Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Celeb R.E.: NoHo Native Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox Purchase Bing Crosby's Carriage House in Toluca Lake




Image courtesy John Aaroe Group
Back on June 23, 2014, the faboulous folks at Trulia Luxe Living revealed that Beverly Hills 90210 star, Brian Austin Green, and his wife of Transformers fame, Megan Fox, purchased the Bing Crosby Carriage house in Toluca Lake for $3,350,000 on June 10, 2014. 

Since they duo purchased Crosby's carriage house which by definition was typically a small building housing coaches and carriage, this means that the original Bing Crosby home is located next door which was discussed on this blog when it last changed hands in December 2011 for $4.020 million. I am not sure how much of the original carriage home remains today so hopefully it hasnt changed much since the 30's. 

The home measures 4 Beds/6 Baths on 6,710 sqft on a total lot size of 0.96 acres built in 1936. The listing description states:
Bing Crosby's original Carriage House situated on approximately an acre. 100' curving driveway leads you between gorgeous century old oak trees and olive trees to a contemporary ranch house. No expense spared with a remodel in 2008. This 6,710 sq. ft. (not including the 563 sq. ft. pool house) one story home is an architectural wonder. The main room is a spacious area with exposed beams and quartz slate floors. The kitchen has an Australian opal granite island that offers seating. Formal dining room on a Brazilian cherry hardwood floor. The library provides ample shelf space and an electric skylight. The recreation room is ideal for indoor activity. Master suite includes a 2nd story loft of 600+/- Sq. Ft. and separate his and hers dressing rooms and bathrooms. Sonos Sound System for entire property. The back yard features a saline pool and jacuzzi, and a fire pit. Spacious pool house with its own kitchen and bathroom.
Fox/Green are in the middle of unloading their Los Feliz mansion which was also discussed at Trulia Luxe Living back on May 27, 2014 which helps explain the reason for the new home purchase in addition to Fox/Green's newest son born on February 12, 2014. 

Image courtesy Bing Maps
Most people may not know this but Green is a valley native born in Van Nuys and was raised in North Hollywood not too far from his new home. And as a matter of fact, the home he was raised in is still owned by his parents George and Joyce Green. The home (shown above) measures 2 Beds/1 Bath on 1,276 sqft on a total lot size of 6,750 sqft built in 1932 and was purchased on November 27, 1972 for $37,000 (yes, $37,000!) about 9 months before Green was born. Green also attended North Hollywood high school and I am also guessing the local area schools as well. 

And on a related note, Brian Austin Green is the third 90210 star to live in the Toluca Lake area with Jennie Garth living in a Paul Williams designed home previously owned by Tex and John Ritter and later sold on April 24, 2013 for $3.99 million to The Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Pray discussed here. Also, Jason Priestly lived in Toluca Lake but sold his home on April 24, 2014 for $2 million and moved to Studio City paying $2,720,000 on May 12, 2014. 

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here

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Former Toluca Lake Yacht Club Home Hits the Market

Image courtesy Deasy/Penner & Partners
4 Beds/3 Baths on 2,593 sqft on a total lot size of 0.32 acres built in 1948 in Toluca Lake. The home is currently listed for sale at $1,450,000 which was first listed on June 9, 2014 and almost had a buyer but that didnt pan out with the house heaved back on the market on July 28, 2014.  

I am not going to lie but never heard about this one and according to the listing, this home was known as the Toluca Lake Yacht Club which formerly a restaurant/bar known as the Boathouse frequented by stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Bob Hope, Howard Hughes, and Frankie Avalon. Kinda hard to believe this was a popular hangout in a residential neighborhood but trusting the seller and listing agent with this infomation. 

The listing description states:
Situated on what was originally 10 acres of land called the Toluca Lake Yacht Club, this ranch-style compound was formerly a restaurant/bar known as the Boathouse - a local hotspot frequented by stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Bob Hope, Howard Hughes and Frankie Avalon. Aside from the main residence, the property includes a studio/office, guest house, pool and large lot with fruit trees; a unique rehab/investment opportunity.
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Celeb R.E.: The Michael Jackson Estate Finally Purchases Calabasas Mansion for Mother and Kids






Back on June 24, 2014, the always informative Lauren Beale at LAT Hot Property revealed that the Michael Jackson estate purchased the Calabasas home for Katherine Jackson (84 year old mother of the late Michael Jackson) for $10.75 million that she had been renting for about $26,000 per month since December 2010 for her grandchildren including MJ's kids; Prince Michael I, Paris Katherine, and Prince Michael II (aka "Blanket"). 

At the time of this writing, the property records dont show a change of hands but the LAT mentioned that the seller was Kassabian Design Build who first built the Tuscan style home based on a trip to Tuscany, Italy that inspired the designer, Diko Kassabian. 

The home measures 7 Beds/11 Baths on 12,670 sqft on a total lots size of 0.88 acres built in 2008. The listing description used at the time it was first listed back on July 2011:
THE ESTATES AT THE OAKS. MAGNIFICENT CUSTOM MEDITERRANEAN WITH PANORAMIC VIEWS. PRIME LOCATION ON THE TOP STREET. FEATURES FULL GUESTHOUSE, CUSTOM THEATRE, PANELED STUDY, LOFT/GAME ROOM, WINE ROOM WITH REFRIGERATED CELLAR & BAR, STELLAR GOURMET KITCHEN W/PROFESSIONAL QUALITY APPLIANCES, SUPERB MASTER WITH HIS & HER BATHS, PRIVATE PATIO & HUGE CUSTOM CLOSETS. SUPERBLY FINISHED THROUGHOUT. THE IRON/GLASS ENTRY DOORS OPEN INTO A WORLD OF ELEGANCE. AMENITIES INCL. A GORGEOUS DOUBLE STAIRCASE, LIMESTONE & HICKORY FLOORS, ALDER DOORS/CABINETS, STEAM SHOWER, SAUNA, ELEVATOR, CRESTRON HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM, 5-CAR GARAGE, 5-PATIOS, BBQ CENTER, DISAPPEARING GLASS DOORS THAT OPEN TO SWEEPING VIEWS, PUTTING GREEN, SPARKLING POOL, LUSH LANDSCAPING & MORE.
The Jackson family moved to this Calabasas home after the infamous Hayvenhurst house was undergoing renovation with the plan for the family to move back but that never happened so I am now wondering what is going on with probably the most famous house in Encino.  I talked at length about the Jackson family in living in the SFV including Calabasas back in 2011 here

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Celeb R.E.: Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays Flip Another Home in Sherman Oaks

Image courtesy Coldwell Banker
Back on June 11, 2014, the always informative Lauren Beale at LAT Hot Property revealed that celebrities turned house flippers Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen have flipped a Sherman Oaks modern property on the market on June 9, 2014 for $1,299,000 which was later sold on July 24, 2014 for $1,330,000. The $31,000 increase from the listing price is a strong indication of the demand for flipped homes as well as a validation for the Pays/Bernsen design tastes although I would have preferred more cabinets in the kitchen. This could also be a sign that the housing market top is near when celebrities are making money in the real estate flipping game. 

The home measures 3 Beds/2 Baths on 1,725 sqft on a total lot size of 9,894 sqft built in 1961. The listing description states:  
Another gorgeous reclaimed home by the Pays/Bernsen team. Approach the house up the decomposed granite path, past the olive trees & lavender to walk through the doors of this newly renovated contemporary and find your inner peace. The zen like vibe along with the muted tones and amazing views allow you to feel miles from the city yet this retreat sits minutes to the Westside or Valley. With 3 beds and 2 baths, gray hued wood floors throughout, new doors & windows, reclaimed wood "barn" door and accents, Cesar stone counters & European appliances this home has it all. Beautiful Master (added with permits) seems to float in the canyon and has a large walk in closet & bath. Must been seen to fully appreciate the details. Large yard with room for a pool.
Pays/Bernsen purchased this property for $730,000 on January 10, 2014 which was previously owned by the same owner for more than 30+ years and in dire need of TLC. Based on the selling price, Pays/Bernsen profited $600,000 before expenses. So even if they paid $300,000 to renovate, carrying costs, taxes, commissions, etc, they still made a decent $300,000 net profit. 

Corbin Bernsen is an actor best known for his role as divorce attorney Arnold Becker, on L.A. Law. Bernsen is a SFV native born in North Hollywood. Bernsen's wife, Amanda Pays, is also an actress with various TV and film roles. Bernsen and Pays have owned homes in Valley Glen, Encino, Sherman Oaks, and possibly Studio City, Burbank, Van Nuys, and Glendale.Their previous flip was a Valley Glen home that sold on March 3, 2014 for $900,000 bringing in a gross profit of $215,000 which was briefly discussed here.  

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here
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Filming Locations: Blazing Saddles (1974)


Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Bergman's story and draft. The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, and is ranked No. 6 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Laughs list.
Brooks appears in multiple supporting roles, including Governor William J. Le Petomane and a Yiddish-speaking Indian chief. The supporting cast also includes Slim Pickens, Alex Karras, and David Huddleston, as well as Brooks regulars Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, and Harvey Korman. Bandleader Count Basie has a cameo as himself.
The film satirizes the racism obscured by myth-making Hollywood accounts of the American West, with the hero being a black sheriff in an all-white town. The film is full of deliberate anachronisms, from the Count Basie Orchestra playing "April in Paris" in the Wild West, to Slim Pickens referring to the Wide World of Sports, to the German army of World War II (Wikipedia). 
You can view more SFV Filming Locations here

Although Blazing Saddles was mostly filmed in Santa Clarita, Vasquez Rocks, and in the Warner Brothers Studios, there is one memorable scene at the end of the movie where the townsfolk and Lamarr's army break the "fourth wall" with the fight spilling over to Buddy Bizarre's musical and then onto the 4300 block of Olive Avenue in Burbank which looks very much the same today. 









And the trailer:
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Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley, ca. 1970 - 1990 at CSUN Art Gallery

Exhibit Poster: People in Cars, North Hollywood, 1970 by Mike Mandel. Image courtesy CSUN exhibit website.
Check out this cool new exhibit at CSUN's Art Gallery available from August 25 - October 11, 2014:

More info from website:

Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando
Valley, ca. 1970-1990


August 25 – October 11, 2014

Public Reception: Saturday, September 6  4-7pm
Curator Talk:  Monday, September 15  10am
Panel Discussion:  Saturday, Sept 27 1pm
Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley, ca. 1970-1990 examines for the first time the unique contribution of the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles’ art history.  
Curated by Professor Damon Willick of Loyola Marymount, the exhibition and its accompanying catalog look beyond the stereotypes of the Valley as little more than a suburban cultural wasteland, and, instead, offer an alternative narrative documenting the Valley’s unrecognized yet substantial role in LA’s emergence as a center of contemporary art activity. 

Oscar Mayer Weinger Mascot Meetings, 1974 by Jeffrey Vallance. Image courtesy CSUN exhibit website.
People and Their Favorite Objects, 1972 by Joe Messinger. Image courtesy CSUN exhibit website.
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Celeb R.E.: ER and Life Goes On Star Kellie Martin Lists and Sells Two Studio City Homes


Images courtesy Keller Williams
The always informative Lauren Beale at LA Times Hot Property revealed back on June 5, 2014 that veteran actress, Kellie Martin, listed her Studio City home (Martin has long called Studio City home which I will explain in this post) on the market on March 10, 2014 for $2,399,000 and was reduced to $1,999,500 on June 5, 2014. Martin is best known for her acting roles on the TV series Life Goes On, Christy, ER, and Mystery Woman.  

The home measures 4 Beds/4.25 Baths on 4,018 sqft on a total lot size of 0.41 acres built in 1946. The listing description states: 
Fabulous, gated & secluded mini estate in prestigious Fryman Canyon area of Studio City on a cul-de-sac street. Main house is loaded with old-world charm, yet features modern amenities and is surrounded by mature, lush trees, and sweet jasmine. This oasis boasts 3 bedrooms plus an den/office, 3.5 bathrooms, family room w/ fireplace & adjacent sun room, breakfast nook and formal dining room. There is a sparking salt water swimming pool, a separate grassy play yard, a large deck great for entertaining, a potential wine cellar and an enormous, fully-loaded guest house. This one-of-a-kind, custom home must be seen to be fully appreciated. Hardwood floors, handmade Italian tile counter tops in the cheerful kitchen & top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances which include SubZero refrigerator, Viking stove, Bosch dishwasher and GE wine cooler. Competitively priced to please your most discriminating buyer! If you are looking for quality & integrity of construction w/ great indoor/outdoor living space, this home is for you! Close (walking distance) to the Fryman Canyon hiking area, Carpenter school, post-office, etc. , easy drive to shops and food (sushi row) on bustling Ventura Blvd.
Martin first purchased this home for $840,000 on February 25, 1999 which based on the current asking price, Martin stands to gain $1,159,500 in profit before any taxes, commissions, carrying costs, and renovation expenses.



Images courtesy Rodeo Realty
Previous to the home mentioned above, Martin called another Studio City home (shown above) that was sold for $1.055 million on July 11, 2014 which was originally listed for $1,299,000 on March 31, 2014. I am guessing this Studio City home was converted into a rental or for family purposes after Martin acquired the home featured at the top of this post.

The home measures 4 Beds/3 Baths on 2,206 sqft on a total lot size of 0.27 acres built in 1950. The listing description states:
New Price Reduction. South of the blvd single story pool home with guest house is located in the highly desirable Carpenter school district. This warm & inviting 3bd 3ba main house includes a quaint master bedroom with a cozy brick fireplace & large walk-in closet. Large separate family room is light & bright with skylights, french doors, and dual fireplace. Open living room with attached dining area offers traditional hardwood floors & fireplace. Remodeled kitchen includes granite counters, travertine floors & Bosch cooktop. The spacious 1bed 1ba guest house is fully equipped with new granite counters, updated stove, and lots of cabinets for storage. The large back yard includes a sparkling pool, spa, fruit trees, and covered patio. Perfect for entertaining! Located on a fabulous tree lined street with wonderful curb-side appeal. Close to Fryman Canyon Park, Shops, & School. Great location to access to Westside, Studios, & Beverly Hills. Seller is Motivated!
The home was originally purchased on June 14, 1994 for $301,818 about 5 months after the 1994 Northridge earthquake which was a great time to purchase real estate in SoCal as "everyone was leaving to avoid earthquakes" on top of the damage to the local economy. Martin profited $753,182 before expenses on this home so even if she had spent $200K in renovations over the years, she would stand to make a decent $250K before taxes, commissions, and any other expenses. 

Image courtesy Sotheby's International Realty
Prior to the previous Studio City home mentioned, Martin was living in a Studio City condo (shown above) that measures 3 Beds/2.75 Baths on 2,277 sqft built in 1991. Martin purchased the condo for $300,000 on April 3, 13, 1992 on the tail end of the 80's R.E. bubble and sold at an $85,000 loss on May 30, 1997. The property records also list Kellie's mom, Deborah, as an owner. The condo recently sold on October 23, 2013 for $615,000. The most recent listing description states:
This spacious 3 bedroom 3 bath Studio City condo located on a quiet tree lined street across from single family homes with almost 2,300 sq. ft. of living space, is a dream come true. Featuring two levels the first floor offers a huge oversized living room with fireplace and dining area, large eat-in kitchen and one bedroom and one bath. There are bedrooms and two baths on the second floor. The spacious master has a large walk-in closet, fireplace and en suite master bath with separate shower and spa tub. The eat-in kitchen features beautifully maintained tile counters, wood cabinets, in unit washer / dryer and overlooks the courtyard. Other features include wood floors, 9~~~ ceilings, plantation shutters, recessed lights, fresh paint, newly installed carpet, central heat and a/c, rec. room, sauna, and alarm system. Centrally located moments to great schools, parks, Ventura Blvd. and much more, this is the condo you have been dreaming about.
You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here
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Celeb R.E.: Dark Knight Producer Thomas Tull Lists Calabasas Home



Image courtesy RE/MAX Olsen
The always informative Lauren Beale at LA Times Hot Property revealed back on May 30, 2014 that CEO of Legendary Pictures, Thomas Tull, listed his Calabasas mansion for $11.5 million which at the time of writing this post has been reduced to $9,995,000 on July 8, 2014. Tull is best known for producing the Batman Dark Knight trilogy, The Hangover series, 300, Man of Steel, and others. Tull is also a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The home measures 5 Beds/10.5 Baths on 14,218 sqft on a total lot size of 0.90 acres built in 2006. The listing description states:
THE absolute premier estate in guard gated Estates Of The Oaks! A true one of a kind French Country masterpiece! Ideally set at the end of a cul-de-sac and sitting on nearly an acre of magnificent landscaped grounds is this approximately 15,000 sq. ft grand estate built with no expense spared. Among the homes many attributes are a separate self contained guest house, exquisite center island kitchen plus separate chefs kitchen, state of the art screening room/ theater, two story formal library, two separate offices, bonus/game room, temp controlled wine cellar and tasting room, children's theater, first class gym with sauna and more! Located on the main level is the grand master suite which is graced with two fireplaces, sitting and dressing rooms, his and hers bathrooms and walk in closets. The resort quality grounds provide a pool and spa, outdoor kitchen and massive manicured lawns. Video surveillance, smart home system, solar, 4 car garage, circular driveway and more, complete one of Southern California's finest estates!
The home was originally purchased as land on August 3, 2005 for $2,270,000 and I am guessing Tull spent a $3 - $5 million building the home so based on the current asking price, he could possibly earn a few million on the sale of this home.  

So the $64,000 question is, where is Tull heading to next and will he still call the SFV home?

You can view more SFV Celeb R.E. here
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Fredonia Apartment #6 by Ray Kappe in Studio City Hits the Market

Images courtesy Deasy/Penner & Partners
3625 Fredonia Drive #6
2 Beds/2 Baths on 1,063 sqft built in 1963 in Studio City and listed for $495,000 on July 19, 2014. This home was previoulsy purchased at the peak of the last housing bubble on May 2, 2006 for $522,000 so looks like the seller will be taking a small loss. Apartment #9 sold last year on March 4, 2013 for $453,000 which was blogged about here

Ray Kappe was born in 1927 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1972, he left the Department of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona to start the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) with a group of faculty and students. He has designed many mid-century modern homes in the Southern California with a good number in the SFV area including the Strimling Residence in Encino discussed on this blog. You can view his complete list of accomplishments at favorite architecture site Triangle Modernist Houses and LA Curbed.

The listing description states:
Updated 2 bed / 2 bath unit in Ray Kappe designed building close to Ventura Boulevard, Universal City & Studios, shops & restaurants of Studio City, and Hollywood Bowl and downtown Hollywood. Kitchen and baths recently updated and washer/dryer hook-up installed in the unit. Unit is close to a sunny pool with adjacent verdant hillside. Well maintained 12-unit building with 1 covered parking spot (additional spot may be available), and guest parking.
 You can view more SFV Architecture and Real Estate here.











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