Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Celebrity Real Estate: Tae Bo Inventor Unloads Hidden Hills Estate




Images courtesy Prudential California Realty
Hot off the presses from Trulia Luxe Living comes word of Tae Bo inventor Billy Blank's massive estate sale in  Hidden Hills on January 6, 2012 for $7,300,000.

Billy Blanks is a fitness guru, martial artist, actor and the inventor of Tae Bo exercise program that swept the nation in the 90's. Dont be ashamed to admit that you purchased a Tae Bo video. Billy Blanks initially started as an actor in the 80's starring in several unsuccessful action-adventure films. Remember his role in The Last Boy Scout with Bruce Willis. The whole acting thing didnt work out so well and Tae Bo skyrocketed. Its amazing how much wealth can be generated by selling DVDs which are still available here and here. Billy Blanks also started the Tae Bo Billy Blanks World Training Center sometime in the early 90's proudly located in the San Fernando Valley at 14708 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks which is right next to the Mels Drive In with its distinctive Googie architecture. I never visited the World Karate Center but it appears to have closed sometime in 2006 based on a comment posted on Yelp. This location is where Billy Blanks trained many celebrities as mentioned on his about page.  

According to the listing, this 7 Bed/11 Bath home on 16,478sqft on 1.93 acres built in 2001 states:
HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!! SPECTACULAR, ONE-OF-A-KIND MEDITERRANEAN IN THE PRIME 'ASHLEY RIDGE' SECTION OF HIDDEN HILLS. AN UNMATCHED VALUE WITH OVER 16,000 SQUARE FEET OF SUPERB QUALITY & LUXURY! FEATURES INCL. AN INDOOR BALLROOM/BASKETBALL COURT, STELLAR HOME THEATRE, GAME ROOM, STUDY, PIANO ROOM, SPECTACULAR MASTER W/ RETREAT, LUXURIOUS STONE BATH WITH SPA TUB & STEAM SHOWER, VIEW BALCONY AND PRIVATE STAIRS TO THE POOL & SPA WITH GROTTO BELOW. THE GROUNDS FEATURE A LARGE CABANA WITH OUTDOOR KITCHEN, ADJOING WATERFALLS, FOUNTAINS, LUSH, PRIVACY LANDSCAPING AND PASTORAL VIEWS. BIG, NEARLY TWO ACRE LOT WITH POTENTIALLY ROOM FOR A SPORTS COURT OR HORSES BELOW MAIN PAD. AMENTIES INCLUDE A TWO-ROOM GUEST SUITE WITH PRIVATE ENTRANCE, VOLUME CEILINGS, SLAB STONE COUNTERS AND STONE FLOORS, DOUBLE IRON STAIRCASE, SKYLIGHTS, ELEVATOR, CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENTS THROUGHOUT, AND A HUGE, SLIDING WALL OF GLASS THAT OPENS TO LET THE OUTDOORS IN, PLUS GARAGES FOR 6-CARS. SUPERB LOCATION ON A FLAT CUL-DE-SAC. A QUALITY HOME FROM START TO FINISH. IN MY OPINION, NOTHING COMPARES FOR THE PRICE IN 91302! QUALIFIED BUYER'S ONLY PLEASE.
This home was originally purchased on January 31, 2000 for $1,400,500 as a land purchase which Billy Blanks and his wife Gayle built their custom home which is massive with no expense spared as can be seen in the listing pictures above. This transaction netted the Blanks a profit of $5,899,500 not including the home construction costs, commissions, fees, taxes, and other home related expenses. Even if Billy Blanks spent $1 million constructing this home, the approximate profit is close to $5 million which was a very wise investment back in 2001 especially in the sought after and well protected area of Hidden Hills. I am guessing that if he sold at the peak of the market, he could have sold for $15 to $20 million but there may be a reason why he sold now to be discussed later. Billy Blanks tried to offload his property after the market mania days as he made numerous attempts in 2008 all the way through 2011. He originally listed on October 3, 2008 for $11,500,000 back when the markets were imploding. So to sell in 2012, Billy Blanks had to chop off $4 million which is a good chunk of change but still in the black (presumably). Below is the price history from Zillow. I am not sure who bought this house but the new owners got a good deal considering other similar transactions.


Price History

DateDescriptionPrice% Chg$/sqftSource
01/19/2012Price change$8,500,00013.3%$515--
11/30/2011Pending sale$7,500,000--$455--
11/05/2011Price change$7,500,000-11.8%$455--
05/07/2011Listed for sale$8,500,0006.3%$515Agent
08/13/2010Listing removed$7,995,000--$485Dominion Enterprises
07/25/2010Listed for sale$7,995,000--$485Dominion Enterprises
07/24/2010Listing removed$7,995,000--$485Prudential California Realty
06/27/2010Listed for sale$7,995,000--$485Prudential California Realty
06/27/2010Listing removed$7,995,000--$485Dominion Enterprises
06/19/2010Listed for sale$7,995,000-23.1%$485Dominion Enterprises
06/12/2010Listing removed$10,400,000--$631Prudential California Realty
11/14/2009Price change$10,400,000-9.6%$631Prudential California Realty
06/20/2009Price change$11,500,000--$697Prudential California Realty
04/25/2009Listed for sale$11,500,000--$697Prudential California
04/17/2009Listing removed$11,500,000--$697NRT California
10/03/2008Listed for sale$11,500,000721%$697NRT California
01/31/2000Sold$1,400,500--$84Public Record

Prior to the Hidden Hills home, Billy Blanks and his wife lived not too far away in West Hills' exclusive Monte Vista estates in a modest (by their standards) 5 Bed/5 Bath 4100sqft home (shown below). He purchased this home on February 9, 1995 for $541,500 and later sold on June 27, 2002 for $792,000 for a $250,500 gain not including fees, commissions, taxes, etc with the proceeds possibly to pay for the construction costs and/or furnishings of the Hidden Hills home. If the Blanks waited till May 2011 which is when this home sold again, they could have sold for $1,060,000 and gained another $250k profit on the home. But this is when Tae Bo reached its peak and the Blanks felt compelled to "move up" and live in the ultra exclusive Hidden Hills neighborhood with all of their new found wealth.

Images courtesy Ewing Sothebys IR
As with many real estate transactions, they typically occur because of the three D's; divorce, debt, and death. While reviewing Wikipedia, I discovered that Billy Blanks divorced his wife Gayle of 33 years in April 2008  (but separated in September 2007) which coincides with the initial listing of the Hidden Hills estate. I am not sure if this is related to the closing of the training center in Sherman Oaks around 2006. And why did things get rocky? Because guys are assholes. According to the Japan probe website, Billy met a 39 year old interpreter, Tomoko, from Japan, where a romantic relationship developed in 2007. These "romantic relationships" eventually lead to a birth where Tomoko gave birth to their daughter, Angelina, in November 2008. And next comes marriage with Blanks marrying Tomoko in January 2009 and also moved to Osaka, Japan. And that is why this massive estate was sold although not rushed. I am assuming that these profits were split in half due to the divorce as Billy and Gayle both owned the property. I am not sure where Gayle and her kids are heading but I am assuming that it is somewhere in the West Valley (Calabasas?) based on their long history here.

It appears that Billy Blanks has left the San Fernando Valley sometime in 2009 with no intention to return as he plans to open a new exercise studio and has applied for permanent residency. Since we are talking about Billy Blanks, wanted to mention that he was recently in the news for two former employees who managed his personal and business expenses were sentenced to 33 months in jail for stealing $1.1 million from him. This is a lot of drama to handle in the past couple of years.

We are sorry to see Billy Blanks go as he was another unique individual to call the Valley home where he crafted the Tae Bo product regardless if you hate it or like it. Its definitely a product that has worldwide recognition with roots in the Valley (got to have some respect for that accomplishment).


Other celebrities in the exclusive Hidden Hills area include Jennifer Lopez (I wonder if she will sell with her recent divorce), Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne who are selling their home discussed here since June 2011, Melissa Etheridge, Denise Richards, Nicolette Sheridan, The Kardashian clan, and Beau Bridges who is also trying to sell his home discussed here. Also, Tamar Braxton and Vincent Herbert recently purchased in Hidden Hills which was discussed here


Across the freeway in Calabasas, I recently discussed producer James White massive 192 acre estate available on the market and former Laker Bryon Russells' foreclosed home. 

You can find more San Fernando Valley Celebrity Real Estate here
Read More

Monday, January 23, 2012

Celebrity Real Estate: Joey Lawrence Moves To Calabasas


Images courtesy Prudential California Realty
Hot off the presses from Trulia Luxe Living comes word of singer-actor Joey Lawrence's newest home purchase in  Calabasas on December 13, 2011 for $1,442,500.

Joey Lawrence is a singer-actor, mostly known for his star role in Blossom from 1991 - 1995. He first began acting in 1982 starring in small roles in memorable hit TV shows like Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. He has stayed active and busy ever since performing in a variety of TV shows, movies, reality shows, and  hosting.  He also sings and created two albums with Joey Lawrence in 1993 and Soulmates in 1997.

According to the listing, this 4 Bed/3.25 Bath home on 4,562sqft on 0.26 acres built in 1988 states:
NESTLED IN THE HILLS OF BEAUTIFUL CALABASAS, THIS MEDITERRANEAN VILLA HAS IT ALL! FEATURING AN AWARD WINNING DESIGN, THIS LIGHT FILLED, SERENE HOME IS AN ARCHITECTURAL GEM. AS YOU ENTER, YOU ARE GREETED BY A DRAMATIC TWO STORY GREAT ROOM. WARM SALTILLO TILES AND RICH WOOD FLOORS ARE USED THROUGHOUT THE HOME. RECENTLY REMODELED, THE KITCHEN FEATURES STAINLESS APPLIANCES (INCLUDING 3 OVENS FOR THE GOURMET CHEF!), GRANITE COUNTERS AND A LARGE WALK IN PANTRY. CHARMING TOUCHES INCLUDE A WROUGHT IRON GATE IN THE DINING ROOM, A LARGE VERANDA ON THE SECOND LEVEL, A NICE LOFT AREA AND A CHINA CLOSET. OTHER HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE 3 ROMANTIC FIREPLACES, A NEWER ALARM SYSTEM, NEWER CARPET, NEWER A/C AND HEATING UNIT FOR UPSTAIRS AND A NEWER POOL HEATER. POSSIBLE "IN-LAW' SUITE DOWNSTAIRS. SECONDARY BEDROOMS ARE GENEROUSLY SIZED. THE PRIVATE BACKYARD RETREAT FEATURES A BEAUTIFUL POOL WITH A CASCADING WATERFALL, SPA, LUSH TROPICAL LANDSCAPING, A NEWER BUILT IN BARBECUE, A CHARMING FOUNTAIN, GRASSY AREA AND A VEGETABLE GARDEN. SITUATED IN PRESTIGIOUS GUARD GATED WESTRIDGE NEAR THE SHOPPING AND DINING OF THE COMMONS, THE SATURDAY FARMER'S MARKET AND THE BEACHES OF MALIBU. SERVED BY THE AWARD WINNING LAS VIRGENES SCHOOL SYSTEM!
This home was previously purchased on August 30, 2010 for $1,430,000 with the previous owners selling for a paltry gain of $12,500 when you consider that commissions and other expenses associated with this property most likely eat away all the profits. Not sure why the previous owners sold after settling in for roughly one year.

Joey Lawrence is no stranger to the SFV as he owned a property in Encino (shown below) that he originally purchased on May 27, 1994 for $1,175,000 and sold in November 12, 2004 for the odd number of $2,300,023 netting a gain of $1,125,023 not factoring fees, commissions, and other related expenses. Not bad for 10 years of living.  There are conflicting reports from the Realestalker stating that Lawrence still owned this property that was corrected by AOL Real Estate. Zillow (shown below) and Blockshopper show that the property sold in 2004 but Redfin show no such transaction which I think is where the confusion came from. I am not sure where Joey Lawrence lived in between his Encino sale in 2004 and the newly acquired Calabasas crib. Its possible that these transactions all occurred because of Lawrence's marraige to Michelle Vella in 2002 and subsequent divorce in 2005 followed by a new marriage to Chandie Yawn-Nelson in 2005. The three D's of real estate; death, divorce, or debt.


Price History

DateDescriptionPrice% Chg$/sqftSource
04/02/2011Listing removed$2,599,000--$320Prescott Properties Inc.
11/05/2010Price change$2,599,000-5.5%$320Prescott Properties Inc.
07/30/2010Price change$2,749,000-8.2%$339Prescott Properties Inc.
07/18/2010Listed for sale$2,995,000--$369Prescott Properties Inc.
07/18/2010Listing removed$2,995,000--$369--
04/06/2010Price change$2,995,000-6.4%$369--
01/19/2010Listed for sale$3,199,000-0.0%$394Agent
07/23/2009Listing removed$3,200,000--$395--
12/20/2008Set Make Me Move$3,200,00039.1%$395Owner
11/12/2004Sold$2,300,02395.7%$283Public Record  
05/27/1994Sold$1,175,000--$145Public Record


You can find more San Fernando Valley Celebrity Real Estate here
Read More