Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Krib for Kourtney Kardashian

BUYER: Kourtney Kardashian (and Scott Disick)
LOCATION: Calabasas, CA
PRICE: $1,700,000
SIZE: 5,334 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Buckle in buckaroos and pour yourselves a tall and stiff gin & tonic because–trust now–you are going to need it. We strongly recommend getting blottoed or at least a little buzzed before moving on here because much to Your Mama's own dismay and disappointment we are about to discuss the recent real estate doings of one of those krazy and ubiquitous Kardashian people. This time it's the eldest Kardashian, Kourtney, and her douche bag baby daddy Scott Disick who, we hear through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine, recently paid $1,700,000 for a new krib in an upscale development in Calabasas, CA.

Several days ago The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial queried Your Mama about an upgraded and pricey but perfectly ordinary home in The Oaks, an upper middle class gated community in the far northwestern suburbs of Los Angeles. The Bizzy Boys were pretty sure but not 100% sure that the property in question was purchased by Miss Kourtney K. (and her ill-behaving baby daddy Scott Disick).

After taking a day or two to stomach the notion of digging up real estate dish on one of the Kardashians, Your Mama made a few requests for confirmation from a couple of our contacts who tend to know about quasi-celebrity real estate matters. It wasn't long before we heard back from a celebrity gossip industry stalwart we know who told us that his people told him that Kourtney K. and her coat tail-riding baby daddy Scott Disick have indeed moved into the krib in question as evidenced–if you will–by their high-cost whips being espied and photographed while parked in the driveway. Also, someone pointed Your Mama towards a video on the YouTube that shows Mister Kourtney Kardashian standing on the rear balcony of the house–are you read for this?–encouraging folks to visit his official personal website in order to get a real idea of who he is and what his life is like. Make of that, butter beans, what you will.

The pre-Kourtney K. ownership of the property, according records we accessed, show the property has had a somewhat tumultuous past. It was sold in late June of 2007 for $3,175,000 to a non-celebrity. The following February, the fickle non-celebrity buyer(s) flipped the property back on the market with an asking price of $3,499,000. A few months later, the first of three nasty Notices of Default were recorded on the property. The asking price eventually dipped to $3,299,000 and listing information obtained with an assist from our friend and informant Babbling Babette shows the property was leased in early November 2008 for $13,500 per month.

Although the third and final Notice of Default on the property was recorded in August of 2010, the seller somehow managed to keep the property from falling into the ugly and complicated abyss of foreclosure until along came Miss Kourtney K. (and her wall-punching baby daddy Scott Disick) who, according to property records and as already mentioned above, acquired the residence–through a trust–in November of 2010 for $1,700,000. A few quick flicks of the industrious beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that's less than half what the seller hoped to get when the property was first foisted on the market nearly three years earlier.

Listing information shows the house–previously used as one of the model homes for The Oaks development–measures 5,334 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. For what it's worth and for anyone who might be persnickety about these particular details, some records show the house measures 5,199 square feet and at least one listing Your Mama reviewed indicated the house actually has 5 full bathrooms. We don't know nor do we care enough to try to find out which figures are accurate.

Anyhoodles doodles, a courtyard entry features a pond and provides access to a detached room that could be utilized as an office, library, guest or staff room, sex dungeon, fitness room and/or media lounge. Inside the house, dark chocolate stained hardwood floor run through a double height entry with its surprisingly pretty staircase and in to the formal living and dining rooms. A not particularly large but well-equipped kitchen, outfitted with high-grade stainless steel appliances and fussy, cream-colored cabinetry has a snack bar, breakfast area and is open to the family room that provides access to the backyard.

The second-floor master suite includes a sitting area, fireplace, walk-in closet, large bathroom with separate soaking tub and shower and private balcony that overlooks the backyard and offers a view of the surrounding roof tops and rolling hills. Other features noted in listing information for the property from 2008 shows the house has an attached two-car garage, wine cellar, second-floor den/game room, crown molding, designer window treatments, central heat, air and vacuum systems, and a luxurious home automation system.

The slim but fully landscaped backyard includes a concrete patio that envelops a free-form swimming pool and raised spa with stone coping and boulder accents, a built-in fire pit and a small grassy area just large enough for a pooch or two to tinkle and squat.

As it turns out, is not Miss Kourtney K.'s first time at the real estate rodeo out in the suburban wilds of Calabasas. In July 2006 the reality tee-vee star coughed up $829,000 for a 2 bedroom and 3 pooper pad in a small gated enclave that wraps around an electrical substation. Miss Kourtney K. took a not insubstantial $130,000-plus wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am to her designer pocketbook in July 2010 when prop records show she sold the two-story 2,235 square foot abode for $700,000.

Momma Kris Kardashian and her Olympic gold medal winner husband Bruce Jenner live in an 8,860 square foot mansion in the guard-gated and star-studded Hidden Hills community where their neighbors include Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Melissa Etheridge, Nicolette Sheridan and Denise Richards, one of publicly dissembling actor Charlie's Sheen's three ex-wives and baby-mommas. Gluttially expansive and über-entrepreneurial Tinseltown gadabout Kim Kardashian paid $3,400,000 in early 2010 for a 4,500 square foot faux-Tuscan/mock-Med mansion in the Beverly Hills Post Office and younger sis Khloe and her professional dribbler Lamar Odom live in a hulking 7 bedroom and 9 pooper mansion in hot as Hades Tarzana, CA that property records indicate they bought in December of 2009 for $3,950,000.

We're not entirely sure what Mister Disick does for a living besides fight with his baby momma and look like the definition of a tool in front of a crew of reality television cameras but in a recent interview with Mister Disick in Men's Fitness he reveals that he's currently at work on a line of tanning products and supplements for men. Puh-damn-leeze. Let's just call this donkey an ass, okay? We may not know a goblet from a magnifying glass but it is Your Mama's entirely meaningless opinion that if the Kardashian name is not slapped on or, at least, part of the marketing for any product dapper but flashy Mister Disick develops the endeavor is unlikely to succeed. He's a nightclub promoter (or celebrity wrangler or some such thing) and not a goddamn skin care guru. Gawd, it just makes Your Mama want to puke.

Word on the reality tee-vee street is that Miss Kourtney K. and her bespoke-suited baby daddy Mister Disick hope to sell a reality television program of their very own and if they do succeed in that task we expect their new krib will be prominently featured. They would be far from the first high-drama quasi-celebrity couple to sell a successful show about how they raise babies and manage "fame." Just think about Hugh Hefner's ex-gal pal Kendra Whatsername. As far as Your Mama is concerned, that athletic-looking beehawtcha is about as interesting as a box of hair and yet she's all over the damn boob-toob. Not only does she have an eponymous reality show in its 3rd or 4th season but she's also doing the shuck and jive on the current season of the psychologically oppressive and utterly mortifying mega-hit Dancing With The Stars.

What, children, do these Kardashian people actually do that is so damn appealing to others that it allows them to collectively earn upwards of $65,000,0000 in 2010 with an undeniably successful and endlessly expanding empire of clothing stores, fragrances, pin-up calenders, product endorsements, sex tapes and reality television programs, all of which are built–of course–on the back of Kim K.'s behemoth backside? Women want that ass and men–well–want that ass too and, apparently, as a result of the sexed-up desirability of Miss Kim's phat fanny, millions will spend their last minimum wage dollars to buy whatever stupid thing the Kardashians are selling. For chrissakes, chickens, there were people who actually paid real money for The Kardashian Kard, a (much-maligned and now-defunct) pre-paid credit card with shockingly high and "predatory" fees. They had their own fucking credit card, people.

Welcome, giblets, to celebrity in the 21st-century. Your Mama warned y'all that you'd want a tall and stiff gin & tonic to get through this one so it's not our fault iffin any of y'all didn't heed that advice and are now suffering the consequences of reality.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sotheby's Hands Back the Listing for the W Hollywood Residences

Maybe only about seven people outside of Los Angeles care about the particular turn of events we're about to dish on, but the real estate telephone wires in Lala Land have been burning up with scandal the last few days and we feel like opening up a line of discussion on the matter amongst any concerned, curious or otherwise nosy citizens.

Your Mama first heard this juicy bit of bizness last Friday while holed up at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs where we hid out for a few extra (and unplanned) days from the dusty and near-deafening construction zone that was–and still is–Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's modest cottage in the Hollywood Hills.

From what Your Mama heard from some of our better connected sources over the last few days, Sotheby's International Realty semi-quietly and unceremoniously handed back the once-plum listing for the entire W Hollywood Residences project, a brand-new residential condominium tower in the heart Hollywood connected to the brand new, a-bit-too-glitzy and highly-stylized W Hotel Hollywood on the storied corner of Hollywood and Vine.

In an effort at journalistic integrity, Your Mama reached out to Russ Filice, the well-known lead agent from Sotheby's on the project, who would only confirm that S.I.R. will no longer be involved with the W Hollywood Residences after the 15th of April.

At that point, it seems, the high-toned brokerage will wash their hands of the not exactly successful project that has not exactly been embraced by the real estate community and the sorts of snooty design-philes who give two whits about the newly constructed hotel/condo complex. Well-heeled buyers have also, it seems, rejected the high-priced condominium because according to two of Your Mama's informants only 10 of the 143 luxury units have closed escrow. Those bone marrow-chilling numbers sound even worse when y'all consider that the W Hollywood Residences have been on the market for around a year and a half. Boo! Does that scare the real estate daylights out of anyone else?

Although we once gobbled up a couple of delicious gin & tonics in the grandiosely-scaled lobby of the W Hotel with our pal Leeahndruh Livesinahightower, Your Mama asks that all the children keep in mind that we have never stepped foot in one of the condos. Not. One. Foot. What we're saying, of course, is that we don't know diddly squat about we're talking about here. Okay? Anyhoo, on with the show anyway. According to more than one big-shit real estate agent we know in Los Angeles, the W Hollywood Residences contain far too many very expensive units–they range from around $450,000 to $3,500,000 for a penthouse pad–that feature impossibly awkward and poorly positioned elements such as structural columns running up the center of rooms. The children might be amused and/or outraged to know that there are not, according to plans presented on project's website, any closets in the (one) bedroom of unit 4L. Nearly half a million clams for a one-bedroom crib in the heart Hollywood and Your Mama has to parade our fat ol' ass past the plate-glass windows in the living room to snatch on a pair of knickers? Uh, no.

Those sorts of architectural bungles and snafus tend to really perturb deep-pocketed potential buyers looking at fancy contemporary condos with–an agent pal we know snitched–high monthly fees of more than $1.10 per square foot. Adding insult to the injury of high maintenance fees are the (allegedly) shrinking building services that conspire to keep the caps on the escrow paper signing pens of potential buyers. Por ejemplo: well-to-do residents of the condos, we were told by an informant in a position to know, we're promised private valet services. But alas, abysmal sales have resulted in reduced revenues that have in turn forced cuts in the white-glove-y services for the condo portion of the complex.

Condo residents, we understand, are now forced to wait in line with hotel guests to have their automobiles brought around by the valet. Imagine, hunny bears, the horror of having to stand behind large-butted Jerry Nebraska in a pair of plaid Bermuda shorts as he waits for the valet to bring around his rented, teal-colored Chevy Lumina. Your Mama does not care to valet our big BMW if we can help it so we wouldn't care much about this parking situation but for many Angelenos for whom valet parking is like a religion, this inconvenience is a revolting proposition.

Making matter worse, we're told, is that some of the staging in one or more of the model units is questionable, an issue that further turns off potential buyers. Yesterday, an admittedly half in the bag neighbor we'll call Willy Winedrinker dished to Your Mama that one of the staged model units has a stripper pole and platform installed in the living room. That's right, a God damn stripper pole. We can not and will not go there, children, so do not even ask Your Mama to get started on this never ever acceptable stripper pole as day-core issue because we will blow a damn gasket.

As far as we know–and we really don't know a pistachio from a vacuum–no replacement has yet to be been chosen to succeed Mister Filice. What remains to be seen, of course, is if there's any real estate agent in Los Angeles who can turn that seemingly sinking ship around before it goes down like the Titanic. Has anyone called toothy and hard-charging Josh Altman (Hilton & Hyland) from Bravo's Million Dollar Listing? Yay? Nay? Anyhoo, We make no predictions, assumptions and assertions about what will transpire but Your Mama is quite certain that all the Real Estate Chicken Littles in Tinseltown peed their pants with glee over the possibility that the much-hyped and greatly-anticipated project might go down in a hot and public conflagration of failure and bankruptcy. We shall see butter churners, we shall see.

Cee Lo Green Leases L.A. Home of Former Child Star

LESSEE: Cee Lo Green
LANDLORD: Frankie Muniz
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 4,200 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
PRICE: unknown.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Speaking of Christina Aguilera...

The sometimes bumbly-stumbly soon-to-be-divorced pop star, whose bright star is everyday more eclipsed by whippersnapper superstars like Lady Gaga and Rihanna, will soon attempt to revivify her faltering career as a judge on the up-coming talent-based reality show The Voice. One of X-Tina's fellow judges on The Voice is a big ol' flamboyant man named Cee Lo Green who, according to information that recently slid down the gossip grapevine and into Your Mama's iPhone, recently took a short-term lease on a celebrity-owned home in the Sunset Strip area of Los Angeles, CA.

The toothy, tattooed, smooth-pated and somewhat rotund Mister Green hails from Atlanta, GA and first burst in to the consciousness of music lovers and listeners as part of Gnarls Barkley, a collaboration between himself and DJ Danger Mouse. That hip hopper collaboration produced a couple of Grammy awards and the 2006 hit song Crazy, which became painfully ubiquitous on the sound tracks played in the shopping emporiums of every mass retailer in America. Since then Mister Cee Lo Green has nursed a solo career and recently rocketed to the top of the charts and into the musical mainstream with his aggressively titled but catchy-tuned Fuck You! Top 40 types will recognize the little ditty as one performed by singing and dancing actress Gwyneth Paltrow on an episode of the most recent season of Glee and/or from the 2010 Grammy Awards when Miz Paltrow performed the song as a duet with Mister Cee Loo Green who, the children will recall, was dressed in a damn peacock outfit that might have once made Sir Elton John seethe and ache with envy.

Anyhoo, Your Mama–who does not really know a salt shaker from a baby maker–presumes that Mister Cee Lo Green needs a place to camp out in Los Angeles while filming the first season of The Voice. Personally, we thought Mister Green might have poo-pooed doing a reality show like this highly-stylized whoozimajig on which he's about to appear but fame and money talks, hunnies. And when fame and money cross-breed the sum is greater than its parts and has the ability to entice even the most jaded and cynical among us. Before any of y'all fame haters start blither-blathering on about how fame and fortune could never, ever corrupt your self-righteous ass just think about how wonderfully naughty and alluringly special it would be to have people ringing your people's phones off their hooks to offer little ol' you free goods and services like designer duds, first-class vacations, collagen implants and box seats with V.I.P. treatment at concerts and other events.

According to our source, a fine female we'll call Dee-Vanda Givesupthedish, Mister Cee Loo Green took a short-term lease on home just above Tinseltown's Sunset Strip owned by child star turned race car driver turned (alleged) victim and perpetrator of domestic violence Frankie Muniz.

Mister Muniz, who now lives primarily in the Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ area, paid $3,499,000 the property back in January of 2006 according to property records. Since at least December of 2007 the formerly sweet-faced Mister Muniz been trying to unload his L.A. home. The property first came to Your Mama's attention in December of 2007 when the 4,200 square foot traditional was listed for $3,875,000. Since then the updated, upgraded and gated 5 bedroom and 4 bathroom house has been on and off the market a number of times at a couple of prices. Prior to Mister Cee Lo Green taking occupancy, the house was last listed for sale with an asking price of $3,195,000.

If all goes well with Mister Cee Lo's cross-marketing himself to the reality tee-vee world and if he isn't already out eye balling real estate we expect he'll soon be out combing the zip codes for a multi-million dollar house built for a baller.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

UPDATE: Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne

It's baaaaacckk!

Wobbly rock star Ozzy Osbourne and his steel-willed wife Sharon have once again heaved and hoisted their ocean front residence on Malibu's lovely and desirable La Costa Beach on the market, this time with an asking price of $10,000,000.

The rock and roll royals acquired the 4,500 square foot three-story residence way back in March of 2003 for $5,100,000. Your Mama's wholly unscientific research indicates that the Osbournes first unsuccessfully attempted to unload the 5 bedroom and 5 pooper sea shore property in the spring of 2006 when it was listed with an–in hind sight optimistic–asking price of $14,000,000. Since then the Mister and Missus Osbourne have had the house on and off the market a number of times with various price tags that dipped down to as low as $10,995,000.

Several times over the years the Mister and Missus Osbourne set the property out for lease. The Shabby Chic meets glitz and glam beach pad was made available for long-term lease at $25,000 per month in late 2008 and last summer the brick-built beach crib was listed for a stiff monthly rate of $40,000. Iffin Your Mama is being honest, and we always are, we'd admit that we have not an iota of information about whether anyone took a short or long-term lease on the property. What we do know, thanks to information obtained from our informant Babbling Babette, is that in addition to their desire to sell the house for ten million clams Mister and Missus Osbourne are open to a long or short term lease at $40,000 and $65,000 per month respectively.

A walled, European-style courtyard separates the house from busy and traffic-choked Pacific Coast Highway and the main living level includes an entrance hall, living room with fireplace, dining room, ocean-side terrace, powder pooper and an all-stainless steel kitchen that has Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's house gurl Svetlana apoplectic over the effort required to keep all that shiny stuff finger print (and dog nose print) free. On the second floor the master suite stretches across the entire ocean side of the house and includes a fireplace, private terrace, custom fitted walk-in closet and marble bath. Also on the second level, a road-side paneled library is jam-packed with exercise equipment. Up on the top floor there's an office and two more bedrooms each have private facilities and access to an ocean side terrace with a freestanding spa of the middlebrow variety.

After selling their crucifix-filled mansion in Beverly Hills, CA for $11,500,000 to increasingly erratic pop star Christina Aguilera and her now-estranged music executive huzband Jordan Bratman in the summer of 2007, the sometimes-controversial Osbournes decamped to the guard-gated and star-studded equestrian enclave of Hidden Hills, CA. Records and previous reports show the British ex-pats paid $10,250,000 for their horsey 10,953 square foot house that includes 6 bedrooms and 10 poopers. The Brits also maintain an estate outside Jordans in the Buckinghamshire area of England and we'd presume they have some sort of bedsit in London but, in truth, Your Mama has no confirmation or direct knowledge of such a thing.

Mister and Missus Osbourne's children all have their own homes in Los Angeles. Kelly–who often lives in London–has a wee house up behind the Chateau Marmont hotel bought in February 2005 for $1,195,000 that recently had a raw sewage situation. Jack has a small, secluded compound in the Laurel Canyon area and the oldest and less public sibling Aimee has a house in the Bird Streets above the Sunset Strip purchased by mumsy and paw-paw in June of 2007 from Grey's Anatomy actress and Tinseltown scion Jessica Capshaw for $2,350,000.

Miz Aguilera–who Your Mama heard through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine had moved back to her house in The Bird Street area above the Sunset Strip–would like to sell the former Osbourne mansion/her former house of marital discord that she had done up and did-did-and done-did by Woodson and Rummerfield's House of Design who, we heard from a little design savvy birdie we know, are doing up Courtney Love's new (leased) digs in New York City. Miz X-Tina's six bedroom and 9 bathroom Bev Hills house was shopped around for several months off market before it officially hit the open market around March 11, 2011 with an asking price of $13,500,000.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UPDATE: Ben Stiller

SELLER: Ben Stiller
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $11,495,000
SIZE: 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Way back in May of 2009 Your Mama floated the celebrity real estate rumor that comedy king Ben Stiller and his wife Christine were fixin' to float their compound in the Outpost Estates neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA on the market with an asking price of $12,500,000.

In September of the same year the property officially hit the open market with a price tag...drum roll please...of $12,500,000. Two months later the three parcel compound was withdrawn and removed from the (open) market.

In the fall of 2008, prior to all this real estate mishegas in Los Angeles, Mister and Missus Stiller spent ten million bucks to buy duplex digs in the same Upper West Side building as Mister Stiller's comedy legend parents Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

The couple's relocation to New York City must be official and complete because this week their lavish but comfortable-looking Hollywood Hills compound has been re-listed on the open market with a reduced asking price of $11,495,000.

Listing information for the Stiller compound–which includes a total of 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms between the main house, guest house and apartment above the garage–and a custom website built for the property reveal that much (if not all) of Mister and Missus Stiller's personal items have been removed and replaced with a lot of white slip covered furniture and other comestibles easily recognized as having been put in place by Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota.

Other notable property owners in the Outpost Estates 'hood include (but are not limited to) Charlize Theron, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, Michael C. Hall, Hugh Laurie, Orlando Bloom and the sassy-pants provocateur Gore Vidal who put his house up for sale in early 2011 with an asking price of $3,495,000.

listing photos: Everett Fenton Gidley for Sotheby's International Realty

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meat Loaf on the Move

SELLER: Michael Lee Aday, a.k.a. Meat Loaf
LOCATION: Calabasas, CA
PRICE: $3,200,000
SIZE: 7,142 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama recently received a communique from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial who shined our rheumy eyes and celebrity real estate attentions on a hacienda-style house inside a gated enclave of 14-16 mansions nestled into the rugged Santa Monica Mountains above the suburban Los Angeles, CA community of Calabasas. The owner of the property, according the The Bizzy Boys and other online sources, is a gentleman named Michael (nee Marvin) Lee Aday. Mister Aday, who legally changed his first name from Marvin to Michael in 2001, is better known as the actor/epic rock and roller Meat Loaf.

Youngsters will be forgiven if they only recognize Mister Loaf because of a recent appearance on the gay gay gay hit tee-vee show Glee and/or as a contestant on the current season of hairrific "birther" billionaire Donald Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice where he's competing for charitable donations.

Mister Loaf's success and fame, however, go way back to the early- and mid-1970s. In addition to appearing in dozens of stage productions, television programs, reality shows and movies (Hair, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fight Club, House, M.D., Popstar to Opera Star ), Mister Loaf has earned himself a Grammy award and sold shocking numbers of records. His Bat Out of Hell album from the mid-1970s has, in fact, sold upwards of 43,000,000 copies making it one of the top three or five best-selling albums of all time.

What we're saying, kids, is that although the man goes by the name of a dinner entrée, too-frequently sports crystal-studded suits and is far enough past his prime that he's on The Celebrity Apprentice with a slew of former superstars such as the formidable weed-whacker Dionne Warwick, steroidal ex-pro baseballer José Canseco, exceptionally erratic actor Gary Busey and bossy attorney Star Jones he is none-the-less no less than a living legend in the entertainment industry who enjoys international super stardom. We do not tease, hunnies, this is the serious truth.

Property records show Mister Loaf and his then-fiancee now wife Deborah Gillespie purchased the somewhat remotely-located 10-ish acre spread in April of 2005 for $2,325,000. One listing we dug up on the internets says the property spreads across "approx. 11 acres." The same listing also reads "11.45 Acres" and the tax man's records show "9.9863." Whatever the exact size of the lot, Mister Loaf and his then-fiancee hired nice, gay decorator David Dalton to turn out the interior spaces and spent a few more big bucks having the kitchen re-done and a built-in barbecue center, swimming pool, spa and extensive resort-style landscaping installed. When all the work and renovations were completed, Mister Loaf's Calabasas crib appeared in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest's April 2008 issue.

At the risk of sounding more than a little catty–which is sometimes unavoidable–when Your Mama learned that Mister Loaf's house was featured in Architectural Digest it made perfect sense because the day-core of the main living spaces looks quintessentially like what Your Mama expected to see in the pre-Margaret Russell pages of the venerable if tired publication: Correct, without much quirk and not particularly, uhm, interesting. Miz Russell and her That Girl do, for those who don't read the mastheads of magazines, recently left her cozy gig at Elle Decor where her last title was the rather cumbersome "vice president and editor in chief of brand content" and scooted her boot over to the editor in chief's office at Architectural Digest. A.I.'s offices moved from Los Angeles to New York City and just six short months after she grabbed the weary wheel of the musty and fusty ol' grande dame of shelter publications, A.I. was re-launched with a snappier and sexier new look. So far so good.

But we're going off the rails, darlings. Iffin Your Mama wanted to yakkety-yak about the real estate and decorating industries we'd continue to prattle on about how Sotheby's International Realty here in Los Angeles is fixin' to hand back the once-plum listing for the entire W Hollywood Residences condominium project. Scandale! And we will discuss, but not right now. More on that juicy nugget to come.

Listing information for Mister Loaf's abode in the Santa Monica Mountains shows the two-story tile-roofed residence was constructed in 2004, measures 7,142 square feet and contains a total of 7 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms.

A double gated motor court at the front of the house provides access to garage space for three attached garage spaces and the shy front entry that barely whispers, "Over here. You come in right here." The hotel-lobby-like formal living room has a fireplace, built in wet bar, Spanish tile floors laid on the diagonal and too-perfect cross-hatched wood beams and the formal dining room seats twelve in wing back chairs upholstered in what looks like a red silk brocade with riveting details.

Less formal spaces include a paneled library/media room with fireplace and a 105-inch flat-screen television set, a family room with fireplace and more too-perfect wood beams that's open to the well-equipped kitchen done up with two colors of granite (or marble or whatever), two colors of cabinetry and two matching multi-colored chandelier-style light fixtures over the center work island.

The main floor master suite features a fourth fireplace, private terraces, a tray ceiling with a very Architectural Digest-y Fortuny chandelier and a very large but far from excessive private head with soaking tub, separate glass enclosed shower, double vanity and a built in flat-screen boob-toob custom-mounted into the cabinetry where it can easily be seen by both Mister and Missus Loaf while they brush and and floss their chompers. A family/game room on the second floor conveniently services the four bedrooms suites some of which, it appears to Your Mama, Mister and Missus Loaf utilize as office space. Listing information shows there are some staff quarters somewhere up in there too but we don't know if Mister and Missus Loaf employ live-in domestic help.

The conventionally upscale interior day-core of the Mister Loaf's mansion isn't exactly what most would expect of a man who cultivates the persona of a slightly unhinged and hard-partying rock star. There are no bongs sitting on the coffee tables, nary a mirror dusted with white powder, no skanky hos lying seductively across a lounger by the pool and no cigarette burns in the carpets. A person must visit the fitness room, where Mister Loaf's many awards, accolades, gold and platinum records are hung cheek by jowl and floor to ceiling, for any hard evidence that this luxurious home is owned by an international rock icon.

Numerous French doors open rooms at the back of the house to a generously sized and Spanish tile-floored outdoor living area shaded by a striped twenty- by sixty-foot awning. Immediately beyond the covered terrace the swimming pool, spa and sunbathing terraces provide respite from scorching heat and weary bones. Beyond the cement pond, a rolling expanse of well-watered lawn stretches back to a terraced hills side with river-rock waterfall and what may or may not be some fruit trees. The nearby neighbors on either side of Mister and Missus Loaf's mansion don't block much of the expansive views of the scenic surrounding mountains peaks.

It's entirely unknown to Your Mama why Mister and Missus Loaf might want to vacate their totally customized abode but they do. In the above mentioned 2008 article in Architectural Digest, Mister Loaf stated, “I love buying and doing houses,” the singer admits, “trouble is, once I finish one, I want to do another. But we’ve lived here four years—a record. Maybe this time, this one’s the keeper.” Apparently not.

Revisit: Reese Witherspoon's Country Spread and Wedding Venue

This morning, bleary eyed from a crappy night's sleep thanks to our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly and too-many glasses of champagne with our boozy neighbors, Your Mama awoke to read an utterly absurd headline that read "Jake Gyllenhaal Did Not Attend Reese Witherspoon's Wedding." He, reportedly, went bowling with Maroon 5 lead singer and notorious cocksman Adam Levine and a model named Mini instead. Well, duh people. Did anyone really expect Mister Gyllenhaal to go to hop in his hoopdie and head on up to Ojai, CA to watch his ex-girlyfriend get hitched to another man? Pleeze.

Anyhoo, we also awoke to several emails from the children–thank y'all very much–that (re-)linked Your Mama to the 411 on the Ojai, CA ranch owned by Miz Witherspoon where she and Hollywood agent Jim Toth tied the marriage knot. Celebrity guests that did make the trek up to Ojai and attend the nuptials are said to include Renee Zellweger, Alyssa Milano, Tobey Maguire, Salma Hayek and Robert Downey, Jr.

Your Mama discussed Miz Witherspoon's 7-acre spread and its stunning Spanish Colonial casa back in March of 2008 when property records show she purchased the property for $5,800,000. The ranchette's main house was originally designed in 1923 for glass tycoon Edmund Drummond Libbey by noted California architect Wallace Neff with later French Country style additions and out buildings by Austen Pierpont.

The house has had a number of owners since 1923 including actor/director Harold Ramis and was most recently owned and fully restored by interior designer and textile goddess Kathryn M. Ireland. Before she sold the ranch to Miz Witherspoon, Miz Ireland–who is not the supermodel turned bizness baroness Kathy Ireland–allowed House Beautiful to snap some pretty pictures of all the rooms looking dee-voon, drowning in pillows and draped with a pleasing cacophony of brightly colored fabrics.

Listing information from the time of Miz Witherspoon's 2008 purchase shows the historic and pristine property includes a 4 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom main house that wraps around a central courtyard. The Arcadian wonderland also sports includes two guest houses, each with fireplace and private facilities, gatekeeper's cottage with bath, a four-car carriage house garage, a smithy (for the blacksmith) and a walled-swimming pool and spa ringed by twisted and gnarled (but well- laced and trimmed) old-growth oak trees.

Since late 2003 Miz Witherspoon's primary residence was a 6,956 square foot house with 6 bedrooms and 9 poopers in a gated enclave in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles that records show she bought for $4,725,000. Since 2005, the actress has also owned a 6,462 square foot residence in Nashville, TN with 4 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.

In late 2010 Miz Witherspoon, one of the highest paid actresses in all of Tinseltown, spent $6,900,000 to acquire a 2.53 acre estate in the rustic Mandeville Canyon area of Los Angeles from the incredibly bizarre actor/producer/musician/writer/martial artist/reality tee-vee star Steven Seagal. The property does not appear to have been on the open market but according to the Los Angeles County Tax man the main house was erected in 1937 and measures 6,125 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 9 poopers. Also on the property detached garages, stables, a riding ring and swimming pool.

listing photos: Crosby Doe Associates

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kathryn Jackson Takes Her Grandbabies to Calabasas

LESSEE: Kathryn Jackson
LOCATION: Calabasas, CA
PRICE: $26,000
SIZE: 12,670 square feet, 7 bedrooms 10 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Many denizens of suburban Los Angeles, CA have a thing for master-planned gated developments where the streets are lined with startlingly similar semi-Mediterranean-style tract houses sold with varying but usually limited degrees of customization. Although Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter feel these communities too often have a soul-less cookie cutter vibe, for many they represent a long lusted after acquisition of the so-called "American Dream" of home ownership.

That "American Dream" gets an extra layer of Vaseline over the lens when a quasi-custom tract home sits behind electronically controlled security gates and the juices of desire really get flowing when the security gates are operated by on-site security personnel who are not, in the vast majority of cases armed, which means that the only real responsibility of these security gate operators is to flip the switch that swings the gates open, smile nicely, wave residents and their guests on through and to call the real damn po-po if there is any real trouble.

The pinnacle, the apex, the real estate climax–if you will–of these master-planned communities are exclusive gated enclaves within gated developments where homes are typically larger, more highly customized and far more expensive than most others in development. Not only do these enclaves carry the cachet of exclusivity but they also provide an extra layer of (real or imagined) security. Out in L.A.'s hot as Hades northwestern suburbs, nestled into the rolling hills of Calabasas, CA one of those highly-prized double-gated enclaves is called The Estates at The Oaks of Calabasas.

Since its inception, the The Oaks has been popular among those with a penchant for privacy, the desire for security and the deep pockets to pay for those things. Current residents–or at least current property owners–include Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk, right-leaning San Francisco Giants pitcher and Woodland Hills, CA restaurateur Jeff Suppan, tattooed rocker Travis Barker, "Dr." Phil McGraw's son Jay and his wife Erica Dahm of the famed nude modeling Dahm Triplets.

Eddie Murphy's ex-wife and baby momma Nicole has had her large and lavish spread up in The Oaks up for sale since August of 2007 when she put it on the market for $9,995,000. In December of 2010–after at least two deals swirled down the real estate terlitMiz Murphy made another of many karate chops to the asking price, which brought the price tag down to a substantially lower $5,950,000. As of the 18th of March, ex-Missus Murphy's 9,214 square foot mansion is once again in escrow. That sounds like it should be some relief to the financially-strapped ex-Missus Murphy but when Your Mama digs a little deeper into the property records we discover that ex-Missus Murphy–who took a one time payout of $15,000,000 when she divorced Eddie Murphy–purchased the property in May of 2006 for $7,500,000. We don't even need to flick a single bead of our punctilious and bejeweled abacus to see that even with an unlikely full-price sale, that's a pecuniary gut-punch of more than 1.5 million buckaroos to her already depleted pocketbook. I-chee-why-why!

Until early 2011, The Oaks' most internationally prominent resident was pop music icon Britney Spears. In early 2009–or maybe it was late 2008–Miz Spears leased a 10,300+ square foot architecturally mixed-up faux-French Provincial-mock-Tuscan Farmhouse/Spanish Hacienda style sprawler in The Oaks called Chateau Sueños. The single mother of a couple of young boy recently packed up her two tater-tots and high-tailed it out of Calabasas to the celebrity-choked and guard-gated equestrian community of Hidden Hills, CA where her new neighbors include Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, lesbo-rocker Melissa Etheridge, Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony who only recently acquired a 17,000 square foot mansion in Hidden Hills but Your Mama heard (but can not confirm) through the celebrity gossip grapevine already want a different house.

Just as Miz Spears packed up her moving truck in The Oaks another crew of internationally well-known residents unpacked theirs and prepared to set up house. For the last thousand years or so the Jackson family homestead–we're talking the Michael Jacksons, puppies–was Hayvenhurst a privately situated estate on Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino, CA that Big Daddy Joe Jackson bought in the early 1970s. In the early 1980s ol' Joe got himself into a bit of a financial pickle and his youngest son Michael helped to bail him out and bought bought Hayvenhurst. A full-scale renovation, directed by the increasingly eccentric Michael Jackson, added "a Japanese koi pond, a movie theater, and a six foot-tall Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs diorama."

It was here, to Hayvenhurst, that thousands of hysterical and teary fans flocked after Michael Jackson died of an overdose of Propofol inside the lavish confines of a rented estate in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles in the June of 2009. It was also to Hayvenhurst where Michael J's three children–the seemingly sweet and charming but somewhat ridiculously named Paris, Prince and Prince II–were taken after their father's death and where their care was turned over to Michael's agéd mother Kathryn who had become the queen of that castle in the late 1980s when Michael moved to to his (in)famous Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, CA.

Unexpectedly and somewhat mysteriously Big Momma Kathryn Jackson recently piled her trio of young wards into her Rolls Royce–we just imagine she has a Rolls, we don't really know what sort of car she drives or is driven in–and decamped Hayvenhurst for a large leased mansion inside the gates of The Estates inside the gates of The Oaks of Calabasas.

Listing information Your Mama acquired with an helpful assist from our always helpful pal Babbling Babette shows the 7 bedroom and 10 pooper palace had been on the market with an asking price of $10,995,000. The very same listing information indicates a lease was signed around the middle of November 2010 at a hefty rate of $26,000 per month.

The mock-Med mansion was built, according to listing information, in 1988 and includes a main house that spans 12,670 square feet and a guesthouse/pool house with another 633 square feet. Listing info also shows the 5-car garage has 1,548 square feet and that there are 2,671 square feet of covered patios and balconies.

The iron and glass front doors open into–surprise–a double-height entry with limestone floors and two curving staircases. The living spaces include a double-height formal living room with hickory wood floors, fireplace and glass doors that slide back into the wall, a formal dining room and an open plan gourmet kitchen and family room area with another fireplace and more glass doors that disappear into the walls. There are also a paneled study/library, custom theater room, a loft/game room, a wine room with refrigerated booze storage space and wet bar.

The mansion's seven bedrooms include a massive master suite with fireplace, sitting area, dual bathrooms, private patio and a gigantic custom-fitted walk-in closets. The fully customized but very, very beige mansion is equipped with a steam shower, sauna, elevator and a Crestron home automation system that–presumably–controls and operates the window treatments, lighting, security, heating, cooling, sound and audio-visual systems.

The large house sits somewhat tightly on .88 acre grounds that include the aforementioned guesthouse/pool house, swimming pool, spa, expansive terraces, a putting green–blech!–and a view of the master-planned community and surrounding mountains over the roof tops of the recently built mansions that line the street below.

One wonders if Big Momma Jackson is gearing up to sell Hayvenhurst or she's just going to turn the compound over to the various members of the always-expanding Jackson family that continue move in and out of the house like it was a damn hotel.

listing photos: Prudential California Realty

Friday, March 25, 2011

Roman Abramovich Does It In London

Ever wonder what's it's really like to live like one of the world's wealthiest globe-trotting billionaires? One need look no further than Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich who plays like a pasha and lives in the manner so haute it makes Saudi royals look like his country bumpkin relatives.

Mister Abramovich famously purchased nine apartments in two townhouse-style structures on patrician Lowndes Square in London's uppity Belgravia neighborhood that he's in the process of combining into one vast 30,000 mega-mansion. Your Mama has seen plans for the renovated property submitted by Mister Abramovich's people in mid-July 2009 and they are–to put it mildly–palatial. Submitted plans call for a swimming pool in the basement, multiple elevators, several staff apartments, a drawing room that spans the full width of the two townhouses and a full-floor master suite comprised of bedroom, two large bathrooms, two large windowed dressing rooms–one with walk-in safe–and a service kitchen/pantry connected to the main kitchen via a dumbwaiter.

With his London dream house under construction Mister Abramovich and his baby momma Daria "Dasha" Zhukova and their baby need a place to shack up and according the British media that will be an historic and Grade II listed residence on boho-chic Cheyne Walk in the Chelsea area of London last listed with an asking price of £25,000,000, a number according to Your Mama's currency conversion contraption that translates to $40,487,300 at today's rates. That's right, chickens, forty million clams for a home he will only occupy until the construction and interior decorating is done on his massive mansion in Lowndes Square.
The aristocratic residence, according to listing information forwarded to Your Mama by Our Man in London, shows it measures 12,770 square feet over four floors that includes two ground floor sitting rooms and an office, a 50-floot long drawing room and a 900-square foot music room on the first floor–that's the second floor for all us Americanos–three kitchens, two-car attached garage plus a motor court an elevator, and half a dozen or more fireplaces. Altogether there are 9 potential bedrooms and–by Your Mama's count–6 full and 2 half bathrooms in the mansion plus a fully-detached two-story guest/staff annex with living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms.

Cheyne Walk has been home to a number of high-profile bohemian types including pre-Raphealite painter Dane Gabriel Rossetti, Rolling Stone Keith Richards who lived in a house once owned by John Barrymore, novelists Ian Fleming and George Eliot. Mick Jagger and his ladee-friend L'Wren Scott recently purchased a house on Cheyne Walk and Mister Abramovich's new (temporary) residence was once occupied by the über-famous American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler who painted his most famous painting–a dour portrait of his own mother–in 1871 in the music room of the house Mister Abramovich just (allegedly) purchased.

Mister Abramovich famously has a taste for lavish living and over-sized and frighteningly high-priced properties around the world. In addition to his London residences he is reported to own two mansions outside Moscow, a couple of spreads in St. Barts including one beach front compound that cost him around $90,000,000, a couple of pricey ski-pads in Aspen including the very contemporary Wildcat Ridge estate that he bought in 2008 for $36,375,000 and a villa in the glam Cap d'Antibes in the south of France.

Mister Abramovich's baby-momma Daria Zhukova owns a trophy mansion at the tippy-top of the of Bird Streets high above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles that according to property records was purchased in December of 2009 for $19,500,000. Last year, on the 15th of November, the property popped up on real estate listing site Redfin with an asking price of $16,500,000. Two days later the listing disappeared and a representative of Miss Zhukova contacted Your Mama and told us the property was "most definitely not for sale." Property records reflect that the property remains in Miz Zhukova's property portfolio along with a more modest 6,408 square foot mansion in the Benedict Canyon area of Beverly Hills that property records show she scooped up in late 2007 for $6,495,000.

And those, puppies, are just the couple's known property holdings. Presumably there are other posh properties and, of course, there are also the high-flying couple's armada of giga-yachts that includes the 530-plus foot long Terence Disdale-designed Eclipse said to include cabins for 24 guests, a crew of 70, two helicopter landing pads, two swimming pools, a disco, a submarine, a sophisticated missile-defense system, a master stateroom with bullet-proof glass and armor-plated walls and–allegedly–an anti-paparazzi laser shield. Some reports suggest that the ocean-going mega-mansion cost Mister Abramovich well over a billion dollars. It just makes Your Mama feel like puking to think of dropping a billion bucks on a boat. Yikes! Interestingly Mister Abramovich's cruise ship-like Eclipse–as well as his other giga-yacht, the 375-plus foot Pelorus–can be chartered for an undisclosed price.

And that, children, is how a jet-setting nouveau riche billionaire really does it up big time.

photos and floor plan: Savills

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Vacay Mish-Mash

Sorry for the delay, buttons, but Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter–and our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly–are actually on a wee getaway vacay with all the grays and gays out in Palm Springs, CA. We spent the better part of today day with our almost-famous artist pal Henny Penny during which we went t0 the Palm Springs Art Museum. We had a look-see at a print retrospective of John Baldessari, passed through the permanent contemporary collection, had our photos taken with a bone-chilling Duane Hanson sculpture andtoured a small and incomplete but still interesting look at the architecture of noted Coachella Valley modernist architect Donald Wexler appropriately called Steel and Shade. Then we had a crappy late lunch. Now we're back at our home base sitting by the pool thinking we should probably think about getting back to our real home. Anyhoodles poodles...

There has been heaps and hordes of hoopla and hoo-ha the last few days over a proposed 80,000-plus square foot compound an as yet unidentified property owner wants to build on a 5.2-acre property in the upscale Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles, CA. The proposed plans call for an opulent 42,681 square foot mock-Mediterranean-style main house, a double-winged 27,000-plus square foot "son's villa," a 4,400 square foot guest house, a 5,300 square foot structure for housing staff and a 2,700 square foot gatehouse.

The Los Angeles Times revealed earlier this week that the proposed monster mansion is to be built for a single man with three children. Ownership of the property is shielded through a serious of LLCs, attorneys and the like but there is much speculation that the property owner may be a Saudi royal, specifically Prince Abdulaziz ibn Adbullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud who happens to be divorced man with three children.

The massive–and some might say utterly preposterous–scale of the project has the dander up of Benedict Canyon residents who have formed an ad hoc group to stop the construction of the compound that will rival the square footage of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. Interestingly, one of those who oppose the colossal compound is Hollywood honcho Michael Ovitz who himself recently completed his own humongous and über-contemporary crib in the 'hood.

There are many hoops and hurdles for this unnamed property owner to hop through before he can break ground on his mini-mall sized mansion but iffin Your Mama were the betting type–and we're not–we'd wager this real estate size queen will get his way even if he has to scale things back to a more modest but still elephantine 50 or 60,000 square feet. For more information on the group opposed to the development visit their website Save Benedict Canyon.

It's come to our attention via a well-connected Los Angeles real estate-o-phile that the possibility of an 85,000 square foot compound in the Benedict Canyon area isn't the only possible construction of a mega-mansion that's working the last nerves of concerned citizens in some of L.A.'s priciest zip codes.

Over in the Franklin Canyon area of Los Angeles, another angry ad hoc group staunchly opposes the efforts of controversial Ritz-Carlton hotel developer Mohamed Hadid to construct a huge and palatial residence–that he claims is for his own use–atop an unspoiled peak much cherished by urban-dwelling hikers and nature lovers.

Mister Hadid, the children surely recall, is the same man who famously sold his Bel Air mega-mansion Le Belvedere in the summer of 2010 for a gut-punching and record-setting $50,000,000. There is at least one person Your Mama knows who believes that fifty million dollar deal was shady and presented us with some documentation that indicates that Mister Hadid's (former) Bel Air estate is now bank-owned, but that's another alleged scandal for another time.

Mister Hadid has already begun to bulldoze the mountain to create a large flat pad for the sprawling spread he wants to erect but he was presented with a "stop work" order in late February. Those who want more information should visit the Save Franklin Canyon website.

Finally, there have been many queries from the kids as regards to the real estate history of two-time Oscar winning actress Dame Elizabeth Taylor (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, BUtterfield 8, Suddenly, Last Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and etc.) who went to meet her maker earlier this week at the too-young age of 79. Your Mama could spend hours recounting each of the many homes around the world she's owned but it's already been done and done well here and here.

The world lost one of it's last great Tinseltown stars with Elizabeth Taylor who championed AIDS funding and research at a time when it was simply not socially acceptable to do so. May she rest in peace.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bea Arthur's Cliff May Available to Lease

OWNER: Estate of Bea Arthur
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $32,500 per month
SIZE: 5 bedrooms and at least as many bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although she's a pop culture icon who occupies hallowed ground at the very pinnacles of high-camp gaydom, Emmy- and Tony-winning actress and comedienne Bea Arthur (Mame, Maude, Golden Girls) was a formidable, principled and ground-breaking woman of substance who–in the 1970s–fearlessly took on taboo social and political issues such as abortion, the Vietnam War and civil rights at a time when it was strictly verboten for those subjects to be dealt with openly...on a woman, an actress with the voice of a man. We say that, children, with only deepest of respects for the late great gravel-voiced Bea Arthur who went to meet her great director in the sky in April 2009.

Thanks to a kind and covert communique from our trusted informant Ima Tattletale that included semi-secret listing information we've learned that the executors of Miz Arthur's estate–whomever they may be–have quietly put her home in the rustic and bucolic Sullivan Canyon area of Los Angeles, CA out for lease. The listing information Your Mama has in hand does not explicitly state an asking price but, once again, our insider Miss Tattletale snitched that they–whomever they may be–wants $32,500 per month for the nearly 4-acre estate with its sprawling and fully updated Cliff May-designed hacienda style house.

Property records show that twice-married and twice divorced Miz Arthur owned the urban Arcadian estate since at least the mid-1990s. It was here at this house, as we understand, where the former Marine–that's right, puppina-weenahs, Miz Arthur was a Marine–lived out the end of her days.

Listing information in our possession shows that the entire house and grounds were given a thorough overhaul in 2005-2007 by a "visionary designer/builder" named Matt Saks who may or may not be Miz Arthur's son Matthew Saks. The house, as best as we can surmise includes four guest suites–two large and two smaller–each with private pooper plus an expansive master with sizable bedroom, well-scaled sitting area with fireplace, two offices, big bathroom with jetted tub and steam shower, and a fitted walk-in closet the size of a small garage.

The main living spaces–living and dining rooms and a den–have vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, honed travertine floors and painted brick fireplaces. Wood-framed sliding doors marry the spacious living room to the large terraces that surround the house and in the newly re-worked kitchen there are slab marble counter tops, high-grade stainless steel appliances and a not entirely successful combination of white and chestnut-colored wood cabinetry. The kitchen, which has a short breakfast counter, is open to a dining area and cozy family anchored by a stone fireplace.

The halcyon grounds include an over-sized flagstone motor court, three car garage, crescent-shaped swimming pool and raised sap surrounded by flagstone terrace, and a tennis court. Paths and trails with night-lighting for evening strolls wind and meander the hillside grounds.

And with that, it's back to our semi-warm quasi-vacation...

listing photos: Partners Trust

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mish Mash Tuesday

Back in April of 2007 super-producer Jerry Weintraub (Nashville, Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen, Karate Kid I, Karate Kid II) put his 6.63 acre ocean front estate in Malibu, CA on the market with an astronomical and truly breathtaking asking price of $75,000,000.

The gated and secured property includes an 11,810 square foot main house with 7 bedrooms and 11 poopers plus two separate guest houses, fitness facility, two barns, stables, a north/south-aligned tennis court, swimming pool and spa and a private road down the bluff to the beach.

With no takers the property was taken off the market and guess what kiddos, it's back on the market with a drastically and radically reduced asking price of $42,500,000. A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that's a stunning and staggering 43% discount from the original asking price.

Whether a 43% discount is enough to scare up a big-bucks buyer remains to be seen but whatever someone pays it'll be a colossal windfall for Mister Weintraub who paid a mere $1,300,500 for the multi-parcel property back in the late 1970s and 80s.

photo: Coldwell Banker Malibu West

Actor John Krasinski (The Office) spent $921,500 in March of 2005 for a 1,279 square foot house in the Norma Triangle are of West Hollywood, CA. A few months later he flipped the 3 bedroom and 3 pooper residence back on the market where it languished for nearly 6 months before being de-listed. In September of 2009, Mister Krasinski re-listed the walled and gated Country English cottage with an asking price of $1,245,000. But Mister Krasinski–bless his fickle real estate heart–had the property de-listed again just two and a half months later.

This week unlucky in real estate Mister Krasinski hoisted the little house back on the market with a much lower asking price of $945,000, a number that just might get the deal done.

In the summer of 2009 Mister Krasinski and his then girlfriend now wife paid $1,857,000 for a privately situated house above the Sunset Strip. Back in early March of 2010 Your Mama heard through the Tinseltown celebrity real estate grapevine that he had that property quietly back on the market with an asking price of $2,195,000. Iffin we're being honest we'd confess that we don't really know if Mister and Missus Krasinski still have the house (quietly) up for sale but property records do reveal that the house is still owned by the cute couple.

photo: Westside Estate Agency (via

Hot-headed Oscar-winning actor Aussie actor Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) and his wife Danielle Spencer have been on the hunt for a new family spread in the swank suburbs of Sydney (Australia) for quite some time. Way back in 2007 they (reportedly) had a looks see at Altona, a lavish waterfront manse in Point Piper then listed with a spine-tingling asking price of $50,000,000 (AUS).

In 2009 they (reportedly) make an offer on the former French consulate called Le Manoir but they were edged out by international media heir Lachlan Murdoch–that would be Rupert's son–and his wife Sarah who paid a neck snapping $23,000,000 for the property.

They next, in late December 2010, (allegedly) took a shine to the huge and hulking Headingly House, the family seat of former ambassador to France John Spender and his ex-ladee-mate, Italian born Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti. There were multiple reports that Mister and Missus Crowe were thisclose to closing on the posh property but, alas, that purchase never came to fruition.

Now all the Australian tabs and news outlets such as the Sydney Morning Herald are reporting the Mister and Missus Crowe finally settled on and purchased an estate with the unfortunate name of Te Puke (pronounced teh-pook-eh", a 1909 mansion with a 1927 Arts and Crafts style second floor in ritzy Rose Bay for which they paid ten million Australian buckaroos, an amount that Your Mama's currency conversion contraption shows converts to just about ten million American dollars. The house overlooks the fairways of the Royal Sydney Golf Club and is reported to have six bedrooms.

As far as we know Mister and Missus Crowe still own a $14,000,000 penthouse pad at Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf in Sydney and an 800-ish acre rural spread in Nana Glen–about 350 miles north of Sydney–where the couple got hitched in a chapel he had built on the grounds.

photo: The Sydney Morning Herald