Friday, March 30, 2012

UPDATE: Rosie O'Donnell

Buckle your safety belts butter beans, the listing images for Rosie O'Donnell's massive Miami Beach (FL) mansion have popped up online and, hunties, Your Mama don't know what's more of a hot mess, a Xanax- and booze-infused Fiona Trambeau being rolled off the airplane in a wheelchair and nappy poncho at 10:45 this morning or that gawd-awful red, white and blue decorating disaster. Heaven knows Your Mama loves us some snow white walls and a white slip-covered sofa in a beach house but even we have our limits.

As discussed here and everywhere earlier, Miz O'Donnell heaved her 11 bedroom and 12.5 pooper compound on Miami's celeb-studded Star Island on the open market today with an asking price of $19,500,000.

listing photos: EWM International

New Zealand's Karl Urban To Sell Auckland Crib

SELLER: Karl Urban
LOCATION: Auckland, New Zealand
PRICE: Undisclosed
SIZE: 281 square meters, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Not caring a lick or an iota for action/sci-fi books and movies—no shade, babies, it's just not our cup of entertainment tea—Your Mama has to admit when we first heard last week from from a Kiwi named Kiki that actor Karl Urban was selling his rather homey house in Auckland (New Zealand) we were like, "Who the hell is that?"

Natch, we fired up our trusty laptop computer and discovered Mister Urban, a well-built brunette with somewhat delicate facial features whose big break came on the New Zealand soap story Shortland Street, has successfully crossed over from the Australian/New Zealand movie scene to the Hollywood big time. In addition to scads and scores of movies and tee-vee shows Down Under, he's appeared in a substantial number Hollywood-made sci-fi and action nuggets that include Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Bourne Supremacy, Star Trek, and Xena: Warrior Princess. His Internet Movie Data Base resume shows beaver-busy Mister Urban has hefty handful of film projects in the hopper or in production that include a sci-fi thriller with Vin Diesel (Untitled Chronicles of Riddick Sequel) and still-to-be-titled sequel for Star Trek with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

Your Mama doesn't know how to look up public property records in New Zealand so we really can't say when Mister Urban and his Missus bought the gated residence located in the upscale Auckland enclave of Herne Bay or how much dinero they forked over to buy it. We also don't know, as it turns out, at what price the property is listed. That's because current listing information does not indicate a specific asking price but does show that unless the property sells before, it will be sold by auction on the 4th of April. A recent report in the local papers shows the house has a "capital value" of $1,410,000 (NZ), an amount that converts to $1,150,450 (US).

We are not familiar with the specifics way of the New Zealand real estate business so we haven't a clue what "capital value" is and we also can't say if this auction business is customary for the region. In the U.S., a property auction often reeks of desperation (and/or foreclosure) but iffin we were the betting type—and we're not—we'd wager both our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that the scheduled auction for Mister (and Missus) Urban's digs in Auckland are absolutely not an indication of an over-squeezed pocketbook.

Anyhoodles poodles, listing information does reveal the ship-shape, two-story shingled cottage measures 281 square meters and includes a total of 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. A quick consult with our conversion contraption allows all us Americanos not on the metric system to understand 281 square meters is the exact equivalent of 3,025.66 square feet.

A bowling alley-length entrance hall with wood beamed ceiling and wood floors stretches clear through to the back of the house where it opens through French doors to a sizable wood deck that extends the first floor living areas into the tropically-landscaped and high-hedged back yard. Groovy, geometric-minded light fixtures splash a honeycomb-like pattern on the walls that, by our meaningless opinion, complements the colorfully graphic area rugs but competes uncomfortably with the numerous wall-hanging artworks.

The wood floors continue into the not-very-formal "formal" living room with fireplace and high wood beamed ceiling. The furnishings are eclectic and include linen slip-covered and leather sofas, an iconic Isamu Noguchi coffee table, a rug that looks like it was inspired by something our Grandma T-T tatted, and a variety of artworks on the walls including one over the fireplace ringed with a tangerine-colored frame that has Your Mama drooling with envy...over the frame, not the painting.

The adjacent dining area has full-wall built-in buffet with turquoise and orange painted accents and  French doors open the dining area to the back deck. The dining area is completely open to the compact but well-equipped kitchen with free-standing center work island not particularly fancy stainless steel appliances. One entire wall of the kitchen is covered in snap shots and other family ephemera, a warm and fuzzy design idea the children can inexpensively and easily do in their own homes.

Upstairs a second sitting room (lit with the same geometrically-minded lights as in the entrance hall) opens to a deep covered porch with glistening bay views over the trees and roof tops of the surrounding homes.

Obviously we're not apprised of Mister Urban's specific real estate plans but eh told the local press he has no plans to relocated to Tinseltown and, in fact, has definite plans to stay in Herne Bay 'hood.

listing photos: Custom Residential

Rosie Redux: O'Donnell Lists Star Island Estate

With her talk show on Oprah's network canceled after just one season—today being it's last day on the air—comedienne, chat show host and lefty-liberal motor mouth Rosie O'Donnell no longer needed or wanted the townhouse she bought a few months ago for $2,250,000 and sold a few weeks ago for $2,500,000.

Apparently the Nyack (NY)-based Rosie O' also doesn't need or want her mansion in Miami Beach, FL because today word comes down the celebrity real estate street via the South Beach Condo Blog (SBCB) that she somewhat surprisingly listed her Star Island estate with an asking price of $19,500,000.

Records show Miz O' picked up the waterfront property in March 1999 for $6,750,000. The Dade County Tax Man shows the just over 1-acre pie-shaped parcel has 203 feet of water frontage with private boat dock. Listing information reveals Rosie O's estate includes an 11,104 square foot main mansion plus two separate and private guesthouses. Listing information also indicates there are 12 bedrooms and 11.5 bathrooms on the property including a "vast master suite" complete with private office, sitting room, fireplace and waterside terrace.

The handsome devil at the SBCB says the estate "has been upgraded from when she originally purchased the property" and listing information reveals there's a "professional kitc[hen]" and "impressive millwork." Outside there's a large motor court that wraps around a giant tree, lots of tropical landscaping that includes a privacy screen of foliage along the water front, various dining and lounging terraces, a built-in barbecue station, and a kidney bean-shaped swimming pool.

Other high-profile residents of Star Island include music mogul Tommy Motola, Miami Beach royal Gloria Estefan, showbiz entrepreneur Sean Combs (otherwise known as P. Faddle or Puff Diddle or whatever) who makes everyone take off their kicks before going inside, shoe tycoon Donald J. Pliner whose house has a fab key-shaped swimming pool, and German property developer Thomas Kramer who appeared in all his kinda-creepy glory on The Real Housewives of Atlanta as one of Kim Zolciak's friends.

Although her house is priced the lowest Miz O'Donnell may face some stiff competition from her neighbors. There are currently at least five other Star Island estates listed on the open market with asking prices from $19,999,999 to $35,000,000.

aerial photo: Bing

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's Official: Elton John Lists L.A. Condos

SELLERS: Elton John and David Furnish
LOCATION: West Hollywood, CA
PRICE: $1,600,000 and $3,500,000
SIZE: 1,151 square feet (1 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms); 1,831 square feet (1 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Several weeks ago property gossips from the east coast to the west reported that famously bespectacled (and meticulously bewigged) music industry icon Elton John and his long-term man-mate David Furnish were preparing to vacate their pair of art- and light-filled condo-cribs at the star-studded Sierra Towers building in West Hollywood, CA. They were not, the reports stated, pulling up west coast real estate roots altogether. They planned, so the story went, to buy a big house in Tinseltown with plenty of room to bring up their bouncing baby boy Zachary.

Within hours of the first published rumors we received covert communiques from a couple of clued-in real estate insiders who we called Frick and Frack who both gleefully whispered to Your Mama that Misters John and Furnish were not looking for a house to call home but had, in fact, already snatched one up: a sleek, low-slung and re-worked mid-century modern residence in the terrifically trendy Beverly Hills 'hood of Trousdale Estates. The sale price has yet to be disclosed—or tattled to Your Mama, hello!—but the 4 bedroom and 7 bathroom spread was last listed at $7,695,000.

Of course, Your Mama don't know a soup spoon from a fly swatter but we presume the English gents have engaged the flamboyant and wonderfully theatrical, nice-gay decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard to do over the interiors of their new Trousdale Estates digs just as they did with their two adjacent condominiums at the Sierra Towers that have finally and officially hit the (open) market this week at $1.6 and $3.5 million.

Property records show Mister Furnish as the owner of record on both condos, the first and larger of which was picked up in February 2007 for $2,497,000. The Los Angeles County Tax Man shows the mid-floor unit spans a fairly modest 1,831 square feet and was originally designed with 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Current listing information describes the unit as an "oversized" 1 bedroom with 1.5 bathrooms so clearly it's had some cosmetic reconfiguring just as many of the building's famous residents have. Oh. Ouch! Did we say that out loud? It's the early morning gin talking, poodles.

Anyhoo, taxes and common charge total $3,842 per month provide residents with 2 deeded and secured parking spaces, 24-7 security systems, attentive door men, fleet-footed valets and heavy-lifting porters, a thoughtful concierge, a fitness facility with his and her locker rooms and spas, and a 6th floor roof top swimming pool and city-view sunbathing terrace.

Walls of floor-to-ceiling glass wrap the southeast-facing corner condo and explode with a sweeping urban vista that stretches (on a clear day) from downtown over to Century City and clear to Catalina Island. Sliding glass panels open the main living space and the lone bedroom up to a covered and cantilevered terrace that runs almost the entire width of the apartment.

No interior photographs are included with current online listings but Mister Martyn Lawrence Bullard's vibrant, 1970s-inspired day-core was photographed in all its bright and colorful glory for the glossy pages of the December 2009 issue of Architetural Digest. Although we expect the globe-trotting A-gays will take their enviable and extensive art collection with them—it includes works by Damian Hirst, Dale Chihuly, Marc Quinn, Wang Guangyi, Gary Hume, Tracy Emin, and Lee Friedlander—listing information indicates both apartments can be negotiated to be sold furnished.

The A.D. photographs show the main living/dining includes a couple of sitting areas with lime green walls and a lot of very expensive-looking furniture and furnishings that include a scene-stealing matched set of onyx-and-chrome coffee tables and half a dozen or so zebra-skin pillows placed perfectly on a massive white sectional sofa.

The main living/dining areas are open to the sleek and shiny kitchen with high-gloss white lacquer cabinetry, lustrous ebony counter tops (of unknown material), a rainbow assortment of Venini vases, and a built-in flat screen tee-vee that can be viewed from the six-stool island breakfast bar over which hangs a seriously decadent glass chandelier (circa 1969) originally from the Grand Hotel in Milan.

Somewhere in the apartment, as seen in A.D., Mister John keeps a compact office space about the size of a trophy wife's walk-in shoe closet. The wee nook is outfitted like a glamorous ocean liner with delicious, high-gloss wood cabinetry, custom-commissioned green glass knobs, and a futuristic looking office chair upholstered in what appears to our boozy-woozy eyes as chartreuse-colored snake skin.

In the boo-dwar the bed frame is wrapped in snake skin—or some sort of material printed with a black and white snake skin pattern—and other furnishings include a lipstick red Pierre Paulin Ribbon chair and a mirrored Cityscape credenza by the too-fab-for-words Paul Evans that Your Mama can assure the children cost Misters John and Furnish more than most people cars. The walls look like to Your Mama like they're draped in milk chocolate suede (or covered with a suede paint treatment), the ceiling has been completely covered with high-glam platinum leaf, and the floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that open to the terraces are covered with glimmering Mylar curtains (or some material similar to Mylar). We have not seen nor heard hide nor hair about the master bathroom and dressing area(s) but we imagine they are ample, luxuriously appointed, and a clothes horse's custom-fitted wet dream.

The smaller of the the two apartments also has sweeping downtown to ocean views but measures, according to current listing information, 1,151 square feet with 1 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms. Taxes and common charges rack up to $1,753 per month.

Property records show the smaller unit was acquired in September 2008 for $2,100,000. It doesn't take a mathematics genius to see that even with a full price sale Misters John and Furnish are looking at a loss of half a million clams on this apartment. Any potential loss on the smaller unit may (or may not) be absorbed by the just-under-a-million dollar increase in asking price over sale price of the larger unit.

Listing information for the smaller unit does not specifically mention Mister Bullard's handiwork. It instead states more generically that there are "designer finishes throughout." Maybe Mister Bullard worked over this unit with the same flair as the larger unit and maybe he did not. At this point we don't know. We also don't know—thank you very much—what purpose this smaller unit served (Guests? Domestic staff? Security?) and we also don't know—thank you very much—if the two units are actually joined or if a person much exit one to enter the other via the public hall.

Other owners/renters/residents of the modernist tower that rises above the western end of the Sunset Strip include Courtney Cox, Cher, Joan Collins, PJ Harvey, Lily Collins, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, who also had Martyn Lawrence Bullard do up their pied-a-terre.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Your Mama Also Hears...

The online and print media is all agog and atwitter over today's announcement that beleaguered and publicly pilloried Los Angeles Dodgers owner/executive Frank McCourt has finally reached an agreement to sell the bankrupt baseball team (and media rights) for 2-and-some billion bucks to a coalition that includes long-retired professional hoopster Magic Johnson.

While all that sports stuff was being hollered about Your Mama received a covert communique from a savvy and always exquisitely informed real estate industry acquaintance we'll call Heidi N. Holmbyhills who divulged to Your Mama that Mister McCourt's new ex-wife Jamie—the two were bitterly and expensively divorced earlier this year—has plans to significantly lighten her own extensive residential real estate load.

In addition to cash, prizes, a couple of delectable ocean front abodes in Malibu and a condo in Colorado, (ex)Missus McCourt was granted in her divorce sole ownership of the erstwhile couple's primary residence, a humongous Neo-Something style pile directly across the street from The Playboy Mansion in the posh Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles between Beverly Hills and Bel Air. The McCourts bought the prominent property back in 2004 from the very dapper Babyface Edmonds for a newsworthy $21,250,000.

According to Heidi, (ex-)Missus McCourt has on the hush-hush recently allowed one of the Platinum Triangles fanciest and most successful real estate agents to discreetly show her heavily secured and gated Holmby Hills estate with a fat asking price of $65,000,000.

The Los Angeles County Tax Man shows the property spans 2.58 acres and is loosely described in divorce court documents published online (in .pdf form) as having—we paraphrase—15,000 square feet of interior space that includes, among other necessities and luxuries, 4 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a fully-equipped work out room, dance studio, guest quarters and a brand new, partially underground complex with Olympic-length indoor swimming pool and adjoining massage, dressing, showering, steam/sauna, and ablution facilities. Missus McCourt, it seems, is a dedicated lap swimmer and the estate's outdoor pool was not suitable for her watery endeavors. The extensively engineered addition is shown under construction above (at right of image), but is now completed and fully landscaped. The new pool complex is essentially invisible from the motor court and lawn that covers the roof.

Mister McCourt and (ex-)Missus McCourt, for those who haven't already heard the story, created a west coast whirlwind in 2004 when they swooped in from Boston and scooped the Los Angeles Dodgers from Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp for $430,000,000 and almost, as mentioned above, immediately shoveled out another $21,250,000 to acquire their Holmby Hills estate. They quickly spent another $6,500,000 to buy an adjoining estate with substantial Sunset Boulevard frontage and  reportedly purchased for use by staff and guests.

At about the same time the McCourts moved to California they splashed out upwards of $6,000,000 on a 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom ski condo in Vail, CO. In 2007 the real estate high-hoggers shelled out $27,250,000 to snatch up an iconic John Lautner designed ocean front home in Malibu—bought from then-still-coupled Courtney Cox and David Arquette—and quickly tossed down another $18,975,000 to buy the perfectly charming but much less architecturally spectacular beach shack next door where (ex-)Missus McCourt received conditional permission to build an beachfront lap pool.

In August of last year (2011)—after they split but before their divorce was finalized in early 2012—the ferociously feuding McCourts sold the less lavish of their two Holmby Hills residences, an 8,000-plus square foot rambler with 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms on 1.63 acres. Records show the property was sold for $6,525,000 to a corporate entity.

The McCourts own (and maybe still own, we're not sure) a number of other high-priced properties from Massachusetts to Cabo San Lucas. Your Mama spoke about these properties in greater detail back in October 2009 when we took a long spin through their famously extensive property portfolio. If any of y'all feel the need to dig deeper, grab a cocktail and take a turn through that very lengthy discussion.

aerial photo: Google

Rumor Has It... sitcom star (Cougar Town, Friends) and well-known real estate freak and design fiend Courtney Cox and her estranged actor/producer husband David Arquette have covertly off-loaded their architecturally thrilling mid-century modern residence in Beverly Hills, CA.

Patty Propertyseller—you may remember her from today's earlier rumors about Madonna's Bev Hills house—told us she heard the Trousdale Estates treasure, originally designed by by A. Quincy Jones and re-worked by talented lady architect (and A. Quincy Jones expert) Cory Buckner, was in escrow. Another source, let's call her Helen A. Hightower, whispered in Your Mama's ear that she heard the down-low deal was all but complete and the buyer is a scion of an illustrious and powerful American dynasty.

Property records don't yet reflect a transfer of ownership and neither of our plugged in sources slipped us a sale price but the children may recall back in mid-September (2011) we heard from trusted informant Ivana Blowarealestatewhistle that the erstwhile Cox-Arquettes were in stealth preparations to make their Trousdale Estates property available off-market with a sky-high but not, so was the consensus amongst Your Mama's compadres, unreasonable price tag of somewhere around $20,000,000. 

Make of this celebrity real estate smoke what you will but for now it's all just some rumor and gossip, kids, rumor and gossip.

Property record and other online resources reveal Miz Cox and Mister Arquette acquired the low slung, nearly five thousand square foot single story residence just minutes from the Sunset Strip and downtown Beverly Hills in mid-June 2004 for $5,450,000. The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial show the Cox-Arquettes also picked up the house next door in late 2008 for an undisclosed amount of money.

Last year Miz Cox spent $2,050,000 up a 1,672 square foot, high-floor condo crib at the star-studded Sierra Towers building for use as her in-town pied a terre, according to tattle tale Anna Falactic. The real estate, architecture and design aficionado recently completed a Michael Kovac (architect) and Trip Haenisch (nice-gay decorator) headed overhaul of a sprawling bluff-top compound in Malibu, CA she bought in early 2007 for $17,150,000 and had photographed in all it's glory for the July/August 2011 issue of Elle Decor.

Just prior to that acquisition she and Mister Arquette sold a rather heavenly John Lautner-designed house on Malibu's Carbon Beach to then-married now bitterly-divorced Frank and Jamie McCourt for $27,250,000. The McCourts quickly dropped another $19,000,000 to snatch up the much more modest beach shack next door. Speaking of Jamie McCourt and her over-stuffed property portfolio, stay tuned for a little real estate dish about her humongous house in Los Angeles' hoity toity Holmby Hills 'hood.

aerial photo (top): Pacific Coast News
swimming pool and view photo (bottom):  Cory Buckner Architects

Your Mama Hears...

...from a frightfully well-connected informant we'll call Patty Propertyseller that Her Madgesty Madonna has surreptitiously made her Beverly Hills, CA estate available as a pocket listing.

As soon as Patty Propertyseller dropped that juicy celebrity real estate nugget in our fat lap a day or two ago we contacted a few of our other trusted tattletales and quickly heard back from Knancy Knowsthedish—like Patty Propertyseller, an exceedingly well-connected Beverly Hills real estate insider—who snitched that Madge wants $28,000,000 for her French Country-style mansion that sits down a long gated drive off a particularly swish stretch of Sunset Boulevard.

When in residence in Beverly Hills the still-epically-famous-at-50 international superstar is surrounded by massive mansions and exuberantly landscaped estates owned by high fallutin' folks like Stewart and Lynda Resnick, star maker Simon Cowell, sitcom royal Max Mutchnick, and shopping mall magnate Guilford Glazer. Last year it was widely reported Madonna's Bev Hills estate sits next door to the depressingly disheveled Richard Neutra-designed Kronish House bought last October (2011) for $12,800,000 by—Your Mama heard last year from Anita Tellsomebody—Paris Hilton's ex-beau, Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos.

Miz Ciccone Penn Ritchie bought her 1.14-acre Sunset Boulevard estate back in June 2003 when married to her most recent ex-hubby English filmmaker Guy Ritchie. The seller was actress Sela Ward (CSI: NY, House M.D., Sisters). Property records aren't entirely clear but most reports on the matter say she/they paid around (or exactly) $12,000,000.

The Los Angeles County Tax Man shows the main house measures 5,800 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms but those figures may or may not be accurate given the lavish-living Madonna is thought to have expanded and completely redecorated the residence. Knancy Knowsthedish didn't drop the 411 on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms but did mention the interiors are "comfy" and "surprisingly normal." 

The house sits at the rear of the essentially-flat parcel that includes substantial off-street parking, intimate gardens tucked behind and around the side of the main house, a lighted tennis court, and a rectangular swimming pool with an adjacent pool house.

Some of the children may recall this is the very house, so the story we (and others) heard through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine goes, David and Victoria Beckham wanted to buy back when they moved to Los Angeles in 2007 but were turned off when Madge (allegedly) jacked up the price by ten or so million clams and then told them she didn't want to sell it after all. Rumor and gossip, kittens, rumor and gossip.

This is not the first—nor will it likely be the last—great house in Los Angeles owned by Madonna. In the mid-1990s she owned Longdons Castle (more familiarly known as Castillo del Lago), a legendary wedding cake of a mansion set high on a slim ridge above Lake Hollywood and currently owned by fashion designer Leon Max.

From there The Material Girl decamped to Los Pavoreales, a sprawling Wallace Neff-designed hacienda in Los Feliz, later owned by Bodhi and Jenna Elfman who sold it to Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter who sold it to Rachel Sweet and Tom Palmer who sold it in April 2010 for $4,895,000 to a non-celebrity financier. Madge moved on from Los Pavoreales to another Wallace Neff-designed Mediterranean-mansion on North Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills she bought from actress and historic home saver Diane Keaton in May 2002 for around $6,500,000. She sold that house for $8,750,000 shortly after she purchased her current westcoast bedsit, the one she bought from Sela Ward and (allegedly) available for those with the dough able to get in touch with one of the real estate agents in the know.

In addition to her up for grabs abode in Beverly Hills, Madonna's stateside holdings currently include (but may not be limited to) a slew of contiguous apartments at Harperley Hall on New York City's Central Park West, a triple-wide townhouse on the Upper East Side she bought in 2009 for $32,500,000 and extensively renovated, and Wild Ocean Farm, an equestrian facility in Bridgehampton (NY) she picked up in late 2009 from fashion designer Calvin Klein's equestrian-minded ex-wife Kelly. Across the pond, the former couple's English country estate Ashcombe went to Mister Ritchie in the dee-vorce but Madonna continues to maintain at least one Georgian-style townhouse in London's Marylebone neighborhood.

Now remember kids, this is all just rumor and gossip for now but remember you got The T here when you see this matter discussedd in the property gossip columns of more mainstream and respectable publications and websites.

aerial photo: Pacific Coast News

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

American Idol David Cook Lists Beachwood Canyon Crib

SELLER: David Cook
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,495,000
SIZE: 3,071 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We are all but down for the count with an ugly post-vacation cold so it's short and sweet-snarky this morning.

Your Mama feels no shame in confessing to all 7 people who could give a shit that we stopped watching American Idol a long time ago. We bravely stuck it out all the way through season three and the first couple of episodes of season four. At that point we could suffer not a moment more of the karaoke-like Top 40 pop music extravaganza. It all became like nails on a chalkboard and no amount of gin would or could numb the pain.We don't mean any disrespect to any of the wildly talented contestants but our musical zebra stripes just ain't painted that way. We warble potaytoe, you sing potahtoe.

Anyhoo, given that state of affairs we really didn't and still don't know a damn thing about 29-year old season 7 winner David Cook other than the few rather vanilla tidbits we dug up during 3 quick minutes of research on the interweb. By all accounts the gee-tar playing singer/songwriter is a genuinely sincere, stand up fella whose first post-Idol album—the eponymous David Cook—went platinum. A framed version of said eponymous platinum album appears in listing photos hanging irksomely off-center over the large bed in the master bedroom of the Los Angeles, CA crib Mister Cook put up for sale last week with an asking price of $1,495,000.

Property records show Texas-born and Missouri-raised Mister Cook scooped up his hillside clinging house set on a twisty street high above the historic, charming and just slightly quirky Beachwood Canyon in March 2010 for $1,318,000.

Current listing information shows the updated house, which Your Mama might describe as an oxymoronic multi-level contemporary ranch, was originally built in 1979, measures just over 3,000 square feet—3,071 to be exact—and includes a total of three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms on three floors. At least some rooms and a fair amount of the decks the run along and beside the back of the house are lucky enough to have a quintessentially Los Angeles view across the steep, dwelling dotted ravines of the canyon with sweeping and direct views of both the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Park Observatory.
A wall, gated and landscaped courtyard provides a narrow but private buffer from the street with a fountain, fruit tree or two and a separately gated, landing strip-like run of lawn perfect for penning pooches and small children. Geometrically applied wood-paneling lines the walls of the inset porch and lends the entry a rather thrilling Op art edge, a rich motif we wish had been mined and curated both architecturally and decoratively throughout the house but, alas, was not.

Lustrous and relatively new-looking hardwood floors run under foot throughout the main/street level where the barely there foyer spills into the rectangular living room with vaulted ceiling, wall-mounted flat screen tee-vee, and a stacked stone two-sided fireplace pushed up into the corner of the room next to the sliding glass doors that open the deck that runs long the top floor rear of the residence.

A long dining room lined with sliding glass doors and tree-top canyon views out the back of the house connects to the unexpectedly sizable center island kitchen outfitted with simple flat-fronted wood cabinets, toffee and cream-colored granite counter tops and back splashes, a wide greenhouse window over the main sink (ugh!), a long row of floor-to-ceiling pantry and storage cabinets, and a full coterie of top-grade commercial-style stainless steel appliances.

The privately situated master suite takes up the entire mid-level and contains a decent-sized bedroom with fireplace—a mirrored identical to the one in the living room—a very beige and somewhat slender-looking attached bathroom with double sinks. One more flight down there are, as per listing information, two family/guest bedrooms, one full bathroom, and what listing information describes as a "professionally designed recording studio (or convert to an amazing home theatre) with both exterior and in-home entrances,..." Somewhere in the house there's a "Custom laundry area with built in Miele washer & dryer," which sounds pretty nice.

We have nada inside intel about Mister Cooks real estate motivations and plans but perhaps he's headed back to his family roots in The Show Me State of Missouri where Your Mama's brief and entirely unscientific online research turned up a few dribs and drabs about Mister Cook also owning a very suburban-looking abode in a perfectly ordinary, un-gated planned development in Lee's Summit on the outskirts of Kansas City. But honestly, children, we can't really say for sure if he does or does not.

listing photos: Tim Schroepfer Photography for Pinnacle Estate Properties

Monday, March 26, 2012

More Beiber Real Estate Fever

BUYER: (allegedly) Justin Beiber
LOCATION: Calabasas, CA
PRICE: around six million clams
SIZE: 9,214 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only three weeks ago that gaggles of Bieberheads, Bieberites and Bieberinas around the globe went bat-shit berserk over the many rumors and reports about bubble gum pop music superstar Justin Bieber being on the hunt for a house to call home in Los Angeles, CA.

His own people confirmed their mass-marketed money making machine—the 18 year old reportedly earned more than fifty million bucks in 2010—had indeed had a peep and a poke around the very contemporary wood, glass and steel mansion perched above Los Angeles' little-known Lake Hollywood and currently leased by sitcom star and Twitter-addict Ashton Kutcher.

Property gossips and Bieberkins alike were further tantalized when those same people told gossip juggernaut TMZ the tweenager's dreamboat had also twice toured a couple of mansions in the hot and Hades western Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. They went on to say The Biebs had not yet made an offer on a property and was, in fact, still looking for that special real estate lady.

Well, dontcha know, my pretty little ponies, just a couple days later a huge, hacienda-style mini-compound on 1.28 acres in the celebrity-friendly, double-gated enclave of The Oaks in Calabasas was quietly taken off the open market and this morning the celebrity scuttlebutters at X17 reported the very same house in The Oaks was "snatched up" by baby-faced and filthy rich Mister Bieber.

Listen, children, Your Mama is well aware some of y'all think it's beneath our dignity to discuss an international pop music phenomena like Mister Bieber. And we feel your pain. Howevuh, we got a mortgage to pay and insurance premiums to keep up just like everybody else so, for the sake of business, we're going with it. Not interested in The Biebs and his (alleged) real estate activities, then scoot yer boot until we have something more suitable for your delicate celebrity real estate palette, okaay?

We may be marinated in booze like a perfectly preserved fruitcake from Christmas past but Your Mama instantly recognized the mansion pictured on X17 as the very same one acquired in May 2006 for $7,500,000 by actor/comedian Eddie Murphy's former model ex-wife and baby momma Nicole Murphy. Miz Murphy, now engaged or maybe married to former professional football player Michael Strahan (we don't know), flipped the 9,215 square foot behawtcha back on the market in August 2007 with a terribly optimistic asking price of $9,995,000.

Unfortunately for her, the house didn't sell it until April 2011 when it was finally taken off ex-Missus Murphy's hands by a non-celebrity for $5,515,000. A few quick and unscientific calculations on our bejeweled abacus shows poor ex-Missus Murphy lost a pocketbook punishing $1,985,000, not counting carrying costs and real estate fees. No wonder the short-haired and large-chested stunner signed on to appear on Hollywood Exes, a reality program about—you got it—a variety of L.A.-based ex-wives of famous athletes and Showbizzers. Like we said a moment ago, a person sometimes has to do what a person sometimes has to do to keep milk in the fridge.

Anyhoo, the new owner of Miz Murphy's real estate albatross gave the place a quick spit and polish—it appears from images in X17 all or most of the Spanish tile from around the swimming pool was removed—and quickly flipped the property back on the market four months after buying with an asking price of around $6,000,000.

Listing information we teased up out of the interweb shows the sprawling two-story main house includes all the rooms to be expected in a lavish mansion (living, dining, kitchen, family, library, office and home theater) plus 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms—or 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms depending where on the listing on looks—6 fireplaces, two three car garages, one elevator and a double-height entry with a sensually coiled staircase embedded with fab decorative Spanish tiles.

Outdoor spaces include an interior courtyard with fireplace and built-in barbecue station. Many rooms at the rear of the residence open to the backyard lounging and entertaining areas where there are fountains and flat expanses of lawn, a pergola-shaded and vine-draped dining terrace, a swimming pool with embedded spa, and a detached casita with fireplace, facility and kitchen.

Property records do not yet reflect a transfer of ownership and Your Mama freely confesses to no inside intel about The Bieb's real estate affairs so it's very possible this is all just some real estate dish, just nugget of celebrity property scuttlebutt that may or may not prove to have any validity. Okaaay?

Miz Murphy and her fiancée (or hubby) Michael Strahan recently sold another luxury residence, a gated, 6 bedroom and 8 bathroom faux-Tuxcan villa in a gated community in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles (CA), they bought in November 2009 for $5,000,000 and sold at a substantial profit in mid-March 2012 for $6,150,000.

NOTE: The children will all please note that listing photos above depict the house as it appeared at the time Miz Murphy sold it in April 2011 and may or may not show an accurate reflection of its current state.

UPDATE (later same day): It seems gossip juggernaut TMZ once again came through with some details and subsequent to our discussion posted the "exclusive details" on the current Bieber real estate situation out in Calabasas. According to TMZ's unidentified source The Biebs  made an low ball offer on the property in question but no agreement has been reached; The Biebs (reportedly) offered somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.5 million for the house that was priced at "around 7+ million." If the seller doesn't want to wheel and deal, so the story goes, The Biebs will move on. TMZ's source(s) said the young singer even looked a another house in the Hollywood Hills that his not the house Ashton Kutcher rents.

listing photos: Hurwitz James Company

Are the Parker-Brodericks Brooklyn Bound?

Despite spending a hefty-hefty-hefty $18,995,000 to acquire a 25-foot wide, 14-room townhouse with 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in New York City's Greenwich Village last March (2011), rumor on the celebrity real estate street in The Big Apple is that long-time West Village residents Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are thisclose to snatching up two townhouses in Brooklyn's high-toned but low-key Brooklyn Heights 'hood.

According to the well-connected property gossips at the New York Daily News, the Sex and the City star and the two-time Tony winning Broadway hoofer are in negotiations to purchase a pair of historic side-by-side townhouses on a particularly purdy stretch of street in the Heights where their (sort of) nearby neighbors will include Irish actor/producer/director Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, In the Name of the Father, Miller's Crossing) and Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones whose 2011 musical collaboration(s) with DJ Danger Mouse (Rome) remain in rotation on Your Mama's clunky, first generation iPod.

The two townhouses in question (pictured above) are not listed on the open market but property records reveal they are owned by the same married couple who purchased one townhouse—a 3,500 square foot legal triplex built in 1901—in April 1994 for $467,000 and picked up the one next door—a 4,375 square foot legal quadruplex built in 1852—in January 2000 for $5,862,500. It's not clear to Your Mama if either townhouse has been converted to single family house but presumably if the Broderick-Parkers do indeed sign on the deed's dotted line they'll likely connect the two cribs to create one rather massive 8,000-plus square foot residence with a double wide back yard.

Your Mama hears from a source we'll call Polly Wannatellyousomething who snitched that Mister Broderick and Miz Parker have looked at several other properties in the Brooklyn Heights 'hood before settling on these two townhouses and have not, as of this morning, signed the contracts for the townhouses in question as they're waiting to be assured a place for their trio of tots in one of the better local area schools.

The Broderick-Parkers' property portfolio fairly well bulges with pricey and prime properties in and aroundNew York City that include their current habitat, a West Village townhouse bought in April 2000 for $2,995,000, as well as the nearly 7,000 square foot aforementioned Greenwich Village townhouse they bought last year but—we hear through the celebrity property gossip grapevine—never moved in. During the summer of 2005 the Showbiz dropped a combined $6,600,000 in two separate transactions to scoop up two very modestly sized (if exceptionally pricey) beach shacks in the quiet Hamptons community of Amagansett; One house is nestled in to the ocean front dunes and the other is directly across the street, an unusual set up for sure but one that's probably very practical privacy-wise when it comes to housing staff and weekend guests. 

photo: Bryan Pace for New York Daily News

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Potpourri

Yes, buttons and butter beans, Your Mama and The Dr. Cooter are still, technically, on vacay out with all the greys and gays out in Palm Springs (CA) but here are a few links to tidbits and morsels discussed by some of our friends and associates in the celebrity real estate gossip game to keep you busy as you whittle away the final hours of your 9-to-5 work week.

Professional toker and serious art collector Cheech Marin sold his joint in Malibu. (via the long-legged blond at Trulia)

A Midtown Manhattan penthouse (rumored and reported) to be owned by Oprah Winfrey and (allegedly) briefly occupied by Gayle King went into contract with an unnamed British financier after just a week on the market. (via Miz Gould Keil at the New York Post)

Filthy rich but mouthy actor/filmmaker Mel Gibson has re-listed his 500-acre beachfront spread in Costa Rica with an asking price of $29,800,000. (via the property gossip gals at The Wall Street Journal)

A 9,000 square foot Greek Revival-style townhouse in the natty and naboby section of New York City's Brooklyn Heights 'hood once owned (or maybe it was only leased) by mincing scribe Truman Capote sold for a record breaking $12,500,000 to the British fella who made his mountain of money primarily from the creator/writer/producer of the enormously successful and brutally violent and Grand Theft Auto video games franchise. (via the peeps at the New York Post)

The last residence of Beatle George Harrison—a monstrous, wedding cake of a villa in fancy pants Montagnola, Switzerland—has come up for sale with an undisclosed asking price. (He paid ten million for the Swiss estate in 2001 shortly before he died.) (via the busy real estate beavers AOL)

One of the billionaire Bronfmans—philanthropist and former Seagram CEO Edgar M.—has put the 540-acre family farm outside Charlottesville, VA on the market with a $10,300,000 price tag. (from the property gossip gals at The Wall Street Journal via the ever-industrious kids at Curbed)

And just for shits and giggles here's a little ditty about a hot mess of a mansion in Miami, FL  built by a local hi-rise developer on an island in the center of its own man-made lake and listed for $10,900,000. (from via the ever-industrious kids at Curbed)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Art Linkletter's Bel Air Mid-Century Modern Goes on the Block

SELLER: Estate of Art Linkletter
LOCATION: Los Angeles (Bel Air), CA
PRICE: $10,250,000
SIZE: 5,000 square feet (approximately), 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Technically, we're still on holiday but we thought the children might appreciate a quick glimpse of a pedigreed mid-century modern pad perched high above Los Angeles' Bel Air community. The house, once owned by music industry mogul Quincy Jones, was long owned by late radio and television icon Art Linkletter and pushed on the (open) market this week, we learned via covert communique from Our Fairy godmother in Bel Air, by his estate with an asking price of $10,250,000.

Mister Linkletter won't likely be a recognizable name to anyone who hasn't already gone grey but once upon a time he was wildly famous for (among other things) his cute and humorous interviews with precocious children in the 1950s and 60s on the long-running tee-vee programs Art Linkletter's House Party and Kids Say the Darndest Things. Mister Linkletter was an also an early investor and promoter of the hula hoop—'tis true—and the long-time spokesman for the iconic Milton Bradley board game The Game of Life.

Mister Linkletter's single story sprawler on 4.6 acres high above Bel Air, was built in 1958, designed by architect Philmer J. Ellerbroek and featured in Architectural Digest in 1959. In addition to the 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms listing information indicates the low-slung residence also includes formal living and dining rooms with long expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass as well as extensive private and service areas that include a family room, kitchen, breakfast room, and laundry facilities.

As per current listing information the house, architecturally preserved if not pickled in time, has "Classic mid-century architectural elements [that] include two atriums (one with an outdoor patio), sculptural metal screens, pocket doors, stone fireplaces, walls of glass, [and] one-of-a-kind built-ins...."

The gated grounds have a long driveway, off-street parking for upwards of 20 cars, multi-car car port, lushly landscaped gardens, flat lawns, a sport court of some sort, and a boomerang-shaped swimming pool with sweeping views over Los Angeles and Century City.

Not bad for an orphan boy born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (Canada).

Some of the swanky nearby estates and mansions are owned by the aforementioned Quincy Jones who stayed in the 'hood when he sold to the Linkletters, soft porn purveyor Joe Francis, PayPal and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk, social fixture Jean Kerkorian (an ex-wife of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian), and 90-something year old Hungarian Zsa Zsa Gabor and her attention hungry 9th husband Frédèric Prinz von Anhalt.

Just down the road a short piece are properties owned by Salma Hayak and her luxury goods mogul huzband Henri-Francois Pinault and the former Marion Jorgensen mid-century modern compound scooped up by Transformers film franchise tycoon Michael Bay in late 2009 for $10,900,000 and quickly knocked down so he could custom build a new mansion that Your Mama fully expects will be as big as a boo-teek hotel.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker Previews International

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LeAnn Rimes Finally Sells 23-room White Elephant

SELLER: LeAnn Rimes (and Dean Sheremet)
LOCATION: Franklin, TN
PRICE: $4,100,000 (sale); $7,450,000 (original list)
SIZE: 13,310 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 3 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oh, what a tangled web of romance and real estate has cross-over country music queen LeAnn Rimes woven over the last few years.

In 2002, at the dewy age of 19, the Grammy, CMA, BMA, AMA, and ACM award winning former Star Seach champion married one of her slim-hipped back-up dancers—that would be Dean Sheremet—and barely-out-of-their-teens newlyweds soon set up house like grown ups in a 7,000-plus square foot mansion on a fast-moving country road in Nashville, TN. Property records show she/they purchased the three-acre estate in April 2003 for $1,700,000 and sold the 5 bedroom and 5.5 bathroom mansion in October 2008 for $2,125,000 to professional wrestling promoter Dixie Carter-Salinas and her hubby Serge.

So goes the celebrity real estate scuttlebutt, Mister and Missus Sheremet-Rimes had moved to an even bigger, 23-room mansion they custom-built on a rounded hilltop in a gated enclave of an upscale but unfortunately Medieval-themed gated community in the semi-rural and star-studded Nashville suburb of Franklin (TN). It's not clear what the couple paid for the property but public records we peeped reveal they took out a construction loan of more than four million dollars to build their own version of Barbie's Dream House.

Alas and alack, wasn't long after the Sheremet-Rimes settled in to their newly-finished, brick-built behemoth sometime in 2008 that Miz Rimes began an extra-marital affair with beau-hunky tee-vee actor Eddie Cibrian, then also married and making babies with long-legged and potty-mouthed former fashion model Brandi (with an "i") Glanville who reality tee-vee watchers know from her high-drama stint on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

By May 2009 Miz Rimes and her cuckolded husband had flipped their recently-completed mansion on 5.22 hilltop acres in Franklin, TN on the market with an asking price of $7,450,000. Listing information from then indicated the beefy, three-story residence measures 13,380 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms and 6 full and 3 half bathrooms while more recent listings available online show it has 13,310 square feet and contains 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Make of those numerical discrepancies what you will.

Although they'd gone their separate ways a year or more before, Miz Rimes and Mister Sheremet—weren't officially divorced until the summer of 2010. It took a couple more years before they managed to unload their former marital home in Franklin at a steep discount; Online sale records we perused show the gated estate with two ktichens, 360 degree views, salt water swimming pool, yoga studio, and smart-house technology sold in mid-March of this year (2012) for $4,100,000, a fortune by any standard, but nearly 3.5 million less than Miz Rimes and Mister Sheremet originally wanted.

Prior to hooking up with Miz Rimes, Mister Cibrian and ex-wife Brandi—with and "i"—Glanville owned an architecturally specious mansion in Encino, CA they sold in late 2007 for $4,300,000 to comedian Carlos Mencia. The erstwhile couple and their kids decamped to 6 bedroom and 6.5 bathroom residence in the gated Mountain View Estates community in Calabasas, CA they bought in January 2008 for $2,500,000 and sold at a loss in May 2010 for $2,200,000.

After kicking Mister Sheremet to the romantic curb Miz Rimes, we heard through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine, made house a leased mansion in the equestrian-minded and guard-gated Hidden Hills (CA) community.

We're not exactly sure where Mister Cibrian and Miz Rimes, who married last year, currently reside although we've heard (but can not confirm) they're still hunkered down in in a big house in the hot as Hades western suburbs of Los Angeles in or around Calabasas. Last year the greying and hunky Mister Cibrian appeared on The Playboy Club, canceled shortly after its premiere. The short-lived show taped in Chicago where the couple acquired—or maybe leased, we're not quite sure—a condominium they had worked over with Tibetan antiques and contemporary art by interior designer Jonathan Pierce, a process taped for the HGTV program Interiors, Inc.

listing photos: Fridrich & Clark Realty

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Four Tidbits for Tuesday

Your Mama and The Doctor Cooter are on a wee vacay and rather than spend the day toiling on our trusty lap top computer and typing our fat fingers to the nubbins we're going to take it easy and spend the day sunning our buns by the swimming pool. Rather than leave the children completely high and dry, however, we thought we'd offer up a quartet of links to some celebrity real estate-related tidbits and morsels previously hashed and discussed elsewhere.

Although Fort Knox like secrecy surrounds the details of the three recently listed New York City apartments owned by the late and eccentrically reclusive copper mining heiress Huguette Clark, slim scraps of descriptions have started to dribble out in achingly frustrating and tiny dribs and drabs. The lucky chosen few who have toured the sprawling Fifth Avenue aeries tell vague but juicy tales of lavish but tired day-core, severely outdated kitchens, and brightly colored 1960s era tile work in the bathrooms. (via The New York Times)

The wildly opulent faux-French chateau in Los Angeles' hoity-toity Holmby Hills 'hood where the late moon walking superstar Michael Jackson met his maker in the form of a high paid doctor and a Propofol delivery device has returned to the market with an asking price of $23,900,000. The Richard Landry-designed, 17,171 square foot white elephant sits on on 1.26 gated and landscaped acres and has been on and off the market for nearly four years with asking prices as sky high as $38,000,000 and as low as $23,500,000. (via Curbed)

Thanks to an informant we'll call Whispering Willy, we've recently come to learn that last December, the owners Roxanne and Hubert Guez—he's the CEO of the haute-trashy fashion brand Ed Hardy—auctioned the contents of the house that included, according to the auction results posted online, a "rooster chalkboard with note from the Jackson children" (lot 434, sale price: $5,000) and a burl wood Victorian Revival style armoire with beveled mirror inscribed with a black felt pen by Mister Jackson that reads, "Train, perfection March April Full out May." (lot 162, sale price: $18,750).

Your Mama wouldn't know a little Lil Wayne ditty if it slapped up upside the head with a rubber mallet but the lil rapper was reportedly—and somewhat ironically—cited for "high grass and weeds" around the 10,000-ish square foot mansion in the gated Place Pontchartrain subdivision in Kenner, LA, a suburb of  New Orleans.

The report goes on to reveal that this ain't the first time Mister Wayne—née Dwayne Carter—has been cited for not keeping up with the landscaping around the 5 bedroom mansion he picked up in 2006 for $1,750,000 and currently has on the market for $1,700,000. ( via Zillow)

Perky, athletic and conservative chat show co-hostess Elizabeth Hasselbeck (The View) and her former professional football player hubby Tim Hasselbeck have hoisted their 3-4 bedroom and 3 bathroom Manhattan apartment on the market with an asking price of $3,300,000. Unless a rather unlikely bidding war erupts and drives the sale price up, it looks like the Hasselbecks—who have three small children—will take a loss on the approximately 2,300 square foot, 16th floor condo crib they scooped up in April 2008 for $3,250,000.

The interiors of Mister and Missus Hasselbecks' bi-winged residence are not-surprisingly traditional with mahogany-colored hardwood floors (that may or may not be mahogany), cornflower blue painted walls in most of the public areas, a matching set of masculine riveted leather sofas in the living room, blue and white gingham wallpaper in the expensively equipped galley-style kitchen, Chippendale-style chairs in the dining area, and loads of white built-in cabinetry. (via Zillow)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys Flip Out in SoHo

SELLERS: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $17,950,000
SIZE: 5 bedrooms, 4 full and 4 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only in February 2010 that R&B superstar Alicia Keys and her Grammy-winning record producer/rapper/DJ husband Swizz Beatz (née Kasseem Dean) dropped $12,750,000 to acquire high-heel sporting rock star cum design maven Lenny Kravitz's legendarily difficult to sell real estate white elephant in New York City's Soho 'hood.

The children who follow celebrity real estate will recall that Mister Kravitz—at one time a bone fide real estate baller—spent several years unsuccessfully trying to sell his decadent duplex digs at a frequently-changing variety of asking prices that went as high at $19,500,000 and dipped as low as $12,500,000.

Thanks to Soho Sally (and the kids at Curbed) we've recently come to understand that two short years after buying their Manhattan aerie from Mister Kravitz, a fairly quiet wagon hitching ceremony on the island of Corsica, a new baby boy they named Egypt, and two more Grammys to add to her dozen others, Miz Keys and Mister Beatz have flipped their glassy duplex penthouse in Soho back on the market with a substantially increased asking price of $17,950,000.

Listing information shows the duplex penthouse, which has a third level roof terrace, measures in at a mansion-sized 6,167 square feet and contains 4-5 bedrooms and 4 full and 4 half bathrooms. Monthly maintenance and common charges for the penthouse that sits atop a full-service boo-teek building—once home to Hole rocker and Twitter princess Courtney Love—run a hefty-hefty-hefty $11,564 per month. Listing information also indicates the penthouse property also comes with separate and private wine cellar and storage/dressing rooms, presumably located somewhere in the bowels of the red-brick and cast iron building.

Although it's day-core is now lighter and brighter, a quick perusal of the juicy floor plan included with current listing information and marketing materials indicates to Your Mama boozy, vacation eyes that little has been altered from Mister Kravitz's ownership. The lower level of the posh ans spacious penthouse includes a massive gallery entrance with floating glass staircase and a pair of powder rooms, a high-glam solarium style formal dining room, and a 600-plus square foot living room with fireplace and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that give way to a city-view terrace that extends the full width of the penthouse. Not surprisingly, there's a grand piano near the windows where Miz Keys no doubt tinkles the ivories and composes her next mega-hit songs.

Also on the lower lever are a library/media room with walk-in closet and attached private bathroom, and a considerable eat-in kitchen with colossal marble-topped work island, a small walk-in pantry, an adjoining laundry room, and a wall of windows that slide open to a narrow terrace that runs the full width of the building.

The floating glass staircase—still with mortifying taupe shag carpeting on the treads—ascends to the second floor where there's a large office area completely encased in glass that overlooks the dining room. A long hallway provides access the guest/family bedroom wing that consists of one bedroom with walk-in closet and private attached facility plus two smaller bedrooms, each with private powder rooms and a shared sky-lit shower room that opens directly into the hallway.

The star-worthy, second floor master suite has huge windows, massive sky lights, a small private balcony, and several standard closet/storage cabinets plus a fully-fitted dressing room. The compartmentalized bathroom consists of his-and-her terlit/bee-day cubbies that open into a shared shower space and a wide, curving wall with twin sinks/vanities that flank an over-sized soaking tub.

A glass enclosed exterior staircase climbs from the second floor to the massive roof-top terrace with built-in stainless steel barbecue center/outdoor kitchen and expansive city view.

We haven't a clue why Mister and Missus Keys might want to sell their fancy pants penthouse so soon after buying but it could be that in the end it's just not large enough to accommodate their growing family—Mister Beatz has four children by four woman including a toddler boy named Egypt born to Miz Keys.

Prior to buying Mister Kravitz's sloppy real estate seconds, Miz Keys owned a fairly traditional, 15-room mansion in the upscale suburban Long Island enclave of Syosset (NY) bought in December 2005 for $2,933,380, put up for sale in early summer 2010 with an asking price of $3,850,000 and sold, according to property records, in June 2011 to a local orthodontist and his wife for $2,995,000.

listing photos and floor plan: Sotheby's International Real Estate

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jack Nicholson Lightening Aspen Real Estate Load

SELLER: Jack Nicholson
PRICE: $15,000,000
SIZE: 5,780 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Three-time Oscar winning Tinseltown icon Jack Nicholson is well known both as a ladies man and for his bulging property portfolio that until recently included a near-legendary, non-contiguous 4-parcel compound above Mulholland Drive in the Beverly Hills Post Office, a small house tucked into the hills above L.A.'s Laurel Canyon he's owned since the 1970s, a 70-or-so-acre spread in the mountains above Malibu (CA), a few acres with a wee residence in the unlikely northern California town of Shasta, a 5 bedroom/3 bathroom bay front house in Kailua on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and three separate residence in Aspen, CO.

Last September Mister Nicholson sold his Malibu property for, according to listing information, $3,500,000 and thanks to Charlie Chatterbox we've come to learn he's looking to lighten his real estate load a little more and recently hoisted his historically designated Victorian manse in Aspen, CO on the market with Rocky Mountain high asking price of $15,000,000.

A few quick clicks and clacks of the nearly worn-out beads on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus show that it's current price is a staggering 27-time more than the $550,000 property records we peeped indicated Mister Nicholson paid for the place back in January 1980.

Listing information for the house itself is slim and shows little more than it was built in 1895, remodeled in 1988, measures 5,780 square feet, and includes 5 bedrooms and 6 full and 2 half bathrooms.

We don't know barely a thing about Aspen except it's hideously expensive, insanely beautiful and popular amongst the world's richest and most famous who scoot around the picture perfect town in down coats, diamonds and Chewbacca–esque aprés-ski boots.

According to Charlie Chatterbox, Mister Nicholson's Victorian is located on the most highly desired street in the highly desired West End part of town known for it's tree-shaded streets, big ass Victorians and easy-peasy walk into the hustle-bustle of the downtown core.

Other residents in the West End area, according to Mister Chatterbox, include professional bicyclist Lance Armstrong and both of the low-profile and very rich Koch brothers. Just a few short blocks away from Mister Nicholson's nest is the (in)famous yellow Victorian where Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller had their Christmas Day domestic blowout in 2009.

Other home-owning Aspenites include songwriter Kevin Costner (who installed a baseball diamond on his gigantic ranch —a field of dreams, if you will), Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (in Snowmass), and Spanish hottie Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith (near Woody Creek), and lavish living songwriter Denise Rich (on Red Mountain), the woman real estate watchers surely recall who recently listed her epically-scaled New York City triplex a couple months ago for a mouth-drying $65,000,000.

listing photos: Joshua & Co.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bi-Coastal Double Whammy: Norman Jean Roy (New York City)

SELLER: Norman Jean Roy and Joanna Isobel Kelly
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $2,275,000
SIZE: 1,604 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Earlier today we discussed a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom bungalow in Hollywood (CA) owned by hot-shot celebrity photographer Norman Jean Roy and on the market with a $1,395,000 price tag.

This afternoon we shift to New York City where a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom condo crib owned by Mister Roy and his professional photographer wife—or ex-wife, no disrespect, we're not sure—Joanna Isobel Kelly has been on the market since the early days of 2012 when it appeared with an asking price of $2,390,000. Since then the price has dropped 5% to its current figure of $2,275,000.

Property records indicate Miz Kelly and Mister Roy only picked up the Flatiron District condo in March 2011 for $2,050,000. We'll leave the children to speculate if this quick flip is for investment purposes, represents a common case of The Real Estate Fickle, or if it's an indication of something else entirely we neither allude to nor claim to know anything about.

Listing information shows the west-facing, loft-minded condo weighs in at 1,604 square feet and includes a total of 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms plus a surprisingly and marvelously large-for-New-York-City combination laundry/pantry room.

The sleek, loft like condo has nearly-white hardwood floors underfoot and crisp, gallery-white walls that Your Mama adores unapologetically. A couple of exposed Corinthian columns—one in the kitchen one in the hallway near the door to the master bedroom—speak to the architectural history and dignity of the pre-war building that once housed the world's largest shoe store according to information we dug up on the interweb.

There's a wrought iron-railed Juliet balcony off the dining area that's open wide to the state-of-the-art kitchen all done up with glistening, Poggenpohl-brand white lacquer cabinets; winter white Corian-brand counter tops; a four-stool snack counter; and top-grade, Euro-style appliances including an integrated Sub-Zero fridge-freezer. We'd have better appreciated if those high-gloss cabinets went all the way to the ceiling but at least Miz Kelly and/or Mister Roy had the good sense not to stick some fake ferns or wicker baskets up in that squat space.

The current residents—who may or may not be Mister Roy and/or Miz Kelly, we don't know—utilize the second bedroom as a living room and the original living/dining space as an extra-specially spacious dining room with two full walls of high-end shelving units that hold a rafts of actual books, a few black and white photographs, and a number of knick-knacks like that gold-plated Harry Allen pig bank that we live and die for.

The master bedroom isn't humongous or even big by any standard but its relative wee-ness is partly made up for by the custom-fitted closet/dressing room that's the size of a small bedroom. Presumably both bathrooms are a sybarite's naughty dream but all we can vouch for is the long, windowless master facility complete double sinks set on floating wood cabinets and an egg-shaped soaking tub set into a niche sheathed in gleaming white tile. One-inch (or so) square pixilated grey tiles climb two walls floor-to-ceiling opposite the sinks and bathtub but switch again to all white in the good-sized (but hardly party-sized) stall shower fitted with one of those can-be-annoying rain-type shower heads.

Taxes and common charges for the condo ring up to $3,554 per month, according to listing information, and cover costs for building maintenance and amenities that include 24-7 doorman, fitness center, 3,600 square foot landscaped roof deck and—bargain shoppers and penny pinchers will appreciate—a one-block walk to both Trader Joe's and T.J.Maxx.

listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens

Bi-Coastal Double Whammy: Norman Jean Roy (Los Angeles)

SELLER: Norman Jean Roy
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,395,000
SIZE: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Before anybody starts to stamp their feet, roll their eyes and whine like a three year old about how they ain't never heard of a "celebrity" named Norman Jean Roy give us a  moment to say a little about who this person is and why his modestly scaled (if not exactly inexpensive) and done-done-done domicile in Hollywood (CA) qualifies to appear on our little online endeavor about the real estate doings of the rich and famous.

Many if not most of the children may not instantly recognize Norman Jean Roy's name but Your Mama would fall out with flabbergast iffin all of y'all aren't familiar with at least a few bits and pieces of the bi-coastal celebrity photographer's considerable body of work. A quick perusal of the website for Mister Roy's representative(s) reveals the slender, handsome, lantern jawed, and smooth-pated professional picture taker has captured the photogenic mugs of Tinseltowners for advertising campaigns that include (but are far from limited to): Drew Barrymore for Neiman Marcus; Demi Moore for Ann Taylor; George Clooney for Omega watches; and Halle Berry for Revlon.

Mister Roy's resumé also shows he's much in demand—mostly by Condé Nast, it seems—to shoot stars for the covers for high-gloss publications. He's photographed Lindsay Lohan, Sandra Bullock and Cher for Vanity Fair, Armie Hammer, Channing Tatum and Zac Efron for Details, Eminem for Rolling Stone, Kim Kardashian, Blake Lively and Eva Longoria for Allure, and Liv Tyler for Harper's Bazaar, just to name a few. He was selected—and no doubt paid boo-coo bucks—to shoot the triple-wide fold-out cover of the annual Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair in 2011 on which appeared (among others) Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, James Franco, a barely dressed Olivia Wilde and a simply flaw-less Mila Kunis.

Mister Roy is—or maybe was, we're not sure to be honest—married to fellow photographer Joanna Isobel Kelly and property records (and their own bios) reveal they maintained residences in both Los Angeles and New York City. Property records show in August 2005 Mister Roy forked over $1,230,000 to acquire a 1920s bungalow in a leafy and upscale pocket of Hollywood. The property was purchased in only his name but her name pops up on some of the deeds and documents we peeped at in the public property records.

Anyhoo, the fully-renovated, meticulously-maintained and high-hedged house in the Hollywood, CA neighborhood sometimes referred to as Sunset Square has popped up on to the market with an asking price of $1,395,000.

The painstakingly landscaped front yard, completely hidden from the street by a tall hedge and driveway gate, has been almost completely graveled over to provide additional off-street parking besides what's available along the narrow, paver-tiled driveway that runs up alongside the house. This graveling might seem like a ludicrous notion to some people, but it's really rather practical and has all been handled by the landscape designer(s) in the most dignified manner that includes a birch tree-backed, trough-like fountain/water feature.

A small, vine-draped front porch provides shelter from rain and sun and opens into the L-shaped and hardwood floored, open plan living/dining/lounging area that includes a not especially formal "formal" living room with fireplace at one end and a cozy den with a bank of French doors that lead out to the backyard entertainments and delights on the other. In between, the windowless (and also not very formal) dining room borrows its natural light from the wide banks of paned windows and  French doors in both the living room and den. Artificial light in the dining room comes courtesy of a George Nelson bubble pendant fixture that hangs sparingly over a wonderfully gigantic, dinner party-friendly Parson's table surrounded by ten matching molded plastic Eames side chairs with wooden tower bases.

An home office area—a potential third bedroom, according to listing information—tucks into a tight corner between the dining room and the light, bright and almost entirely white galley kitchen outfitted with snow white, Shaker-style cabinets with glass-fronted uppers, some sort of sand-colored tumbled stone counter tops, and medium-grade stainless steel appliances. We do like the chopping block center island even though it seems a bit in the way but we are irrationally fearful of that pot rack dangling from ceiling in the center of the room and laden with pots and pans that look eager as beavers to bang somebody upside the head or get snarled up in some hair-hopping queen's extra-high beehive.

Current listing information does not indicate the size of the house—the Los Angeles County Tax Man pegs it at 1,805—but does reveal there are two bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The master suite at the rear of the residence offers "plenty of closets" and an attached "bespoke" bathroom with tumbled Carrara marble tiled steam shower. The second bedroom has a view of the front garden/graveled motor court.

The kitchen, den and master bedroom all open on to a trellis-shaded dining deck with handy-dandy, built-in outdoor kitchen/barbecue set up. The deck steps down to the paver-stone driveway that runs up along one side of the house to a detached 2-car garage at the back of the property as well as down to the backyard fun-in-the-sun space with tanning terrace and plunge-sized saltwater swimming pool set simply into a flat grass pad with just the slimmest of stone coping.

Listing information indicates the home and swimming pool are powered by a solar system and indeed several banks of solar panels can be seen in at least one listing photos mounted on the roof.

Mister Roy's soon-to-be ex-residence sits in the very same neck of the Hollywood woods as homes owned by a variety of Showbizzers who include Academy Award-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black (purchased fall 2010 for $1,455,000); Stylish actress Selma Blair (listed earlier this year for $1,780,000 and no longer on the open market); Nip/Tuck actor Dylan Walsh (listed in late January for $1,425,000 and is now deep in escrow); The inestimable actress and activist Sally Struthers (purchased February 1991 for $762,500); Reality queen turned clothing designer Lauren Conrad (recently listed for $2,100,000 and currently in escrow); Agent to the stars Simon Halls (sold August 2010 for $2,000,000, not long before he and man-mate Matt Bomer bought a big house in the historic Hancock Park 'hood).

Stay tuned for the 411 on the (also currently on the market) New York City apartment Mister Roy and Miz Kelly bought in March 2011 and flipped back on the market less than a year later.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty / Los Feliz