Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mish-Mash Tuesday

Before we move on to some serious, pee in your pants floor plan porn in New York City tomorrow, we thought it might be interesting for the children–partick all the Chicken Little children–if Your Mama did a little mish-mash reporting on a couple of recent price chops and big losses.

Much to the chagrin of the paparazzi and much to the delight of tweeners around the world, pop super star Britney Spears has risen Phoenix like from the ashes of her (in)famous mental mess that caused her to fraternize with shady mens, shave her damn head bald in some tawdry beeyootee salon in Sherman Oaks, CA–or some other town in the Valley–and get herself hauled out of her Bev Hills house in an ambew-lance and stuck up in the psych ward of the Cedars-Sinai.

After putting the pieces of her puzzled mind back together, Miss Spears went on to make a number one record–that would be the aptly named Circus–and work her stuff in a comeback tour that by all accounts was a raging success. She also moved out of the big Beverly Hills mansion that was the scene of much of her crazy and into an even bigger house in The Oaks, an expensive, gated community in uber-suburban Calabasas, CA.

Miss Spears bought her house in Beverly Hills on an impulse in January of 2007, paying $6,750,000 for the 5 bedroom and 6 pooper mock-Mediterranean villa in a guard gated community called The Summit, the same enclave that is home to Gwen Stefani, Ed McMahon and Anita Pointer, she-ra of the Pointer Sisters. Just a month after moving in, fickle Miss Spears flipped her real estate mistake back on the market with an asking price of $7,495,000. Nine months later the asking price had inexplicably risen to $7,900,000. Six months after that, in about March of 2008, the price had plummeted to $7,195,000.

It was at this point that the courts gave Daddy Spears control of Miss Spears' fortune resulting in the Beverly Hills house being pulled from the market and Miss Spears packing up her museum worthy collection of Daisy Dukes and Moon Pies and high-tailing it to Calabasas. Fast forward to June of 2009 and Miss Spears' Bev Hills house was again hoisted on to the market but with a drastically reduced asking price of $6,499,000. The house was, once again, removed from the market in September of 2009.

But just yesterday it reappeared, stripped of most of its day-core and with the shocking and greatly reduced asking price of $5,495,000. A few flicks of the well worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that even if Miss Spears gets her full asking price–which seems highly doubtful in our humble and meaningless opinion–she' bell out $1,255,000. Add to that the fat real estate fees that could amount to well over $250,000 plus the taxes and carrying costs she's endured just since moving out and she's facing a net loss of way over a million and a half clams.

Certainly Miss Spears' bulging bank accounts can handle the loss of a few million dollars without it affecting her ability to buy lip gloss by the boat load or a new Mercedes on a whim but still, it hurts even a rich person to lose a couple million bucks. Listen butter balls, even if a rich person tells you it don't hurt to lose a couple million–and they will tell you it don't matter–it does.

Some reports have said that Miss Spears bought the 10,330 square foot mansion in Calabasas where she now lives but, as of today, property records don't show any transfer records, which indicates she's settled in on a long term lease.

photo: Prudential California Realty (Nancy Sanborn)

Television's highest paid actor Charlie Sheen–who reportedly earns more than $500,000 per episode starring in the not particularly funny situation comedy Two and a Half Men–and his wife Brooke Mueller have been much in the news lately.

First there was the Christmas Day kerfuffle they had while vacationing in star-studded Aspen, CO. Their rumble resulted in a call to 911. Mister Sheen was arrested on domestic violence charges due to Missus Sheen's alleging that Mister Sheen held a knife to her throat after she told him she wanted to do a dee-vorce. Subsequent to their good ol' fashioned holiday brawl, both Mister Sheen and Missus Sheen checked into rehab facilities, presumably for substance abuse issues. Mister Sheen,pleaded not guilty to the charges of "menacing, criminal mischief and assault."

Next came the strange events of February 6 and 7, 2010 when Mister Sheen's $160,000 S-class Mercedes was found crashed and abandoned in a ravine near his house in the guard gated Mulholland Estates community above Sherman Oaks, CA, home to Paris Hilton among other famous folks. Of course, Your Mama's first thought was that maybe Mister Sheen was loaded and drove his car off a cliff. That was quickly followed by the thought that maybe Missus Sheen was 47 kinds of p-oed and drove his car off a cliff. Then we learned a second car had been found in a nearby ravine turning this into a weird car-stealing prank of some kind. The second car found down a ravine was registered to former "actress" Lisa Vanderpump-Todd and restaurateur Kenneth Todd who live in a massive mansion not far from Sheen's upscale guard gated community in the even ritzier and guard gated Beverly Park community.

As an aside, Your Mama hears through the Bev Hills gossip grapevine that along with a couple of Paris Hilton's aunties, the uncomfortably named Miz Vanderpump-Todd is one of the pampered beehawtchas who will appear on the The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on the Bravo channel.

Anyhoo, back in June of 2009, before Mister and Missus Sheen were daily fodder for the tabs and gossip glossies, they made a little real estate news when they listed a recently rehabbed residence they own in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles with an asking price of $3,697,000. Records show they once happy couple purchased the 4,179 square foot crib in November of 2007 for $2,575,000, although its unlikely they ever occupied the residence. On March 15, 2010, after 9 months and 4 price slices, the property was taken off the market and re-listed the very same day with a much reduced asking price of $3,297,000.

If they get their full asking price they might be able to slide out of the deal with a few pennies in their pocket but when we use our bejeweled abacus to add up the fat real estate fees, carrying costs, taxes and renovation costs it's unlikely they'll have enough left over to buy Mister Sheen a new Mercedes. Not that they need the money from the sale of this house to buy Mister Sheen a new Mercedes, but y'all know what Your Mama means.

photo: Sotheby's International Realty Los Feliz (Konstantine Valissarakos)

Another famous house owned by a famous person who recently got a significant haircut is the Hal Leavitt designed house in Beverly Hills owned by tonsorial tycoon Vidal Sassoon. Originally listed with in mid-January of 2010 with an asking price of $17,500,000, the price is now at $14,995,000. That's a heart-stopping $2,505,000 difference, children.

Mister Sassoon hasn't had the best real estate luck lately. In June of 2007 Mister Sassoon listed the Singleton House, a Richard Neutra designed number up on Mulholland Drive, for $19,995,000. By late January 2010, the price had sunk to $14,995,000 before being taken off the open market.

photo: Westside Estate Agency (Kurt Rappaport and Jonas Heller)

There are a number of rich and famous folks gearing up to take big losses on their real estate mistakes–can you say Scarlett Johansson?–but a few have already suffered gargantuan losses. One of those real estate losers is Madonna's former boy-toy Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez.

In December of 2004, when Mister A-Rod was still married to Missus A-Rod, they forked over $12,000,000 for an 8,310 square foot "Old World Mediterranean" style mansion in Coral Gables, FL. Four years later, in late October 2008, on the precipice of dee-vorce, the erstwhile couple listed the 6 bedrooms and 5 full and 3 half pooper property with an asking price of $14,876,000.

But alas. Although Mister A-Rod may have a way with the ladees–"dating" everyone from Rachel Uchitel to Sofia Vegara to Madonna to the insatiable man-eater Kate Hudson–he doesn't seem to have as much luck with the real estate. According to a recent report in the Miami Herald, Mister Rodriguez and ex-Missus Rodriguez recently sold their bay front estate to an unknown buyer for $8,500,000. Eight and a half million clams is a lot of money by any standard but it's also a staggering $3,500,000 loss on the property.

Ex-Missus Rodriguez is said to be shacked up in a rental on Palm Island in Miami Beach and Mister A-Rod is said to be shopping for new digs. He reportedly looked on star-studded Star Island–where homeowners include Rosie O'Donnell, Gloria Estefan and Puff Daddy or P-Diddle or whatever his damn name is–as well as even more exclusive Indian Creek Island, home to folks like crooner Julia Inglesias, embattled professional basketball coach Rick Pitino and big biznessman and former ambassador to Belgium Paul Cejas. According to the Miami Herald, Mister A-Rod is also considering building a house on celebrity lined North Bay Road.

photo: Bing

The award–if if can be called that–for the biggest recent real estate loss that Your Mama knows of goes to a man named Christopher Nassetta, the president and CEO of Hilton (Hotels) Worldwide. After being transferred from the Washington, D.C. area out to Beverly Hills, CA, Mister Nassatta bought a behemoth mansion in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles. He paid a numbing $27,500,000 in December of 2007 for his new house. Remember that number chickens.

The massive, 17,000+ square feet Paul Williams designed domicile was owned from 1977 to 2005 by seven times married St. Louis Rams owner Georgia Frontierre. Miz Frontierre, who went to meet the great quarterback in the sky in early 2008, sold the property in 2005 for $8,375,000 to a group of developers who rehabilitated and expanded the house to encompass 10 bedrooms and 15 poopers. The approximately 1.75 acre estate also includes two motor courts, off street parking for up to 40 automobiles, formal gardens, rambling gravel paths, a canal, a swimming pool, lighted tennis court, and a guesthouse.

It wasn't long after Mister Nassetta, his wife and their six children settled into their Bellagio Road residence that he was transferred to the Washington, D.C. area. So, just 18 months after buying their Bel Air beast, it was flipped back on the market with an asking price of $29,500,000. Three and a half months later an eye popping seven million smackers was lopped off the asking price and in late January the property sold for $18,000,000, representing a blood curdling $9,500,000 loss to Mister Nassetta, not counting the real estate feels that could have quite easily totaled another three-quarters of a million bucks. Your Mama, who doesn't know a lamp post from a hill of beans, has to assume that Hilton absorbed at least some of that loss. Even still, lo-ward have mercy, just thinking about a ten-plux million dollar loss has Your Mama sweating like a sow and reaching for a stiff gin & tonic to wash down a fat nerve pill.

photo: Nick Springett for Hilton & Hyland (Mauricio Umansky)


SID DELUCA said...

Fabulous stuff! I'm running out now to buy my Depends for piss in your pants floor plan Wednesday!

Candi Speling said...

Hope you're feeling better Mama! The "great quarterback in the sky" is clever and had me LOL. For my fellow chirren who may not know (or, heaven forbid, may not care) the Hilton family (you know, Paris, Nicky et.al.)is no longer affiliated with the hotels group. My understanding is they sold their interest a couple of years ago to Blackstone, in what was surely a gazillion dollar buyout. I'm sure if any of the chirren want to know more, Mama would be glad to do some digging on the Interweb to verify my ass. My assertion, I meant. My verification letters are "BFF"

Carla Ridge said...

Never fails to amaze me, that no matter how exclusive the NYC building, they freely feature floor plans, while even mid-level buildings or homes out here in LA treat them like a state secret. As if they got built or sold without 'em. HARUMPH.

You gotta really do some diggin', out here, to get the goods. Lucky for me, I'm a gold...I mean, GOOD digger from waaaaay back. LOL.

Carla Ridge said...

P.S. re the Levitt/Sassoon 'haircut' (LOL, Mama!): does it strike anyone else as unnecessarily panicky to drop the price THAT much after just over 60 days?

Anonymous said...

these price cuts are a joke, Carla Ridge, because of where they came from.

Charlie Sheen's Los Feliz place is like 4000 feet and he wants to turn a PROFIT on it from 07? Inside is crappy and the backyard is depressing with no views.

He needs to keep it for one of his biatches he'll make pregnant in near future.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I don't even know if you can call the Nassatta house a Paul Williams. The developers obliterated most of the niceties of a Williams designed residence, and threw a new facade on the front. I viewed the property before it was purchased, and while it need updating, they just ruined it...

Anonymous said...

Beyonce owns a huge spread in Indian Creeki Miami, as well as NYC and Westchester.

Anonymous said...

Carla - do tell where those of us who aren't good diggers can locate floor plans...pretty please.


Anonymous said...

It strikes me how similar are the attitudes toward spouses and houses in Tinsel Land, as if they were interchangable. You marry and divorce both on whim and within months or may a year or two at most. You might reflect on why houses and spouses are fungible out in those parts.

shelley said...

Take vitamin d3 and you will not have any more colds or flus. If you got a cold it means your level of d3 is too low. BE WELL.

Removalists Australia said...

These mansions are stunning! I just wish I could afford it. The prices are way too much though some of these are breaking down.

LeChat said...

Re Nasetta property - previous owner's surname is actually spelled "Frontiere." I wouldn't give a flying eff but for the fact that her 7th and final husband was the (I believe) very underrated TV & film soundtrack composer Dominic Frontiere.

Mr. F. gave us the Outer Limits theme; as well as soundtracks for Clint Eastwood's "Hang 'Em High" and my personal favorite, "The Stunt Man." Even though Frontiere won a Golden Globe for "The Stunt Man," the soundtrack has never been released on a legit CD. (Someone's selling it, but it's pulled from the LP and doesn't seem 100% kosher.) Worth finding the LP and dusting off the turntable.

Fun Frontiere fact: Mr. F. pleaded guilty to scalping Super Bowl tickets obtained through his wife and did a few months in the pokey. Should have led to a rousing prison musical.

Baby Candy said...

Since my Candy Mom started the topic, the Hilton of Hilton & Hyland real estate in some photo credits is Mr. Rick H. His daddy being Mr. Barron H., and two of his chirren being Ms. Paris & Ms. Nicky. On to sumthin trivial now....

JPH said...

MLS shows Britney paid $7,150,000 on 1/15/07 for Summit Circle, Mama says $6,750,000. Wonder which it is?

Removalist Melbourne said...

I'm speechless, this is one hell of an interesting article. However, I think that prices are high, at least too high for me ;)