Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Useful Info – Improving West Hollywood One Council Member at a Time

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Well, West Hollywood just keeps getting better and better.  Lindsey Horvath was unanimously voted as a new City Councilmember, filling the vacant seat left by the former Councilmember, Sal Guarriello, who passed away in April.  On Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 6 pm, Lindsey Horvath will be sworn in as a member of the West Hollywood […]
West Hollywood Real Estate Blog

Useful Info – Keeping You & Your Home Safe in Today’s World

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

When times are tough and the economy is bad, crime rates skyrocket.  Locking your doors and shutting your windows just isn’t enough to keep you and your home safe from intruders anymore.  Burglaries are on the rise and there doesn’t seem to be a slow down on the horizon.  Therefore, we must do everything we […]
West Hollywood Real Estate Blog

The Real Estalker – Here’s The Deal…

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

First off, Your Mama would like to thank the children for their patience. We know we’ve kept y’all waiting a long time but there were, as they say, a lot of ducks that had to get in a row.

We noted that most of y’all were mostly good in our near three week absence and didn’t get too out of line in the comments section. Some of you even left thoughtful notes. We appreciate that. We do not, however appreciate those couple of nasty emails. (You know who you are.) Anyways…

Your Mama could not be more pleased to finally tell the children that we’re packing our bags and taking our saucy property gossiping ways over to Variety magazine. That’s right. Variety magazine. Bam! Deal with it. It’s the end of one era and the doorway to a whole new future.

This site, our beloved digital home for seven plus years, will remain accessible but inactive for the next few days at which point it will automatically redirect all Your Mama’s children to our new digital home with all the fine, Showbiz reporting folk at Variety.

Starting today, all new online Real Estalker content can be found here, in the newly formed Dirt section of Variety‘s online portal. We’ll also be dishing celebrity real estate-related dirt in the publication’s weekly print issue.

Now, buckle your safety belts, kids because Your Mama is about to make a rare and uncomfortable but necessary breach of the fourth wall…

I would like to offer a sincere if woefully inadequate thank you to all the Real Estalker readers, especially the old timers and the regulars—you know who you are—for your often enlightening commentary and insight, unrelenting encouragement and absolutely humbling dedication.

I must also thank the hundreds of deliciously chatty informants, especially the old timers and the regulars. (Y’all know who you are, too, but as always will remain anonymous.)

And, finally, to my unfailingly supportive family and ever-so-tolerant friends—you all certainly know who you are, I hope—and, of course, to the good Dr. Cooter: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now then, all of y’all put on your digital traveling shoes and follow Your Mama over to Variety

The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – The Hiltons to Lease Hamptons Mansion….Again

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

OWNERS: Rick and Kathy Hilton
LOCATION: Southampton, NY
PRICE: $ 450,000 (MD-LD)
SIZE: 10,000 square feet, 10 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Summer’s a comin, children, and if you haven’t already it’s time to line up your Memorial Day to Labor Day rental in the Hamptons. Those with deep pockets might consider letting a cedar shingled mansion on a multi-acre estate in the Water Mill area of Southampton (NY) that’s listed for the summer season at a bulgy rate of $ 425,000* and owned by Rick and Kathy Hilton.**

Mister Hilton, along with being an heir to the international Hilton Hotels & Resorts fortune, co-owns the powerhouse Platinum Triangle real estate brokerage Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills. He’s also an occasional high-end property developer who is (partly) responsible for the relatively discreet (and somewhat discrete), guard-gated Brentwood County Estates enclave in Brentwood where professional pigskin passer Tom Brady and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen custom built an—ahem—eco-minded mansion that they publicly listed earlier this year for $ 50 million and Your Mama hears are rumored and reported all set to sell for around $ 40 million to hip-hop mega-mogul Dr. Dre.

Missus Hilton, among other semi-professional endeavors, owned a tchotchke shop on the Sunset Strip before she hawked home accessories on QVC and, later, high-end skin care products on HSN. In the mid-Aughts she hosted a blessedly short-lived reality program (I Want To Be a Hilton) and she currently designs—or “designs” depending on your point of view—a line of mid-priced party gowns and cocktail frocks sold at hundreds of higher end department stores and boutiques around the world.

Property records show Mister and Missus Hilton acquired the 2.7 acre, fully-landscaped estate in the guard-gated Fordune enclave in 1999 for $ 2,385,000. The property was once part of a vast, 235 acre estate called—you got it—Fordune that once belonged to automotive scion Henry Ford II. After it was acquired in the mid-1970s by an Italian businessman for just $ 1.8 million the property was subdivided into about 40 estate-sized parcels with deeded ocean access.

This is not the first time Your Mama has (dissed and) discussed the Hilton family’s gambrel roofed mansion in the Hamptons. In 2007 we piggybacked on an a fairly unflattering article in Vanity Fair that revealed they’d leased the property during the 2006 summer season for around $ 350,000 to some otherwise unidentified rich people who found the place to be a bit shabby. Indeed, one unnamed source cattily told Vanity Fair the house was “moldy and filthy.” (And some of y’all think Your Mama can be nasty?) In 2009 the Hilton’s Hamptons estate came back up for lease at $ 400,000 for the summer season and while we have no idea if the house was moldy and or filthy, listing photos showed the large home had sad and rather frumpy, chintz-centric day-core.

Current listing details, however, show the approximately 10,000 square foot residence*** has had an extensive make-over and decorative redo. While the new day-core isn’t going to win any style awards or get the place photographed for one of the better shelter publications, it certainly doesn’t look dowdy and stale like it did in the 2009 listing photographs.

There are, as per current listing details, a total of 10 bedroom, 10.5 bathrooms and three fireplaces including a two en suite guest/family bedrooms and a den/office on the upper floor along. There are two master suites, according to our research, one on the main floor and another on the upper floor that’s complete with fireplace, partially vaulted ceiling with exposed rafters, and direct access to a private terrace. Like the kitchen the bedroom-sized master bathroom was done up in all-white and has a glass-enclosed shower stall and a separate, free-standing soaking tub. Previous rental listings for the property show there’s a two bedroom and two bathroom guest wing accessible by separate staircase as well as a couple of bedrooms and at least one bathroom in the (finished) basement area that are probably best suited to live-in domestic staff and/or less-favored house guests and children.

Listing photographs show nearly white hardwood floors run throughout most (if not all) of the main floor living spaces that include a grand, center hall entrance with curved staircase and a roomy “formal” living room with fireplace. There’s also a smaller study, a library with built-in book shelves, and a formal dining room large enough to host a pair of 8-seat tables. The center island eat in kitchen appears to have been fairly recently re-did in an all-white palette and is now fitted and kitted with simple white cabinetry, top-grade stainless steel appliances, snow white counter tops of unknown but presumably high quality material, and a chevron pattern marble tile back splash.

The gated, high-hedged and full-landscaped grounds include a semi-circular drive that arches up to a porte-cochère at the front of the house and bends around to a sizable motor court at the side of the house where there’s garaging for three cars and a hedge-ringed half-court basketball court. At the opposite end of the house a massive covered porch has 270-degree views of the estate’s gardens and along the rear of the residence red brick terraces give way to a football field sized back yard with lagoon style swimming pool. The children will note that the slightly elevated spa was placed on a small island in the pool and, unless one jumps the moat, is accessible via a storybook (and kind of campy) arched wooden bridge.

Just FYI: Your Mama’s research shows the Hiltons’ house in the Hamptons is hardly the most expensive summer rental available in the Southampton or even within the Fordune enclave. There are a handful of Southampton estates listed at upwards of $ 900,000 for the summer season and, just down the street from the Hiltons, a slightly smaller but similarly outfitted faux-quoined Euro-style villa is listed at $ 650,000 for the full Memorial Day to Labor Day summer season.

For a lot of years, the Los Angeles-based Hiltons kept a sizable (rental) suite at the vaunted Waldorf Astoria Towers on Park Avenue in New York City where at least some of their four children spent some of their formative years. We don’t know when they gave up their place at The Waldorf but we do know that late last year (2013) Mister and Missus Hilton shelled out $ 2,522,000 for a high floor one bedroom and two bathroom pied-à-terre at The Pierre, an equally vaunted and preposterously expensive five star hotel and residence tower that lords over the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 61st Street.

Back on the West Coast, the empty nesting parents of four own a one-ish acre-estate with a nearly 15,000+ square foot mansion in the heart of the super-prime lower East Gate area of Bel Air. Property records show the Hilton’s Bel Air spread was acquired in July 2004 for $ 9,220,000 and that they purchased the property from Mary Carol Rudin, the widow of Milton “Mickey” Rudin, a powerful Hollywood attorney who in his professional salad days represented a slew of A-listers including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.

*Online listings show the Hilton’s Fordune estate can also be monthly—$ 100,000 for June, $ 150,000 for July and $ 175,000 for August—and is also available for a full year at $ 475,000.

**Rick and Kathy Hilton are, of course, the proud parents of tabloid staples Paris, Nicki and Barron as well as college-aged Conrad. Missus Hilton’s younger sisters, former child actors Kim and Kyle Richards, have achieved honest-to-goodness reality television notoriety on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

***While digital marketing materials state that house is about 10,000 square feet, the Suffolk County Tax Man puts it at 6,994 square feet. (We suspect the 7,000 square foot figure does not take into account the finished basement space but we really can’t say for sure.)

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Steve-O Snags Hillside Digs Above Beachwood Canyon

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

BUYER: Steve-O
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $ 1,162,000
SIZE: 2,398 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Just because giddily vulgar Jackass stunt performer Steve-O will gleefully staple his scrotum to his leg, voluntarily let an alligator bite his nipple and somehow hold a lit firework in his—ahem—ass crack does not mean, at the end of the day, he doesn’t want to come home to a nice house with plenty of creature comforts. According to the ever-vigilant real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, last month the pathologically masochistic Mister O— via a pretty much lewdly named trust—shelled out $ 1,162,000 for a fully renovated, canyon view contemporary residence perched on a steep hillside above Los Angeles’s historic Beachwood Canyon.*

Since his death defying stint on Jackass in the early Aughts, Mister O has appeared in more Jackass movies than anyone should care to count and he’s helmed a series of similar programs where he performed such lurid entertainments and utterly pointless feats of stupidity as covering himself in stinging jellyfish and getting slathered in human excrement while strapped into a porta-potty his buddies launched into the air. Charming, right?

More recently, the sober and more introspective former circus clown—a dedicated vegan who, as of mid-April 2014, said he was living a celibate life—popped up on Dancing With the Stars (2009) and developed a reasonably well-received stand-up comedy routine. And good for him. Not that it matters a single whit what this jaded property gossip thinks but Your Mama thinks a career move towards something less physically reckless is a good idea for the 40 year old Mister O. Let’s be honest, butter beans, could there be anything more heart breaking than a heavily tatted 65 year old man who will snort wasabi for a paycheck and/or allow himself to be slathered in honey and locked up in the truck of a car with a dozen hungry rats? No, there really isn’t, is there?

Anyhoodles, poodles, it’s a complicated and serpentine drive up from Beachwood Canyon to Mister O’s new digs that present little to the street other than a two car garage, a high fence with secured entry gate and a dramatic, overlapping roof line. A tiny and gated courtyard leads to the front door that opens directly into a 40-ish foot long open plan main living space with wide plank wood floors and a winsomely pitched post-and-beam ceiling.

Just inside the front door, where it practically does double-duty as the foyer, a compact but well equipped kitchen has walnut (or maybe teak) cabinetry, slab marble counter tops, high-quality stainless steel appliances. A two or three seat snack peninsula divides the kitchen from the dining area. At the far end of the room, a catty-corner fireplace surmounted, natch, by a flat-screen television anchors the living area that opens through sliding glass doors to the home’s primary outdoor living space, a reasonably roomy, canyon view terrace that spans the width of the house.

Adjacent to the living room, where it also has direct glass slider access to the deep and wide canyon view terrace, an over-sized den could be pressed into use as a fourth bedroom as it has a sizable walk-in closet and easy, semi-private access to the windowless main floor bathroom.

A perforated banister hems in the narrow stairwell that leads down to the lower level bedrooms. There are two reasonably-sized guest/family bedrooms that share a two-sink hall bathroom plus a master bedroom with two closets and enough room for a generous sitting area. Glass sliders open to a private balcony cantilevered over the steep hillside and the attached bathroom with free-standing soaking tub and separate shower space.

Fun Celebrity Real Estate Fact: Mister O’s new digs happen to be on the down slope side of the same secluded cul-de-sac above Beachwood Canyon where, as it turns out, ill-behaved tabloid staple Chris Brown owns an extravagantly lit, multi-level modern he currently has on the market for $ 1.79 million. We haven’t personally polled them but Your Mama would bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, that at least some of the neighbors aren’t exactly thrilled to have another resident in their immediate midst who proudly earns his keep as—all T, no shade—a loud-mouthed jackass.

*The house was listed for $ 1,149,000 after being raised from its original $ 1,099,000 asking price. The $ 1.162 million sale price suggest Mister O faced some competition with the purchase of this property.

listing photos: LA Luxe Group/Keller William Realty
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Jason Priestley Upsizes in The Valley

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

BUYER: Jason Priestley
LOCATION: Studio City, CA
PRICE: $ 2,720,000
SIZE: 5,075 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A couple of weeks ago Your Mama and all the other celebrity real estate watchers learned from the long-legged blond at Trulia Luxe Listings that race car driving actor/director Jason Priestley and his make-up artist wife Naomi Lowde-Priestley sold their Toluca Lake home to a not-famous couple for $ 2 million. The sale represents a $ 140,000 loss that does not account for carrying costs, any maintenance and/or improvement expenses the couple may have incurred or the real estate fees.*

This week, oddly enough, Your Mama heard word from a couple of snitchy informants, including the inestimable real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, that the Priestley couple, who have two young children, bought a substantially bigger new house about four miles directly west in a leafy pocket of Studio City, CA for $ 2,720,000.**

Listing details show the freshly constructed and well appointed, two-story wannabe-Cap Cod sits on less than a quarter acre right on the border between Studio City and Sherman Oaks and has a total of five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 5,075 square feet. A prominent, full-frontal two car garage has direct entry to the main house and a detached cabana adds additional living space . (By Your Mama’s quick and rudimentary calculations the Priestley’s new digs in Studio City is just over 1,800 square feet larger than their former home in Toluca Lake.)

We don’t love the exact tone of ashy medium brown as appears in listing photographs but otherwise we live, children, for the seven inch wide floorboards that run throughout the main floor living areas. A medium-width but exceptionally long center hall entry extends clear through to the back of the house with wide openings into adjoining formal living and dining rooms, both with scads of custom mill work and the former with a marble-faced fireplace. Not that it matters more than a damn pickle what this moody property gossip thinks but we could happily have done without the showboat-y glass display cases built in to the columns that support the shallow archway between the living and dining room.

A luxuriously fitted butler’s pantry with marble back splash and warming drawer links the dining room to the expensively outfitted family-sized kitchen. Along the long back wall of the kitchen dark counter tops (of unknown material) sit on snow white Shaker-style counter tops while the generously proportioned center island has steel grey Shaker-style cabinetry topped with an impressively thick single slab of marble. In addition to the four-stool center island snack counter there’s a small informal dining area in front of a picture window with backyard view and all the appliances are top-grade, as should be expected in a house at this price point in this location. The kitchen opens to the family room where there’s a deeply coffered ceiling, a bookcase flanked marble-faced fireplace, and a wall of wood-framed glass doors that fold open to a concrete-floored veranda that overlooks the backyard.

Also on the main floor is a powder pooper for guest, an en suite guest bedroom, and a home theater with a projection system, milk chocolate brown fabric wall panels set off by lipstick red columns, lily gilding nightclub lighting, and tiered seating for (about) 11 in puffy black leather recliners with built-in cup holders. (We know they are a pearl clutching sight for sore eyes, children, but Your Mama would bet our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, and our mean ol’ pussycat Sugar those recliners are as comfortable as they are hidjeous.)

Upstairs, three guest/family bedrooms have private bathrooms and a second family room might easily be put to use as a children’s play room, arts and crafts nook, yoga lounge or Pilates parlor. The spacious master suite has a (third) marble-faced fireplace, built-in bookshelves, something called “separate entry closets,” and a wee private balcony with backyard overlook. Slathered in marble—floors, counters, shower—the master bathroom has two sinks on either side of a built-in hair and make-up vanity, a soaking tub for two set into a bay window, and a separate, glass-enclosed steam shower.

Back downstairs, the veranda off the family room and kitchen area—which Your Mama would like so much better if it were more comfortably half again as deep—gives way to newly sodded lawn. Off to the side, there’s a built-in barbecue situation and, in the far western corner, what we imagine may (or may not) have once been a detached garage was converted to a pool side cabana with kitchenette and convenient half bathroom. A wide set of French doors and a long wall of folding glass doors expose the cabana to the terrace that runs along the smallish saltwater swimming pool with picayune suntanning shelf and inset spa.

*Mister and Missus Priestly paid $ 2,140,000 for their 3,266 square foot Toluca Lake home in May 2007. They first listed the property in the fall 2011 for $ 2.1 million. It did not sell and was taken off the market and re-listed in February 2014 for $ 2,099,000, a figure that might as well be $ 2.1 million.

**We were able to confirm the purchase with property records—it was purchased through the same trust as their former home in Toluca Lake—and as far as this property gossip can tell the Priestleys paid nearly a million dollars more than any other property sold in the immediate vicinity in more than a year. 

listing photos: Keller Williams Realty
The Real Estalker

The Real Estalker – Listen up y’all!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

It may incite the vitriolic wrath of a few of the more sharp-tongued children but Your Mama has none-the-less decided to take a two week retreat in a remote, morgue-quiet high desert location where telephone and internet service is, at best, unreliable. That’s right, butter beans, two weeks.

We do not plan to (dis or) discuss any celebrity-related real estate transactions until June 17, at which point we’ll have some exciting news to unveil about the future of our little online endeavor.

Until then…

The Real Estalker