Monday, December 31, 2012

Your Mama Hears...

...from a snitchy real estate canary in Beverly Hills—let's call her Mercedes Benz—that billionaire multi-media mogul Oprah Winfrey recently and very quietly shelled out somewhere in the neighborhood of $14,000,000 for a spacious Platinum Triangle pied-à-terre condo atop the swanky five star Montage Beverly Hills hotel and residences. 

Fourteen million may sound to some like a lot of dinero for a condo in downtown Beverly Hills—and it is—but the skeptics amongst us might keep in mind that philanthropic oil heiress Ariadne Getty also recently coughed up just over $14,000,000 for a 5,781 square foot seventh floor sprawler with, according to listing information we dug up on the interweb, four bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, four deeded parking spaces, several private terraces, panoramic over-the-rooftop city views and monthly home owner's association dues of $5,549.

The resident owners of the 20 sumptuous condos perched on the top few floors of the Spanish Colonial Revival/Mediterranean style hotel have a private entrance separate from the hotel lobby so they don't have to mix it up with the hotel's well-heeled hoi polloi. Residents also have 24-7 access to all the services and amenities of the posh and pet friendly hotel including concierge services, state-of-the-art security, valet parking, fitness and spa facilities, a roof top pool and terrace and—natch—laundry and shoe shine services. The hotel's extensive website elaborates that the pampered condo owners also have available additional white glove services and amenities such as "baggage storage and shipping, packing and unpacking, couture wardrobe maintenance and alterations, grocery and wine deliveries, private cooking classes and nutritional menu planning, private dining or at-home entertaining, pet care, car storage and maintenance, and home maintenance, repairs and installations."

Listen, kitten-kaboodles, as of today Your Mama finds zero evidence in any of the various property record data bases we regularly consult of said condo acquisition in Bev Hills by Miz Winfrey and none of our usual trusted informants have been able to second this motion. That means this is all—for now—just some juicy celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, okay? 

What isn't rumor or gossip is that spendy Miz Winfrey maintains prodigious property portfolio of private residences that include a four-unit duplex penthouse atop the mixed-use Water Tower Place complex on Chicago's Miracle Mile; a 42-acre spread in Montecito (CA) for which she paid $42,000,000 and humbly dubbed 'The Promised Land'; and an ever-expanding ranch on Maui that, as of June 2012, encompassed 30-plus parcels that total almost 800 acres and all combined cost, by Your Mama's rudimentary calculations, at least $44,000,000 and perhaps as much as $60,000,000.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anyone for a Little Weekend Floor Plan Porn?

SELLER: David and Martha Hamamoto
BUYER: Frank McCourt
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $50,000,000
SIZE: around 5,000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a very difficult couple of days with the inner workings our our internet service—those people at Time Warner make Your Mama want to hurt somebody with our delicate and pudgy bare hands—and yesterday's slow slog through the Los Angeles residence recently acquired by Faye Resnick and her fiancée, we thought everyone might enjoy some good ol' fashioned New York City floor plan porn in the form of a 5,000 (or so) full floor Fifth Avenue aerie recently purchased for its full $50,000,000 asking price.

The seller is listed in property records and previously reported as David and Martha Hamamoto. (He's a bigwig banker with NorthStar Realty Finance Corporation.) The listed buyer as a fella named Frank McCourt who may or may not be the same Frank McCourt who purchased the L.A. Dodgers in 2004 for $430 million, ran them into bankruptcy, reluctantly sold them earlier this year for $2 billion and recently endured a very bitter, very public and ongoing separation and divorce his long-time wife Jamie.

The Thad Hayes-designed interiors—once photographed for Architectural Digest, according to listing information—are somewhat spare and certainly elegantly sedate but absolutely exquisite and— clearly—hideously expensive. The floor plan shows a fairly traditional but modernized layout with a private elevator vestibule, spacious gallery entrance, a 27-foot long park view formal living room with fireplace, and a centrally situated park view library with four pocket doors on three walls. Another pocket door in the a formal dining room—where there are some rather blue chip abstract expressionist paintings on the walls—connects through a open-plan butler's pantry to the center island kitchen with it's custom milled Shaker style cabinetry and top grade appliances.

The master suite, entered via a privacy enhancing vestibule just off the entrance gallery has a large park-view corner bedroom with fireplace, a windowed walk-in closet plus a bedroom-sized dressing room with south facing windows and a large windowed bathroom with double sinks, separate cubby for the crapper and party-sized shower.

A wide corridor shoots east off the entrance gallery and connects to an (almost) 18-foot square family room with three eastern windows and a built in wet bar. Each of the three family bedrooms open off the family room and have private windowed bathrooms.

The purchase included a separate ground floor guest/staff apartment with private exterior entrance on Fifth Avenue, living and dining areas, a compact but fully equipped open-concept kitchen and, finally, two petite bedrooms and two three-quarter bathrooms.

The downright aristocratic, 14-story limestone-clad Italian Renaissance palazzo style apartment house positively drips with a quintessentially New York City sort of moneyed elegance and offers residents full-time doorman services and basement storage cubicles but does not have an on-site garage, sundeck or health club. That lacking in extra amenities, of course, does not keep the monthly common charges low in this top flight building. For example, online documentation shows the monthlies for Mister McCourt's new digs run a gut wrenching $249,648 per year ($20,834 per month).

Some of the other ridiculously wealthy residents of the buildings include octogenarian journalist/talk show co-host Barbara Walters and banker Jay Mantz and wife Jennifer who coughed up $26,474,500 for their high floor spread in early 2008. Mister and Missus Mantz had briefly owned on a full-floor spread on a lower floor that they picked up in May 2008 for $16,840,200 and quickly flipped in January 2008 for $20,000,000 to financier turned powerhouse contemporary art dealer Robert Mnuchin and wife Adriana. Wall Street fat cat turned former New Jersey governor John Corzine's psychotherapist wife Sharon Elghanayan has owned small unit on a lower floor since late 2006 for which she shelled out $7.5 million and the once vilified but back in the saddle banker Jeffrey Verschleiser and wife Amy own a low floor unit that they snagged in March 2005 for $10,000,000.

exterior photo: Scott Bintner for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens (via StreetEasy)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Faye Resnick Buys New Digs in L.A.

BUYER: Faye Resnick and Everett Jack Jr.
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,605,000
SIZE: 2,567 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We know some of the more high fallutin' children are gonna fuss and holler about how Your Mama ought to discuss some of the more high brow real estate activities of late such as how Tinseltown executive Michael Eisner just dropped $8,200,000 to snatch up the Tudor style mini-mansion on a shy acre immediately next door to his already super-luxe two-plus acre two-parcel estate in L.A.'s uppity East Gate area of Bel Air.

Howevuh, hunties, Your Mama just can't resist us an honest to goodness  D-list celebrity, especially a sassy-pants one like Faye Resnick who pops up good and regular on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (RHOBH) as an unapologetic defender of others' honors and a self-assured shit stirrer in a sequined blouse.

Miz Resnick, who happens to be besty-b.f.f. with RHOBH cast member Kyle Richards, has been on the sidelines of Showbiz since at least the mid-1990s when she testified at the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, posed in her birthday suit for Playboy and wrote a two controversial tell-all memoir about the brutal murder of her friend Nicole Brown Simpson. Today she toils as an interior decorator with a short list of celebrity clients who include hotel heiresses Paris and Nicky Hilton, former boy-banker Nick Lachey and actor Kevin Connolly.

Thanks to our ever-intrepid informant Yolanda Yaketyyak we learned on Christmas Day that Miz Resnick and her man-friend fiancée Everett Jack Jr. coughed up $1,605,000 for a two-parcel micro-estate in the Hollywood Hills that's set high above the street up a long, upsloping gated driveway where it's encircled by a thick stand of mature trees that ensures celebrity style privacy.

Listing information shows the two-story house was originally built in 1948 and measures a fairly modest 2,567 square feet with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The renovated but entirely uninspired interior spaces include hardwood floors and a fireplace in the open plan living/dining area on the upper level, swanky commercial style stainless steel appliances in the center island kitchen, limestone tiles in the master bathroom, a lower level family room flanked by en suite guest bedrooms that open through French doors to a deep veranda that over looks the swimming pool that's shaped like an obese kidney bean. Somewhere on the property there's a trellis shaded outdoor barbecue kitchen and across the small motorcourt from the main house up behind the detached two car garage there's a couple of secluded areas perfect for quiet contemplation, meditation and/or weed smoking.

But it's really no matter what the house looks like now because surely Miz Reznick will surely wave her decorative wand over the place and dress it all up in her signature style of Tinseltown decadence that Your Mama might describe as a brooding, nighclubby sort of girlish-glam that often but not always employs a downright fearless and almost fetishistic use of chatoyant and reflective materials. If ever there was was a lady-decorator who might try to dress up an architecturally ho-hum home with a louche set of deep purple taffeta lined black patent leather drapes it would be our gal Faye Resnick.

It is Miz Resnick, of course, who is responsible for the design of Paris Hilton's in-house nightclub lounge in her current home and the person who conceived or at least facilitated the installation of a—ahem—stripper pole in Miss Hilton's former home on North Kings Road, just above the Sunset Strip. We sorta doubt that's what she has planned for her and her fiancée's new digs in the Hollywood Hills but we'd be shocked dead if there wasn't at least one or two mirrored dressers up in there somewhere when it's all said and done.

Anyhoo, Miz Resnick's most recent residential real estate acquisition puts her in the the same neck of the Hollywood Hills as über artist David Hockney, Oscar nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar winning movie star Forest Whitaker, t.v. actor Brian Austin Green and his hotsy totsy action flick actress wife Megan Fox, former sitcom star Justine Bateman and, not too far away, sharp tongued comedienne—and Cher confidant—Kathy Griffin.

P.S. In case any of y'all might be wondering, yes, it was Platinum Triangle super-broker Maurcio Umansky, the hunky hubby of long-time family friend Kyle Richards of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, who represented Miz Resnick and her Mister Jack Jr. in the purchase of the property.

listing photos: RE/MAX Olson & Associates

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Queen of Mean Lisa Lampanelli Snags Beachside Getaway

BUYER: Lisa Lampanelli
LOCATION: Fairfield, CT
PRICE: $2,399,000
SIZE: 3,897 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We are still inundated—swamped really—with merry-making holiday house guests but Your Mama is gonna try to hole up in a quiet corner of the garage and try to top out a quick little celebrity real estate ditty this morning...

Thanks to The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial Your Mama learned this week that not only has voraciously foul mouthed insult comic Lisa Lampanelli recently dropped about 70 or 80 pounds—making her one of those skinny bitches she's been known to mercilessly mock in her stand up shows—but she also recently dropped $2,212,500 on a tall and slender seaside house in the upscale community of Fairfield, CT.

Listing information Your Mama dug up shows the svelte three-story residence was originally built in 2002, measures in at 3,897 square feet and includes 3-4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms* connected by a tightly curled, all wood open riser central spiral staircase that looks to Your Mama like it could be a perplexing and potentially painful torture for anyone liquored up and/or excessively wide of hip.

The main floor, according to various resources we dug up on the interweb, consists of a single car attached garage, a squeezy entrance hall, a powder pooper, a room Miz Lampanelli's husband Jimmy uses as a—ahem—man cave, and an open-plan ocean-side kitchen/dining/family room area with glimmering water and beach views out a whole lotta floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors.

The ocean side master suite on the second floor has a private sitting room, a small balcony with views up and down the coastline, and a good-sized bathroom with separate jetted tub and shower slathered in some of the more eyeball-punishing peachy beige tile and woefully outdated glass brick we've ever had the misfortune to lay our lazy left eye.

There are two more guest bedrooms on the second floor that share a bathroom and, on the top floor, nestled into the sloping roof line is a den where the somewhat infamous and screechingly funny Queen of Mean can quietly pen her famously polarizing jokes that viciously slice and dice every segment of humanity.

A house wide, bi-level deck ringed with whispering sea grasses allows for seaside sitting without the bother of sand getting wedged between the toes or in one's more intimate cracks and crevices.

Listing photos—natch—show the house decorated—if you can call it that—by the sellers. However, as it turns out, Miz Lampanelli had the folks from Connecticut magazine over for an interview and photo shoot for their November 2012 issue and she gleefully revealed that after a hysterically disastrous experience with a lady decorator some years ago she simply opened up a Pottery Barn catalog and ordered an entire spread for her new haven by the shore.

Miz Lampanelli also maintains a rental apartment near Lincoln Center in New York City—in a building where three bedrooms go for about 14 grand a month—and back in 2007 she spent $1,250,000 on a 2,539 square foot condo-type bungalow on the property of the famous Canyon Ranch health resort and spa in Tucson, AZ where a week of vegetables, long walks in the desert and massages will set a person back a minimum of seven thousand clams for a week's stay.

*For the record, the Fairfield County Tax Man shows the house has 2,922 square feet on two floors with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. 

listing photos: William Raveis (via Zillow and Neighbor City)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Three Links for the Holidays

Listen children, Your Mama has a houseful of family—we got Mama and Sister Cooter, Your Mama's Momma, Sister Woman and her brood, Auntie and Cuzzin Will and more—so we're beyond swamped not to mentioned exhausted and sotted with gin.

However, rather than leave y'all high and dry here are a few linds some stories for the celebrity gossip blogosphere:

The seemingly sleepless kids at Curbed have a worthwhile run down of some of the best celebrity owned homes that appeared this year in the glossy pages of shelter magazines.

The folks at Forbes put together a rather exhaustive reports and slide show of The Biggest Billionaire Home Sales of 2012. Compelling and shocking all at the same time

New York City-based restarauteur Jerry Della Femina sold his ocean front house in East Hampton, NY and hissed and pissed to the peeps at the New York Post it's Obama's socialist tax policies that are the reason he took $25 million for the house instead of holding out for the $40 million he originally wanted. The new owner is said to be Discovery Networks CEO David Zaslav.

Airbags, Airbags, Airbags Part 2

This is what you get. I purposely cropped the top of this. Above is the VIN number and more modules. The modules have BCE addresses. These addresses correspond to certain modules. I know that 737 is for the RCM. I then print this out and start the PMI process with my IDS.
This is the screen you get. Just follow very carefully the lines and input the characters exactly. Hit the blue checkmark on the lower right and the screen will advance to the next set you need to input. When you input all the characters you will get this.
Next we will check for any codes. Now that the RCM is configured now it can self test the system properly.

The system is operational. I will clear the continuous codes finally. Here again I do passenger seat rezero procedure and check for proper operation.
This is a 2011 Mazda 3 Wagon that the shop correctly diagnosed a bad passenger presence module. They changed the module and related wiring. They still had an airbag lamp on and this code. I am using my Mazda IDS system. This code can be set two different ways. One if the OCS (Occupant Classification System) is not calibrated or loss of communication between the OCS and the RCM. Let's see how we can tell the difference.
I call up some pids on the RCM to help me out. I can plainly see we have no communication faults but we have a calibration fault. To be fair you can also use LFC (Light Flash Codes) to differentiate this as well. I hate reading LFC-blink and it is time to restart. So now I have to do a OCS calibration. This involves using my Mazda IDS and some weights on the passenger seat. The procedure is pretty lengthy and must be done in a controlled manner after the vehicle sets for awhile depending on temperature. After the calibration procedure is complete lets rerun the self test.
System passes and the airbag lamp goes off. Consequently, the B1013 you see I induced when I performed the self test with some weights still on the passenger seat. Note to self have nothing on front passenger seat when doing a self test. Clearing the CMDTC's and we are set.

Airbags, Airbags, Airbags Part 1

I get a fair amount of calls from body shops. Most of the times it is collision related issues such as airbag or wiring issues. I am going to give you three of my most recent. Here is a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The vehicle was in a recent accident. The shop did a nice job putting this vehicle back together. Along the way components in the restraint system were changed-airbags, seatbelts, and the airbag control unit. The shop called me after they changed the items and had a flashing airbag lamp with key on. Starting in approximately 2009 on Hyundai/Kia vehicles the airbag control unit has to be variant coded for it to operate properly. The airbag control unit has to be "programmed" so it knows whether it has side curtain airbags, etc. The flashing lamp tells you that no variant coding has been set.
This can only be done with the proper tooling. It is a one shot deal. Here is the G-scan made by a company called GIT. While this is not the true blue factory tool for Hyundai/Kia (The GDS is the factory) it really comes a close second. In fact it will do everything GDS will do minus programming and fault guided diagnostics. Rumor has it that engineers for Hyundai/Kia have "super" G-scans that will actually program. My G-scan is actually a loaner from my good friend Joey "Bag o donuts" for which I am grateful for. He knows I do a great deal of Hyundai/Kia work and he has a love/hate relationship with this scantool. Mostly hate.
After building the vehicle and the system I want to access we get this screen. I choose Vehicle S/W Management.
This is next screen. I have already called my source to get the correct variant code for this vehicle using the VIN. You have to have a source at the OE level to retrieve these variant codes.
This is the next screen detailing the function and where you should have the ignition key. lets hit ok.

The next screen includes a mini keyboard for inputting the variant code. The tool includes a stylus that helps with this.

After inputting the code this screen just informs you the procedure is complete. I turn the key off for 1 minute or so. Turn the key back on and no more flashing lamp. I perform a WCS (Weight Classification System) rezero procedure with the G-scan and clear all codes. Finally, I check the operation of the passenger weight system for proper operation and do a final scan for codes.
Next up is a 2006 Mercury Milan that was involved in a collision. Again, various components of the restraint system were changed including the Airbag contol module which Ford calls the RCM (Restraint Control Module). Typically, when a Ford module is changed the information from the old module is retrieved using a procedure called PMI (Programmable Module Installation) and then uploaded to the new module. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes the module is missing or damged and information cannot be retrieved. Ford has an answer for this called "As Built Data" using the VIN. Here in the above screenshot with my Ford IDS we have a B2477 in the RCM. The RCM is not configured or configured properly. Since I have no module to retrieve data and the vehicle is already together I will use As Built Data to configure this module. I will need the full 17 digit VIN and access to
This is the As Built Data entry screen. I enter the full VIN.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Your Mama Hears...

...from two trusted and well connected sources deep inside the Platinum Triangle real estate game that there's a big deal—and we mean BIG—about to go down in Malibu.

According to both Cinnamon Stick and Little Boy Blue, bespectacled billionaire money manager Howard Marks and his very social and philanthropic wife Nancy are thisclose to inking a record-breaking deal to sell their monumental ocean front compound for somewhere in the neighborhood of $75,000,000.*

The bulk of the triple-gated and heavily fortified 10-ish acre estate was formerly owned by Verna Harrah, the wildly wealthy widow of casino kingpin Bill Harrah, who sold it in late 1999 for $27,000,000 to Herbalife founder Mark Hughes who died in the house just about six months later. In June 2001 the executors of Mister Hughes's estate sold the palatial pad to Mister and Missus Marks for $31,000,000.

The following year, in October 2002, according to property records, Mister and Missus Marks shelled out another $4,600,000 for a neighboring property that now includes a separate gated residence for guests or staff and a full-sized tennis court with viewing pavilion. It was on this approximately 2.5 acre property, incidentally, that way back in July 2000 Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston held their wedding reception in a giant, bluff-side tent.

Anyhoo, Mister and Missus Marks spent years and God only knows how many millions on a soup-to-nuts renovation of the entire estate but, at the time of their purchase, the imposing Italianate villa measured in at 19,340 square feet with a total of 8 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms including a vast master suite with sitting room, private office, exercise room, and three room-sized walk-in closets.

The estate now includes a long, baronial tree-lined driveway, a charity circuit-sized motor court, a second rear motor court with garage access, a spacious bluff side swimming pool and several outbuildings of undetermined—or at least unknown—utility.

Some of the Marks' nearest neighbors in the Bu include mustachioed actor Sam Elliot and television super-producer Marcy Carsey. Just down the beach a bit is the house Ellen Degeneres bought from Brad Pitt in December 2011 for $12,000,000 and flipped six or so months lather for $13,000,000.

Folks who follow the upper end real estate market are well acquainted with the over-flowing property portfolio of Mister and Missus Marks. In Los Angeles, in addition to their Malibu manse, they own a 1.9 acre estate in a leafy and low-key but very posh street in the Brentwood area that they picked up in July 1996 for $7,963,570 from real estate tycoon Robert F. Maguire III.

In May 2007 they coughed up $18,875,000 for a full-floor spread atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Central Park South in New York City that they had worked over by architect Oscar Shamamian and Oval Office decorator Michael Smith. In July (2012) the two bedroom and four bathroom aerie popped up on the open market with a $50,000,000 price tag.

Their decision to sell at the Ritz-Carlton surely had something to do with their record breaking and publicity generating $52,500,000 purchase of Courtney Sale Ross's epic 30-room duplex at 740 Park Avenue in May 2012.

In October 2010 the high hoggers paid ad man turned television personality Donny Deutsch a staggering $30,184,000 for a pair of adjacent parcels in East Hampton, NY, one of which is ocean front and together total (approx.) 3.3 acres.

We've also been told by someone who tends to know these sorts of things that for at least the last six or seven years Mister and Missus Marks have maintained a very large, very expensive and very fancy 19th century flat in the central London's natty, naboby and punishingly expensive Belgravia district that they also had over-hauled by Michael Smith.

P.S. We also have vague intel that there's an even bigger deal in the works up north in the Bay Area. More on this to come as we have more to gossip about.

*Neither of our sources know—or would reveal—the alleged buyer of the baronial estate perched atop the rugged Encinal Bluffs but iffin any of the children might like to enlighten Your Mama we'll be sure to keep your identity on the down low. 

aerial image: Google

Friday, December 21, 2012

End of Week Bits and Pieces: Rihanna

BUYER: Rihanna
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
PRICE: $12,000,000
SIZE: 11,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We know every other celebrity property gossip already discussed it days ago but in case any of y'all somehow missed it, Rihanna (allegedly) dropped $12,000,000 on a gated, privately situated and aggressively contemporary mansion in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.

Property records do not yet reflect a transfer of ownership so we can't confirm or deny the reports of Riri's purchase. Could be she wrote a check for the whole amount. Or could it be she simply rented the the property? In addition to being for sale the seven bedroom and 9 bathroom residential beast was, until recently, also listed for lease at an astounding $70,000 per month?

There's probably little more we can add to the discussion so rather than get all bitchy at length about the bizarre scalloped roof line, the prominent entrance pavilion that looks like a damn Best Buy, the redonkulously cliché sweetheart staircase in the foyer, the chocolate brown crocodile embossed leather wall covering in the powder pooper, the curvaceous wood panels in the hotel-lobby like living room, the 11 (or more) gas fireplaces and/or the mint green counter tops in the otherwise dark green laundry room we're just gonna let y'll peruse the pictures and make your own assessments and judgements.

One, two, three...Go!

listing photos: Rodeo Realty and Nelson Shelton & Associates

End of Week Bits and Pieces: Elviria

BUYER: Mistress of the Dark
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $925,000
SIZE: (approx.) 2,005 square feet total with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

First came word that Jessica Simpson (allegedly) made an offer to buy the not very scary Hidden Hills mansion of rock-n-roll's Prince of Darkness—that would be Ozzy Osbourne—and now comes word via the long legged blond at Trulia Luxe Living that the equally macabre monikered Mistress of the Dark—a.k.a. Elvira, née Cassandra Peterson—recently paid $925,000 for a light filled Spanish bungalow on a charming tree-lined street just a couple blocks from L.A.'s shoppy-shoppy boutique- and eatery-lined Larchmont Boulevard.

Listing information from the time of the purchase shows the completely upgraded and restored 1923 casa measures in at a modest 1,605 square feet with just two bedrooms and two bathrooms. An additional (approx.) 400 square foot detached space—once a two-car garage—offers additional living/working quarters plus a third bathroom.

There's a fireplace, over-sized multi-paned windows and a barrel vaulted ceiling in the living room. The medium brown hardwood floors extend into the French door-lined dining room and on into the renovated, eat-in "country" kitchen with bead board accented cabinetry, beige tile counter tops that look to be some sort of stone or faux-stone material, and good grade stainless steel appliances.

Apparently, almost a million bucks doesn't buy an already installed swimming pool in that neck of Tinseltown but listing photographs do indicate the front and back yards are both well planted with mature gardens. A chevron pattern red brick terrace just outside the detached bonus space is separated from the flagstone terrace off the back of the house by a wall and fountain that hopefully takes the edge off unwanted noise form the neighbors as well as the soft but ever-present thrum of traffic.

As noted by the Trulia gal, Miz Peterson once owned a 3,7,56 square foot house on a gated street in the Los Feliz are of Los Angeles that actor Giovanni Ribisi recently bought for $2,950,000. She also once owned the adjacent Briarcliff Manor property, an historic Craftsman that she sold in 1994 to Brad Pitt. The approximately 5,600 square foot house is still owned by Mister Pitt and is, in fact, the centerpiece of the multi-structure compound he's since created with the subsequent purchase and incorporation of a handful of adjoining properties.

More recently, in April 2009, Miz Peterson—out of her ghoulish maquillage, jet black fright wig and skin tight cleavage exposing witch's dress a pretty if and well-preserved if somewhat unassuming  ginger haired 61 year old—sold a surprisingly traditional house in the Silver Lake area for $1,626,000. That was, according to our calculations, $127,000 more than the $1,499,000 asking price but only $72,000 more than the $1,698,000 she paid for the place just over two years earlier.

listing photos: Patrick Goeglein

Jana Kramer Sells Nashville Bacherlorette Pad

SELLER: Jana Kramer
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
PRICE: $367,000
SIZE: 2,230 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Word on the celebrity real estate street down in Nashville is that after only six or so months of courting, country music up and comers Jana Kramer and Brantely Gilbert have taken the property plunge and purchased a house where they live together in unmarried bliss.

Well, children, we don't know a damn thing about where the Kramer-Gilberts play house now but our entirely unscientific research online turned up evidence that Miss Kramer recently sold her East Nashville bachelorette pad for, according to online documentation, $367,000.

Thirty year old Miss Kramer is probably best known by t.v. watchers for her former role on One Tree Hill and tabloid readers for her one month marriage in 2009 to Christina Applegate's ex-husband, the much older model turned actor/writer/producer Johnathan Schaech (That Thing That You Do, Models Inc.). In all honesty, neither Your Mama nor The Doctor Cooter had previously heard of Mister Gilbert but a few minutes batting around on the interweb tells us he's a bearded and tatted-up country rock singer-songwriter type who opened for country music superstar Toby Keith's Live in Overdrive tour this year.

Property records indicate Miss Kramer acquired the house, located in the heart of the historic Lockeland Springs 'hood just just over the Cumberland River a couple miles east of downtown Nashville, in October 2010 for $317,000.

We're not sure who was responsible for the make over—could be Miss Kramer, could be a previous owner—but listing information from the time of the most recent sale shows the completely renovated, 2,230 square foot clapboard-sided 1925 country cottage was done up and did over with a classic white picket fence, a deep and neighborly front porch and an Old Timey wooden porch swing.

The front door opens directly into the living room that spans the full width of the house and has soaring pitched and vaulted ceilings, hardwood flooring installed at a 45-degree angle and an awkwardly situated off-center stacked stone fireplace. 

The hardwood floors extend back through a wide corridor to a lipstick red walled dining area that connects over a nipple height breakfast bar to a remodeled but very ho-hum kitchen with olive green painted cabinetry, budget-minded black appliances, mottled grey counter tops of unknown material and—inexplicably and regrettably—a peachy-beige mottled tile floor.

Listing information indicates there are a total of three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus a multi-purpose loft area that overlooks the living room. There are two master suites, according to listing information, one upstairs with a Home Depot grade private bathroom and the other downstairs. The third bedroom makes use of a hall bathroom.

The back of the house doesn't exactly open itself wide to the outdoors but there are a couple of doors that connect to a raised back deck that overlooks the petite and barely landscaped, low-maintenance backyard. At the rear of the property an electronically-controlled driveway gates, accessible by way of an alley, allows for private, secure and direct automobile access to the partially subterranean basement level single car garage. 

If Mister Gilbert currently owns or owned a home in the Nashville area Your Mama has yet to figure it out.

listing photos: Re/Max Carriage House

Thursday, December 20, 2012

PSY Scoops Up a Condo in an L.A. High Rise

BUYER: PSY (nee Park Jae-sang)
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,249,000
SIZE: 2,776 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ reported today that budding music industry zeitgeist PSY—née Park Jae-sang (박재상, 朴載相)—paid $1.25 million in cold hard cash* for a two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom condo located on a very pedestrian lower floor of The Blair House, an exclusive, 29-story luxury high-rise building "near Beverly Hills."

For those of the children who may have somehow missed the pop cultural boat, PSY is a the South Korean-born bad boy K-pop** poster child who shot to international super stardom earlier this year with his catchy, high camp and high energy Gangnam Style music video that's been viewed almost a billion times on the You Tube.

PSY plans to give his new 2,776 square foot condo crib a face lift, according to TMZ, even thought listing information Your Mama dug up online shows that at the time of purchase in early November (2012) the condo was already done up in a slightly douched-out Gangnam Style with grey wall-to-wall carpeting in the main living areas, a gas fireplace surrounded by glammy mirrored panels, a small private terrace, a marble tile floored dining room and an angular eat-in kitchen with hardware-free flat-fronted cabinetry and high grade if out-dated appliances.

The master bedroom opens through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows to a rather anorexic terrace with a trafficky view but does have a walk-in closet and an attached bathroom with marble topped double vanity and separate shower and jetted tub. The unit conveniently contains its own laundry room with full sized washer and dryer.

A foliage lined circular drive curves up to the building's well attended lobby that, well, to be honest, reeks of a little more late-1980s brass-trimmed glamour than we really feel comfortable with. The condo's $2,141 per month home owners dues help pay for the building's many amenities that include door man and concierge services, on-site valet parking, well maintained landscaped grounds, banquet facilities, a gym area with sauna, an outdoor salt water swimming pool and spa plus—a rarity among the luxury residential towers that line Wilshire Boulevard corridor between Westwood and Beverly Hills—a lighted and sunken tennis court.

For the record, the condo in question—the one shown in listing photos above—was purchased by someone with a Korean sounding name that Your Mama can not link directly to PSY. We have no reason to doubt our celebrity real estate compatriots at TMZ—heaven knows they snag a lot of intel about celebrity related property transactions—but for now this remains for Your Mama an unconfirmed rumor.
*Property records reveal the actual sale price for the condo in question was $1,249,000 and, for the record, the condo—the one shown in listing photos above—was purchased by someone with a Korean sounding name that Your Mama can not link directly to PSY. We have no reason to doubt our celebrity real estate compatriots at TMZ—heaven knows they snag a lot of intel about celebrity related property transactions—but for now this remains for Your Mama an unconfirmed rumor. 

**K-pop, in case y'all don't already know, is a genre of of music that Your Mama might describe as largely formulaic and stupidly over-polished but crazily popular and auditorily addictive bubble gum pop music produced at an alarmingly fast pace in South Korea. The New Yorker recently published an excellent primer on the globally emerging genre.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker

Ricky Martin Is An Uptown Daddy

BUYER: Ricky Martin
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $5,900,000
SIZE:3,147 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once upon a celebrity real estate time booty-shaking Puerto Rican pop star/entertainer Ricky Martin owned sleek, 65th floor pied-a-terre at the twin-towered Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan that he bought in 2004 for just about $6.8 million and sold at an enviable multi-million dollar profit in 2006 for $9,750,000.

The following year (2007) Mister Martin hauled his real estate vida loca downtown to the then and still quite haute-ish Herzog & de Meuron-designed 40 Bond building where any number of celebrity property gossips—including Your Mama—reported he (allegedly) coughed up somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,000,000 for a low floor apartment with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.*

Incidentally and as a slight aside, the fancy-pants 40 Bond building in the NoHo (North of Houston) nabe, is where fashion designer Calvin Klein was reported earlier today in the New York Post to have signed a short term lease on a $25,000 per month two bedroom spread. Seventy year old Mister Klein—who can not be at all happy about the possibly pending publication of a probably embarrassing tell-all book by his blabber mouthed 21-year old former lover Nick Gruber—has sought temporary refuge at 40 Bond from  his far more grand West Village triplex penthouse after hurricane Sandy compromised and/or destroyed the building's basement level services.

Anyhoo, sometime last year Mister Martin and his long-time man-friend Carlos Gonzalez Abella packed up his/their toddler-age boy twins and shook their bon bons all the way back uptown to the full service Lucida building on East 85th Street where he/they leased a seventh floor quadruple exposure sprawler with five bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, an 800 square foot corner living room, an eat-in kitchen and a last listed monthly rent of $32,500. For the record, the apartment has been back up for lease since mid-November (2012) with a notably higher $37,500 monthly rent price. 

Today comes word slips down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine via the NewYork Post that Mister Martin has opted to own a piece of The Big Apple with the $5,900,000 purchase of a sun drenched and (essentially) south facing two-unit combination condo crib in a contemporary—some might say rather bland—10-story Peter Marino-designed building that faces Gracie Mansion and the playgrounds, open fields and dog run at Carl Shurz Park.

The eight-room apartment, according to listing information, measures in at 3,147 square feet with generous 10 foot ceilings and over-sized floor-to-ceiling windows. The floor plan included with marketing materials shows there's a proper foyer in which to greet guests and the Chinese food delivery man and a double-wide—if otherwise architecturally featureless—living/dining room with Old Timey pre-war style parquet floors. There's also a pequeño eat-in kitchen, a small (windowed) mud room off the service entrance and a fairly narrow study/den all done up in listing photos as a children's playroom.

There are, according to listing information, a total of four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms including two small(ish) guest/family bedrooms with private bathrooms. A pair of master bedrooms, at opposite ends of the apartment, both have multiple closets and attached windowless bathrooms slathered in top quality beige travertine tile.

The monthly common charges and taxes for the apartment Mister Martin (allegedly) bought total $4,729, according to listing information. The 100-plus unit building's extensive, residents only amenities include a state of the art fitness center, squash court, Pilates room, yoga studio, 40 seat screening room, golf simulator, library, arcade room and children's playrooms.

As it turns out Mister Martin has been on a bit of a real estate tear the last eight or nine months. Since at least mid-2007 he's repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to dump a walled and gated bay front mansion in Miami Beach (FL) that he bought in May 2005 for ten million dollars. At one point the 7 bedroom and 8 full and two half bathroom spread (above) was listed for $16,900,000. The asking price inexplicably climbed to $19.5 million in 2008. Alas, property records show Mister Martin had to accept a much, much lower offer when, according to property records, he finally sold the unwanted waterfront estate in April of this year (2012) for $10,600,000 to a clearly well-compensated Long Island-based computer retail executive named Richard Leeds.

In April 2007, just about the time he listed his above mentioned bay front mansion in Miami Beach, Mister Martin coughed up a star-style $16,250,000 for a nearly 10,000 square foot ocean front mansion about 10 miles to the north in sleepy but swank Golden Beach. By December of that year he'd caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estae Fickle and hoisted the five bedroom and seven bathroom house (above) back on the open market with a sky-high asking price of $22,500,000. Property records reveal Mister Martin's original asking price was wildly optimistic because he finally, at long last, sold the gated property last month for $12,800,000. A few quick clickety-clacks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that's almost ten million less than he wanted and, even worse, a spectacular $3,450,000 less than he paid for the place five and some years ago. Ouch!

As far as Your Mama knows, Mister Martin continues to own a substantial residence in Dorado, Puerto Rico—where the American Rockefellers once owned a vacation compound—as well as, so the celebrity real estate rumors go, a casa in Madrid and a private island hideaway in Rio de Janeiro.

*In all honesty, children, Your Mama does not find much if any evidence that Señor Bon Bon bought an apartment at 40 Bond. Could be that he did and we just can't suss it out or could be that he rented in the building.

listing photos and floor plan (New York City, top): Corcoran
listing photos (Miami Beach): EWM Realtors International
listing photos (Golden Beach): Zillow

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rumor Has It...

...that bubble gum pop singer turned maybe-preggers again apparel mogul Jessica Simpson and her former professional pig skinner man-friend/baby daddy Eric Johnson have made a formal offer to purchase a spacious estate inside the guarded gates of the upscale equestrian community of Hidden Hills, CA that's currently owned by rock-n-roll royals Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne who had the entire place worked over by the forever swooning and swanning Martyn Lawrence Bullard from Million Dollar Decorators, photographed for Architectural Digest, and, until mid-October (2012), had on the open market with a $13.5 million dollar price tag.*

Property records and previous reports reveal Mister and Missus Prince of Darkness paid $12,388,500 for the nearly 11,000 square foot mansion that has a total of six bedrooms and ten terlits spread among six full and four half bathrooms. There's also his and her offices and narrow staircase lined with framed gold and platinum records that leads down to a private recording and rehearsal studio.

Avid celebrity property watchers may recall that Mister and Missus Osbourne took their glammed up but unwanted spread in Hidden Hills after a property line dispute erupted with the neighboring communities home owner's association. Unable to sell the property until the dispute is—or was—settled, the Osbourne's opted to lease the property at a rip-roaring rate of $50,000 per month. We can't confirm or deny whether Mister and Missus Osbourne actually leased the house to anyone but it does not, as far as we can find, currently appear as a rental on the open market.

Sometime in late 2011or early 2012 the Osbournes decamped horsey Hidden Hills for a Martyn Lawrence Bullard decorated two bedroom pied a terre on the 18th floor of the celeb-stacked Sierra Towers building in bustling West Hollywood before they leased a fully updated 1928 Spanish hacienda-style residence in the flats of Beverly Hills from one of the Platinum Triangle's most successful Real Estates.

Miz Simpson, Mister Johnson and Babymakesthree currently shack up—an unidentified source tattled to Life & Style**—in the glitzed-up Shabby Chic-ly done domicile in the upper Beverly Hills Post Office area that Miz Simpson bought more than five years ago, post-divorce from what's-his-face Nick Lachey for $5,275,000. The house sits right up next door to a country English mock-Tudor (or something) until recently owned by Kimora Lee Simpson and just around this corner or that bend in the road are privately situated luxury residences owns by a slew of Showbiz types who include but are not limited to Cameron Diaz, Guy Oseary, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Ziggy Marley and Tom Freston.

*This rumor of alleged formal offer was first reported in the print edition of the Life & Style celebrity gossip magazine and, as of this very minute, we're unable to locate a digital version of the story. If one surfaces—and we are made aware of it—we'll happily link on over to said story as the primary source for this as yet unconfirmed celebrity real estate rumor.