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Catherine Mulholland Exhibit Opens At CSUN Library

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 / No Comments
After Catherine Mulholland passed away on July 7, 2011 which we discussed here, she had a huge collection of personal artifacts from her family (most notably, William Mulholland, inventor of the LA River Aqueduct System) and the San Fernando Valley in general. Well, all those relics, photographs, documents, and even clothes are now available for viewing at the CSUN Library.

The L.A. Daily News got a sneak peak and compiled a video below. There is also an article, Catherine Mulholland Collection at CSUN Gives Look At Storied Family, History by Bob Strauss, on September 18, 2011. To quote from the article:
I'm hoping that, in addition to telling the personal story of the Mulholland family and telling the story of how the San Fernando Valley came to be, that people who come to the exhibit will see their own history and the part their families might have played in this story," Lovich said.
Really excited to see this in the coming days.


Celebrity Real Estate: Former Christopher Hart Home In Chatsworth's Roy Roger's Estates Area Sold

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 / No Comments
Hot off the MLS presses comes word of the former home of playright Christopher Hart (who is the son of playright Moss Hart and acctress Kitty Carlisle) in the San Fernando Valley's porn capital city of Chatsworth has just sold for $600,000 which was listed as a short sale. This property is also situated in the original Roy Roger's Ranch Estates before it got subdivided in the 60s and 70's. The property is located on Trigger St which pays homage to Roy's beloved horse, Trigger

Before we talk about this specific home, lets start off with the rich history of this property and area. Roy Rogers originally owned this land which was also discussed in the new San Fernando Valley book by Marc Wanamaker which I reviewed recently here. According to the book which also contains a nice photo of Roy's home:
In 1952, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans moved into their new home, which was located at 9839 Andora Avenue. The Rogers family became well known Chatsworth celebrities. Rogers always attended the horse shows or skeet shooting matches at the nearby shooting club. Chatsworth was a horse town. Rogers and Evans kept their horses near them and could be seen riding in the neighborhood. 
Courtesy of CSUN Digital Archives, The Aqua Sierra Sportsman's Club in Chatsworth circa 1955
Typing in the address above into a Google search will lead you to the entrance of the ranch but not the actual location of the ranch nor the size of the total property. So according to a map from wikimapia, the original ranch property consisting of some 300+ acres used to look like this which was next to the Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery and the Pioneer Church (HCM# 14) which Rogers provided funding to relocate to the Cemetery: 

The Rogers lived in this house from the the 50's to 1965 (which was built in 1938) consisting of 5,774 sqft with 6 Beds/6 Baths where it was eventually subdivided. According to an L.A. Times Article, Rogers' House a Chatsworth Landmark by Martha L. Willman on July 7, 1998:
Still visible in the terrazzo tile floor are the fading initials of Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, and six of their children.....After they lost a child in a bus accident on a church outing--their third child to die--the couple in 1965 sold the property, saying it held too many sad memories for them......The ranch was purchased by Eugene D. Kilmer--an industrialist, Valley real estate developer and father of actor Val Kilmer--who died in 1993 in dire financial straits following the real estate downturn during the recession. The senior Kilmer's wife, Senga, continued to live in the house but closed off all but a small portion because of her inability to care for it. 
So in 1965, the Rogers left for the Apple Valley and started the Roy Rogers' Double R Bar Ranch in Oro Grande which is about 10 miles northwest of Apple Valley. The Rogers owned this ranch up until Roy's death in 1998 which transferred to Roy Jr. who sold it to a family friend to be restored and is now available for sale. There was also a museum nearby in Victorville that was built in 1976, moved to Branson, Missouri in 2003 and closed in 2009. I remember seeing this museum off highway 15 onto Las Vegas. I never stopped by to visit this museum (which I now regret) because on the way up I was excited to get to Vegas and on my way back, well, you know, in a rush to get home for obvious reasons. On a side note, the Rogers lived in various locations in Southern California including Encino and Valencia according to the Movieland Directory

Courtesy of Postcardy: The Postcard Explorer
So back to Chatsworth, this huge ranch prior to being subdivided was a filming location used by Roy for many of his Western films with the recognizable rock formations in the background. Val Kilmer's dad purchased this property and I believe subdivided into the many homes that exist today which he appropriately named the streets after Dale and Trigger. I guess he didnt want to include Roy for some reason. Fortunately, the original house still remains which is where Val Kilmer grew up at 22801 Trigger Street which I believe he left sometime in the late 70's after graduating from Chatsworth High School to attend Juilliard School in New York City.  

I am not sure what has physically changed in the original home in terms of its size as it has had numerous sales transactions noted below. Based on the L.A. Times article by Willman noted above, it appears that Eugene Kilmer's wife, Senga owned it for some time and she may have subdivided the original estate. The estate is currently 3+ acres but homes located south of it were all built in 1996 vs. nearby homes of the ranch estate that were built in the 70's. There was a multi property sale in 1994 shown below suggesting that the land the homes occupy were originally part of Roger's estate. There was another multi-property sale in  2001 that could be other adjoining land. You can find exterior pics of the home today at this website. One other side note, Val Kilmer attended Chatsworth High School along with Kevin Spacey who also hung out near Trigger street (who also attended Northridge Military Academy and Canoga Park High School) and named his production company after it, Trigger Street Labs and Mare Winningham. The teacher of that drama department must have had the time of his life with those three future stars. 

Property History

Jul 26, 2001Sold (Public Records) 
This was part of a multi-property

Multi-Property Sale 
A sale in which more than one property was purchased simultaneously, resulting in a purchase price that may not accurately reflect the property's real value.
more info
$1,250,00016.6%/yrPublic Records
Jan 19, 2000Sold (Public Records)$990,00011.0%/yrPublic Records
Aug 24, 1995Sold (Public Records)$625,00023.1%/yrPublic Records
Oct 31, 1994Sold (Public Records) 
This was part of a multi-property

Multi-Property Sale 
A sale in which more than one property was purchased simultaneously, resulting in a purchase price that may not accurately reflect the property's real value.
more info
$527,918--Public Records

Based on a lookup of property records, John Swartzwelder purchased the property for $1,650,000 on Aug 9, 2001. Assuming my internet research is correct, Swartzwelder is an American comedy writer and novelist best known for his work on the Simpsons. He is a notorious recluse and according to Wikipedia, "When California passed an anti-smoking law, Swartzwelder bought the diner booth and installed it in his house, allowing him to continue his process in peace." So I wonder if one can find this booth in the old Roy Roger's estate today. 

We got off on a huge tangent here with respect to the subject property of this post. The reason being is that the original listing for this property mentioned that the home was originally owned by Val Kilmer. So we did some researching and could not verify which doesnt mean it is incorrect but some things dont make sense which makes us question that assertion. What we do know from above is that Val's father, Eugene, owned the Roy Roger's original estate home which is where Val grew up while attending high school. The home that just sold which is literally two houses down the street was built in 1978 which was around the time that Val attended Juilliards in NYC. I guess its possible that he returned back to Chatsworth when his acting career took off in the 80's and 90's (remember Kilmer in Top Gun, The Doors, Tombstone, and Willow) and wanted to be close to his parents and live right next door to the original Roy Roger estate home. I guess someone out there needs to contact Val Kilmer or his agent to confirm if he lived in this house. 

So now back to the subject property of this post. This home was purchased by Christopher Hart in May 1995 for $324,000 and sold 10 years later in September 2005 for $950,000 netting Hart a triple gain here. Pretty good timing there on Hart's part before the big real estate crash. You can read about Hart in an L.A Times article titled Like Father, Like Son? Sort Of by Daryl Miller on October 17, 1999 which also mentioned Hart being a resident of Chatsworth. The new buyer could not afford the property at $950,000 and sold its as a short sale for $600,000 in September 2011. So the bank took about a $300k loss from that original note. I guess it could have been worse. This property measures 4 Beds/4 Baths on 4,183 sqft that is tucked right into the Santa Susana mountains. The home has mountain and city views and had various updates. 

This post ended up being a lot longer and containing more content than I expected but that is perfectly fine with me as I was able to discover that the original Roy Roger's estate is still intact and nobody demolished it despite the entire ranch estate being subdivided. As this post demonstrates, there are still hidden gems throughout the San Fernando Valley, just need to get out and look for them.

You can read more Celebrity R.E. here

Celebrity Real Estate: Original Beverly Hills 90210 Star, Jason Priestly Lists in Toluca Lake

Friday, September 9, 2011 / No Comments
[Update May 11, 2014]: This property mysteriously sold on April 24, 2014 for $2 million after it was first listed back on September 6, 2011 and was popped back on the MLS on February 13, 2014, later delisted, and placed in a pending status on March 15, 2014. 

[Original Post]: 
Just posted from Your Mama at the Realestalker comes word of Beverly Hills 90210 Alum, Jason Priestly and his wife selling their Toluca Lake mansion. 

The property consists of 3 Bed/3.5 Bath on 3,266 sqft that was built in 1990, redone in 2005, and recently refurbished again according to the listing. Included with the property are a formal dining room, gourmet kitchen with center island, walk-in pantry, master bedroom with stone fireplace, cathedral ceilings, two family bedrooms with en suite baths, and private gardens with pool, spa, and covered patio. The property is a stone's throw away from the exclusive Lakeside Country Club. 

Priestly purchased this property in May 2007 for $2,140,000 under a Trust which is now listed for $2.1 million translating into an already $40k loss not including fees, R.E. expenses, any renovations costs, and taxes. As we have said before, its interesting to note that the high end homes are selling near peak values while the rest of Southern California is experiencing 30 - 50% losses from peak prices. Only time will tell what people value this property.

Surprisingly, co-star Tori Spelling is also selling her home in Encino which at the time of writing this post has been on the market for 153 days with two price reductions totaling more than $400k. That should give you an insight onto the health of this market. We wish Jason Priestly all the best. 

Toluca Lake is hotbed of celeb homes due to its close proximity to Burbank and Hollywood studios. Nearby neighbors include the former homes of Bing Crosy and Bob Hope, the Miley Cyrus family two homes, Steve Carrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Andy Garcia, and many more to just name a few.

You can view more Celebrity R.E. here

Celebrity Real Estate: Wayne Brady Moving Out of Sherman Oaks

Thursday, September 8, 2011 / No Comments
[Update April 11, 2013]: This home finally sold for $1.8 million on March 29, 2013 after first being listed for $2.199 million way back on August 16, 2011. Talk about patience! Although the final sale price is $399,000 lower than the original price, Brady actually lost $750.000 from when he first purchased back on December 2, 2005 for $2,550,000.

[Original Post]:
Just posted at L.A Times Hot Property from the always informed Lauren Beale comes word that Wayne Brady, host of Let's Make A Deal,  improv legend on the TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and had his own daytime talk show, The Wayne Brady Show, has just listed his mansion in Sherman Oaks for $2.199 million which has been on the market for 22 days at the time of this posting.

The 5 Bed/5 Bath on 5,468 sqft with a lot size of 0.46 acres was built in 2004. The home opens up to the living room with gourmet kitchen, large master suite, built in media center, customized walk-in closets, lavish spa style bathroom, whirlpool tub, home theatre, and a play area for the kids. 

Brady originally purchased this home in December 2005 for $2.550 million near the peak of the housing bubble which means that he will be taking a good sized loss of roughly $350K not including real estate commissions, fees, any renovations costs, and other expenses related to the acquisition of the property. As I have mentioned before, its amazing that the high end is trying to sell their properties for relatively minor losses or even minor gains in this difficult real estate market when the rest of the common folk are experiencing 30 - 50% losses. But I guess the high end is a different game and only for the privileged. 

While reviewing the property records, discovered that Brady purchased this property under a Trust from celebrity Melissa Joan Hart through her Trust which she purchased in April 2005 for $2.4 million and I guess had some major remorse with this property which she ended up listing back on the market about 6 months later which was sold to Brady in December. 

We recently discussed a previous home that Melissa Joan Hart owned nearby in the Encino area that is currently for sale by another celebrity, Heidi Saban Stills. So Hart purchased that property in April 2003 for $2.5 million, sold to Heidi's step father Haim Saban (its complicated, you will have to read the post) for $3.15 million in April 2005. Then, Hart purchased this property in April '05 for $2.4 million and selling at the end of the year for $2.55 million. So with a combined profit of $800k, Hart purchases back in Sherman Oaks for $2.8 million in November 2005 under a Trust. But it doesnt end there, Hart sells the property in July 2009 for $2.475 million which means she took a loss of $325k essentially returning back some of her gains. Reminds me of the movie Wall Street, where Gordon Gekko says its a "zero sum game." Did you catch all that? So after all that moving back and forth, I am not sure where the Melissa Joan Hart clan has currently laid down their roots. I am assuming its somewhere in Encino, Sherman Oaks, or Studio City based on the past residences. Based on the amount of time they spend in a house, they will be shortly due for a move so maybe some gossip will come out in the not so distant future of a new home purchase. 

So got way off tangent with respect to Brady who is also not fond of living in one residence for more than 2 minutes as he has had two other notable properties in the San Fernando Valley. Brady lived in Tarzana from 2000 to 2002 paying $580,000 for a 2,800sqft home next to Reseda Blvd and the Braemar Country Club back when home prices made sense. He sold that property in 2002 earning a decent $120k gain (on a separate note, that property succumbed to the R.E. woes and became a Real Estate Owned property in 2009) and buying in Sherman Oaks for $1.290 million for a 5 Bed/B Bath 5,488sqft home which appears to be similar to his current property which is actually walking distance. So I am not sure on the reason for the move but this property was sold in December 2005 for $2.15 million netting Brady a gain of $860k which led to his current property. So not sure where Brady is headed off too but once again my guess is somewhere in the celeb friendly parts of the SFV based on past residences.

In closing, we wish Brady the best of luck on the sale of his home as there are numerous homes available in this area including other celebs we have mentioned such as Persia White Joseph Barbera, and Anna Nicole Smith in Studio City; John Larroquette and Pink in Sherman Oaks; and Heidi Saban, Charlie Sheen's former home, and Tori Spelling in Encino. 

You can check out more Celeb R.E. here.  

Celebrity Real Estate: Bruce Boxleitner and Melissa Gilbert Offloading Tarzana Crib

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 / No Comments
[Update March 17, 2013]: The Tarzana home of Bruce Boxleitner and Melissa Gilbert has finally sold on March 15, 2013 for $839,999 which was first listed back on January 28, 2011 at $1,349,000. Since that first listing, the asking price has been reduced numerous times for the past two years which also included a lease option. The home was originally purchased at the peak of the market for $1,260,000 on May 11, 2005 representing a massive loss of $420,001. I have no idea where Boxleitner and Gilbert are moving to but hopefully they still call the Valley home. 

[Original Post]:
The SFValleyblog was alerted by the always hilarious Your Mama at the Realestalker via the Trulia Luxe Living blog about the struggling and rather lengthy attempt by celebs Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie and former SAG President fame and her husband, Bruce Boxleitner, writer for Tron, Scarecrow, and Mrs. King, to sell their Tarzana home located in the exclusive South of the Blvd locale which borders Mecca St (Reseda Blvd).

This property boasts 5 Beds/4.5 Baths on 4,609sqft on a total acreage of 0.37 which was built back in the booming years of 1955. This property is at the end of a cul-de-sac with a 1309 sqft guest house (which is included in the total sqft), vaulted ceilings, pool centered between main house and guest house, and possible RV parking. 

This home is currently listed at $1,195,000 but was originally listed at $1,349,000 back on January 28, 2011, relisted on Feb 28 for the same price, dropped to $1,295,000 on March 20, and then dropped to the current price on July 7 in what is known as "chasing the market down." The Boxleitner's (by the way, call me crazy but I have this fascination with repeating that last name) purchased this property on May 11, 2005 for $1,260,000. If the home were to sell today at the current list price, the Boxleitner's would be facing a $65k loss not including commissions, fees, taxes, renovations, and any other RE expenses. Prior to this purchase, the Boxleitner's lived on Mulholland Highway in Malibu which they purchased in March 1999 for $1,250,000 and then selling near the peak in May 2005 for $2.2 million representing less than a million gain not including all the other expenses. Not bad for 6 years time!

As I have mentioned before if you having been following this blog, a lot of celebrities these days are trying to sell their homes near or above the national real estate peak years (2005 - 2007) price level. While the rest of main street has suffered anywhere from 30 - 50% losses, somehow celebrities are trying to offload at minor gains or marginal losses. Maybe the high end is where the money is at. Real Estate is a tricky business and not for everyone. We wish luck to the Boxleitner's with their sale (which did I mention are going through a divorce to complicate this whole transaction) but as you can tell from the listing history, this house isnt getting much love, so seems like this price is a tad bit inflated for the current market conditions. Thats just my 2 cents. You can read about the other celebrities trying to offload their properties in Sherman Oaks, Studio City, and Encino at the Celebrity R.E. section

BTTF# 9: Tower of Wooden Pallets, 15357 Magnolia Blvd. Sherman Oaks Historical Cultural Monument # 184 (site of)

Friday, September 2, 2011 / 1 Comment
Courtesy of (left image) and LA HCM (right image)
Welcome aboard the Delorean! Marty McFly here to take you on a journey to the hip and affluent community of Sherman Oaks. 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 1951 (actual date unknown) 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 to 15357 Magnolia Blvd Sherman Oaks CA 91403. This address was the location for the one and only Tower of Wooden Pallets.

Before we even begin to discuss the history of this site, I believe this is what makes the San Fernando Valley great and in fact, the United States of America. We are privileged with freedom to do what ever we damn please which includes stacking pallets in your backyard. Most people will probably say this is the dumbest thing ever and I dont necessarily disagree but at the same time, I like this guy. He was a bona fide nut who didnt give a damn and wanted to do what he pleased. He didnt conform to any status quo or to try to keep up with the joneses which is why we are proud to discuss about Daniel Van Meter who in 1951 started collecting pallets from the local Schlitz brewery located at 7321 Woodman Avenue Van Nuys CA 91405 near Saticoy and also the railroad tracks which were not too far from the GM Plant and the Budweiser Brewery (two worthy topics to discuss in a future BTTF series). 

The Schlitz brewery opened its state-of-the-art 35 acre brewery in 1954 and closed in 1990 laying off 390 workers which was replaced with Copart Van Nuys Yard at 7519 Woodman Van Nuys CA 91405. I dont know how Van Meter collected pallets in 1951 when the Schlitz brewery opened in 1954 so just going with what my sources tell me. 

Van Meter acquired these pallets because he noticed them building up at the local Schlitz brewery which union workers refused to repair because they wanted the company to hire workers from another union to make the repairs. So the pallets began to stack outside the Schlitz Brewery. Then executives from the East were coming to visit the plant and the supervisor didnt want them visible during their visit. Van Meter got word of this and offered to take some home. Five truckloads of pallets arrived which Van Meter stacked so could look out across the Valley. And that's what he did best, stacked them till they reached 22 feet high in a cone shape consisting of 2000 pallets which was completed in two years time. Floyd B. Bariscale said it best about Van Meters property at Big Orange Landmarks blog:
Van Meter had moved to the property in 1947. The land was once part of an apricot ranch owned by actress Louise Fazenda (you may remember her from such films as Schultz the Paperhanger, Tea: With a Kick!, and Are Waitresses Safe?). Going back to the 1800s, the land was owned by the McMasters family. The Van Meter boys (Baron moved there, too) ultimately turned their land into a veritable junkyard – later visitors mentioned seeing there a dozen scrapped cars, a gas pump, a 1938 city bus, washing machines and water heaters, an old outhouse, a battleship turret, and wooden wagons, not to mention the menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, turtles, pigeons, and a raccoon.
Taking Van Meter two years to build, the Tower of Pallets, when finished, reached twenty-feet tall and twenty-two-feet wide at its base. There was a thirteen-foot wide opening at the top. The open room inside, full of patio furniture and all sorts of detritus, according to legend, marked the grave of a three-year-old who died and was buried there in 1869. Soon after Daniel finished the tower, building inspectors arrived and, stumped, classified the giant pallet cone as a fence. 
The story doesnt end there and this where things really get interesting and make Van Meter almost look like a genius. From Richard Simon at the L.A. Times in an article titled, Tower of Tranquility: Unusual Sherman Oaks Landmark Provides a Refuge From Turmoil on February 15, 1988:

In 1977, the Fire Department declared the tower "an illegally stacked lumber pile" and a fire hazard.
A year later, it was named a landmark by the city Cultural Heritage Commission, joining such other historic-cultural monuments as the Watts Towers, the Hollywood sign, the Venice canals, a 1,000-year-old oak tree in Encino and the S.S. Catalina.
"Maybe we were drunk," a former commissioner joked when asked why the tower was designated a landmark.
'One of the Stranger Things'
The Tower of Pallets, as it is known on the official record of city landmarks, is one of the lesser-known and, in the words of another former cultural heritage commissioner, "one of the stranger things" that the commission has declared a historic-cultural monument during its 25-year existence.
But to its creator, 74-year-old Van Meter, the tower is a special place to get away from the turmoil of urban society.
"I have a place where it is quiet, despite the apartments, the noise of the boulevard and the hum and screeches of the rat race on the freeway 200 feet away," he said.
At night, Van Meter said, he climbs to the top of the tower and looks at the moon and the stars. "To me, this is a spiritual place."
And there you have it, since this site became an LA HCM, it could not be destroyed without providing sound justification to the heads of the commission. At the time the L.A. Times article was written in 1988, Van Meter's home was the only remaining single-family residential property left with his neighbors consisting of a condominium complex, fire station, office building, and a private school. So imagine, being the single owner of a large plot of 1.44 acres being surrounded by a diverse set of neighbors. I cant imagine the traffic down that street was pretty. Another odd characteristic of Van Meter was that he was a collector of all sorts and a hoarder ad described in the quote above. Time to head back into the Delorean to get an idea of how cluttered this site was from back in the mid 2000's, check the pics below. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I was able to secure an aerial shot of this place via Bing Maps. 

Courtesy Department of City Planning in 2004

Courtesy The Itinerant Blog

Captured from Bing Maps on Sept 1, 2011, actual image date is unknown

Courtesy Department of City Planning in 2004

Lets hop back into the Delorean to check out this site in its present form. If you have read the other BTTF series, you will know where this is headed. 

Van Meter died in June 2000 at the age of 87 and his heirs reached an agreement with developer, Westgate Group of Los Angeles and sold for $4.5 million. By 2005, the tower was still standing but had dwindled since 1950 and was not sturdy. According to Steve Harvey at the L.A. Times, the structure was down to five feet tall in 2002. But Westgate still couldnt demolish because of that pesky HCM designation. Keep in mind this site was granted the special status in 1977 which allowed it to stand in existence for almost 30 years. This site was deemed "without artistic merit" and finally approved to be razed. From Joe Dungan at the L.A. Nuts
A determination of the artistic merits of the pallets has been playing out since Van Meter's death. A 2004 environmental impact report included an analysis of the tower from an artistic and historic perspective. The analysis deemed it historically insignificant and artistically uninventive. The historian I met said that, on occasion, museums and galleries raise funds to disassemble, transport, and reconstruct large pieces such as this at their venues. To date, no such facility has stepped up to do this. Except for a 2005 Los Angeles Times article about them, there has been little mention in the media about the tower's threatened destruction. Unlike other historic monuments that are faced with demolition, no outraged preservationists, prominent scholars, or concerned citizens appear to be doing anything to save the pallets.
And just like other sites of historical significance, this site was demolished to make way for the typical apartment complex in this case called The Magnolia. So you have the wonderful opportunity to rent a unit on the former site of Van Meter.

Van Meter wrote it best and with foresight when he was securing his HCM designation:
… in a few years this piece of the good earth may be covered by apartments for the storing of surplus people. In the meantime, pray, let this strange structure be, let it continue to be a haven of rest for an individual – that endangered species – who once knew how sweet was our Valley.
On a completely different note not relevant to the SFV, while researching Van Meter, I found some interesting views as he mentioned the following in the Simon Feb 15, 1988 LA Times Article:
A founder of the American Independent Party and supporter of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace's 1972 presidential campaign, Van Meter loves to talk politics. In an interview, he complained about President Franklin D. Roosevelt taking the country off the gold standard and contended that the federal income tax is illegal.
Do you ever wonder why the price of Gold has gone up for the past 11 years straight and gold commericals and stores have popped up everywhere, its because there is no gold standard and the dollar has been devalued since Roosevelt. This is coming from what some might call a weirdo back in the 80's

Courtesy of
You can find more San Fernando Valley history at the BTTF page.


Celebrity Real Estate: Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo Call Encino Home

Thursday, September 1, 2011 / 1 Comment
Hot off the presses from the always hilarious Your Mama at the Realestalker comes an informative post about newlyweds Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo settling down in the Beverly Hills of the San Fernando Valley otherwise known as Encino.

The happy couple spent $2,850,000 for an 8,134 sqft home on 0.5 acres consisting of 6 Beds/8 Baths which was built in 1981 located directly in front of the Encino Reservoir. The property boasts Rustic Tuscan themes (whatever that means) with a master suite, pool, spa, fire-pit, multi-camera security system, sound system, and wine cellar. The Property Records list the owner to The Lsn Revocable Trust with Kevin Judd as the Trustee. 

Lachey recently sold his home in Bel Air for $5.5 million (with the same prop. record info as above) which he purchased in Feb 2006 for $5 million from Heidi Klum and Seal. That equates to a $500k profit not including taxes, real estate commissions, fees, and other costs. Not bad considering they purchased at the top of the market, although the property was originally listed at $6.8 million which shows that a large reduction was needed in order to make this deal work. As much as I like the SFV, I actually liked the Bel Air residence more because of the amazing views, mid century modern architecture, and the seclusion which is located next to Stone Canyon Reservoir. The Encino home looks like another fake McMansion with no style that you can find in Santa Clarita. But this is a free country and celebs can do however they please. 

One possible reason for Lachey moving to Encino could be his prior history in the SFV. When he was married to Jessica Simpson they lived in Calabasas near the Calabasas Golf and Country Club where they filmed the infamous MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica (makes you wonder if Nick and Vanessa will do the same thing). Lachey and Simpson purchased this property in June 2002 for $1.685 million just before they got married and sold at the peak of the market for $3.4 million in Feb 2006 (due to their much publicized divorce) to another celebrity, Malcolm in the Middle actor, Justin Berfield. Without wasting anytime that is when Lachey purchased the Bel Air property and starting dating Minnillo. 

Just like the rest of us at the bottom of the food chain that purchased at the peak of the market, Berfield could no longer commit to this investment and  tried to offload starting in Nov 2007 for $3.75 million, then $3.995 million in April 2009, then $3.495 million in August 2009, and finally in May 2010 for $1.95 million before finally selling the home as a short sale in November 2010 for $2.1 million which was a significant $1.3 million loss not including all the other real estate expenses and assuming no additional loans were taken against the property which the bank was on the hook for or possibly, U.S. taxpayers. Real estate can be a dangerous investment. 

One last thing, Lachey's brother, Drew, also lived in the SFV residing in the hottest place on earth, Woodland Hills. Drew and his wife Lea purchased their residence in June 2005 near the peak of the market for $1.44 million which they turned around and sold in December 2009 for $1.17 million which resulted in a hefty $300k loss not including other real estate expenses. Like I said before, real estate is a dangerous game. The two hightailed the SFV and Los Angeles altogether and moved back to their hometown in Cincinnati, Ohio

You can view more Celebrity R.E. here