Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Little Piece of OC Television History Goes on the Market

SELLERS: James and Katherine Conrad
LOCATION: Vista del Sol, Laguna Beach, CA
PRICE: $17,900,000
SIZE: 8,000 square feet (approx.), 7 bedrooms 6.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...The villa is thoughtfully designed to capture the many breathtaking vistas. The villa's noted architect, James Conrad, incorporated 200 year old reclaimed oak timbers and hand carved stone fireplace mantels to give the home a feel as if it was constructed centuries ago. The incredible infinity edge pool seems to spill into the Pacific Ocean below, providing a wonderful foreground to the panoramic ocean views....

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Long before The Hills' Lauren Conrad (aka LC) became queen bee-hawtcha of the confounding crop of young demi-celebs famous only for being famous, and way before she became a "fashion designer" and began feuding with her frenemies on the pages of all the gossip glossies, she was just another rich blond gurl from behind the Orange Curtain who lived a life of teenage luxury at her parent's lavish Laguna Beach mansion over looking the Pacific Ocean.

Although Your Mama and Dr. Cooter freely admit to suffering from a brain damaging reality television addiction, we rarely bother to tune in for The Hills, nor did we waste much time watching young Miss Conrad's former vehicle to fame, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. We find it both bo-ring and upsetting to watch a bunch of rich, white and entitled 20-something year old gurls shop and bitch about each other and then bitch and shop some more. Besides, we can read whatever we might (not) want to know about their fashion disasters, boyfriend brouhahas and alleged sex tape travails on the blogs and in the tabs without having to bear listening to them whine about each other on the boob-toob.

None the less, Your Mama recognizes that many of the children may think The Hills is television genius–and from a marketing and money making point of view, perhaps it is–and that Miss Lauren Conrad, also known as "LC," deserves a damn star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So with that in mind we're going to discuss the luxurious Laguna Beach home of Miss LC's parents, James and Katherine Conrad. Thanks to a thoughtful gentleman we'll call Laguna Larry, Your Mama has learned that the elder Conrads have dumped their high drama domicile on to the market with a side splitting $17,900,000 asking price. Yes puppies, this is the same house that was prominently featured on the Laguna Beach "reality" program.

The property records on this one are a wee bit confusing to Your Mama and it appears that Mister Daddy Conrad purchased the property in 1997, but the listing information indicates the house was built around 2004. Whatever the case, Your Mama presumes the already quite rich Conrads stand to make millions on the sale of this house regardless of when they bought and/or built their behemoth. How many times has Your Mama told the children that this is just another example of how the rich get richer in southern California kiddies...they buy low and sell ridiculously high.

Located on a calle called Vista del Sol on the land side of the swank and gated Three Arch Bay community, the neo-Tuscan style house (is that what the children would call it, Neo-Tuscan?) sits on an unusually large 11.4 acre lot and carries the slightly absurd name Villa San Lorenzo. The three story and (approximately) 8,000 square foot stone and stucco built house was designed and built by Mister Daddy Conrad himself, a well known and seriously successful Orange County based architect who is no doubt responsible for some of the big mcmansions that have proliferated throughout the area.

Listing information for the property reveals that the house includes 6 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, four fireplaces (living room, family room, master bedroom and outdoor patio) and garaging for four cars, because no one, and we mean no one likes to leave their hundred and something thousand dollar Mercedes' and tricked out Range Rovers sitting in the blistering southern Calee-fornia sunshine. The master suite, which occupies considerable square footage on the main level includes a private laundry room perfect for anyone who prefers not to have Lucinda the Laundress wash and fold their fetish wear. Because let's be honest, household help gossip about their employers, and who needs that information floating about amongst your neighbors hired hands?

According to listing information, other rooms include formal living and dining rooms, a den/office, a second laundry room, gym and a gigantic kitchen with all manner of carved corbells, granite counter tops and top grade appliances. The interior spaces have been done up and done over in all manor of beiges and browns with acres of limestone floors, stone walls, 200-year old reclaimed oak timber beamed ceilings, carved stone fireplace mantels and plaster walls that have processed and painted to appears as if they've weathered and withstood the test of time...which, of course, they have not since this house is fake old, rather than actually old.

Here's Your Mama's two cents on the day-core: It's all very theatrical and expensive looking and yet, besides the awesome views of the coastline, everything looks utterly ordinary to Your Mama. It looks exactly as we imagine the mcmansions of half the rich people in Orange County look. Tell me the interior spaces of this house are not nearly indistinguishable from the Coto de Caza calamaties of Jeana and Vicki from the Housewives of Orange County?

Anyhoo, the house sits high on a promontory which provides the back of the house and the rear yard with soo-blime views of the sort that only the very rich in Orange County can afford nowadays. The outdoor entertainment areas have been worked over like a private resort and include a large outdoor living area with fireplace (perfect for sipping gin and tonics in the shade), lots of flagstone terraces and a kidney shaped infinity edged pool that from the right angle appears to slip right into the Pacific Ocean far below.

The children will recall that young Miss Conrad recently forked over $2,360000 for a Los Angeles home of her own on N. Orange Grove Avenue. Your Mama discussed the purchase back in January of 2008. We have no information on why the Mommy and Daddy Conrad would sell their little slice of Orange County real estate heaven, but Your Mama can only presume they're moving to some place equally as big and beige.

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