Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rove McManus and Tasma Walton Double Whammy

SELLER: Rove McManus and Tasma Walton
LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia
SIZE: 4,100 square feet (approx.), 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama recognizes that few of us American people will recognize neither the name of Rove McManus nor Tasma Walton. Many of the children Down Under, on the other hand, know exactly who Mister McManus is and they may even know who actress Tasma Walton is as well (Blue Heelers, Sea Patrol, City Homicide).

Mister McManus is what might be called a tee-vee presenter or maybe a media personality who started up his ladder of Down Under fame in the 1990s as a roving reporter on a program called InFashion, a program that was hosted at that time by none other that hunky heterosexual Aussie actor Hugh Jackman. Mister McManus went on to create a couple of variety shows (Rove and Rove Live), do a lot of stand up comedy work, co-host a radio program or two and, in 2007, he became the host of the Australian version of that dreadful boob-toob game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.

According to previous reports, Mister McManus picked up his historic home–called Howlands–in Melbourne's uppity Richmond Hill neighborhood way back in 2003 for around 1,500,000 Australian dollars, a figure that Your Mama's currency conversion contraption shows amounts to 1,581,960 American dollars at today's rates. Mister McManus and his actress wife quietly listed Howlands early in 2010 with a guide price of around $3,500,000. The property reportedly sold in late March for around $3,400,000.

According to listing information provided to Your Mama by Kay N. Garoo the stately looking Howlands was built around 1867 and includes 4 bedrooms and a total of 4 bathrooms. The floor plan included with online listing information shows the imposing house sits hard up on the street corner where a puny porch marks the main entry. To the left of the narrow entrance hall, an intimately-scaled study/library/tee-vee watching room features a fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves, high ceilings, wall-to-wall carpeting and French doors that swing open to the garden. To the right of the entrance hall, a 30-foot long living/dining room has a second fireplace and tucked up under the nearby staircase is a powder pooper that, regrettably, does double duty as the laundry room.

At the back of the house a open plan kitchen/family/breakfast room includes a large work island, walk in pantry, a range the size of a Mini Cooper, parquet floors and French doors that open to the walled garden where there is an oval-shaped plunge-sized swimming pool surrounded by brick terracing, a built-in barbecue center and a wee patch of grass. From the kitchen a straight staircase descends to an attached and gated 2-car garage and cellar storage area.

Upstairs three not particularly large bedrooms share a split bathroom. Once upon a time, many moons ago Your Mama lived in San Francisco with a butch lesbian roommate who went by the name Loopé. Our quaint 2-bedroom apartment on Dolores Street directly across from the park had a split bathroom and while it was nice that Loopé could urinate while Your Mama showered in the privacy of our own space, it made for many awkward moments as Loopé streaked from the terliting part of the bath down the hall to the bathing chamber. Anyhoo, the more sensibly equipped and generous master suite at the rear of the house measures more 20 feet by 20 feet and includes two walk in wardrobes, dual en suite facilities and a narrow balcony that overlooks the petite urban-sized backyard and swimming pool.

Mister McManus and his wife have reportedly decamped the southern hemisphere for the unforgiving and wild streets of Tinseltown where they hope to bust in to the big-time Hollywood scene. We're not sure just how successful Mister McManus has been in his overall quest for American fame and fortune but we do know that he's looped himself in with comedienne and chat show ho-stess Chelsea Handler and her devoted cadre of kooks and comedians.
BUYER: Rove McManus and Tasma Walton
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $1,200,000
SIZE: 2,032 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Sometime in 2009 Mister McManus and the wife relocated to Los Angeles and in January of 2010 property records show the married pair paid $1,200,000 for a modestly-sized house nestled into a scrubby hillside in the Benedict Canyon area of the Beverly Hills Post Office.

Listing information we scared up out of the interweb shows the McManus's California crib measures just 2,032 square feet, includes 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and sits up a long gated drive that climbs to a cramped motor court where there's a two car carport tucked up under the house. The front door floats above the motor court and is accessed via a crowded-looking stone staircase. It appears to Your Mama like that front door was installed by mistake or as an after thought: "Oh, my God!" said the contractor. "I forgot to put a damn front door on the house. I better do that now."

To the left of the entry, an oddly-shaped living room has blond hardwood floors, a massive stone fireplace, floor to ceiling windows on one side and French doors on the other. The bête noire of an otherwise fixable, workable and potentially interesting room, the children will note, is a structural support column that runs up through the room in almost exactly the spot no sane person would hope for a structural column to be. Your Mama imagines that since this house was erected in 1959 scads and scores of inebriated and/or otherwise substance altered individuals have run themselves hard up against that thing. It would not surprise us in the least to learn that more than one person has lost a tooth or received a concussion by banging their boozy head against the column in a fit of maniacal laughter, righteous anger or just plan drunken stupidity. It's far from the most dangerous or architecturally egregious issues we've run across during our travels through the celebrity real estate milieu but it is still an issue Your Mama believes ought to be mulled over and commented upon.

The informal floor plan eliminated a formal dining room and opted instead for a casual, open-plan dining area/gore-may kitchen. Listing photos show the abode as it appeared at the time Mister McManus and his wife purchased the property more than a year ago. Therefore, it's not really necessary to discuss the lack of day-core. We can, however, hope and pray that Mister McManus and his wife saw fit to hire a nice gay decorator to work some fairy magic and were wise enough to replace every inch of the tile on the floor, counter top and back splash in the otherwise adequately upgraded kitchen.

Most of the .82 acre parcel is undeveloped and the primary entertainment spaces are a lower level "cabana/play room" that appears to not be accessible from the interior of the house. That means that Your Mama would have to wonder our bathing suit wearing fat ass across the motor court and through the front door each and every time our regular intake of gin & tonics required a visit to the terlit. This is, obviously, not ideal. We would either have to install a pooper in the "cabana/play room" or plop a porta-potty on the patio for more convenient access of the facilities from the pool deck.

The "cabana/play room" opens out to a concrete patio surrounded by a short fence. An old-skool kidney-shaped swimming pool takes up nearly all of the available patio space. In fact, the swimming pool eats up so much of the patio that a person much precariously navigate a thin strip of concrete to to get from the "cabana/play room" over to the sunbathing and dining deck that extends out over the hillside beyond the swimming pool and provides enough space to comfortably accommodate a dining table and a couple of loungers.

listing photos and floor plan (Melbourne): Jellis Craig
listing photos (Beverly Hills P.O.): Coldwell Banker via Redfin


Anonymous said...

OK. The placement of that bar-b-cue is simply asking for trouble!

Jumpin' Jejosephat said...

I wonder if they dumped the Aussie abode because they grew weary of wearing sunglasses and ice skates every time they wanted to go into the bedroom? The finished on that floor is more apropriate for an NBA arena, no? Otherwise, fabulous.
The only way I could see myself purchasing their Tinseltown pad would be precisely because of that structural support... after I ran head-long into it and knocked myself senseless.

Deschanel said...

The quips about forgetting to put in a damn front door, and the speculative history of inebriates smacking into that pillar since 1959 have me howlinglaughing here. Never change, Mama!

Anonymous said...

The Aussie place has the saddest bookshelves I've ever seen. People - either buy a fucking ladder or read more books!

Amanda from Oz said...

Ha ha ha ... Kay N. Garoo! I love it!

Anonymous said...

While I think the LA house is all but hideous (what architect, in possession of his/her mental faculties would design something like that?), I applaud the couple's relative conservatism -even with expensive property in the doldrums, it would be hard to find a decent place in the Beverly Hills P.O. for $1.2mm that wasn't on fire. If they weren't mortgaged to the hilt on the Aussie house, maybe they bought in cash, also managing to bank a sizeable sum to help pay the bills iffin the gigs don't start rolling in. Maybe this place won't be sold-short in 2 years!

Anonymous said...

What a bummer to leave that gorgeous Aussie house for such a dog in L.A. It's awful. But you're not, Mama! Your desert diary was fab!!

Anonymous said...

An example of how hideously overpriced the Australian market is at the moment.