Monday, December 31, 2012

Your Mama Hears...

...from a snitchy real estate canary in Beverly Hills—let's call her Mercedes Benz—that billionaire multi-media mogul Oprah Winfrey recently and very quietly shelled out somewhere in the neighborhood of $14,000,000 for a spacious Platinum Triangle pied-à-terre condo atop the swanky five star Montage Beverly Hills hotel and residences. 

Fourteen million may sound to some like a lot of dinero for a condo in downtown Beverly Hills—and it is—but the skeptics amongst us might keep in mind that philanthropic oil heiress Ariadne Getty also recently coughed up just over $14,000,000 for a 5,781 square foot seventh floor sprawler with, according to listing information we dug up on the interweb, four bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, four deeded parking spaces, several private terraces, panoramic over-the-rooftop city views and monthly home owner's association dues of $5,549.

The resident owners of the 20 sumptuous condos perched on the top few floors of the Spanish Colonial Revival/Mediterranean style hotel have a private entrance separate from the hotel lobby so they don't have to mix it up with the hotel's well-heeled hoi polloi. Residents also have 24-7 access to all the services and amenities of the posh and pet friendly hotel including concierge services, state-of-the-art security, valet parking, fitness and spa facilities, a roof top pool and terrace and—natch—laundry and shoe shine services. The hotel's extensive website elaborates that the pampered condo owners also have available additional white glove services and amenities such as "baggage storage and shipping, packing and unpacking, couture wardrobe maintenance and alterations, grocery and wine deliveries, private cooking classes and nutritional menu planning, private dining or at-home entertaining, pet care, car storage and maintenance, and home maintenance, repairs and installations."

Listen, kitten-kaboodles, as of today Your Mama finds zero evidence in any of the various property record data bases we regularly consult of said condo acquisition in Bev Hills by Miz Winfrey and none of our usual trusted informants have been able to second this motion. That means this is all—for now—just some juicy celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, okay? 

What isn't rumor or gossip is that spendy Miz Winfrey maintains prodigious property portfolio of private residences that include a four-unit duplex penthouse atop the mixed-use Water Tower Place complex on Chicago's Miracle Mile; a 42-acre spread in Montecito (CA) for which she paid $42,000,000 and humbly dubbed 'The Promised Land'; and an ever-expanding ranch on Maui that, as of June 2012, encompassed 30-plus parcels that total almost 800 acres and all combined cost, by Your Mama's rudimentary calculations, at least $44,000,000 and perhaps as much as $60,000,000.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anyone for a Little Weekend Floor Plan Porn?

SELLER: David and Martha Hamamoto
BUYER: Frank McCourt
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $50,000,000
SIZE: around 5,000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a very difficult couple of days with the inner workings our our internet service—those people at Time Warner make Your Mama want to hurt somebody with our delicate and pudgy bare hands—and yesterday's slow slog through the Los Angeles residence recently acquired by Faye Resnick and her fiancée, we thought everyone might enjoy some good ol' fashioned New York City floor plan porn in the form of a 5,000 (or so) full floor Fifth Avenue aerie recently purchased for its full $50,000,000 asking price.

The seller is listed in property records and previously reported as David and Martha Hamamoto. (He's a bigwig banker with NorthStar Realty Finance Corporation.) The listed buyer as a fella named Frank McCourt who may or may not be the same Frank McCourt who purchased the L.A. Dodgers in 2004 for $430 million, ran them into bankruptcy, reluctantly sold them earlier this year for $2 billion and recently endured a very bitter, very public and ongoing separation and divorce his long-time wife Jamie.

The Thad Hayes-designed interiors—once photographed for Architectural Digest, according to listing information—are somewhat spare and certainly elegantly sedate but absolutely exquisite and— clearly—hideously expensive. The floor plan shows a fairly traditional but modernized layout with a private elevator vestibule, spacious gallery entrance, a 27-foot long park view formal living room with fireplace, and a centrally situated park view library with four pocket doors on three walls. Another pocket door in the a formal dining room—where there are some rather blue chip abstract expressionist paintings on the walls—connects through a open-plan butler's pantry to the center island kitchen with it's custom milled Shaker style cabinetry and top grade appliances.

The master suite, entered via a privacy enhancing vestibule just off the entrance gallery has a large park-view corner bedroom with fireplace, a windowed walk-in closet plus a bedroom-sized dressing room with south facing windows and a large windowed bathroom with double sinks, separate cubby for the crapper and party-sized shower.

A wide corridor shoots east off the entrance gallery and connects to an (almost) 18-foot square family room with three eastern windows and a built in wet bar. Each of the three family bedrooms open off the family room and have private windowed bathrooms.

The purchase included a separate ground floor guest/staff apartment with private exterior entrance on Fifth Avenue, living and dining areas, a compact but fully equipped open-concept kitchen and, finally, two petite bedrooms and two three-quarter bathrooms.

The downright aristocratic, 14-story limestone-clad Italian Renaissance palazzo style apartment house positively drips with a quintessentially New York City sort of moneyed elegance and offers residents full-time doorman services and basement storage cubicles but does not have an on-site garage, sundeck or health club. That lacking in extra amenities, of course, does not keep the monthly common charges low in this top flight building. For example, online documentation shows the monthlies for Mister McCourt's new digs run a gut wrenching $249,648 per year ($20,834 per month).

Some of the other ridiculously wealthy residents of the buildings include octogenarian journalist/talk show co-host Barbara Walters and banker Jay Mantz and wife Jennifer who coughed up $26,474,500 for their high floor spread in early 2008. Mister and Missus Mantz had briefly owned on a full-floor spread on a lower floor that they picked up in May 2008 for $16,840,200 and quickly flipped in January 2008 for $20,000,000 to financier turned powerhouse contemporary art dealer Robert Mnuchin and wife Adriana. Wall Street fat cat turned former New Jersey governor John Corzine's psychotherapist wife Sharon Elghanayan has owned small unit on a lower floor since late 2006 for which she shelled out $7.5 million and the once vilified but back in the saddle banker Jeffrey Verschleiser and wife Amy own a low floor unit that they snagged in March 2005 for $10,000,000.

exterior photo: Scott Bintner for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens (via StreetEasy)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Faye Resnick Buys New Digs in L.A.

BUYER: Faye Resnick and Everett Jack Jr.
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,605,000
SIZE: 2,567 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We know some of the more high fallutin' children are gonna fuss and holler about how Your Mama ought to discuss some of the more high brow real estate activities of late such as how Tinseltown executive Michael Eisner just dropped $8,200,000 to snatch up the Tudor style mini-mansion on a shy acre immediately next door to his already super-luxe two-plus acre two-parcel estate in L.A.'s uppity East Gate area of Bel Air.

Howevuh, hunties, Your Mama just can't resist us an honest to goodness  D-list celebrity, especially a sassy-pants one like Faye Resnick who pops up good and regular on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (RHOBH) as an unapologetic defender of others' honors and a self-assured shit stirrer in a sequined blouse.

Miz Resnick, who happens to be besty-b.f.f. with RHOBH cast member Kyle Richards, has been on the sidelines of Showbiz since at least the mid-1990s when she testified at the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, posed in her birthday suit for Playboy and wrote a two controversial tell-all memoir about the brutal murder of her friend Nicole Brown Simpson. Today she toils as an interior decorator with a short list of celebrity clients who include hotel heiresses Paris and Nicky Hilton, former boy-banker Nick Lachey and actor Kevin Connolly.

Thanks to our ever-intrepid informant Yolanda Yaketyyak we learned on Christmas Day that Miz Resnick and her man-friend fiancée Everett Jack Jr. coughed up $1,605,000 for a two-parcel micro-estate in the Hollywood Hills that's set high above the street up a long, upsloping gated driveway where it's encircled by a thick stand of mature trees that ensures celebrity style privacy.

Listing information shows the two-story house was originally built in 1948 and measures a fairly modest 2,567 square feet with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The renovated but entirely uninspired interior spaces include hardwood floors and a fireplace in the open plan living/dining area on the upper level, swanky commercial style stainless steel appliances in the center island kitchen, limestone tiles in the master bathroom, a lower level family room flanked by en suite guest bedrooms that open through French doors to a deep veranda that over looks the swimming pool that's shaped like an obese kidney bean. Somewhere on the property there's a trellis shaded outdoor barbecue kitchen and across the small motorcourt from the main house up behind the detached two car garage there's a couple of secluded areas perfect for quiet contemplation, meditation and/or weed smoking.

But it's really no matter what the house looks like now because surely Miz Reznick will surely wave her decorative wand over the place and dress it all up in her signature style of Tinseltown decadence that Your Mama might describe as a brooding, nighclubby sort of girlish-glam that often but not always employs a downright fearless and almost fetishistic use of chatoyant and reflective materials. If ever there was was a lady-decorator who might try to dress up an architecturally ho-hum home with a louche set of deep purple taffeta lined black patent leather drapes it would be our gal Faye Resnick.

It is Miz Resnick, of course, who is responsible for the design of Paris Hilton's in-house nightclub lounge in her current home and the person who conceived or at least facilitated the installation of a—ahem—stripper pole in Miss Hilton's former home on North Kings Road, just above the Sunset Strip. We sorta doubt that's what she has planned for her and her fiancée's new digs in the Hollywood Hills but we'd be shocked dead if there wasn't at least one or two mirrored dressers up in there somewhere when it's all said and done.

Anyhoo, Miz Resnick's most recent residential real estate acquisition puts her in the the same neck of the Hollywood Hills as über artist David Hockney, Oscar nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar winning movie star Forest Whitaker, t.v. actor Brian Austin Green and his hotsy totsy action flick actress wife Megan Fox, former sitcom star Justine Bateman and, not too far away, sharp tongued comedienne—and Cher confidant—Kathy Griffin.

P.S. In case any of y'all might be wondering, yes, it was Platinum Triangle super-broker Maurcio Umansky, the hunky hubby of long-time family friend Kyle Richards of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, who represented Miz Resnick and her Mister Jack Jr. in the purchase of the property.

listing photos: RE/MAX Olson & Associates

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Queen of Mean Lisa Lampanelli Snags Beachside Getaway

BUYER: Lisa Lampanelli
LOCATION: Fairfield, CT
PRICE: $2,399,000
SIZE: 3,897 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We are still inundated—swamped really—with merry-making holiday house guests but Your Mama is gonna try to hole up in a quiet corner of the garage and try to top out a quick little celebrity real estate ditty this morning...

Thanks to The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial Your Mama learned this week that not only has voraciously foul mouthed insult comic Lisa Lampanelli recently dropped about 70 or 80 pounds—making her one of those skinny bitches she's been known to mercilessly mock in her stand up shows—but she also recently dropped $2,212,500 on a tall and slender seaside house in the upscale community of Fairfield, CT.

Listing information Your Mama dug up shows the svelte three-story residence was originally built in 2002, measures in at 3,897 square feet and includes 3-4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms* connected by a tightly curled, all wood open riser central spiral staircase that looks to Your Mama like it could be a perplexing and potentially painful torture for anyone liquored up and/or excessively wide of hip.

The main floor, according to various resources we dug up on the interweb, consists of a single car attached garage, a squeezy entrance hall, a powder pooper, a room Miz Lampanelli's husband Jimmy uses as a—ahem—man cave, and an open-plan ocean-side kitchen/dining/family room area with glimmering water and beach views out a whole lotta floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors.

The ocean side master suite on the second floor has a private sitting room, a small balcony with views up and down the coastline, and a good-sized bathroom with separate jetted tub and shower slathered in some of the more eyeball-punishing peachy beige tile and woefully outdated glass brick we've ever had the misfortune to lay our lazy left eye.

There are two more guest bedrooms on the second floor that share a bathroom and, on the top floor, nestled into the sloping roof line is a den where the somewhat infamous and screechingly funny Queen of Mean can quietly pen her famously polarizing jokes that viciously slice and dice every segment of humanity.

A house wide, bi-level deck ringed with whispering sea grasses allows for seaside sitting without the bother of sand getting wedged between the toes or in one's more intimate cracks and crevices.

Listing photos—natch—show the house decorated—if you can call it that—by the sellers. However, as it turns out, Miz Lampanelli had the folks from Connecticut magazine over for an interview and photo shoot for their November 2012 issue and she gleefully revealed that after a hysterically disastrous experience with a lady decorator some years ago she simply opened up a Pottery Barn catalog and ordered an entire spread for her new haven by the shore.

Miz Lampanelli also maintains a rental apartment near Lincoln Center in New York City—in a building where three bedrooms go for about 14 grand a month—and back in 2007 she spent $1,250,000 on a 2,539 square foot condo-type bungalow on the property of the famous Canyon Ranch health resort and spa in Tucson, AZ where a week of vegetables, long walks in the desert and massages will set a person back a minimum of seven thousand clams for a week's stay.

*For the record, the Fairfield County Tax Man shows the house has 2,922 square feet on two floors with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. 

listing photos: William Raveis (via Zillow and Neighbor City)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Three Links for the Holidays

Listen children, Your Mama has a houseful of family—we got Mama and Sister Cooter, Your Mama's Momma, Sister Woman and her brood, Auntie and Cuzzin Will and more—so we're beyond swamped not to mentioned exhausted and sotted with gin.

However, rather than leave y'all high and dry here are a few linds some stories for the celebrity gossip blogosphere:

The seemingly sleepless kids at Curbed have a worthwhile run down of some of the best celebrity owned homes that appeared this year in the glossy pages of shelter magazines.

The folks at Forbes put together a rather exhaustive reports and slide show of The Biggest Billionaire Home Sales of 2012. Compelling and shocking all at the same time

New York City-based restarauteur Jerry Della Femina sold his ocean front house in East Hampton, NY and hissed and pissed to the peeps at the New York Post it's Obama's socialist tax policies that are the reason he took $25 million for the house instead of holding out for the $40 million he originally wanted. The new owner is said to be Discovery Networks CEO David Zaslav.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Your Mama Hears...

...from two trusted and well connected sources deep inside the Platinum Triangle real estate game that there's a big deal—and we mean BIG—about to go down in Malibu.

According to both Cinnamon Stick and Little Boy Blue, bespectacled billionaire money manager Howard Marks and his very social and philanthropic wife Nancy are thisclose to inking a record-breaking deal to sell their monumental ocean front compound for somewhere in the neighborhood of $75,000,000.*

The bulk of the triple-gated and heavily fortified 10-ish acre estate was formerly owned by Verna Harrah, the wildly wealthy widow of casino kingpin Bill Harrah, who sold it in late 1999 for $27,000,000 to Herbalife founder Mark Hughes who died in the house just about six months later. In June 2001 the executors of Mister Hughes's estate sold the palatial pad to Mister and Missus Marks for $31,000,000.

The following year, in October 2002, according to property records, Mister and Missus Marks shelled out another $4,600,000 for a neighboring property that now includes a separate gated residence for guests or staff and a full-sized tennis court with viewing pavilion. It was on this approximately 2.5 acre property, incidentally, that way back in July 2000 Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston held their wedding reception in a giant, bluff-side tent.

Anyhoo, Mister and Missus Marks spent years and God only knows how many millions on a soup-to-nuts renovation of the entire estate but, at the time of their purchase, the imposing Italianate villa measured in at 19,340 square feet with a total of 8 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms including a vast master suite with sitting room, private office, exercise room, and three room-sized walk-in closets.

The estate now includes a long, baronial tree-lined driveway, a charity circuit-sized motor court, a second rear motor court with garage access, a spacious bluff side swimming pool and several outbuildings of undetermined—or at least unknown—utility.

Some of the Marks' nearest neighbors in the Bu include mustachioed actor Sam Elliot and television super-producer Marcy Carsey. Just down the beach a bit is the house Ellen Degeneres bought from Brad Pitt in December 2011 for $12,000,000 and flipped six or so months lather for $13,000,000.

Folks who follow the upper end real estate market are well acquainted with the over-flowing property portfolio of Mister and Missus Marks. In Los Angeles, in addition to their Malibu manse, they own a 1.9 acre estate in a leafy and low-key but very posh street in the Brentwood area that they picked up in July 1996 for $7,963,570 from real estate tycoon Robert F. Maguire III.

In May 2007 they coughed up $18,875,000 for a full-floor spread atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Central Park South in New York City that they had worked over by architect Oscar Shamamian and Oval Office decorator Michael Smith. In July (2012) the two bedroom and four bathroom aerie popped up on the open market with a $50,000,000 price tag.

Their decision to sell at the Ritz-Carlton surely had something to do with their record breaking and publicity generating $52,500,000 purchase of Courtney Sale Ross's epic 30-room duplex at 740 Park Avenue in May 2012.

In October 2010 the high hoggers paid ad man turned television personality Donny Deutsch a staggering $30,184,000 for a pair of adjacent parcels in East Hampton, NY, one of which is ocean front and together total (approx.) 3.3 acres.

We've also been told by someone who tends to know these sorts of things that for at least the last six or seven years Mister and Missus Marks have maintained a very large, very expensive and very fancy 19th century flat in the central London's natty, naboby and punishingly expensive Belgravia district that they also had over-hauled by Michael Smith.

P.S. We also have vague intel that there's an even bigger deal in the works up north in the Bay Area. More on this to come as we have more to gossip about.

*Neither of our sources know—or would reveal—the alleged buyer of the baronial estate perched atop the rugged Encinal Bluffs but iffin any of the children might like to enlighten Your Mama we'll be sure to keep your identity on the down low. 

aerial image: Google

Friday, December 21, 2012

End of Week Bits and Pieces: Rihanna

BUYER: Rihanna
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $12,000,000
SIZE: 11,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We know every other celebrity property gossip already discussed it days ago but in case any of y'all somehow missed it, Rihanna (allegedly) dropped $12,000,000 on a gated, privately situated and aggressively contemporary mansion in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.

Property records do not yet reflect a transfer of ownership so we can't confirm or deny the reports of Riri's purchase. Could be she wrote a check for the whole amount. Or could it be she simply rented the the property? In addition to being for sale the seven bedroom and 9 bathroom residential beast was, until recently, also listed for lease at an astounding $70,000 per month?

There's probably little more we can add to the discussion so rather than get all bitchy at length about the bizarre scalloped roof line, the prominent entrance pavilion that looks like a damn Best Buy, the redonkulously cliché sweetheart staircase in the foyer, the chocolate brown crocodile embossed leather wall covering in the powder pooper, the curvaceous wood panels in the hotel-lobby like living room, the 11 (or more) gas fireplaces and/or the mint green counter tops in the otherwise dark green laundry room we're just gonna let y'll peruse the pictures and make your own assessments and judgements.

One, two, three...Go!

listing photos: Rodeo Realty and Nelson Shelton & Associates

End of Week Bits and Pieces: Elviria

BUYER: Mistress of the Dark
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $925,000
SIZE: (approx.) 2,005 square feet total with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

First came word that Jessica Simpson (allegedly) made an offer to buy the not very scary Hidden Hills mansion of rock-n-roll's Prince of Darkness—that would be Ozzy Osbourne—and now comes word via the long legged blond at Trulia Luxe Living that the equally macabre monikered Mistress of the Dark—a.k.a. Elvira, née Cassandra Peterson—recently paid $925,000 for a light filled Spanish bungalow on a charming tree-lined street just a couple blocks from L.A.'s shoppy-shoppy boutique- and eatery-lined Larchmont Boulevard.

Listing information from the time of the purchase shows the completely upgraded and restored 1923 casa measures in at a modest 1,605 square feet with just two bedrooms and two bathrooms. An additional (approx.) 400 square foot detached space—once a two-car garage—offers additional living/working quarters plus a third bathroom.

There's a fireplace, over-sized multi-paned windows and a barrel vaulted ceiling in the living room. The medium brown hardwood floors extend into the French door-lined dining room and on into the renovated, eat-in "country" kitchen with bead board accented cabinetry, beige tile counter tops that look to be some sort of stone or faux-stone material, and good grade stainless steel appliances.

Apparently, almost a million bucks doesn't buy an already installed swimming pool in that neck of Tinseltown but listing photographs do indicate the front and back yards are both well planted with mature gardens. A chevron pattern red brick terrace just outside the detached bonus space is separated from the flagstone terrace off the back of the house by a wall and fountain that hopefully takes the edge off unwanted noise form the neighbors as well as the soft but ever-present thrum of traffic.

As noted by the Trulia gal, Miz Peterson once owned a 3,7,56 square foot house on a gated street in the Los Feliz are of Los Angeles that actor Giovanni Ribisi recently bought for $2,950,000. She also once owned the adjacent Briarcliff Manor property, an historic Craftsman that she sold in 1994 to Brad Pitt. The approximately 5,600 square foot house is still owned by Mister Pitt and is, in fact, the centerpiece of the multi-structure compound he's since created with the subsequent purchase and incorporation of a handful of adjoining properties.

More recently, in April 2009, Miz Peterson—out of her ghoulish maquillage, jet black fright wig and skin tight cleavage exposing witch's dress a pretty if and well-preserved if somewhat unassuming  ginger haired 61 year old—sold a surprisingly traditional house in the Silver Lake area for $1,626,000. That was, according to our calculations, $127,000 more than the $1,499,000 asking price but only $72,000 more than the $1,698,000 she paid for the place just over two years earlier.

listing photos: Patrick Goeglein

Jana Kramer Sells Nashville Bacherlorette Pad

SELLER: Jana Kramer
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
PRICE: $367,000
SIZE: 2,230 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Word on the celebrity real estate street down in Nashville is that after only six or so months of courting, country music up and comers Jana Kramer and Brantely Gilbert have taken the property plunge and purchased a house where they live together in unmarried bliss.

Well, children, we don't know a damn thing about where the Kramer-Gilberts play house now but our entirely unscientific research online turned up evidence that Miss Kramer recently sold her East Nashville bachelorette pad for, according to online documentation, $367,000.

Thirty year old Miss Kramer is probably best known by t.v. watchers for her former role on One Tree Hill and tabloid readers for her one month marriage in 2009 to Christina Applegate's ex-husband, the much older model turned actor/writer/producer Johnathan Schaech (That Thing That You Do, Models Inc.). In all honesty, neither Your Mama nor The Doctor Cooter had previously heard of Mister Gilbert but a few minutes batting around on the interweb tells us he's a bearded and tatted-up country rock singer-songwriter type who opened for country music superstar Toby Keith's Live in Overdrive tour this year.

Property records indicate Miss Kramer acquired the house, located in the heart of the historic Lockeland Springs 'hood just just over the Cumberland River a couple miles east of downtown Nashville, in October 2010 for $317,000.

We're not sure who was responsible for the make over—could be Miss Kramer, could be a previous owner—but listing information from the time of the most recent sale shows the completely renovated, 2,230 square foot clapboard-sided 1925 country cottage was done up and did over with a classic white picket fence, a deep and neighborly front porch and an Old Timey wooden porch swing.

The front door opens directly into the living room that spans the full width of the house and has soaring pitched and vaulted ceilings, hardwood flooring installed at a 45-degree angle and an awkwardly situated off-center stacked stone fireplace. 

The hardwood floors extend back through a wide corridor to a lipstick red walled dining area that connects over a nipple height breakfast bar to a remodeled but very ho-hum kitchen with olive green painted cabinetry, budget-minded black appliances, mottled grey counter tops of unknown material and—inexplicably and regrettably—a peachy-beige mottled tile floor.

Listing information indicates there are a total of three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus a multi-purpose loft area that overlooks the living room. There are two master suites, according to listing information, one upstairs with a Home Depot grade private bathroom and the other downstairs. The third bedroom makes use of a hall bathroom.

The back of the house doesn't exactly open itself wide to the outdoors but there are a couple of doors that connect to a raised back deck that overlooks the petite and barely landscaped, low-maintenance backyard. At the rear of the property an electronically-controlled driveway gates, accessible by way of an alley, allows for private, secure and direct automobile access to the partially subterranean basement level single car garage. 

If Mister Gilbert currently owns or owned a home in the Nashville area Your Mama has yet to figure it out.

listing photos: Re/Max Carriage House

Thursday, December 20, 2012

PSY Scoops Up a Condo in an L.A. High Rise

BUYER: PSY (nee Park Jae-sang)
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,249,000
SIZE: 2,776 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ reported today that budding music industry zeitgeist PSY—née Park Jae-sang (박재상, 朴載相)—paid $1.25 million in cold hard cash* for a two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom condo located on a very pedestrian lower floor of The Blair House, an exclusive, 29-story luxury high-rise building "near Beverly Hills."

For those of the children who may have somehow missed the pop cultural boat, PSY is a the South Korean-born bad boy K-pop** poster child who shot to international super stardom earlier this year with his catchy, high camp and high energy Gangnam Style music video that's been viewed almost a billion times on the You Tube.

PSY plans to give his new 2,776 square foot condo crib a face lift, according to TMZ, even thought listing information Your Mama dug up online shows that at the time of purchase in early November (2012) the condo was already done up in a slightly douched-out Gangnam Style with grey wall-to-wall carpeting in the main living areas, a gas fireplace surrounded by glammy mirrored panels, a small private terrace, a marble tile floored dining room and an angular eat-in kitchen with hardware-free flat-fronted cabinetry and high grade if out-dated appliances.

The master bedroom opens through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows to a rather anorexic terrace with a trafficky view but does have a walk-in closet and an attached bathroom with marble topped double vanity and separate shower and jetted tub. The unit conveniently contains its own laundry room with full sized washer and dryer.

A foliage lined circular drive curves up to the building's well attended lobby that, well, to be honest, reeks of a little more late-1980s brass-trimmed glamour than we really feel comfortable with. The condo's $2,141 per month home owners dues help pay for the building's many amenities that include door man and concierge services, on-site valet parking, well maintained landscaped grounds, banquet facilities, a gym area with sauna, an outdoor salt water swimming pool and spa plus—a rarity among the luxury residential towers that line Wilshire Boulevard corridor between Westwood and Beverly Hills—a lighted and sunken tennis court.

For the record, the condo in question—the one shown in listing photos above—was purchased by someone with a Korean sounding name that Your Mama can not link directly to PSY. We have no reason to doubt our celebrity real estate compatriots at TMZ—heaven knows they snag a lot of intel about celebrity related property transactions—but for now this remains for Your Mama an unconfirmed rumor.
*Property records reveal the actual sale price for the condo in question was $1,249,000 and, for the record, the condo—the one shown in listing photos above—was purchased by someone with a Korean sounding name that Your Mama can not link directly to PSY. We have no reason to doubt our celebrity real estate compatriots at TMZ—heaven knows they snag a lot of intel about celebrity related property transactions—but for now this remains for Your Mama an unconfirmed rumor. 

**K-pop, in case y'all don't already know, is a genre of of music that Your Mama might describe as largely formulaic and stupidly over-polished but crazily popular and auditorily addictive bubble gum pop music produced at an alarmingly fast pace in South Korea. The New Yorker recently published an excellent primer on the globally emerging genre.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker

Ricky Martin Is An Uptown Daddy

BUYER: Ricky Martin
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $5,900,000
SIZE:3,147 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once upon a celebrity real estate time booty-shaking Puerto Rican pop star/entertainer Ricky Martin owned sleek, 65th floor pied-a-terre at the twin-towered Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan that he bought in 2004 for just about $6.8 million and sold at an enviable multi-million dollar profit in 2006 for $9,750,000.

The following year (2007) Mister Martin hauled his real estate vida loca downtown to the then and still quite haute-ish Herzog & de Meuron-designed 40 Bond building where any number of celebrity property gossips—including Your Mama—reported he (allegedly) coughed up somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,000,000 for a low floor apartment with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.*

Incidentally and as a slight aside, the fancy-pants 40 Bond building in the NoHo (North of Houston) nabe, is where fashion designer Calvin Klein was reported earlier today in the New York Post to have signed a short term lease on a $25,000 per month two bedroom spread. Seventy year old Mister Klein—who can not be at all happy about the possibly pending publication of a probably embarrassing tell-all book by his blabber mouthed 21-year old former lover Nick Gruber—has sought temporary refuge at 40 Bond from  his far more grand West Village triplex penthouse after hurricane Sandy compromised and/or destroyed the building's basement level services.

Anyhoo, sometime last year Mister Martin and his long-time man-friend Carlos Gonzalez Abella packed up his/their toddler-age boy twins and shook their bon bons all the way back uptown to the full service Lucida building on East 85th Street where he/they leased a seventh floor quadruple exposure sprawler with five bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, an 800 square foot corner living room, an eat-in kitchen and a last listed monthly rent of $32,500. For the record, the apartment has been back up for lease since mid-November (2012) with a notably higher $37,500 monthly rent price. 

Today comes word slips down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine via the NewYork Post that Mister Martin has opted to own a piece of The Big Apple with the $5,900,000 purchase of a sun drenched and (essentially) south facing two-unit combination condo crib in a contemporary—some might say rather bland—10-story Peter Marino-designed building that faces Gracie Mansion and the playgrounds, open fields and dog run at Carl Shurz Park.

The eight-room apartment, according to listing information, measures in at 3,147 square feet with generous 10 foot ceilings and over-sized floor-to-ceiling windows. The floor plan included with marketing materials shows there's a proper foyer in which to greet guests and the Chinese food delivery man and a double-wide—if otherwise architecturally featureless—living/dining room with Old Timey pre-war style parquet floors. There's also a pequeño eat-in kitchen, a small (windowed) mud room off the service entrance and a fairly narrow study/den all done up in listing photos as a children's playroom.

There are, according to listing information, a total of four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms including two small(ish) guest/family bedrooms with private bathrooms. A pair of master bedrooms, at opposite ends of the apartment, both have multiple closets and attached windowless bathrooms slathered in top quality beige travertine tile.

The monthly common charges and taxes for the apartment Mister Martin (allegedly) bought total $4,729, according to listing information. The 100-plus unit building's extensive, residents only amenities include a state of the art fitness center, squash court, Pilates room, yoga studio, 40 seat screening room, golf simulator, library, arcade room and children's playrooms.

As it turns out Mister Martin has been on a bit of a real estate tear the last eight or nine months. Since at least mid-2007 he's repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to dump a walled and gated bay front mansion in Miami Beach (FL) that he bought in May 2005 for ten million dollars. At one point the 7 bedroom and 8 full and two half bathroom spread (above) was listed for $16,900,000. The asking price inexplicably climbed to $19.5 million in 2008. Alas, property records show Mister Martin had to accept a much, much lower offer when, according to property records, he finally sold the unwanted waterfront estate in April of this year (2012) for $10,600,000 to a clearly well-compensated Long Island-based computer retail executive named Richard Leeds.

In April 2007, just about the time he listed his above mentioned bay front mansion in Miami Beach, Mister Martin coughed up a star-style $16,250,000 for a nearly 10,000 square foot ocean front mansion about 10 miles to the north in sleepy but swank Golden Beach. By December of that year he'd caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estae Fickle and hoisted the five bedroom and seven bathroom house (above) back on the open market with a sky-high asking price of $22,500,000. Property records reveal Mister Martin's original asking price was wildly optimistic because he finally, at long last, sold the gated property last month for $12,800,000. A few quick clickety-clacks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that's almost ten million less than he wanted and, even worse, a spectacular $3,450,000 less than he paid for the place five and some years ago. Ouch!

As far as Your Mama knows, Mister Martin continues to own a substantial residence in Dorado, Puerto Rico—where the American Rockefellers once owned a vacation compound—as well as, so the celebrity real estate rumors go, a casa in Madrid and a private island hideaway in Rio de Janeiro.

*In all honesty, children, Your Mama does not find much if any evidence that Señor Bon Bon bought an apartment at 40 Bond. Could be that he did and we just can't suss it out or could be that he rented in the building.

listing photos and floor plan (New York City, top): Corcoran
listing photos (Miami Beach): EWM Realtors International
listing photos (Golden Beach): Zillow

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rumor Has It...

...that bubble gum pop singer turned maybe-preggers again apparel mogul Jessica Simpson and her former professional pig skinner man-friend/baby daddy Eric Johnson have made a formal offer to purchase a spacious estate inside the guarded gates of the upscale equestrian community of Hidden Hills, CA that's currently owned by rock-n-roll royals Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne who had the entire place worked over by the forever swooning and swanning Martyn Lawrence Bullard from Million Dollar Decorators, photographed for Architectural Digest, and, until mid-October (2012), had on the open market with a $13.5 million dollar price tag.*

Property records and previous reports reveal Mister and Missus Prince of Darkness paid $12,388,500 for the nearly 11,000 square foot mansion that has a total of six bedrooms and ten terlits spread among six full and four half bathrooms. There's also his and her offices and narrow staircase lined with framed gold and platinum records that leads down to a private recording and rehearsal studio.

Avid celebrity property watchers may recall that Mister and Missus Osbourne took their glammed up but unwanted spread in Hidden Hills after a property line dispute erupted with the neighboring communities home owner's association. Unable to sell the property until the dispute is—or was—settled, the Osbourne's opted to lease the property at a rip-roaring rate of $50,000 per month. We can't confirm or deny whether Mister and Missus Osbourne actually leased the house to anyone but it does not, as far as we can find, currently appear as a rental on the open market.

Sometime in late 2011or early 2012 the Osbournes decamped horsey Hidden Hills for a Martyn Lawrence Bullard decorated two bedroom pied a terre on the 18th floor of the celeb-stacked Sierra Towers building in bustling West Hollywood before they leased a fully updated 1928 Spanish hacienda-style residence in the flats of Beverly Hills from one of the Platinum Triangle's most successful Real Estates.

Miz Simpson, Mister Johnson and Babymakesthree currently shack up—an unidentified source tattled to Life & Style**—in the glitzed-up Shabby Chic-ly done domicile in the upper Beverly Hills Post Office area that Miz Simpson bought more than five years ago, post-divorce from what's-his-face Nick Lachey for $5,275,000. The house sits right up next door to a country English mock-Tudor (or something) until recently owned by Kimora Lee Simpson and just around this corner or that bend in the road are privately situated luxury residences owns by a slew of Showbiz types who include but are not limited to Cameron Diaz, Guy Oseary, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Ziggy Marley and Tom Freston.

*This rumor of alleged formal offer was first reported in the print edition of the Life & Style celebrity gossip magazine and, as of this very minute, we're unable to locate a digital version of the story. If one surfaces—and we are made aware of it—we'll happily link on over to said story as the primary source for this as yet unconfirmed celebrity real estate rumor.


Did Tom Cruise Buy a Mansion in Upstate New York or Didn't He?

Your Mama's inbox has done drowned this morning with piles and miles of queries about whether whackadoodle Tinseltowner Tom Cruise did or did not buy a $13.5 million mansion in Upstate New York where his New York City-based daughter Suri—so the story goes—can keep her pet pony, $30,000 miniature race car and $24,000 play house.

In all truth, we hadn't heard a damn thing about this alleged turn of celebrity real estate events and we're not sure exactly where the rumor originated. It may have been the I'm Not Obsessed blog that lit the fire yesterday but at least one major celebrity gossip site has subsequently reported that Mister Cruise did not buy said $13.5 million estate in Upstate New York.

So it goes in the murky underbrush of the celebrity real estate gossip game.

*Use some sense, chickens, Your Mama has no idea if Mister Cruise bought Suri Cruise any of those things; That's just a repeat of what some of the celebrity tabloids have previously reported

Kelsey Grammer Leases New House In Bev Hills

OWNER: Kelsey Grammer
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $30,000 per month
SIZE: 5,683 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Sometime in late April or early May 2012 four-time Emmy winning sitcom actor (Cheers, Frasier) and producer (Medium, Girlfriends) Kelsey Grammer dropped six and a half million big ones on a rather fetching 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival-style mini-mansion in the West Beverly Hills Flats. Remember that, children?

Then, a couple weeks ago, celebrity property gossips went gaga over the legal wrangle-tangle between Mister Grammer and his third ex-wife, Camille of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Although the Grammers were bitterly and expensively divorced in early 2011 they continue to own a 10,000-plus square foot faux-Tudor mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles (CA) that they've been trying to unload since mid-2008. Court documents cited on TMZ in late November reveal the still-feuding couple—who only communicate through intermediaries—split the hefty $48,130 per month upkeep costs for the high maintenance spread.

The Grammers' plumly located, fully walled and double gated mini-estate in Holmby Hills—Connie Stevens's big ol' compound that's up for sale at almost eighteen million is just over the back wall and across the street—was originally listed at $19,900,000 and was recently re-listed at $15,995,000.

According to TMZ ex-Missus Grammer wants to sell the Holmby Hills house tout de suite. No doubt she's nuthin' but eager to get her already married and procreating ex-husband out of her painstakingly cared for blond mane. Mister Grammer, on the other hand, says he's short on cash since his most recent sitcom, Boss, belly flopped but good and in order to maximize his finances would like to move into the Holmby Hills house with his new, fourth wife and their new baby. That third ex-Missus Grammer might take umbrage with that scenario seems only, well, human.

Not only would third ex-Missus Grammer not want, Your Mama imagines, her ex-husband's new wife and their toddler child to live in a fancy house in Holmby Hills she once shared with Mister Grammer and their children it's not so far-fetched that she might bristle stiffly at footing half the bill for housing her ex-husband and his mistress turned fourth wife and their toddler child.

Anyhoodles poodles, we really can't say whether Mister and new-fourth-Missus Grammer did or did not move into the Holmby Hills house, because we just don't know. We have learned, however and thanks to an anonymous commenter, that Mister Grammer's newly acquired Spanish Colonial Revival  residence in the West Bev Hills Flats, designed by noted architect Ralph C. Flewelling, is up for lease for $30,000 per month.

Current lease listing information indicates the main house has five bedrooms with private bathrooms in 5,683 square feet plus a separate guest house with an addition bedroom and bathroom. The various public and private wings are organized around and access from a central double height entrance hall and an adjoining wood-beamed gallery with corner fireplace. There's a step-down living room with fireplace and exposed wood beam ceiling, a formal dining room, a den and a media/play room and a kitchen complex with over-sized utility room and separate butler's pantry with refrigerated wine storage.

A shallow covered porch with outdoor fireplace just off the formal living room gives way to a gravel and flagstone terrace that wraps around a heated swimming pool. There's a vine-draped poolside pergola for outdoor dining and and mature gardens that wrap around the house back of the house to a small square of jungle gym ready flat lawn, the aforementioned guesthouse and a detached three car garage.

As far as Your Mama knows, Mister and third ex-Missus Grammer still co-own an approximately 8,500 square foot ski chalet on 1.67 acres in Avon, CO that's currently listed at $6,995,000. Mister and fourth Missus Grammer still maintain a residence in Manhattan (West Chelsea) plus a rural spread in Upstate New York and third ex-Missus Grammer still owns and occupies a sprawling Malibu compound she once shared with Mister Grammer but put up for sale in August (2012) with a steep $17,900,000 price tag.

listing photos: Keller Williams Hollywood Hills

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Connie Stevens Has Real Estate Problems: Part II

Earlier today Your Mama prattled aimlessly on about the compound-like Holmby Hills estate of actress/singer/skin care entrepreneur Connie Stevens that popped up on the open market last week to much fanfare, hoo-ha and ballyhoo with an almost eighteen million dollar asking price.

As was noted and partially parsed in late November by the National Enquirer, Miz Stevens has long maintained a rather prodigious portfolio of properties for both personal use and investment purposes on the east and the west coasts of the U.S., in between and south of the border.

In September 1988, according to transaction history on the archived Redfin listing, Miz Stevens paid $485,000 for a 3,085 square foot house on just over half an acre in the upper Coldwater Canyon area of the of Beverly Hills Post Office area, aka BHPO.* Miz Stevens listed the two stucture mini-compound in July 2012 with a $1,499,000. Just over three weeks later the price tag dropped dramatically and decisively to $899,000 and just about a month after that, in late September, the listing status was changed to "Pending," an indication a sale is imminent.

At least one property record data base we consulted shows at least two Notices of Default were recorded on the property, one in 2010 and the other in 2011. It appears, however, that Miz Stevens was able to stave off a lender seizure and auction of the walled, gated and—let's just be frank for a second—ass ugly fixer upper.

She may have averted foreclosure in the BHPO but Miz Stevens wasn't so lucky with a her 100 (or so) acre ranch in the Indian Springs enclave near Jackson Hole, WY that she reportedly picked up in 1993 for close to $10 million. She eventually custom built a large log cabin style mansion that, alas, was sold at auction in 2011 after she was unable—or unwilling—to maintain the hefty mortgage payments on the approximately $2.8 million in loans secured against the property.

The year before that, in March 2010, Miz Steven sold a quaint but frumpily "refreshed" 1925 bungalow (above) in Pasadena (CA) for $560,000. It appears, less expenses, she doubled her money on this one since several online resources indicate she bought the five bedroom and two bathroom house (with guest house) in early 1993 for $280,000.

The next month, June 2010, Miz Stevens dumped a dowdily decorated 2,479 square foot condo on the 54th floor of the full service Millenium Tower building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (above) for a decidedly un-dowdy seven million bucks. Drab as the ho-hum day-core looks in listing photos the three bedroom and 3.5 bathroom apartment—on the same floor as the top floor of Howard Stern's multi-unit duplex aerie—does have three spine tingling exposures with lordly views over Central Park to the east and the Hudson River to the west.

A few months later Miz Stevens officially further lightened her real estate load when she offloaded a clearly renovated and nicely maintained two bedroom and three bathroom board and batten contemporary tucked into the tail end of a hook-shaped cul-de-sac in the Beverly Glen area of Beverly Hills Post Office (above). Property records and online listings show Miz Stevens paid $1,470,000 for the property in November 2005, first listed it in April 2009 and finally sold it in September 2010 for $1,060,000, a stomach churning $400,000-plus loss not counting the considerable carrying costs, upkeep expenses and real estate fees. Although there was a bit of thwarted foreclosure activity on the property in early 2011, records show Miz Stevens also and still owns the 4,182 square foot house immediately next door. There is some evidence online that Miz Stevens unsuccessfully attempted to sell larger BHPO residence way back in 2006 with an asking price of $2,349,000.

A little more peeking and poking around in various property record databases reveals to Your Mama that Miz Stevens continues to possess a couple of condos within gated developments in hot as Hades Palm Desert (CA) in California's Coachella Valley: one with 3,562 square feet situation at the Indian Ridge Country Club and the another a more middle-brow situation with 1,421 square feet at the nearby Silver Sands Racquet Club.

Miz Stevens also still owns a 5,170 square foot prototypically suburban macmansion in Las Vegas (NV) on .46 acres just inside the guarded gates of the upscale Ten Oaks development, about seven miles due east of The Strip. A little digging turned up evidence of some foreclosure activity on this property, but that icky issue seems to have been resolved in September 2011.

Your Mama has no idea if she still owns it or not, but a 1993 article in the Los Angeles Times reported that Miz Stevens had then just recently completed a decorative do over of a five bedroom beachfront getaway in Puerta Vallarta. That's Mexico, hunnies.

By our count Miz Stevens owned as many as 10 residences at one time. No doubt some were leased out for income and others maintained for personal use but imagine the financial burden of half a dozen or more homes, some of them rather high maintenance. Not wonder the septuagenarian Tinseltown icon and (former) cosmetic queen is still hoofing it: Miz Stevens made her directorial debut this year with the also self conceived, co-wrote and produced feature film Saving Grace B. Jones.

Some of Miz Stevens previous Showbiz gigs and accomplishments include a multi-year run on Hawaiian Eye in the late '50s and early 60s, the starring role on the short lived sitcom Wendy and Me and numerous theater and nightclub appearances not to mention a headline act in Las Vegas. Those in Your Mama's—ahem—advanced generation may (or may not) best remember Miz Stevens for her frothy haired appearances on least eight episodes of The Love Boat and/or for her several spins through the even more campy Fantasy Island.

It wasn't Showbiz, however, that earned Miz Steven all her once quite substantial—at least one online resource unscientifically pegged it as high as $50 million—and apparently somewhat diminished fortune. That lump of dough came in the 1990s after she developed and successfully mass marketed the Forever Spring skin care line on the Home Shopping Network. After sales plummeted from a high of $30 million to a low of $6 million, the home shopping juggernaut dropped Forever Spring. Such is the unforgiving and capricious way of capitalism, right? Anyhoo, we're not sure where the hair and skin care products are currently retailed but the full line—which includes a variety of scented lotions, potions, cosmetics and candles, at least one snow globe and for the men, fragranced shaving cream—is still available online.

It may or may not come as a relief to some of the children that an unidentified "close friend" told the National Enquirer in late November that although Miz Stevens feels the financial squeeze like so many other people in this still sluggish economy she's "certainly not broke." Well! Ahem. Harrumph! we should hope not. It's one thing for a rich person to get caught in a temporary cash crunch. These things happen. But, children, there's just no financial excuse for someone who earns tens of millions of dollars in a lifetime and to not have the good damn sense to bury five or ten million in a coffee can in the backyard just in case the economy tanks and/or they get stupid and blow through the bulk of their fortune.

*Properties in the Beverly Hills Post Office area maintain coveted 90210 zip codes but the less coveted public services (sanitation, education, police and fire protection etc) of the City of Los Angeles.

listing photos (BHPO, top): Westside Estate Agency
listing photo (Pasadena): Dwellings International Realty
listing photos and floor plan (New York City): Douglas Elliman
listing photos (BHPO, bottom): Beverly Glen Realty

Connie Stevens Has Property Problems, Part One (Plus a Little Holmby Hills Real Estate This and That)

SELLER: Connie Stevens
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $17,999,000
SIZE: 12,000 (or so) square feet (total), 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Looks like the sharp downturn in the economy a few years ago put a pecuniary pinch on on the pocketbook of Tinseltown icon turned skin care tycoon Connie Stevens
whoas first reported last week by the ever industrious kids at Curbed—listed her grandly proportioned celebrity-style estate in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles last week with an asking price of $17,999,000.

As it turns out her Holmby Hills spread isn't the only residence Miz Stevens currently has on the open market, recently sold or—woe is her—lost to the hungry and unforgiving maw of foreclosure. Before we get to all that complicated and ugly real estate business, however, let's start with the compound-like Holmby Hills estate that property records indicate Miz Stevens picked up way back in February 1974 for $350,000. No babies, Your Mama's early morning gin & tonic did not cause us to omit a zero; She actually paid $350,000 for nearly two acres in the geographic heart of one of Los Angeles' most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods.

A double-gated red brick circular drive cuts through a towering privacy hedge and bends tightly up to a hotel-like black and white striped awning over the front door of the stately main house, a 1939 white brick center hall Colonial designed by the revered architect Paul Williams. Current listing information shows there are seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms (including a two bedroom staff suite) in the main house that the Los Angeles County Tax Man's records indicate measures in at a considerable but hardly colossal 8,460 square feet.

In addition to the main house, additional living quarters includes two, two story one bedroom townhouse type guesthouses—one for each of her daughters, Joely and Tricia—a separate chauffeur's apartment and a two bathroom pool house.

As far as Your Mama knows no interior photos of the house have been released as part of the marketing for the mansion but listing information does reveal the main mansion contains a double-height foyer with a quintessentially Paul Williams "grand sweeping circular staircase," formal living and dining rooms, a library/study, a billiard room and a spacious open-plan family room that adjoins the eat-in kitchen. There are, as per listing information, a total of five fireplaces in the main house including one in the second floor master suite that also features a walk-in closet and dressing area.

The fully finished third floor attic contains home fitness room and dance studio, the fully finished basement level a wine cellar and there's also a separate recording studio and "on line studio," a room Your Mama imagines is equipped with all the necessary digital accoutrement for surfing the web.

The driveway extends up along the north side of the main mansion where passes under a porte cochere (on top of which is a terraces) and connects to the estate's extensive automobile parking and storage area that encompasses an attached three car garage plus car ports for up to eight more cars.

The expansive and mostly landscaped but un-fussily groomed grounds include a large flat lawns at the front and back, extensive rose gardens, numerous terraces including a trellis shaded one for shade seekers, an extra long Olympic length swimming pool, a tree-ringed gazebo and spa and a sunken lighted tennis court with viewing deck and what appears to Your Mama to be an enclosed viewing pavilion.

Miz Stevens's estate is surrounded by other equally and even more monumental estates owned by a long list of L.A. luminaries such as Top 40 radio honcho Kasey Kasem, who Your Mama hears quietly wants forty-two million clams for his 17 pooper property (above), and fashion designer Max Azria, who paid $16,000,000 for a 20,000-plus square foot behemoth with 22 bathrooms originally designed by architect Paul Williams and once owned by prolific novelist Sidney Sheldon.

Also in the hoity toity 'hood is the Playboy Mansion as well as the super-luxe spread owned by wealthy divorcée and former Dodger's owner/executive Jamie McCourt (above) who bought the posh property in happier times with ex-hubby Frank McCourt in 2004 from Babyface Edmunds for $21,2500,000 and recently spent God only knows how many millions more to install an partially subterranean indoor swimming pool complex where she swims laps every day. Back in March (2012) Your Mama heard from a well-connected acquaintance we'll call Heidi N. Holmbyhills that ex-Missus McCourt allows at least one of the Platinum Triangle's big name Realtors to discreetly shows the property with a $65 million price tag.

Not quite but almost directly across the street from Miz Stevens is the high-hedged and tree ringed backside of a 10,000-plus square foot faux-Tudor residence owned by bitterly divorced former couple Kelsey and Camille Grammer (above). The Grammers have on and off unsuccessfully endeavored to unload the property since mid-2008 when it popped up with a $19.9 million price tag. The house was just re-listed for the 979th time with an asking price of $15,995,000. The children may recall that Mister and third ex-Missus Grammer have had some recent legal wrangles over the house. So the story goes Camille wants to sell it fast and Kelsey wants to move his fourth wife and new baby into it. Oh, what a tangled real estate web some celebrities weave. But, we digress.

Also across the street and next door to the Grammer pad is a nearly two acre estate (above) originally built by gangster Bugsy Siegel for his wife and children, formerly owned by make-up mogul Max Factor and currently owned by three time Emmy winning super producer Bud Yorkin (What's Happening, All in the Family, Sanford and Son). Mister Yorkin first put the property up for sale in early 2010 with a wildly optimistic $49.5 million and currently has up for grabs with a gigantically reduced $22,900,000 price tag.

Also for sale in the immediate area is the almost three acre estate and low-slung contemporary of the late lawyer Arthur Crowley. The approximately 9,000 square foot single story sprawler was first hoisted on to the open market in early 2011 with a $23,000,000 asking price. Since then the property has been de- and re-listed at least three times and now has an asking price of $17,250,000.

Stay tuned for details and dish on some of the many other properties from California to New York City owned, loved, for sale, sold and/or lost by Miz Stevens.

listing photos: Keller Williams Beverly Hills 
listing photo (Kasem): Fortune Homes / Keller Williams Realty
overhead aerial image (McCourt):  Google
listing photo (Grammer): Coldwell Banker Previews International
listing photo (Yorkin): Westside Estate Agency
listing photo (Crowley): Coldwell Banker Previews International

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Mish Mash: Seal

According to the celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ, Heidi Klum's ex-husband and baby daddy Seal made a formal offer to purchase a newly constructed and very contemporary 5,500 square foot crib squeezed onto a 6,115 square foot triangular shaped lot in a swank but low-key area of L.A.'s affluent and celeb-friendly Brentwood community.

Listing information for the the walled and gated three level green home, listed at $6,000,000, shows there are four bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, an open-concept living and dining area, two sleek kitchens with Euro appliances, a den and an office and a media room and fitness room in the basement.

Besides a couple of terraces with verdant tree-top views, outdoor space is limited to a good size deck and a strip of grass so narrow even Your Mama's long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, would have a tough time getting their play on.

In June 2011 the erstwhile couple sold their former Beverly Hills estate at a substantial loss for $7,000,000—they bought it in late 2005 for $7,600,000—and, as far as Your Mama knows, Miz Klum and their children remain ensconced in the 12,300 square foot mock-Med mansion in the upper reaches of Brentwood above Mandeville Canyon that they bought out of foreclosure for $14,200,000 back in late 2010.

listing photos: Engel & Völkers

Monday Mish Mash: Tom Cruise

In case y'all missed it, an unidentified blabbermouth told the busy celebrity gossip beavers at Radar Online that Tom Cruise "runs his household staff with absolute military precision and with the utmost attention paid to security."

So the story goes, the multi-wing mansion—located in Beverly Hills and not Bel Air as was suggested in the Radar Online report—is divided into defined zones and Mister Cruise's domestic employees are not allowed to enter areas of the house where they do not work. For example, the kitchen staff is forbidden from entering the bedroom wing(s) and vice versa.

The tattle tale went on to reveal that Mister Cruise employs personal valets for his mother and sisters as he did for third ex-Missus Holmes when they were still married and that he requires potential household staff "undergo rigorous testing at the Scientology Celebrity Center in Los Angeles" that includes emergency situation hypotheticals and a battery of math questions.

Listen children, no one thinks Tom Cruise is a bizarro bird who lives in a ridiculously insular and cosseted world more than Your Mama. But, let's get real, okay? He's an internationally renown superstar actor and we really can't poo-poo him for not wanting his scullery maids lurking around in his dressing room or for wanting his estate manager to know how to do basic math.

Mister Cruise and his now third ex-wife Katie Holmes purchased the gated and heavily fortified estate with its almost 11,000 square foot main residence back in April 2007 for $30,500,000 from Platinum Triangle super-Realtor Kurt Rappaport.

In other semi real estate related Tom Cruise news, at least one report out of the U.K. say six year old Suri Cruise will recieve several expensive Christmas gifts this year including a $24,000 Victorian-style play house, an iPad mini, a fur coat by Chloé and "a £6,000 children's version of a Mercedes-Benz car." We're not sure how the Daily Mail knows this, but there you have it...

aerial photo: Pacific Coast News

Monday Mish Mash: Nate Berkus

The New York Post reported over the weekend that nice-gay New York City-based interior decorator and former television host turned book writer turned home goods tycoon Nate Berkus has packed his designer bags and decamped for Tinseltown where—so the story goes—he bought a fancy Mercedes and snagged a house in the Hollywood Hills all in the same day.

The westward move was reportedly and at least partly motivated—so the story goes—by his budding romance with a fella named Jeremiah Brent, another nice-gay decorator best known by reality television watchers as the square jawed and gel haired former assistant of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe.

As far as we know, Mister Berkus continues to own at least two apartments in lower Manhattan that include a one bedroom pied a terre on Downing Street—bought in 2006 for $550,000—and a much more substantial 3,000 square foot terraced duplex in a well-maintained 19th century walk-up building just off Fifth Avenue in the Greenwich Village that he bought in 2011 for $3,350,000, worked over but good with sleek glass and metal partitions, antique marble mantels and vintage Belgian hardware and then—natch—had photographed for the the high-gloss pages of the November 2012 issue of Architectural Digest.

Mister Berkus also still owns a nearly 4,000 square foot condo crib in Chicago (above) that he bought back in July 2003 for $1,500,000. Since the design dynamo put his no longer needed three bedroom and four bathroom spread in Chi-town up for sale in early 2011 for $2,650,000 there have been no fewer than five price reductions that have plummeted the price to its current $1,890,000.

listing photos (Chicago): Baird & Warner