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Celeb. R.E. NBA Star Earl Watson Lists Burglarized Encino Mansion At A Loss

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 / No Comments
Watson image courtesy ESPN/Listing pictures courtesy Douglas Elliman


Back on April 8, 2015, the always informative folks at LA Times Hot Property revealed that former NBA and UCLA star, Earl Watson has listed his Encino mansion for $3.899 million on April 8, 2015 which was relisted again on July 27, 2015 at the much lower reduced price of $3.595,000.

Considering that Earl Watson purchased for $4 million on June 25, 2010, this means that at the current asking price, Watson is looking at a loss of on $405,000 not even factoring commissions, carrying costs, and any renovation expenses. Also consider that Watson has been trying to sell this property on and off again since June 2010 when it first hit the market for $4.550 million. 

The home measures 6 Beds/8.5 Baths on 8,573sqft on a total lot size of 0.27 acres built in 1936. The listing description states:
Set behind large gates in a private setting, this beautiful Tuscan Villa is the perfect for home for entertaining. This sprawling estate boasts over 8,500 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, screening room with bar, office, and French doors throughout. The spacious eat-in kitchen opens to the family room and features Viking appliances, two islands, and a walk-in pantry. The formal dining room has a private wine room and the bright formal living room includes a custom fireplace and access to the lush grounds. The generous master suite has dual walk-in closets, a sitting area, fireplace, and a private terrace that overlooks the serene backyard. The spa-like master bath is complete with dual vanities, a custom shower, tub, and balcony. The expansive outdoor space with a pool & spa, built-in barbecue, outdoor dining, multiple seating areas, and guesthouse complete this resort-like compound.
The timing of the sale might be motivated by  a home invasion that took place back on February 23, 2015. Watson was renting the home to an elderly couple who were robbed by at least 4 men in ski masks while the elderly couple were handcuffed. The robbers stole various items including cash and still remain at large.

In addition to the Encino home, Watson owns two Kansas City, MO homes and one Denver, CO home.

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here.  

Vagabond Motor Hotel in Woodland Hills Postcard

Friday, July 24, 2015 / No Comments


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Alfalfa Ranch in Burbank Postcard

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El Rancho Motel in Burbank Postcard

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Celeb R.E.: Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays Sell Valley Village Personal Residence

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Bernsen/Pays image courtesy Wikipedia/Alan Light; listing pics courtesy Coldwell Banker

Back on April 1, 2015, the always informative folks at LA Times Hot Property revealed that celebrity real estate flippers, Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays, have sold their Valley Village personal residence and their Toluca Lake flipping investment. Bernsen is an actor best known for his role as divorce attorney, "Arnold Becker" on L.A. Law while Pays is also an actress with various TV and Film roles. 

Starting with the Valley Village personal residence (shown above) which was purchased on January 11, 2001 for $900K and first listed on April 2, 2015 for $2,399,000 and sold on June 5, 2015 for $2,255,000 representing a gain of $1,355,000 not factoring renovation expenses, commission, carrying fees, etc. 

The home measures 4 Beds/4.25 Baths on 3,340 sqft on a total lot size of 0.27 acres built in 1936. The listing description states:
Purchased it in 2011 with a complete and gorgeous renovation this is a one of a kind spectacular Pays Bernsen offering. The main house is 3 bedrooms with an office, screening room, den and formal living room but the open kitchen/dining room that leads out to the European inspired backyard and pool is the heart of the home. Polished concrete and wood floors, amazing iron floor to ceiling windows and doors give it a style of it's own thatthat must be seen. The "barn" guesthouse a separate building in back with its own bathroom, has been turned into the most amazing bunkhouse for older children but could be used any way you want . At 669 sq ft it would be amazing offices, pool house with loft or whatever your family needs.
Bernsen/Pays image courtesy Wikipedia/Alan Light; listing pics courtesy Coldwell Banker
Moving onto the Toluca Lake flip (shown above) which was first reported by LA Times on April 10, 2015 was purchased on December 4, 2014 for $875,000 and first listed on April 6, 2015 for $1,499,000 and sold on May 28, 2015 for $1.4 million representing a gain of $525K not factoring renovation expenses, commission, carrying fees, etc.

The home measures 3 Beds/2 Baths on 2,039 sqft on a total lot size of 6,808 sqft built in 1945. The listing description states:
Beautifully elegant, new crisp and clean modern traditional renovation in Toluca Lake. Walk through the gated and private front yard to this 3 bedroom 2 bathroom oasis. With a massive open kitchen/dining room that centers on the fireplace and opens on both sides to the manicured gardens. Woodfloors, formal living room, fabulous master with walk in and ensuite and 2 other family bedrooms. Beautiful private yard with pool and spa. Nothing has been left untouched. Bring your suitcase and move in.
As mentioned before, Bernsen and Pays have flipped homes before in including a Sherman Oaks and Valley Village home discussed on this blog in 2014. The LA Times article mentioned that Bernsen/Pays were selling their personal residence to move to a smaller home in the hills which will be their next project. 

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here.

BTTF# 29: Toto's Van Nuys Garage that Created Musical Legends and A Small Tribute to Mike Porcaro

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 / No Comments

Marty McFly here to take you on a special journey to explore the former garage that started the careers of the legendary 80's band, Toto, located at 13608 Valleyheart Drive Sherman Oaks (commonly referred to as Van Nuys. Note: this address is unconfirmed which I will explain below).  The Delorean has the required plutonium plus some random garbage in the Mr. Fusion reactor ready for this trip. The time circuits are set to sometime in the late 60's to early 70's and the flux capacitor is......fluxxing. The engine is running (not stalled this time) so we need to hurry. Hang on, as the ride can be a little bumpy as we travel back in time.

In the late 60's to early 70's, the Porcaro brothers consisting of drummer Jeff (b. 1954), bassist Mike (b. 1955), and keyboardist Steve (b. 1957) learned their musical craft under their father, Joe, who was a noted session percussionist. They all attended Grant High School on Oxnard St in what was then Van Nuys or today's Valley Glen.

They were actually born in South Windsor, Connecticut but at some point moved to the SFV where they were raised. One notable location is 13608 Valleyheart Drive with the lovely LA River in their backyard where Joe converted the family's garage into a musical studio.  The Van Nuys garage was instrumental in starting the careers of the Porcaro brothers as well as fellow friends that practiced after school everyday to perfect their musical skills.

There is very little anecdotal information or even pictures that I can find about the garage except for a small mention by Jeff's Grant High classmate, Mercy Baron, at the toto99.com site who stated, "I algo got to hang at the Porcaro household and jam with his brothers and his dad when they lived on Valleyheart Dr. in Sherman Oaks." To confirm that Mercy Baron's statement was legitimate, I found an August 17, 1992 LA Times article by Sam Enriquez titled, Rock 'n' Roll High School: Van Nuys: The Death of Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro prompts Grant Alumni to Reminisce About a Campus Bursting with Musical Talent in the Early 70's, which quoted Mercy Baron describing Jeff in high school as a tribute after he suddenly died in August 1992.

The key address information provided by Baron was confirmed on another site at guitars101.com by a poster named "joe_schmoe"who stated that "The Porcaros most famous house house was the one in Sherman Oaks on Valleyheart but when they first moved to L.A., the Porcaros lived on Milbank near Studio City park" (I wasnt able to find the Studio City house).

So the next challenge was finding the actual street number based on the information above which I was able to find through online research databases but I wasnt able to confirm ownership because online property records typically dont go back to the 70's/80's when Joe Porcaro owned the home. My guess is that Joe purchased sometime in the 70's and sold in the early 80's to the current owners who have been long time owners that I am not able to confirm when they purchased. So at this time, the address is not confirmed but there is a good chance this is correct based on the strong evidence referencing Valleyheart Drive mentioned above.

There is nothing grand about the house as it measures 3 Beds/2 Baths on 2,298 sqft on a total lot size of 0.37 acres built in 1947. As I mentioned before, the garage was converted to a music studio which still exists till this day as a converted garage but not sure if anything from the music studio remains. If it did, that would be awesome! While the house seems ordinary and is your typical SFV ranch home, it was once bustling with musical activity and legends were being bred. Would have loved to be a fly on that wall. The LA Times article mentioned above provided a small glimpse of the Porcaro home,
"We played at the Porcaros' every day after school, said Steve Lukather, 34, Toto guiarist and a respected studio session veteran. "Jeff's dad was a top percussionist and his enthusiasm rubbed off on everybody. He was always saying, 'Come on, guys,' and make sure the guys were practicing."
And another quote from Jolene Porcaro Duddy (sister of Porcaro borthers) at totoweb.net:
The TOTO boys were a part of my life for many years, long before they were "TOTO". Everyday when I would come home from grammar school and middle school, the boys were in our garage rehearsing. First it was Jeff & Paich's band, RURAL STILL LIFE and then Steve and Luke's band, STILL LIFE. I was always allowed to hang with them if my friends and I kept quiet! As I approached middle school, Jeff and Mike were starting to tour with various artists and recorded on many albums as well. I missed them so much but was so lucky to still have Steve P living at home. I literally would fall asleep every night to Still Life rehearsing. By the time I hit high school, all three boys were gone on the road. For my 16th birthday, they surprised me and took me out on the road with them for a weekend of music festivals. They were all playing with Boz Scaggs. My three bros and my other two, Paich & Luke. A weekend that I will never forget! They opened for Elton John & Kiki Dee!!! When they finally formed TOTO, I was a senior in high school and before their first album was released, I had already gotten a personalized license plate for my car -TOTOFAN !
By 1972, Jeff got his big break and was signed on to work with Sonny and Cher immediately after graduation. During his 20's, he played on hundreds of albums including several for Steely Dan and touring with Boz Scaggs. In 1977, Jeff began discussing with David Paich (who attended Grant and Chaminade High) the possibility of starting a band which he formed with brother, Steve, guitarist Steve Lukather, and bassist, David Hungate.

Image courtesy Best Classic Bands
The rest is as they say history as Toto would go on to release 17 albums selling over 35 million albums at the time of this writing. The band has won several Grammys and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009. They are best known for their 80's hit songs "Africa," "Rosanna," and "Hold the Line" which are shown below.

Its now time to jump into the Delorean and head back to the future to check out the former Porcaro garage that started the legendary Toto band.



On a related note, this post was written as a small tribute to Mike Porcaro who passed away on March 15, 2015 at the age of 50 due to a long battle with ALS. Mike joined in 1983 as the bassist and played until 2007 when ALS started to affect his playing ability.

And on another related note, I cant end without talking about the current homes of Toto band members starting with David Paich who owns a double lot mansion in Calabasas and was previously living in Sherman Oaks.

Steve Lukather lives in Studio City that has been possibly owned since 1979.

David Hungate currently lives in Nashville but I wasnt able to find his SFV locations so I am guessing he left a long time ago.

Mike Porcaro lived in Valley Village where his wife still resides and was previously living in North Hollywood.

Steve Porcaro lives in Valley Village and was previously living in a Sherman Oaks home.

Jeff Porcaro was living in Hidden Hills. His wife, Susan, married the CEO of Tupperware, Everett Vernon Goings and relocated to Windmere, Florida.

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"Africa"

"Rosanna." A young Patrick Swayze can be seen in the music video for "Rosanna" who also happened to be a Sylmar resident. 

Hold the Line

Sources:

Toto99 site.....Mercy Baron mention of Valleyheart Drive

August 17, 1992 LA Times article by Sam Enriquez titled, Rock 'n' Roll High School: Van Nuys: The Death of Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro prompts Grant Alumni to Reminisce About a Campus Bursting with Musical Talent in the Early 70's,

Guitars 101 site mentioning Valleyheart Drive

Drummer World article about Jeff Porcaro

TMZ article for Mike Porcaro's death

Best Classic Bands article for Jeff Porcaro

Totoweb.ent

Celeb R.E.: Talent Agent Rick Rosen Flips Encino Home at a Loss

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 / No Comments
Rosen image courtesy Rubenstein Flickr; house images courtesy Dilbeck Real Estate

Back on March 31, 2015, the always hilarious, Your Mama, at the Variety Realestalker, revealed that talent agent to the stars, Rick Rosen, has flipped an Encino home for $5,337,500 on May 26, 2015. Rosen purchased on July 29, 2014 for $5.7 million and appears to have taken a $362,500 loss not factoring any other expenses on the home like renovations, carrying costs, and commissions.

Rosen was the co-founder of the Endeavor Talent Agency along 3 others in March 1995. They recently merged with the William Morris Agency in April 2009 to create William Morris Endeavor. The Endeavor Talent Agency was the inspiration of the HBO Entourage series. Rosen represents notable talk show hosts,  Conan O'Brien and Larry King in addition to a number of other individuals working in the industry. 

Moving on to the home which measures 6 Bed/8 Baths on 7,753 sqft on a total lot size of 0.4 acres built in 2014. The listing description states in great detail:

This custom designed and built estate by Rauber Homes in the celebrated Royal Oaks section of Encino is exquisitely detailed and carefully crafted, taking nearly 3 years from design inception to completion. It provides a feeling of old-world grace and serenity while tastefully incorporating exquisite modern fixtures and individual finishes.
Upon entering you are instantly surrounded by natural warm light, which is present throughout the whole house. The stately public rooms include living room, formal dining room and library with built-ins and book case ladder. This area is also pre-wired for a screening room if desired. The spacious family room with its striking brick fireplace is neighboring the expansive and elegantly appointed artesian kitchen with Wolf/ Subzero appliances and a custom handcrafted 6? stainless steel hood. The huge working center island with additional farm sink, three dishwashers, coffee bar and beverage center give ample room for entertaining or family time. A walk in pantry and service porch along with the bright windowed leather breakfast banquet and wood desk complete this area. Also on this level is the stunning wine room connecting the family room/kitchen area to the formal dining room, as well as the outside loggia with unique fireplace, TV wiring and alfresco dining. The sun filled back staircase, tucked away maid's quarters/additional guest room and a useful mudroom complete the first floor.
Upstairs there are five generously proportioned en suite bedrooms including the beautiful master suite with large cozy fireplace and expansive French doors leading to your private deck overlooking the entire back yard and pool. This area has his/hers totally separate bathrooms, each including steam shower, heated floors, as well as their own spacious walk-in closet.
The house incorporates magnificent mill and cabinetwork along with beautifully unique stone and tile applications throughout. The floors are richly stained walnut evoking a bygone era, yet this home operates smartly and efficiently with the most up to date systems such as alarm, security cameras, tank less water heaters, water conditioner, smart phone capability, central vacuum and speakers in most rooms. 
The outside evokes equally thoughtful design. The private and park like grounds with lush landscaping, beautiful outdoor kitchen with concrete fire pit, terrace with its own fireplace, saline pool/spa with electric cover plus hot and cold shower/changing room are some of the features you will find. Gracious and grand, yet warm and inviting with impeccable attention to every detail well describes this estate.
Upstairs there are five generously proportioned en suite bedrooms including the beautiful master suite with large cozy fireplace and expansive French doors leading to your private deck overlooking the entire back yard and pool. This area has his/hers totally separate bathrooms, each including steam shower, heated floors, as well as their own spacious walk-in closet.
The house incorporates magnificent mill and cabinetwork along with beautifully unique stone and tile applications throughout. The floors are richly stained walnut evoking a bygone era, yet this home operates smartly and efficiently with the most up to date systems such as alarm, security cameras, tank less water heaters, water conditioner, smart phone capability, central vacuum and speakers in most rooms. 
The outside evokes equally thoughtful design. The private and park like grounds with lush landscaping, beautiful outdoor kitchen with concrete fire pit, terrace with its own fireplace, saline pool/spa with electric cover plus hot and cold shower/changing room are some of the features you will find. Gracious and grand, yet warm and inviting with impeccable attention to every detail well describes this estate. 
Rosen also owns a Santa Barbara home in the exclusive Montecito area that was purchased in 2009 which appears to be his vacation home with a main home located in the Bel Air area that was purchased in 1999. 

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here