Monday, December 9, 2013
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 15,600 square feet, 9 bedrooms, 11 full and 3 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In case any of y'all celebrity real estate-o-philes haven't heard, retired professional pigskinner turned turned wildly popular morning chat show host Michael Strahan—he took over for Regis Philbin in the fall of 2012—and his long-time fiancée Nicole Mitchell Murphy—she's a former model, reality television denizen, and the ex-wife of Eddie Murphy—have been on a serious real estate whirligig the last few years.
In April 2011, after a four year long slog, Miz Mitchell Murphy finally unloaded a 9,200 square foot Spanish-y mansion in the guard-gated Oaks community in Calabasas, CA for $5,515,000, a pocketbook plundering two million dollar loss against the $7.5 million she paid for the place in 2006.*
In November 2009, not long after he and Miz Mitchell Murphy were engaged, property records show the gap-toothed former defensive end shelled out $5 million for a 10,000-ish square foot faux-Tuscan macmansion in L.A.'s tony Brentwood area that he/they sold in March 2012 for $6,150,000.
A few months later the couple coughed up $7.9 million for a 1926 Mediterranean tear down in the super-prime lower Bel Air area. It's not clear if Mister Strahan and/or Miz Mitchell Murphy ever moved in—we think not—but what is clear is that they flipped the property less than a year later for $11 million in an off-market deal to mid-priced handbag mogul and bone fide real estate baller Bruce Makowsky for $11 million. (Mister Makowsky, according to the sorts of sources who know these sorts of things, razed the residence.)
Since Mister Strahan tapes Live! With Kelly and Michael in New York City it's no surprise he and his betrothed have peeped some spacious and immoderately expensive apartments for them and however many of their combined nine children—she has five children with her ex-husband and he has four, two from each of his previous two wives—live with them. So the gossip goes, the couple recently looked at but passed on a 5,500 square foot, multi-winged duplex penthouse on the Upper West Side that was previously toured by actor Bradley Cooper and is currently listed at $20,000,000, reduced from $24.9 million and down considerably from its original asking price of $29 million.
Back on the west coast, as per celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ, the couple lease an opulent, Neo-classical/semi-Italian villa in Beverly Hill's guard-gated and (in)famously ostentatious Beverly Park enclave. The house is owned, as it turns out, by none other than the aforementioned purse pasha Bruce Makowsky who owns at least two other mansions in Beverly Park. However, hunties, the unmarried couple will soon decamp Beverly Park and head back to Brentwood where they are—according to our impossibly well-connected informant Peter Propertyseller—in contract to acquire a big and brand new residential behemoth listed with a fat $17 million price tag.**
Listing details show the freshly finished, 15,600 square foot center hall neo-Colonial style mansion, tightly wedged onto a walled, double-gated, and high-hedged shy acre that backs up to a thickly treed ravine, was designed by Harvard educated, CalArts-trained, and Santa Monica-based residential architect Winston Brock Chappell. There are, as per digital marketing materials, 9 bedroom suites and a total of 11 full and three half bathrooms on three luxuriously-appointed and elevator-serviced floors.
*F.Y.I., the non-celeb buyer caught a classic and an almost immediate case of The Real Estate Fickle and sold the six bedroom residence a year later for $6.5 million to douchey, Lambo-driving rapscallion, Justin Bieber.
**Peter Propertyseller told Your Mama that he heard through the Platinum Triangle property gossip grapevine the deal was going down for $16 million but the transaction has yet to be completed and/or recorded so the sale price—and the actual transaction itself—are still just some good ol' fashioned celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, at least until you read about it in one of the more respectable property gossip columns.
listing photos: The Agency
Friday, December 6, 2013
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 4,500 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: One of the Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial recently let Your Mama know that an up-and-coming and well-connected, 25-year old hip hop recording artist from Detroit who goes by the stage name Big Sean shelled out $1,675,000 for a freshly rehabbed and sparsely faux-quoined, mullett-style mock-Med residence in the Hollywood Hills.*
Well, children, we're not afraid to admit that Your Mama had never heard of this Big Sean person but it didn't take too many clicks or clacks on our handy-dandy lap top computer to discover that he's not really very big—he's merely 5'8" tall and supermodel slender—and that he's newly engaged to actress Naya Rivera who, in case you don't recognize the name, plays sassy and sexy Latina lesbian Santana Lopez on Glee. Our travels across the internets also turned up the official video for Big Sean's newly released single, Fire, that features pop music's favorite twerking and tongue wagging hellion Miley Cyrus who—if Your Mama can be permitted to critique out of our element—does an impressively effective job in her portrayal of a slutty video vixen who really knows how to sit on top of a humongous hunk of dramatically back-lit marble. Anyways...
From the street B.S.'s new house looks like a rather mundane if carefully groomed and compact single-story residence. However, children, the house, perched on a wicked steep lot with a San Fernando Valley view in a not-so-glam section of the Hollywood Hills above the Cahuenga Pass, drops mullett-style two more floors at the back to encompass five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in about 4,500 square feet on three, elevator-free floors.
A low front wall, newly planted privet hedges, and a sliding electronic driveway gate define the tight, stamped concrete driveway that does double duty as an extremely low maintenance and water conserving all-concrete front yard. Carved wood pillars and a shallow portico signify the entrance to the residence on its uppermost floor through double front doors that open to a foyer the size of a small living room. A pony wall** is about all that separates the foyer from the only slightly larger "formal"living room where single-pane French doors open to the front yard/driveway and a gas fireplace was wedged—uncomfortably by our persnickety estimation—in a corner between two windows.
The simple, over-the-counter moldings and espresso-toned wood flooring in the foyer and living room—the sort of wood flooring that Your Mama would bet both our long bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, are the engineered type—continue into the formal dining room that has an almost magnificent, not quite square picture window with canyon and San Fernando Valley views.***
The (possibly engineered) wood floors switch to stone—or stone-like—tile in the spacious, center island kitchen. The tile on the kitchen floor looks to Your Mama a little too—uhm—identical to the stone tiles that demarcate the chimney breast in the aforementioned corner gas fireplace in the "formal" living room. The kitchen, equipped with white, double raised panel cabinetry decorated with fluted pilasters, ebony counter tops of unknown material, medium grade stainless steel appliances, and, over the sink, a double-wide greenhouse-style bay window, adjoins a convenient breakfast room off of which open a laundry room and attached two-car garage.
In addition to a small guest/family bedroom with hall bath access, the middle level has a pair of master suites, both with private sitting rooms, small private terraces, walk-in closets, and attached bathrooms with tumbled travertine (or maybe limestone) tile work. Presumably, the master with two walk-in closets, a corner fireplace, and bigger bathroom is meant to be the main master. Incidentally, the corner fireplace in the main master bedroom was treated with the same stone or stone-like tile as the fireplace in the living room upstairs. Listen, children, Your Mama loves us some decorative unity in a home, but all this matchy-matchy mottled beige stone or stone-like tile looks to us like it was bought in a hurry, in bulk, and at a discount from a big box home improvement center. Then again, what do we know? Maybe that is some kind of rare, artisinal travertine, or whatever. Could be. Probably isn't but it could be, right? Anyhoodles, poodles....
One more glute-busting floor below there's a central, wet bar-equipped family/media room flanked by two reasonably sized bedrooms that share a three-quarter bathroom off the the family room. Your Mama imagines Mister B.S. converted or will convert part or all of this lower level to a recording studio.
Outdoor space is limited to the all stamped concrete front yard/driveway and a series of petite, slate-tiled and wrought iron railed balconies that effectively cantilever over the canyon off the rear facade and offer up long if slightly tree-obstructed views out over the eastern reaches of the San Fernando Valley.
Avid celebrity real estate watchers may recall that Mister Big Sean's fiancee, Naya Rivera, has been on a bit of a real estate streak herself. In June (2013) she sold a renovated residence in a Beverly Hills (Post Office) canyon for $1,930,000 and, a few months earlier, paid $2.6 million for a 1930s clapboard-sided traditional at the far western edge of L.A.'s Los Feliz area.
So, children, will these two, like so many other newly wedded rich and famous before them, sell their houses and buy a new, neutral one or will one move into the other's bachelor or bachelorette pad? Pins and needles, pins and needles...
*For the record: Big Sean actually bought his new house several months ago but we didn't know a thing about it until a couple days ago.
**Has we ever complained to the children about how an ill-placed pony wall makes Your Mama crave a damn nerve pill? Well they do. Anyways...
***Oh, how Your Mama wishes that window were square.
photos: David Charmaine for John Aaroe Group
Thursday, December 5, 2013
LOCATION: Vencie, CA
SIZE: 3,551 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We recently received a covert communique from a wise and well-informed little birdie we'll call Polly Wannacracker who snitched to Your Mama that Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer Ryan Tedder and his college sweetheart wife, Genevieve, quietly shelled out $2.85 million for a newly built and modern-minded micro-compound the geographic heart of Venice, CA, just off the spendy and trendy shopping and dining strip along Abbott Kinney north of Venice Boulevard.
Mister Tedder, as we were informed by Miss Wannacracker, fronts OneRepublic, a multi-platinum pop rock band that's had a couple of radio-friendly hit ditties including 2007's Apologize. However and agueably, the 34-year old Oral Roberts University graduate is at least, if not more successful and well respected by his professional peers as a songwriter and producer for pop music superstars like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Natasha Bedingfield, Ellie Goulding, Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood. Mister Tedder worked with British supernova Adele on her seminal (and sensational) album 21—he co-wrote the ever-so-catchy but humorously cutting ditty Rumour Has It, a collaboration that earned the relatively new father of one a Grammy Award in 2012. It was recently announced in the tabs and trades, we discovered in our cursory research, that Mister Tedder signed on for a no-doubt highly lucrative gig on The Voice as the popular televised singing contest's first in-house songwriter and producer.
Property records and other digitally accessible resources show the newly constructed, two-building micro-compound, a boxy configuration of glass, concrete, steel, and horizontal wood cladding, was designed by sustainability-minded SoCal architect Matthew Royce. We gathered from our perusal and parsing of listing details that the 3,551 square foot, two-story main house has three to four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. A architecturally matchy-matchy but fully detached, two-story structure at the extreme rear of the property postage-stamp size urban lot, where it backs up to a slightly grungy alleyway, offers generous additional living space.
The kitchen has custom walnut cabinetry, a three or four stool center work island snack counter, a full-height pantry and a somewhat unfortunately located adjoining half bathroom. A separate room tucked discreetly beyond the main living area was sparely staged as an office but, due to its private bathroom, is easily converted to a guest or family bedroom.
Mister and Missus Tedder divide their time between Los Angeles and the somewhat unlikely but hardly podunk Rocky Mountain city of Denver, CO, where according to property records and other online resources they own a gated, four-lot mini-estate in a small gated enclave in the affluent Belcaro neighborhood, a state-of-the-art recording studio, and a BBQ joint.
listing photos: Pardee Properties