Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Big House of Joseph Babajian

SELLER: Joseph Babajian
LOCATION: Carla Ridge, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $6,985,000 (reduced from $6,995,000)
SIZE: 3,443 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Spectacular classic Contemporary in Prime Lower Trousdale completed in 2004. 180 degree head on views of City, ocean and gorgeous lush hills. 12 foot ceilings. State of the art technology. Terrazzo floors inside and out, slab marble and Honduran mahogany highlight the material used in this architectural masterpiece. Perfect for California lifestyle with seamless transitions between the interior and exterior. Done with architectural integrity with the finest quality and taste.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama does not know if indicted and beleaguered celebrity real estate agent Joe Babajian is selling his Trousdale Estates house to pay his soon to be exorbitant legal bills, or if he just thinks it's a good time to cash out on his investment. Or maybe he's concerned that now that he's out of a job, he won't be able to make the mortgage payments and pay the lawyers. Who can blame him? The Feds are already breathing steam down his neck, so the LAST thing he needs right now is a bitter bank up his butt looking for mortgage money. Whatever the case, it is an interesting, if not entirely surprising, time for the one-time top producing agent to unload his multi-million dollar Beverly Hills house.

Your Mama is no detective, attorney, or reporter, and we really can't even pretend to be, but because of all the recent bru-ha-ha surrounding Mister Babajian and his alleged bad behavior regarding real estate deals, we are going to try to reconstruct the chain of title for his property like someone who knows what they're doing.

It appears from property records that the house had been foreclosed on by Washington Mutual Bank in late 1998, and then purchased by an entity called Ronnex Corp. in early April of 1999 for $1,250,000 in cash. According to public records, in September of 2000, the allegedly shady dealing Mister Babajian paid $1,350,013 for the property. He took an adjustable rate mortgage and assumed title to the property in his own name. However, Mister Babajian does appear to use a P.O. Box in Henderson, Nevada on some property records, which Your Mama is quite certain is a creative, albeit legal, benefit to his taxes.

The house measures 2,872 square feet when Mister Babajian purchased the property. It appears that in 2002 he increased his mortgage by around $850,000, presumably to pay for the expansion and renovation that according to listing information was completed in 2004. The expansion brought the house to 3,443 according to property records. Listing information for the property clearly indicates that money was no object on the renovation and expensive features such as terrazzo floors that extend from the inside to the outside terraces, slab marble (that can be very, very expensive), and Honduran mahogany were used extensively throughout the property.

Personally, Your Mama thinks the inside of the house looks like the lobby area of a private investment bank in Chicago or maybe a fancy law firm in Atlanta. We're sorry, but it does not look comfortable at all. We are quite certain Mister Babajian paid top dollar for every stick of furniture and every scrap of buttery soft leather in that place, but Your Mama sincerely hopes there are other rooms with more comfortable and cozy furniture. Who wants to sit in the living room and feel like you're waiting for your attorney? Oh wait, hmm...

Your Mama is a fan of the low, sprawling and flat roofed houses up in Trousdale Estates, and we recognize that many of these properties exchange expansive outdoor space for staggering views. So we're good with the smallish courtyard feel of the back yard. And, we're good with the relatively small swimming pool. After all, Your Mama is not looking to swim laps in the back yard, just to take a slippery dip when the heat index goes up above 82, which of course it does frequently in Los Angeles. None the less, there's something rather sterile felling about the photos of this backyard. Does anyone every drag towels, magazines, books, and and iPhone out here and actually enjoy the view and the pool?

Your Mama hasn't a clue where Mister Babajian will go once he unloads this place. But given that's it's stratospherically priced at $6,995,000, he'll have several million clams left over after paying off the mortgage and the real estate fees to buy an inexpensive condo in Brentwood and the huge retainer fees for his attorney.

UPDATE (Nov. 27, 2007): This property has been reduced a smidge to $6,985,000.

Sources: LA Times, LA Daily News,

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