Monday, April 2, 2012

Toni Collette's Recent Real Estate Whirl

SELLER: Toni Collette and Dave Galafassi
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,325,000
SIZE: 2,136 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen chitlin's, unfortunately for y'all we got our boozy b.f.f. Fiona Trambeau here in town from San Francisco as well as Chow Lee and The Laundress in from the Minnie-Apple so we are, as you might imagine, busy as a beaver picking up empty beer bottles and keeping Fiona from seducing our hunky but very-married neighbor. That means we have neither the time nor the energy to go on and on (and on) like we usually do so here's the Reader's Digest on the recent and rather extensive real estate activities of Oscar-nominated Australian actor Toni Collette (Muriel's Wedding, Little Miss Sunshine, Sixth Sense) and her musician husband Dave Galafassi....

Late last week we received an unexpected missive from an informant we'll call Pasta Pete who kindly tipped us off that Miz Collette and Mister Galafassi have quietly put their Los Angeles pied-a-terre on the open market with an asking price of $1,325,000.

Some of the children may recall the much lauded and applauded ginger-haired Aussie actress scooped up the charming Spanish-style casa in October 2010 for $1,330,000. The walled, gated, modestly-sized and high-hedged house, located just a few blocks from the studio where she filmed her now canceled television program The United States of Tara, was originally built in 1924 according to listing information, measures 2,136 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms plus an additional detached garage converted to a pool house/guesthouse with additional three-quarter pooper.

The updated and upgraded interiors include an open plan living/dining room with hardwood floors, an integrated speaker system, and a boxy masonry fireplace over which hangs a painfully off-center flat-screen tee-vee. The Collette-Galafassi furnishings are a somewhat spare and colorful pastiche of mid-century modern things that include a couple of Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chairs.

Behind the living/dining area the eat-in center-island kitchen has snow white Shaker-style cabinets that stretch clear up to the ceiling, high-grade Euro-style stainless steel appliances and thick, seal grey Caesarstone counter tops. An appropriately Easterish quartet of baby-girl-pink Eames—or Eames-like—tower base stools line up along the breakfast bar that separates the kitchen area from a fairly wee family room/den with French doors that open out to a covered dining deck that wraps around and runs along the back of the house and steps down to the back yard.

The compact back yard has a plunge-sized swimming pool, attached spa, a white film-projection wall, unenclosed outdoor shower, a wee patch of green grass dotted with concrete pavers and the aforementioned detached two-car garage converted (with permits as per listing information) to a pool house/guest house with hardwood floors, kitchenette (no stove/oven), bathroom and exposed laundry facilities.

As it turns out Miz Collette and Mister Galafassi aren't just making the real estate gossip columns in Los Angeles but also Down Under where their buying as selling over the last couple of years has been rapid and confusing; Put on your thinking caps and see if you can follow along.

Sometime in 2005 Miz Collette and Mister Galafassi spent about $5,000,000 to buy El Mio, a Spanish Mission-style house in the upscale Bellevue Hill area of Sydney with 5 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. They sold the house in August 2009 for a (reported) $6,400,000 but not before they dropped around $4,400,000 (AUS) to buy a down-on-its-heels 1885 weatherboard cottage set high above the street in Bronte, a beachy, surfer-friendly seaside suburb of Sydney. News shortly followed that the couple filed permit applications for an extensive and expensive renovation.

Alas, as Your Mama so often sees in our line of "work," the entertainment industry couple quickly caught a serious case of the ol' Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and hoisted their fixer-upper in Bronte back on the market for somewhere, according to reports we dug up online, for an undisclosed price. (The listing agent told the local press at the time she expected the residence to sell for around $3,500,000.)

Last fall, before selling their unwanted bedsit in Bronte, the couple reportedly signed contracts to purchase a pair of side by side Victorian terrace houses combined into one sizable tri-level residence (shown above) in the cosmopolitan Sydney suburb of Paddington. The spacious and quite contemporary interiors have an open plan living area with double height ceiling over the dining room, 4-5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms (plus a laundry room/half bathroom with exterior entry), 5 balconies including a roof top terrace with panoramic city view, and a detached two car garage. The agreed upon purchase price was rumored and reported to be somewhere just over six million (Australian) dollars.

Alas again, the couple caught a case of the Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and at the tail end of the year (2011), so the story goes, they decided they didn't want to complete the purchase the posh pad in Paddo. They opted instead to swap their un-wanted fixer in Bronte (along with some additional cash) for another house in Bronte by the very same people who agreed to buy their house in Bronte. Are y'all following?

Naturally the sellers of the Paddington property, a couple of well-known fashion designers named Nick and Susie Kelly, were all kinds of pissed and filed a law suit meant to force the Showbizzers to complete the purchase. We're not sure of the status of the lawsuit but the Paddington property in question is back on the open market with an undisclosed asking price. What's not clear to Your Mama at this point—perhaps one of the children from Down Under can clue us in—is whether the official seller of the Paddington property is Miz Collette and Mister Galafassi or Mister and Missus Kelly.

During some or all of the above-discussed property madness Miz Collette and Mister Galafassi reportedly rented a 4 bedroom and 4.5 bathroom house perched high on the headlands above of the beach(es) in Bronte and owned by media scion Lachlan Murdoch and his model wife Sarah. The Murdochs, who also own a massive Georgian mansion in the Bellevue Hill area they bought in 2009 for around $23,000,000, recently re-listed their un-wanted house in Bronte—the one leased by Miz Collette and Mister Galafassi—with an undisclosed asking price after first listing it in 2009 with a price tag of $13,500,000 (AUS).

Now then, we gotta git and git quick since we see a barely dressed and luridly liquored up Fiona (once again) slipping out the side gate trying to snag and (en)snare our well-built neighbor as he trundles his garbage cans out to the curb.

listing photos (Los Angeles): Coldwell Banker / Sunset Boulevard
listing photos (Paddington): McGrath
listing photos (Bronte): Christie's International Real Estate


lil' gay boy said...

Nice neighborhood (yours, not necessarily Bronte, which I'm sure is lovely.


Great posting as usual Mama; ain't nobody who does Down Under better than you...

Oh, and I absolutely LOATHE what Google has done; I refuse to give them my cell number to re-verify (because the last time I did I got endless, unwanted texts), so they've disabled ALL my accounts, and shunt you to a website that costs $48 a question to learn you HAVE NO CHOICE.


nursedeb said...

I like the pied a terre....tiny, but everything is there. and not cluttered up.
can't say much about the others...

Anonymous said...

Can red pillows, etc. make drab decor interesting? Not here. Can pink chairs make drab decor interesting? No again. 'Nuf said.

Anonymous said...

You can give a fancy name to those chairs, but they still look like cheap discards from a school cafeteria or a community center.

Apartments For Sale In Manhattan said...

The last thing I would want to give google is my phone number. I can just see it now, the message from google apologizing to everyone for the security break in, and how all of our information was compromised, sorry, not going there again!

As for the apartments, I don't care who's selling what and for how much, 'cause money doesn't mean they have great taste. Some of these folks should get a Real Estate intervention and have someone come in to "properly" stage for them.

Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter said...

That furniture is three shades of tragic, let me take my ADD meds so I can come back and try to see past it...

Alright now.. ummm.. not into it. For one-three-fitty I would much rather have a 2 or 3/bd up in the hills with a panty-dropping view, (like the good ole' days.)

Call me predictable.

Just don't call me late for cocktails.


Granny Flats said...

I like the fact the house is looking a little ordinary rather then loaded with crap like you see in most high profile peoples houses, the entire house has a real charm about it that i like alot, pity i dont have 1.3 million :(
nice post, saw Toni Collette in Brisbane about a year ago walking up caxton st, said gday, got the photo, quick chat and moved on, was just like talking to a random, no feeling i needed to hurry up as i was annoying her. nice character.

jeffreyangley said...
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