant triple basin number, is white porcelain while the vegetable sink in the work island is stainless steel. This is okay in budget kitchen re-do where the owner has to buy whatever is on sale at the Home Despot, but it is inexcusable in a nine million dollar mansion.

Other rooms include a hardwood paneled den with ecru wall to wall carpeting, built in cabinetry, large six-pane windows, and a fireplace with green marble surround and hearth. We're not sure what that wood tray thing in the ceiling is but it's really quite terrifying. The master suite, which an older listing called "lavish" includes wall to wall carpeting, billowing beige curtains, built in cabinetry fitted with a flat screen tee-vee, French doors that open to a private terrace, and a fireplace–the third of four in the house–stuck into the corner like an afterthought.

The walled, gated, heavily secured and lushly landscaped grounds include a circular drive, a lagoon style swimming pool, meandering pathways that criss-cross the property and lead to secluded sitting areas, a meditation garden surrounded by fruit trees, and a north/south lighted tennis court and its adjacent viewing pavilion.

Your Mama, who does not know a cook book from a cookie jar, doesn't know if Miz Stone ever intended to occupy the property on North Beverly Drive or if, like so many other rich and famous folks in 2006, bought the beast thinking she could flip it for a huge profit. What we do know is that Miz Stone stayed put in the nearly 8,000 square foot Dawnridge Drive mansion she bought pre-Phil Bronstein in March of 1995 for $3,200,000 and there, we'd guess, is where she'll stay.

Note: The Valerie Fitzgerald Group nor Valerie Fitzgerald were sources for this post.

Sinbad Lists in Horsey Hidden Hidden

SELLER: David Atkins a.k.a. Sinbad
LOCATION: Hidden Hills, CA
PRICE: $3,000,000
SIZE: 5,064 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Woe is Sinbad. Not only is the "comedian's" career stuck down deep in the terlit of (un)funny, but he's got the IRS breathing down his back, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December of 2009 and listed his house in the guard gated, horsey and star studded enclave of Hidden Hills, CA with an asking price of $3,000,000.

Back in the late 1980s and mid-1990s a lot of people thought Sinbad–nee David Atkins–was funny. Not Your Mama. We didn't think Sinbad was funny when he was a finalist on Star Search in 1983, we did not think Sinbad was funny on A Different World and we thought he was spectacularly unfunny on the eponymous and short lived program The Sinbad Show. Those years were, not the less, his salad days.

Then along came the late 1990s, the beginning of a long long long professional dry spell that lasted until, well, now. It's not that Mister Sinbad did not work during the lean years. He did. He just didn't have many if any primo gigs. Your Mama assumes he did some stand up and his resume on the Internet Movie Data Base shows he appeared in a number of cinematic wonders including–but not limited to–Jingle All the Way with Arnold Schwarzenegger, some sad thing called Good Burger, a movie called Stompin', the unfortunately titled of Cuttin Da Mustard, as well as a couple of episodes of the erstwhile Cosby and a single episode of the also erstwhile Moesha.

More recently, the down on his luck and heels comic filmed an hour long comedy special for Comedy Central called Sinbad: Where U Been and he will soon take a turn on Donald Trump's next season of The Celebrity Apprentice with a number of other has been folks like disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, former pro baseballer Darryl Strawberry, actress Holly Robinson Peete, and hairrific rock star Bret Michaels. It's not exactly where former celebs go to hammer the final nail in their professional coffin–that would be I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, The Surreal Life and/or Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew–but it's pretty dang close.

Fifteen years of bit parts in little movies, recurring roles on boob toob programs no one has ever heard of (Slacker Cats, Resurrection Road), and a reality show or two do not a mortgage or, as it turns out, taxes pay. See puppies, the IRS alleges that Sinbad owes a staggering $8,150,000 in back taxes and Your Mama should not have to tell the children that one simply does not screw with with the IRS because they are one of the few entities that can and will squeeze blood from a stone. In mid-December of 2009 Mister Sinbad filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means all his non-exempt assets must be sold in order to pay his creditors and, of course, the gubbamint gets their slice of the pie first. Your Mama presumes, but does not know for sure, that the reason Mister Sinbad is selling his residence in Hidden Hills has something to do with this bit o' ugly bizness. We can't think of a single other reason he'd choose to sell in the midst of filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Anyhoo, property records show that Mister Sinbad bought his 2.6 acre property in June of 1997 for $1,525,000. Technically, the house is owned by Mister Sinbad's brother Michael but, according to previous reports, the IRS believes that set up is nothing more than a pretense, a way in which Mister and Missus Sinbad can protect what very well may be their largest and only real asset.

The Tudor-ish style house, according to listing information, measures 5,064 square feet and contains 5 bedrooms and 5 poopers. A long, ratty-tatty tree-lined drive way rolls past a big ol' dirt patch surrounded by white split-rail fencing. This being Hidden Hills where it's not uncommon for residents to own horses, so Your Mama this stretch of unkempt dirt is meant to be a corral or riding ring for horses.

Listing photos are few and just a quick look at the living room and Your Mama understand why: It looks like a damn hoarder lives in there. Or, giving the benefit of serious doubt and best case scenario, Mister and Missus Sinbad have already begun to pack up their belongings and stack them up in the corners and against the walls. Lord have mercy Your Mama would come right unglued living amid all that crap and clutter. According to listing information, the two-story home also includes a formal dining room with fireplace, an office/family room with a fireplace, a full recording studio and a guest house with full kitchen.

In addition to the big ol' dirt patch, other exterior amenities include a large motor court and 4-car garage, a black bottom swimming pool with a waterfall, barn, and a pine needle strewn sport court with an adjacent satellite dish that looks large enough to pull down cable channels from the damn moon.

A person can not swing a cat in Hidden Hills without knocking over a famous person's fat ego. Other well-known residents of the family friendly community include but are hardly limited to Lisa Marie Presley, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Melissa Etheridge and her wifey Tammy Michaels, Bruce Jenner and his kollection of Kardashians, 7th Heaven's Beverly Mitchell, Nicolette Sheridan owns Melissa Etheridge's old house and LeAnn Rimes is currently leasing a house in the gated enclave.

source: Teles Properties

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beck Bites the Some Real Esate Dust

SELLER: Beck and Marissa Ribisi
LOCATION: Larkspur Lane, Malibu, CA
PRICE: $1,650,000
SIZE: 1,596 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama knows how many of the children salivate over and pine for some celebrity real estate schadenfreude so we thought we'd interrupt our weekend with a little. Thanks to Malibu Mary, Your Mama has learned that quirky and kooky musician Beck and his wife, former actress Marissa Ribisi, have finally sold their house in the Point Dume area of Malee-boo at a sickening loss.

Listing information shows the "very hip mid-century ranch" sits on a .63 acre parcel and has 3 bedrooms and 2 poopers in the main house as well as another 2 bedroom and 1 pooper in a detached guest house that includes a massive fireplace. The 1,596 square foot house has recently a renovated kitchen and poopers, hardwood floors, pitched and beamed ceilings, The privately situated property does not have a swimming pool or tennis court, but it does have large expanses of lawn and mature trees. Personally, we'll take a swimming pool over a football field, but that's just our meaningless preference.

Property records and previous reports reveal that Beck purchased the property on Larkspur Lane in January of 2007 for $2,050,000 and flipped it back on the market in October of 2008 with an asking price of $2,399,000. But alas, after 16 months and at least 3 price chops, the property finally sold in early February of 2010 for $1,650,000. A few quick flicks of the well worn beds on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus reveals that Mister Beck to a $400,000 financial hit not counting carrying costs, renovations expenses or the fees paid to his real estate people.
The house in Malee-boo is not the only property Beck had on the market recently and not, it seems, the only one he's likely to take a loss on. In April of 2007, Mister and Missus Beck bought a big house in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, paying $6,750,000 for the recently rehabbed corner property. In July of 2008 they flipped the 6 bedroom and 9 pooper estate back on the market with an optimistic asking price of $9,000,000. By August of 20009, the asking price had plummeted to $6,595,000. The property, which includes a full recording studio and rehearsal studio in the guest house, was officially de-listed. However, it is Your Mama's understanding that the property is still for sale and can be shown as a pocket listing.

source: Sotheby's International Realty Beverly Hills