Monday, August 30, 2010

Cornelia Guest Puts Templeton Back on the Market

SELLER: Cornelia Guest
LOCATION: Old Westbury, NY
PRICE: $11,900,000
SIZE: 11,532 square feet, 11 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Before socialites like Tinsley Mortimer jumped on the low-brow reality tee-vee train and celebutantes like Paris Hilton were regularly snapped by the paps with their hoo-hoos hanging out and getting busted by the po-po in a car full of pot smoke and coke, there was to the manor born Cornelia Guest. Miz Guest, who was called the "Deb of the Decade" in 1986, seamlessly and effortlessly blurred the lines between Manhattan's uptown uptight and downtown's funky fabulosity. Although never without the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, she catted around with the likes of Andy Warhol and was a habitué of the gloriously debauched Studio 54 where drugs were consumed like candy and drag queens and disco divas cavorted with the the high fashion crowd and Upper East Side social set.

Miz Guest was born solidly into the old-line American aristocracy. Her glammy style icon mother C.Z. Guest–whose portrait was famously painted by Diego Rivera, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol–came from a brood of blue blooded Boston Brahmins. Her polo champion father Winston Guest, a second cousin to Winston Churchill, was an heir to the colossal Phipps family fortune, much of which was derived from steel and real estate interests. A New York Times article from 2001 cleverly and accurately characterized the Guest family as "blueblood gone boho," which is exemplified by Winston and C.Z.'s 1947 wedding in Cuba in which the best man was the Old Man of the Sea himself Ernest Hemingway. Winston and C.Z. made two babies, Alexander and Cornelia.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of America's east coast based aristocrats and plutocrats coagulated at the western end of Long Island where they built spectacular and vast country estates with improbably large and lavish mansions. The area, known as the Gold Coast, quickly became a bucolic mecca for self-made industrialists, scions of old families, and other assorted lockjaws with recognizable family surnames such as Vanderbilt, Roosevelt, Rogers, Whitney, Phipps, Pratt, Woolworth, and Coe, whose family seat, a Tudor Revival style pile they called Coe Hall, had 65 rooms including floral arranging rooms, trunk storage rooms, cedar closets for linens and off-season ensembles, and accommodations for a household staff of at least thirteen.

Although some remain (somewhat) intact and a few are still in the hands of descendants of the original owners, many if not most of the old Gold Coast estates have been torn down, cut up, bought by the new crew of wealth and power including Wall Street honchos, and/or converted to commercial use.

All of this is Your Mama's long way around an itty bitty real estate tidbit recently printed on Page Six of the New York Post about Miz Cornelia Guest being overhead at Martha Stewart and Harry Slatkin's birthday party telling someone that Templeton, her historic family seat in Old Westbury, NY, is back on the market. According to The Post, Templeton is priced at "up to $20 million." Upon reading the the juicy real estate morsel Your Mama, natch, went a-peepin' and a-pokin' around the interweb to see what we could see. We're not exactly sure where the peeps at The Post got their twenty million dollar figure because with the help of Golda Knowsthegoldcoast we quickly turned up a live listing for Templeton that shows a much lower asking price. It's true the Templeton, which has been on and off the market for years and bears the gently worn hallmark and slightly frayed patina of old American money, was at one time listed at $20,000,000. However, according to current listing information, Templeton is now on the open market with a much lower asking price of $11,900,000.

Buckle up your safety belts butter beans because it gets a little confusing here. It seems that there are any number of different and contradictory stories as to the ownership lineage of Cornelia Guest's Templeton due in part to the fact that there have been not one but two Templetons in the Old Westbury neck of the Gold Coast owned by the Phipps-Guest clan(s).

Between 1916 and 1918 gunpowder mogul turned philanthropist Alfred I. du Pont had a major Neo-Federal style brick and white marble mansion designed and built on 300 acres in Old Westbury, NY by high society architects Carrere & Hastings, the same folks responsible for designing the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and the mansion of steel tycoon Henry Clay Frick–now home to the Frick Collection–at Fifth Avenue and East 70th Street. Mister du Pont's decadent new estate was dubbed White Eagle. In 1921, not long after the death of Alfred I's controversial and scandalous second wife (Mary) Alicia du Pont, White Eagle was sold at auction to Howard Phipps, that would be Cornelia's great-uncle on her mother's side. The New York Times reported at the time the property was bought for $470,000. At some point in the next few years the property was deeded to or purchased by Cornelia's grandparents Frederick E. and Amy Phipps Guest.

In 1959 White Eagle was inherited by Winston Guest–that would be Cornelia's daddy–who rechristened the estate Templeton. Winston sold Templeton to the New York Institute of Technology in 1972. Sometime after 1959 and prior to 1972–Golda Knowsthegoldcoast thinks it was in the early 1960s–Winston and C.Z. moved from the titanic mansion at Templeton–the former White Eagle estate–to a smaller and more manageable but still sprawling house nearby. As these blue-blooded types sometimes do when they move from one estate to another, Winston and C.Z. took along and re-christened their new home with the name Templeton. It is this house that is currently owned and listed for sale by Cornelia Guest.

Are the children following along?

During the 1960s and 70s Cornelia's polo playing papa Winston and her supah-chic mother C.Z. were embedded members of the glittery jet setting and arty-farty elite of New York City and beyond. The charismatic couple entertained frequently and according to Cornelia herself, her parents regularly hosted at Templeton the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Truman Capote, Yves Saint Laurent and his bidness partner/man-friend Pierre Bergé, heart transplant pioneer Dr. Christiaan Barnard, the Kennedys, fashion icon Halston, ballet honcho Rudolph Nureyev, and Oscar de la Renta who had a permanent room in the Guest house.

In the mid-1990s, after a stint in Los Angeles where she pursued a not very successful career as an actress, Cornelia moved back east and into Templeton. Although Cornelia's mommy C.Z. didn't pass over to the other side until 2003 and we presume she occupied Templeton until then, property records reveal that in April of 2000, the younger Miz Guest purchased the property from her brother Alexander for $6,125,000. While Your Mama don't know a turnip from a dump truck and these property transfers among old-line family member can be very complicated to sort out, it appears to us that Miz Guest was buying out whatever share of Templeton was owned by her brother.

A long, gated and tree lined drive cuts through wide open pastures and sweeps around from the back of the house to a large motor court that spreads out from the front of the sprawling and imposing but architecturally plain mansion. The modified Georgian style brick house, built in 1924 and added on to in a somewhat willy-nilly fashion over the years, stretches out impressively on either side of the entry that is modestly marked by a simple white doorway surround. Listing information reveals that the Templeton estate spreads across 15.52 acres with an 11,532 square foot main house that contains a total of 28 rooms including 11 bedrooms and 6 full and 2 half poopers.

The front door opens into a bizarre yet fantastically amazing and wonderfully quirky decorative display that includes potted plants in the center of a white marble floor, a couple of ocelot-hide chairs and ottomans pushed up against the walls and, flanking the front door, a pair of massive curving elephant tusks, reminders of the days when big game hunting was de rigueur among America's most wealthy.

Miz Guest, who we're happy to say has honored and maintained the original casual but dignified decorative spirit of the house has also added her own idiosyncratic touches with unexpected and incongruous items such as the tiger striped rug in the Blue and White room that overlooks the gardens. The children will note the Salvador Dali portrait of Cornelia's mother C.Z. hanging above the antique marble fireplace.

The animal print motif continues into a wide hall with well worn–some might even say worn out–leopard print wall to wall carpeting. In a New York Times profile Miz Guest–who currently has nine dogs and a donkey named Madonna–states that the carpet hides years and years of "dog stains." Your Mama is, to be sure, down with the lightly tattered and slightly shabby look of classic old American money day-core but Your Mama hopes and prays the ladee of the house means dirty dog paws and not canine wee-wee because, well, that would be disgusting.

The other well-scaled public rooms include a large salon with soaring ceilings, wood floors, a mish-mash of animal print and brocade chairs, and a John Singer Sargent portrait of Cornelia's infant father Winston on the lap of his grandmother Anne Phipps. In the ground floor library, there are cozy upholstered club chairs in front of a fireplace, animal hide covered stools and chairs–more remnants of the days when big game hunting was fashionable amongst the financially privileged–Chinoiserie accents, and walls and book filled shelves covered completely in an intricately patterned French printed cotton fabric. The celadon colored dining room has what appears to be green veined marble moldings and window surrounds, a worn parquet floor, and dining room chairs upholstered in a muted paisley print fabric that gives the room that certain aura of antique elegance meets discount fabric hodge-podge so particular to these sorts of houses.

Back in 2004 when the house was photographed for House & Garden, a magazine for which Cornelia's mother C.Z. wrote a syndicated column on gardening, the sun room had lattice panels affixed to the walls. Today, according to listing photos, the lattice has been removed although the Pepto-bismol pink walls, dark wicker and faded floral print furniture pieces remain.

Miz Guest's unrestrained and perhaps unresolved thing for animal prints and hides follows her, natch, right into her master bedroom where the floors are not at all surprisingly covered in wall to wall leopard print carpeting similar to that in the downstairs hallway. It is also in her bedroom where a topless portrait of her by Andy Warhol hangs above a marble topped commode.

In addition to the main house, the grounds of Templeton include two cottages, some greenhouses, extensive but somewhat haphazard gardens with big ol' topiaries, a swimming pool, tennis court, and equestrian facilities with stables, barns, pastures and riding rings. Although it's reported that she no longer rides much, Miz Guest was at one time an accomplished and dedicated equestrian.

Despite family portraits by John Singer Sargent, a Warhol or two, and all the trappings of old-school American landed gentry, the Guest's Templeton has a distinct lack of pretense or high nosed snottiness. This house, children, is what new money aspires to when they pay big bucks to have their newly built mega-mansions done up by expensive decorators in the old style. These attempts to re-create the the dull luster and laissez faire day-core of old American houses rarely succeeds leaving too many mansions looking like overly precious and sad stage-sets. Of course, we're certain that those with knowledge of and an affinity for actual old English country houses scoff and laugh at what passes for patina in old American homes modeled on their authentic English predecessors. But so it goes. One can always look up or down the totem pole, can't they?

In addition to a few acting roles in recent years, Miz Guest has a catering business and she quite recently started a vegan cookie company that, with all due respect to Miz Guest, Your Mama thinks of as little more than a charming lark of a charming heiress looking for something to do in her quickly approaching middle aged years.

Although in 2008, Miz Guest told Dan's Papers–a Hamptons mag–that she was relocating to Hollywood to restart the acting career that never really got of the ground the first time, the recent New York Post item reports that Miz Guest was overhead saying that she wanted to move to Montauk. Who knows? Not Your Mama, that's who. With the always unpredictable and delightful Miz Guest it's probably best not to speculate on her next move since she's been surprising those around her with her somewhat eccentric heiress ways practically since the day she was born.

In other Old Westbury real estate news, (alleged) mob daughter Victoria Gotti still has her giant heap of architectural vomit on the market with an asking price of $2,895,000. We first discussed the beweaved beehawtcha's behemoth back in December of 2008 when it was listed for $3,500,000.

listing photos: Prudential Douglas Elliman

The Doull and Ward Duel Heats Up and Results in Listing Townhouse

SELLERS: Matthew Doull and Vicky Ward
PRICE: $5,995,000
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen kittens, Your Mama knows that few of you probably recognize the names Vicky Ward or Matthew Doull. They are, none the less, high profile New Yorkers whose names have been in the tabs lately due their impending and ugly dee-vorce. Even still and although we recognize they're not exactly "celebrities," Your Mama is in a New York state of mind and we're feeling something sticky for the erstwhile couple's townhouse in New York City's once boho now insanely-gentrified West Village neighborhood currently on the market with an asking price of $5,995,000.

In the event that anyone cares, Mister Doull is a bit of biznessman and entrepreneur as well as a former (associate) publisher of the sexy-techie magazine Wired. He is also, for what it's worth, the step-nephew of disgraced media mogul Conrad Black who was recently released from the pokey on a $2,000,000 bond after serving a few years of a 6.5 year term for a couple of nasty convictions on mail fraud and obstruction of justice. Mister Black once owned a number of pricey properties up and down the eastern seaboard including a Palm Beach mansion that, despite denials by his people, has long been on the market with an undisclosed asking price. It was to this ocean front estate that Mister Black reportedly went immediately after being released.

Miz Ward is a British born and very glammy writer and contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, the gorgeous and glossy publication that Your Mama likes to think of as terlit reading for the urbane. The successful scribe has penned profiles and pieces on heaps of honchos and bigwigs such as former CEO turned wannabe senator Carly Fiorina, former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, prostie luvvin' billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, prostie luvvin' pol Eliot Spitzer, and former C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame. In addition to laying down ink for Vanity Fair and Huffington Post, and doing tons of on-air interviews for Bloomberg TV, Miz Ward recently released a best selling book by the name of The Devil's Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High States Games Inside Lehman Brothers.

As mentioned earlier, the not quite yet dee-vorced couple have had their names splashed around in the New York City tabs including on the pages of Miz Ward's former employer the New York Post where Page Six recently reported that both have restraining orders against each other after a big blow up that (allegedly) resulted from Mister Doull's request that Miz Ward pay for a Brazilian vacation he took with his 22-year old girlfriend. Besides being capital T-tacky on Mister Doull's part, what kind of gal who's barely old enough to imbibe booze gets involved with and goes on an international holiday with a man who's engaged in a bitter battle with his not quite yet ex-wife? And too, what sort of approaching middle age fellow with young children takes up with a 22 year old whippersnapper even before his dee-vorce is finalized?

Anyhoo, property records show that Mister Doull and Miz Ward purchased their West Village townhouse in May of 2000 when they shelled out $2,300,000 for the four floor plus basement townhouse. It appears to Your Mama that at the time the townhouse was snatched up it was a three unit warren of rooms that the once happy couple did up and over into a single family house with 3 real bedrooms and 3 full and 2 half poopers.

Although there are reports that Mister Doull moved out of the couple's once happy home in March and into a vacant West 9th Street apartment owned by stylish socialite and fashion writer Plum Sykes, Your Mama really has no idea exactly when Mister Doull and Miz Ward's relationship soured and swirled down the terlit of love. What we do know is that his is not the first trip the clashing couple have made to the real estate rodeo with this particular pony. According to the fine folks over at Streeteasy the Ward-Doull townhouse was first listed in mid-March of 2009 with an asking price of $6,995,000. It was mysteriously taken off the market just 12 days later.

Whatever the reason(s) for de-listing the property, it remained off the (open) market until mid-March of 2010 when it was hoisted back on the block with the higher asking price of $7,495,000. Two months later the price tag plummeted to $6,500,000 and another two months later the price dropped again to it's current asking price of $5,995,000.

For better or worse, the section of the West Village neighborhood where the Ward-Doull townhouse is located is no longer a boho enclave teeming with artists and writers. That is unless they're rich artists and writers, of course. The Ward-Doull townhouse, far from affordable for all but the very wealthy, is indeed perfectly situated and priced for all the pecunious peeps and chichi shop lovers who arrived like locusts over the last decade or two and transformed the neighborhood from a charming but slightly out of the way zigzag of narrow streets into a glittering shopping mecca for deep pocketed types, many of whom seem to cotton to the not accurate notion that it's edgy and downtown to crawl around the West Village to purchase $400 doo-dads from the innumerable pocketbook punishing boo-teeks that line the streets.

The Ward-Doull townhouse is indeed a perfect example of what the West Village has become. Once upon a time not too long ago the immediate neighborhood was a little too far west to be considered fashionable. It was a bit gritty and most people wouldn't have dreamt of stepping into one of the area's squares or parks after dark. Today, not only is the Ward-Doull townhouse situated directly across the street from a playground where stylish moms and foreign born nannies take their children and wards for jungle gym climbing and screaming, it is sandwiched between the James Perse boo-teek where a simple cotton wife-beater tank will cost a gal fifty-five smackers and one of the three celebrity packed shoppy shops über designer Marc Jacobs has in the 'hood. Other ritzy retailers near the Ward-Doull townhouse include Jack Spade–the male arm of Kate Spade's burgeoning lifestyle empire–Lulu Guinness, and the world famous (and quite possibly over-rated) Magnolia Bakery where tourists and New Yorkers alike line up out the door for a nibble of one of their $3 and 25 cent damn cupcakes.

While Your Mama finds the day-core lackluster and even a bit dull, according to listing information the interiors were all done up by a ladee-decorator named "Kathy Lydon." Unfortunately, the Real Estates misidentified Kathy Lydon whose actual name is Katie Lydon, a New York City based Brit who was recently called out by both Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home as an up and coming (interior) designer.

Listing information indicates the landmark townhouse was built in 1860 as part of a row of seven townhouses, all of which besides the Ward-Doull's have ground floors converted to commercial and retail spaces. With no elevator, the four floor townhouse may not be for the torpid or glutially weak. However, for those who don't mind getting a bit of exercise climbing from the ground floor kitchen to the third floor master bedroom the townhouse offers a modestly sized and well-conceived floor plan.

As do the front doors of many West Village townhouse, the front door of the Ward-Doull dwelling opens directly from the sidewalk of bizzy bizzy Bleecker Street into the ground floor of the building that includes a small foyer, living room with fireplace and small dining area that must be traversed in order to get to the generously scaled and sky lit eat in kitchen. For reasons that should be obvious to the children, we don't care for a pooper to open directly into the kitchen where food in prepared as does the powder pooper of the Ward-Doull townhosue. Perhaps there were structural limitations that did not allow such, but Your Mama would have much preferred the door to the powder pooper be placed in the small hall landing behind the dining room that leads down to the finished basement level.

The lower level, a finished basement really, contains a large windowless recreation room with fireplace, a windowless three-quarter pooper, windowless laundry facilities, and loads of storage space including 4 closets in the recreation room area and a separate bedroom-sized storage room. In a city where space–storage space in particular–can be difficult to come buy, all the storage here is enough to make most New Yorkers seethe with envy.

The entire second floor consists the family's casual living quarters, one large room with two fireplaces that stretches more than 35 feet front to back with a trio of windows at the front and a sliding door that opens to a 200-square foot roof deck at the back. At the center of the room, a very ordinary but probably expensive sofa is flanked by built-in bookshelves and sits across from a media wall in which all the equipment including a large flat screen have been thoughtfully sunk into cubbies. Whomever is responsible for the floor plan smartly included a wet bar at the back of the second floor with and under counter fridge as well as a half-pooper with window.

The townhouse's third floor is given over to the master suite that includes a large bedroom with fireplace, custom fitted walk-in closet that is passed through to get to the master pooper that spans the full width of the townhouse and includes a large soaking tub, two sinks, separate shower with window, and a separate cubicle for the terlit.

The fourth and final floor has a sky-lit landing with closet and hall bath, two adequate size bedrooms each with commodious walk in closet. There's also an itty bitty room marked "bedroom" on the floor plan but it's a wee small for a proper bedroom in a six million dollar townhouse and besides there's no closet in the room which means it would make a much better study room for the kiddies, a wee play room, or maybe even a teeny-tiny guest room for over nighters who don't rank high enough on the pole to warrant getting an actual bedroom.

Listing information indicates the townhouse can legally be used as a bed and breakfast but Your Mama doesn't know why anyone would even consider such a thing.

listing photos: Corcoran

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crocodile Dundee: Property Shark

SELLER: Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski
LOCATION: Montecito, CA
PRICE: $6,500,000
SIZE: 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in the mid-1980s a rugged and hunky 40-something year old Australian actor named Paul Hogan starred in a low budget comedy called Crocodile Dundee. Much to the shock and surprise of everyone, the Australian made movie became a worldwide phenomena with blistering box office receipts that one website reports totaled a staggering $328,000,000.

In 1986, around the time Mister Hogan's crocodile movie was released, he was dee-vorced from his second wife–who was also his first wife–and in 1990 married his Crocodile Dundee co-star and current wife, actress Linda Kozlowski.

Unfortunately for movie goers, two more Dundee films followed the first. The second installment roared to box office success 1988 and, in a futile effort to squeeze blood from a cinema turnip, the third was released in 2001. Not surprisingly the third, final, and desperate Crocodile Dundee film was a box office flop. None the less and according to the same above mentioned website, the second and third Dundee movies took in combined gross receipts of $278,993,111.

Given their rather slim resumes on the Internet Movie Data Base, not many people, particularly those in the business of show, have thought much if at all of Mister Hogan and Miz Kozlowski since at least the early 2000s. The couple have, however, been much in the papers and tabloids the last few days and weeks due to some nasty and alleged tax issues back in Australia.

Here's the skinny as Your Mama understands it: For the last five or so years Mister Hogan (and Miz Kozlowski) have been embroiled with the Australian Taxation Office over back back taxes as it turns out. The A.T.O. claims that Mister Hogan, now a septuagenarian, used off-shore bank accounted to hide profits from the stoopid but lucrative Crocodile Dundee film franchise. Although exact numbers have not been released, recent reports reveal that the Aussie tax-man says Mister Hogan owes 37.6 million Australian dollars of unpaid taxes, an amount Your Mama's currency conversion contraption reveals amounts to a heart stopping 33,365,600 in U.S. cheddar. A week ago, Mister Hogan flew back to Australia san wife and kid to attend his mother's funeral and, much to his and his wife's surprise, was immediately served an order by the A.T.O. that forbids him from leaving Australia until he coughs up the cash for his back taxes.

As complex and juicy as Mister Hogan's 5-year skirmish with the Australian taxman may be, it hasn't stopped he and his wife from repeatedly dipping their toes into the real estate pond here in the U-nited States of America where according to the bizzy boys at Celebrity Address Aerial they currently own a home in fancy-pants Montecito, CA that's on the market with an asking price of $6,500,000.

Interestingly, property records show that the Montecito mansion was purchased through a trust in September of 2008 for $6,700,000. We don't even need to flick the well worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus to see that even if the property sells for its full asking price–which is unlikely in these topsy turvy real estate times–Mister Hogan and Miz Kozlowski are going to suffer a sizable financial hit to their (alleged off-shore) bank accounts.

Listing information for the property indicates the fairly newly built mansion sits on 1.2 acres and is of a "French Country" style of architecture but, frankly, Your Mama just don't see it. What we do espy, based listing information and marketing materials, is that electronic gates swing open to a circular gravel driveway surrounded by redwoods and a front facing two car garage. Surely there was another solution to the garage than to face it front where it smacks people right across the face and gives the front facade a distinct and strong impression of being an ordinary if upscale tract house.

A hand-crafted and carved hardwood front door opens into the entrance foyer that features a tightly curled staircase with delicate wrought iron spindles. The main floor rooms include a formal living room with fireplace and built in shelves which allow it to do double duty as a library as well as a formal dining room all done up in shades of taupe with a coved ceiling and crystal chandelier. Less formal living spaces include a large living/family room with chestnut colored hardwood floors, fireplace, and French doors to the terrace that runs along the back of the house.

The eat in kitchen is a sunny affair with light putty colored cabinets done in a combination of closed and open shelving–which we like–marble counter tops, stainless steel appliances, farmhouse style sink, and French doors that open on to the terrace at the back of the house that overlooks the grounds and swimming pool. The main floor, according to listing information, also has a bedroom and pooper suite for guests or live-in staff as well as a powder room for dinner guest and drop-ins.

Upstairs are three bedrooms each with private pooper. The generous but not huge master has chestnut colored hardwood floors, a vaulted and beamed ceiling, private balcony with wrought iron railings that looks over the back yard, custom designed walk-in closet, and marble and glass pooper.

The terrace at the rear of the house has an outdoor fireplace for taking the nip of the seaside evening air and wide stairs that drop down to the meticulously maintained and unnaturally green lawn. A short hop across the lawn is the swimming pool surrounded by imported Turkish limestone. An adjacent open air cabana has a second outdoor fireplace and mini-kitchenette, a feature we're quite certain our imperious house gurl Svetlana would appreciate so that she need not schlep out into the hot sun every time Your Mama or the Dr. Cooter desire a gin & tonic or other cold beverage. Other outdoor accouterments on the fully landscaped property include an organic vegetable garden as well as an organic citrus orchard, both of which are lovely accouterments.

Based on previous reports, the Hogan-Kozlowskis have long ago decamped from Montecito for Malee-boo where they purchased a 3 bedroom and 3 pooper mid-century modern era house in the guard gated Serra Retreat (below). Records show the property was purchased in August of 2009 for $6,500,000.

There seems to be some sort of bad ju-ju floating around the Serra Retreat that's been tainting celebrity residents over the last 5 or ten years. First there was Olivia Newton John whose man-friend Patrick went missing never to be seen again. She's since picked up and moved to Florida and sold her house in the Serra Retreat that happens to be across the street from titanically rich director James Cameron's compound and right next door to the mansion that pop tartlet Britney Spears owned and occupied when she was married to and split from her baby daddy Whatshisname. It was shortly after leaving her house at the Serra Retreat that she went plum bonkers, a sorry state of affairs from which the entertainer has since rebounded.

The Serra Retreat's most famous resident is–or rather, was–Mel Gibson who shacked up in a sprawling estate with his soon to be ex-wife and their 49 children until he went off and got himself a Russian wench who bore his a love child. Of course, everyone knows the ugly brouhaha between Mister Gibson and his Russian baby momma so there's really no need to recap that crap. Mister Gibson's estate–which we're told is now occupied by his soon to be wildly rich soon to be ex-wife–is currently on the market for $12,750,000 after first being listed at $14,500,000.

Most recently Serra Retreat resident Kelsey Grammer dumped his celery stalk of a wife Camille after 13 years of marriage and two piglets. Soon to be ex-Missus Grammer is part of the upcoming Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reality program so that could get inneresting. While Mister Grammer claimed there was no other woman, just weeks after filing for a dee-vorce he was seen and photographed canoodling and house hunting with a young blond who is rumored to be preggers. It's just so damn cliche we can't stand it. Here's this wildly rich, middle aged, and not particularly attractive actor who trades his 40-something year old wife in for a newer, shinier, and younger blond girlfriend. Gawd. Does it get any more ridiculous?

Anyhoo, Your Mama's point is that Mister Hogan and Miz Kozlowski have had the Serra Retreat bad settle on them like dust on a windshield just as have so many of the other celebrity residents/property owners in Malee-boo's most desirable gated community.

The house in Montecito is far from the first time the Hogan-Kozlowskis have been to the real estate fair in the U-nited States. In They previously owned a 4,518 square foot house in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles that they bought in June of 2005 and flipped in December of 2005. In December of 2005 they purchased a 3,249 square foot house on Riven Rock Road in Montecito that records show they sold in April of 2008 to a New York based couple. Earlier reports reveal that Mister Hogan and decorating mad Miz Kozlowski have bought and flipped as many as half a dozen houses in Montecito over the years. Hope they paid their capital gains.

P.S. If any of the children have an urge to say something about putting some shrimp on the damn barbie we suggest your bite your tongue or Your Mama might be forced to find you and beat yo ass with a wooden damn spoon. Seriously. Just. Don't. Do it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A New Mansion for Shonda Rhimes

SELLER: Shonda Rhimes
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,695,000
SIZE: 4,920 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: If the children will put on their celebrity real estate thinking caps they might recall what long damn slog it has been for indie-alterna musician and super Scientologist Beck Hansen and his wife Marissa Ribisi to sell their mansion in the Hancock Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA.

Back in April of 2007 Mister and Missus Beck bought a big house in the historic and fancy Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. They paid, according to records and reports, $6,750,000 for the 6 bedroom and 9 pooper property but quickly had a real estate change of heart–oh, those fickle famous folks and their wacky real estate ways–and flipped their real estate mistake back on the market in July of 2008 with an optimistic asking price of $9,000,000. By August of 2009, the asking price of Mister and Missus Beck's residential albatross in Hancock Park had plummeted to $6,595,000, otherwise known as $255,000 less than they had paid for the place just 2 and some years prior.

Finally and at long last Your Mama learned from the bizzy boys over at Celebrity Address Aerial that in early March of 2010 Mister and Missus Beck unloaded their unwanted residence for $5,600,000. A few quick flicks of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that's just 62% of their original pie in the real estate sky asking price and a painful $1,150,000 less than they paid for the property not counting improvement costs–which include installing a full recording studio and rehearsal room–and the fat real estate fees that easily cost the couple more than $200,000.

This was not the first punishing financial loss Mister and Missus Beck took on their real estate portfolio in 2010. In February of 2007 they paid $2,050,000 for a modestly sized house in the Point Dume area in Malee-boo. They sold the house in late January of 2010 for $1,650,000, a $400,000 loss not counting improvements and real estate fees. If Your Mama tries to add all that up in our mind we come up with Mister and Missus Beck watching almost (or at least) two million clams wash away like flower petals on a raging river.

The buyer of Beck's white elephant was another Hollywood hotshot, 3-time Emmy nominated writer and producer Shonda Rhimes, the ladee responsible for foisting hospital dramas Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice on the airwaves. All the children know by now that Your Mama does not care for a hospital drama. Not only do we not want to know that our male nurse Fentanyl patch on his thigh but the Dr. Cooter brings us home enough real life hospital drama to quench our thirst for all things medically related. Anyhoo and for what it's worth, Miz Rhimes also penned the screenplay for the Halle Berry vehicle Introducing Dorothy Dandridge as well as the embarrassing flop Crossroads starring Britney Spears in her feature film debut.

Now that Miz Rhimes has herself a new house in Hancock Park she needs to sell her previous home in Hancock Park which happens to be located just a few blocks norht on the very same street as her new manse. Property records show that Miz Rhimes picked up her first Hancock Park house in December of 2005 paying $3,885,000 for a 1926 Mediterranean mini-mansion that measures 4,940 square feet. The 5 bedroom and 5.5 pooper was listed on the open market in late July 2010 with an asking price of $3,695,000, a figure that represents an automatic loss of almost two hundred thousand clams not counting fees even if Miz Rhimes real estate people pull a real estate rabbit out of a hat and sell the house at its current full asking price.

It appears to Your Mama, based on the real estate photos, that Miz Rhimes has long moved on from her old house and into her new house and that her real estate people have had her former home staged like nobody's bizness. Or, at least we hope it's staged because there is so little life in the rooms that it would be heart breaking to think of Miz Rhimes making a home in a house where the books in the bookshelves are so preciously and self consciously displayed in the sun porch/family room that connects the formal living room to the terrace at the back of the house.

The former Rhimes residence opens to a soaring impress the guests foyer with and double-arched beamed ceiling, stained glass windows, dark stained hardwood floors, elaborate carved stone moldings that frame the entrance into the step down formal living room, and a sensuous staircase the curves gently as it rises to the private quarters on the second floor. We're just going to look past the unforgivable horse figurine standing there in the entrance way and call it a decorative moment of madness for Stager Ladee in a Pink Toyota. The aforementioned formal living room has a beamed ceiling, carved stone fireplace surround, and a trio of French doors with transom windows that open into the sun room/family room where a couple of Bergere style arm chairs covered in zebra striped fabric flank a white upholstered love seat that we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly was ordered from the Pottery Barn catalog.

The kitchen complex includes a lot of white cabinetry that reaches all the way to the ceiling, high grade stainless steel appliances, some of the most upsetting looking gray and beige tiles on the floor and some similar and equally as distressing tile on the counter tops, a huge butler's pantry, and a large breakfast room/den with a decorative mix of built in bench seating and black director's chairs with white canvas seats and backs. Other rooms include, according to listing information, a formal dining room with a curving wall of windows that look out on the back yard, a family room with built in cabinetry, a "jewel box" of a powder pooper for guests, office area, bonus/morning room–whatever that is–and a staff room and pooper on the ground floor.

The second floor includes 4 bedrooms and 3 full poopers including the master suite with 2 walk-in closets with dressing areas, sizable private pooper with pink walls, marble accents and off-white subway tiles, a separate soaking tub and glass enclosed shower. The master boo-dwar also has a covered veranda that Your Mama would quickly convert into a screened in sleeping porch for that at-home quasi-camping experience on warm summer nights.

In addition to the de rigueur swimming pool and spa with old-school brick coping, the big backyard has an luscious outdoor showering station, built in barbecue center with sink and mini-fridge, a "romantic" vine covered pergola that shades a terrace with outdoor fireplace, thick and mature plantings that include fruit trees, and an elaborate and large children's playhouse done up like a quaint Victorian house. The detached two-car garage has been converted, according to listing information, into an office lined with brown stained shelves and cabinetry, pooper, and pool changing room. We adore a pool pooper and changing room, but would sorely miss a garage because it is, frankly, too damn hot to leave automobiles out baking in the scorching southern California sunshine day in and day out.

Miz Rhimes former residence has also been fitted and kitted with, according to listing information, several flat screen tee-vees–natch–a Crestron home automation system, surround sounds, amped up security systems and a tri-zoned heating and cooling system for summer and winter time comfort.

Your Mama can only hope that Miz Rhimes new residence works better for her and her family than it appears to have worked for the peripatetic Mister and Missus Beck who can't seem to find a place to plant themselves for more than a couple of years at a time.

listing photos: Prudential CA – Beverly Hills

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Diceman Leaveth Los Angeles

SELLER: Andrew Dice Clay
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,399,000
SIZE: 2,720 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama woke early, put our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly in the back seat of the big BMW and made the long trek from our remote and low-tech desert hideaway into civilization–if you can call it that–where we've managed to pilfer some wireless internet service while sitting in a café full of desert dwelling townies who keep looking at Your Mama like we're from another damn planet. Amongst the many unread emails we found when we powered up our trusty laptop at said sad café was a little ditty from Brenda Blabsitall who squealed to Your Mama that controversial insult comic Andrew Dice Clay recently unloaded his house in Hollywood, CA.

To some, Mister Dice Clay–who was born with the name Andrew Silverstein–follows in the much lauded and applauded footsteps of venerated funny folks like Don Rickles, Sam Kinison and Joan Rivers who made themselves famous and rich by humorously insulting others. To others Mister Dice Clay is little more than a rude, crude, lewd and aggressively misogynist man with a masturbation obsession and a freaky Fonzi complex. Iffin we're being honest chickens, and we always are, Your Mama thought Mister Dice Clay had long gone to the proverbial graveyard of forgotten comics and entertainers, replaced ages ago by the new crop of insult comics like celebrity skewerer Kathy Griffin and foul mouthed Lisa Lampanelli. In fact and much to our surprise, besides being the first fired by Donald Trump on one of those Celebrity Apprentice programs, Mister Dice Clay is alive, well, kicking, and telling his often offensive and sometimes degrading jokes every damn night at the Las Vegas Hilton.

While property records show that Mister Dice Clay owns a 4,461 square foot house in suburban Las Vegas, NV that he bought in bought in August of 2006 for $450,000, records also show that he has also owned a home in Hollywood since July of 2003 when he bought a light turqwahze traditional at the base of Nichols Canyon for $1,179,000. The house, perhaps not surprisingly given Mister Dice Clay's signature 1950s rebel look, looks like the house where Fonzi lived in the apartment above the Cunningham's garage on the long defunct situation comedy Happy Days.

Of course, Your Mama don't know a scone from a biscuit, but many people of fortunate finances get a new house when they get a new spouse and given that Mister Dice Clay recently got hitched to a third wife–he has two sons by a previous wife–it's very possible (or not) that the recent betrothal was the impetus for selling the house.

The well kept house was first hoisted on to the market in late May 0f 2010 with the asking price of$1,399,000. That must have been the right price because the house was sold, done, closed in just over 60 days at $1,399,000. Based on listing photos, Mister Dice Clay–or perhaps it was one of his ex-wives who lived here–moved out prior to listing the property so we don't get to diss and discuss the day-core.

Listing information shows the house measures a somewhat modest 2,720 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers. The front door opens to a central foyer and staircase with a large living room to the right that has a fireplace with a green marble and brass surround, big paned windows, and equilibrium upsetting muted tiger striped wall to wall carpeting. Behind the living room a small den with more wall to wall tiger striped carpeting, built in shelving and a double sliding glass door that opens to a terrace at the back of the house.

On the opposite side of the central foyer from the living room is a formal dining room and behind the the well-equipped and maintained but dated eat-in kitchen has cream colored cabinetry, glass fronted upper cabinets, white appliances and cream colored tile counter tops and back splash. There is also a "garden room" according to listing information with travertine tile floor (or some other sort of material) laid at an angle to the room and a long curving wall of French doors that open to the back yard terrace.

The upstairs bedrooms include two family bedrooms with walls painted a darker shade of Tiffany blue, white window frames and moldings, white ceiling fans, and a dusty light blue wall to wall carpeting that gives Your Mama's delicate decorative sensibilities a shiver and a jolt of upset. The master bedroom, on the other hand, is a tone on tone study of beige things with camel colored curtains, pale beige built-ins, and cream colored wall to wall carpeting. Mister Dice Clay's boo-dwar includes 2 walk-in closets and a private pooper as dated as the kitchen with a double sink vanity with tile counter and a gigantic jetted bathtub set into a dizzying alcove lined with mirrors. If there's anything more uncomfortable to Your Mama than sitting in a giant boiling and bubbly vat of filthy water is sitting in a giant tub of filthy water surrounded by mirrors.

A long , gated and dead straight driveway scoots up the side of the house to the detached two-car garage at the back of the property. A wide, pergola shaded terrace runs along the back side of the house and steps down to the tree-shaded and grassy back yard. Your Mama expected for this amount of money in this location to find a pretty swimming pool in the back yard, but alas, there appears to be little more than and expensive and difficult to maintain lawn surrounded by tall privacy creating ficus hedges.

Whether Mister Dice Clay will opt to pick up another Los Angeles area property isn't known to Your Mama but with his performance schedule in Las Vegas it's hard to imagine he'd have time to look let alone occupy a house that isn't in Las Vegas.

Now then, Your Mama and the long bodied bitches are back out to the boonies where we plan on spending the rest of the day seeking shade and sipping ice cold gin and tonics while the sands shift and swirl around the cacti.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Listen chickens...

...Your Mama has done found our tired ol' self out in the middle of the desert where it's beautiful but 95 in the shade and there isn't an internet connection for 18 miles. eight damn teen miles.

We'll be back at the rodeo as soon as we can sort out our technical (and/or geographic) issues.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Bill Dedman continues with more riveting and revealing information about the reclusive centenarian heiress Huguette Clark.

A media mogul by the name of John Malone has dropped a staggering amount of money for a massive New Mexico ranch with 290,100 contiguous acres. The Bell Ranch, so sprawling it has its own damn zip code, was first listed way back in 2007 with an asking price of $115,000,000 but was later reduced to $83,000,000.

The property includes a 10,000 square foot 1930s hacienda style case with 8 bedrooms and commercially equipped kitchen, a 2,900 square foot guest house, a separate "casino" for parties and other "rollicking good times," private airfield, 13 miles of frontage on the Canadian River.

It seems that Angeleños think that Chicago's soon to be former favorite citizen Oprah Winfrey might be moving to Tinseltown where her new television station (OWN) is headquartered and that New Yorkers think that she might be in the market for a Manhattan pied a terre since The Bigt O's b.f.f. Gayle King was spotted touring a couple of high priced pied a terre on Park Avenue.

Courtney Love has gone and leased actress/model Milla Jovovich's West Village townhouse. She's made comments that she might be interested in buying the place, but we shall see. Miz Love is a mercurial and peripatetic type who could decide tomorrow that she wants to become a silent monk in dictatorially ravaged Zimbabwe.

Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen (I hate being famous) Stewart take their on the down low relationship up to a secluded hideaway above Los Angeles's Stone Canyon Reservoir in Bel Air.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Malibu Modern in The Rockaways...That's Right, the Rockaways

SELLER: Brett Morgen and Debra Eisenstadt
LOCATION: The Rockaways, Queens, NY
PRICE: $4,495,000
SIZE: 5,600 square feet, 3 bedrooms 2 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama knows some people–a lot of people, actually–who have lived in New York City their entire adult lives and never made the trip down Brooklyn's fantastically diverse Flatbush Avenue to The Rockaways, a collection of mostly working class communities in Queens that line up along a narrow spit of sand barely three blocks wide at some points. For many, Manhattanites in particular, The Rockaways might as well be the moon since it seems terribly far away not to mention an entirely different socio-cultural world. Pity that. Besides having about 4-miles of gorgeous ocean frontage with wide sandy beaches–some of which are, believe it or not, pristine–The Rockaways are a fascinating slice of the amazing pie that makes up New York City.

There are basically three parts of the Rockaways: Breezy Point, the Far Rockaways, and everything in between. The Far Rockaways, at the eastern end directly south and in the flight path of J.F.K. International Airport, was once a summertime getaway for rich and famous types like W.C. Fields and Mae West. It also happens to be where big bad Bernie Madoff and his wifey Ruth grew up. Time hasn't been kind to the once chic Far Rockaways which today is a pretty rough and tumble jumble of neighborhoods that range from pretty nice to downright scary.

At the far western end of the Rockaways is Breezy Point, a small gated cooperative enclave that in 2001 the New York Times called "the whitest place in New York" due to its 98% Caucasian population. The Rockaways–and Breezy Point in particular–have long attracted a large number of members of the New York City police and fire departments and heaps and hordes of people of Irish descent, which has led to The Rockaways sometimes being referred to as the "Irish Riviera."

In between Breezy Point and the Far Rockaways are a collection of neighborhoods that range from the gang infested Hammel Houses to working class Rockaway Park to the upscale Belle Harbor made famous in November of 2001 when American Airlines flight 587 crashed into the neighborhood resulting in the deaths of more than 260 people.

Nowadays, mixed in with all the fire people, po-po, Irish, and working class locals who flock to the beach in the summertime to escape the crushing humidity are city folks and scads of arty farty hipster types who have discovered that it's a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to get to The Rockaways on the A-train than it is to get to the Hamptons, Fire Island, or even Robert Moses State Park on Long Island.

Straddling the border between the upscale Belle Harbor and the even more upscale Neponsit neighborhoods at the western end of The Rockaways, a somewhat out of its element ocean front glass and cedar sided contemporary is currently on the market with an asking price of $4,495,000. The owners of the house, which was designed and completed in 2008 by New York City architect Edward Mills, is Oscar nominated (documentary) filmmaker Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Chicago 10, Say It Loud: A Celebration of Black Music in America, On the Ropes) and his wife Debra Eisenstadt who in addition to being an actor, director, producer, and writer (Oleanna, The Limbo Room) also happens to be the granddaughter Benjamin Eisenstadt, the food condiment packaging tycoon who developed the formula for and designed the pink packet for the sugar substitute Sweet & Low.

The movie making couple picked up their Belle Harbor house in September of 2006 for $3,400,000 according to property records. The Morgen-Eisenstadts are the peeps responsible for the current contemporary architectural iteration of the residence that stylistically speaking could be picked up and happily plunked down in Malibu, CA or the gay gay gay Pines community on Fire Island, NY. Listing information indicates the modern house, a collection of solid masses, transparent planes and unexpected voids fitted together like an intricate puzzle, measures around 5,600 square feet spread over 4 floors and includes 3-4 bedrooms–depending on what one considers a bedroom–and 2 full and 3 half poopers.

The home is entered via an exterior staircase that climbs up to the first floor from the street level. Just beyond the front door is a small but proper entrance hall with coat closet and powder pooper. Several steps down from the entrance hall a long and sort of narrow living/dining room has over-sized windows that looks out onto dune, beach and ocean views. The floors are bee-yoo-tee-fully distressed French oak and the fireplace is a mass of sand colored stacked stone. Since the view is the undisputed star of the show here, artworks in the room are nil and furnishings include little more than a charcoal colored sectional sofa, that like the house is a collection of masses and voids in furniture form, and sculptural rough-edged wooden coffee and dining tables in the stunning style of master woodworker George Nakashima.

The clean lined kitchen/family room has stainless steel counter tops and back splash, concrete floors, and high grade stainless steel appliances wisely juxtaposed against more organic feeling wood cabinetry with flat fronts, visually textured exposed grain, and an ashy/bleached finish. A work island with Wolf range and raised breakfast counter separates the kitchen from the small family room area where a second fireplace with sand colored stacked stone surround is flanked by wood-framed glass doors that slide open to a blue stone terrace with outdoor fireplace and a small but heated ocean view swimming pool.

The lower level of the home, a basement sort of space that's actually on grade with the street, is comprised of a single car garage, large play room, half-pooper, a trio of large storage rooms and a small but state of the art media room with blood red walls, a titanic 12' x 7' screen, and cozy, red velvet covered sectional sofas.

A steep stair rises from behind the kitchen to an airy and light infused second floor hall where there hangs a portrait of Edward Kennedy by Andy Warhol and off of which open the three primary bedrooms. There are two smaller ocean view bedrooms that share a Jack and Jill style pooper with an ocean side window, and a master suite with vaulted ceiling, fireplace, huge walk in closet, and small but dee-luxe sky lit and ocean view pooper with separate tub and frameless glass shower. A wall of sliders opens the bedroom to a semi-private ocean side deck with glass railing.

Another steep stair case with glass rail and open treads leads to the third and top floor where a narrow "L" shaped room opens to a small terrace, the floor of which is punched by two sky lights that look directly down into the master pooper, a situation that could get a little ugly and embarrassing. The top level also includes another half-pooper and glassed in office area that gives way to a large roof terrace where the Morgen-Eisenstadt's managed–no doubt at considerable expense–to hoist up a free standing hot tub. While this hot tub on the roof is making the ocean and hot tub loving Dr. Cooter wet his pants with glee and envy, Your Mama would like to have seen the sellers spend a few more clams enclosing the hot tub in materials more in line with the gray cedar vertical that clads the exterior of the house. None the less, the roof deck has 360 degree views that in addition to unobstructed and mesmerizing vista of the Atlantic Ocean there are great views of the twinkling lights of New York City, planes landing at J.F.K., and the Verrazano Bridge.

When the house was renovated, the current owners, that would be Mister Morgen and Miz Eisenstadt, spent big to install a 9-zone central air and radiant heat system, a security system that includes six surveillance cameras, and a 13-zone Crestron home automation system through which discreet panels on the walls of each room control the home's lighting, audio and video systems, as well as the iPod and Sirius radio set ups.

Perhaps Mister Morgan and Miz Eisenstadt have realistically responded to a still sagging real estate market, or maybe because they recognize that in this stiff market the financially qualified buying pool for a house like this in a location like The Rockaways is slim at best, or possibly just because they're eager to move on to wherever they're going next, the asking price was recently chopped a couple of times from $5,379,000 to it's current price tag of $4,995,000.

No offense to the fire, po-po, and hipster people who love it there, but we're not convinced that for 4 and some million clams The Rockaways is the location of our ocean front dreams. Plus we're certain our imperious house gurl Svetlana would sooner slit our wrists than contend with the fingerprints and pooch nose juice that stainless steel and exterior glass railings tend to attract in Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's home. But dah-uhm children, this house is right up Your Mama's architectural alley. We're a bit iffy on a few things such as the tee-vee mounted above the sliders in the master and the switch to a different kind of wood floor in the upstairs poopers is awkward at best, but we're swooning over the glittering white walls that provide a barely there backdrop for the mix of hard edged and organic elements that play themselves out throughout the house and, of course, that speck-tack-u-lar view of the ocean across the undulating grassy dunes.

listing photos: Corcoran

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Day, Another Dee-vorce, Another Mansion on the Market

SELLERS: Eric and DeShawn Snow
LOCATION: Alpharetta, GA
PRICE: $4,998,000
SIZE: 10,317 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 6 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: When peeps with high profiles head to the court of dee-vorce it's not the least bit unusual that one or another or all of their ritzy residences get hoisted on to the market. Sometimes the property sales are to satisfy the settlement decree but often is just because they're rich enough that they can sell their marital house of horrors and start anew in a new house not infested with ugly memories.

Today's tale of celebrity dee-vorce and real estate woe involves former reality television star DeShawn Snow and her retired professional athlete huzband Eric Snow. The proverbial shit first hit the tabloid fan in the early spring of 2010 when Mister Snow filed papers with the court of dee-vorce amid rumors and reports that he put a baby in the belly of a ladee who is not his wife. However, it wasn't until recently, after it was reported that Mister Snow's new baby momma popped their love child out of her adulterous chocha, that the erstwhile couple put their once happy home in Alpharetta, GA on the market with an asking price of $4,998,000.

Of course, Your Mama don't know a basketball from a golf club so we had a quick consult with our ball obsessed b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau who told us that Mister Snow, who retired only in 2009, first played for the Seattle Supersonics before he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers where he spent the majority of his professional career as a ball dribbler and shooter. In 2004 Mister Snow was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although he missed only 1 game between 2004 and 2007, some torn cartilage in his knee forced him to sit out the 2008 and 2009 seasons. In April of 2009, the Cavs released Mister Snow from his contract and, reportedly, were only required to pay out a portion of his $7,000,000+ salary. Nowadays, besides getting himself a dee-vorce and a new baby momma to support, Mister Snow busies himself as an analyst for something called NBA TV.

Soon to be ex-Missus Snow became a household name among reality television junkies like Your Mama when she appeared on the first season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Oh that poor DeShawn. She seemed like a nice lady who did her charity work and who had taken to her lavish lifestyle like to the manor she was born. The mousy Missus Snow was, however, no match for the other publicity loving pirhanas on the show including larger than life Nene Leakes, be-wigged adulteress Kim Zolciak, and the most harrowing and desperately pretentious one of them all, Shereé Whitfield. Bravo axed soon to be ex-Missus Snow at the end of the first season. Your Mama thinks this was really best for soon to be ex-Missus Snow because those other women, vipers all, could eat up a little baby doe like DeShawn Snow in about 4 seconds flat and never even know they did it.

Property records shows that in October of 2005, long before there was another baby momma on the horizon, Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Snow forked over $395,500 for a vacant 4.65 acre parcel behind the upscale gates of The Manor Golf and Country Club. They spent the next few years designing and building the house of their marital dreams where they could raise their three babies in the lap of luxury attended to by chefs, nannies, personal assistants, and terlit gurls.

The Snow's manse, completed only in 2008, measures 10,317 square feet according to the Fulton County tax man's records and includes 2 fireplaces, 5 bedrooms, and 5 full and 2 half poopers. Listing information, on the other hand, indicates the Snow residence contains 7 fireplaces, 6 bedrooms and 12 terlits divided between 6 full and 6 half poopers. Your Mama can't explain the discrepancy in the number of terlits the tax man says the house has versus the number the real estate people say it has.

A swooping drive curls down and around a fountain–ugh–to the motor court at the front of the impressive looking but architecturally vague brick built traditional. To one side of the entry, a porte cochere leads to a second motor court where there is garaging for six luxury automobiles. The front door opens into the foyer where we're introduced the all beige everywhere palette that permeates every corner, nook, and cranny of Mister and soon to be ex-Missus Snow's mansion. Your Mama is not nor should the children be surprised by the all beige decorative scheme since it's done across the country in so many–too many–of the over-sized suburban mansions that were built in the go-go real estate years of the first decade of the naughts.

A sweeping floating staircase with wrought iron balustrade rises up to the second floor rooms and the double height ceilings in the foyer continue into the formal living room. There was enough fabric yardage used to make the drapery to clothe an army of orphans and atop a deep shag area run in front of the carved stone fireplace are a matchy-matchy collection of chocolate brown sofas and chairs with fringed bottoms, rivet accents, and tassel-tied corner backs. They look like the sort of things another housewife with questionable taste might have bought for her New Jersey mansion.

Some of the other rooms in the Snow's mansion include a formal dining room, a well equipped but surprisingly small kitchen with breakfast bar and breakfast area, and an adjacent family room with another damn tee-vee, more double height ceilings, a massive stone fireplace, and pictures hung so high on the wall it gives Your Mama a kink in our neck just to think of looking up at them from the plush, rust colored sectional sofa. The Snow dwelling also includes, according to listing information, a state of the art movie theater with coved ceiling and dizzying carpeting, a paneled gentleman's study, and separate lady's office where soon to be ex-Missus Snow was seen on her first and only season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta interviewing potential household staff. It really is so difficult to find good help these days, isn't it DeShawn?

Whatever the number of actual bedrooms in the house–5 according to prop records and 6 according to marketing materials–the master suite includes a large bedroom furnished with yet another damn flat screen television. Do the Snows ever stop watching the damn boob-toob? Jee-zus! In the center of the room sits a gigantic bed with hokey tiger striped and fringed accent pillows and a tragic headboard that more than just a little resembles a bow tie. A raised sitting area at the far end of the room fits into one of the octagonal turrets at the back of the house and is outfitted with a couple of upholstered lounge chairs that flank but, strangely, face away from the fireplace. The remainder of the suite, according to listing information, includes custom closets and a "spa like" master pooper where a fireplace is situated right up against a gigantic jetted tub that sits on a raised platform with an arched ceiling and large windows looking out into the woods at the back of the property.

The lower terrace level, a generous collection of rooms that open out towards the swimming pool and back yard, contains a billiard room with three flat screen tee-vees mounted on the wall, a card room, wine cellar, a full bar/family room, and exercise facilities. The Snow's desire for luxury and convenience compelled them to install a damn hair salon complete with yet another wall mounted tee-vee, make-up counter, hair dryer, and and shampoo station. While Your Mama thinks it's kind of vulgar to even have a full-on beauty parlor in yer damn basement what's most disturbing to us about soon to be ex-Missus Snow's private salon is that it appears to have wall to wall carpeting. Wall to wall carpeting in a beauty parlor. Think about that children. It's just gross and disgusting. That's a serious decorative mistake that we're certain soon to be ex-Missus Snow's house gurl quietly curses her for when it comes time to clean up the hair clippings.

The backyard backs up to woods for privacy and includes a children's playground with jungle gym, a full-sized outdoor basketball/sport court, and a free-form swimming pool that for some reason listing information calls "hotel sized." Two octagonal open air pavilions sit on either side of the swimming pool. One shelters a sunken outdoor kitchen and barbecue station and the other partially shades a spa and sitting area in front an outdoor fireplace with stone facing. There is, it should come as no surprise to the children, a flat screen television mounted above the fireplace. The swimming pool's infinity edge spills down into a lower pool and terrace with a built in fire pit. Listing photos show four wheeled chaise sun beds surrounding the built-in fire pit, which is strange because who sunbathes around a fire pit?

Listing information indicates that the Snow's soon to be former residence is equipped with a central vacuuming system, zoned heating and cooling systems, a steam shower and dry sauna, and whole house music, video and security systems.

The Snows have moved around a lot and as such have owned a large number of properties in various areas of the U-nited States. As best as your Mama can tell they still own a 3 bedroom and 2 pooper condo in Alpharetta, GA, a modest 3 bedroom and 2 pooper house in Canton, OH, and another condo in Oak Park, MI that soon to be ex-Missus Snow owns with a another woman who we'd guess but do not know is her mother.

listing photos: Beacham & Company Realtors