Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Max Weinberg Flipping Out in the Hollywood Hills

SELLER: Max and Rebecca Weinberg
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,399,000
SIZE: 2,916 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Anyone who pays embarrassingly close attention the celebrity real estate scene knows that for the last 5 or so years big shit drummer Max Weinberg and his wifey Rebecca–not to be confused with style maven Patricia Field's Emmy winning long term ladee-friend Rebecca Weinberg–are prolific flippers of high priced properties for which they paid big bucks and quickly sold, usually with only a slim profit. It should come as no surprise then that the real estate fickle Weinbergs recently flipped the sleek but warm Hollywood Hills contemporary they purchased in February of 2009 back on the market with an asking price of $3,399,000.

From 1974 to 1989 Mister Weinberg banged on the skins in Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen's famed E Street Band. In 1993 he accepted the role as the bandleader of The Max Weinberg 7 for the now defunct New York City based Late Night with Conan O'Brien chat show. When "The Boss" reformed the E Street Band in 1999 Mister Weinberg got on The Boss's boat and somehow managed to work out a complicated touring and recording schedule that allowed him to keep his "day job" on Late Night....

When he was hired to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien decamped to the west coast where he paid $10,750,000 for a newly constructed 6 bedroom and 8.5 pooper pad in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. Mister O'Brien famously brought much of his New York City based staff to California with him including Mister Weinberg who became the leader of the not very creatively named Max Weinberg and The Tonight Show Band. While the television gig would require Mister Weinberg to be in Los Angeles for long stretches of time he and the wifey maintained their long time primary residence in the upscale community of Red Bank, NJ.

When the couple purchased the glass and wood Hollywood Hills house they just flipped back on the market it was hardly their first foray into the high end real estate scene in Los Angeles. No siree Bob, butter beans. These two, according to property records and previous reports, had been buying and selling posh properties in some of Tinseltown's finer zip codes since at least the mid-2000s.

In 2005 the real estate mad pair paid $5,823,550 for one of a trio of houses designed by noted Los Angeles architect John Byers in 1928 on Palisades Beach Road in Santa Monica. The Weinbergs sold the 3 bedroom and 3.5 pooper property that includes a separate 2 bedroom guest house in the spring of 2007 for $6,400,000. The property, now owned by race car driver/advertising executive Tomy Drissi and his abstract artist wife Lacy according to property records, appears to be currently available as a rental with a rate of $40,000 per month.

In July of 2006 those real estate crazy Weinbergs paid $7,028,070 for a 8,085 square foot contemporary home at 1345 Vista Moraga in the guard gated Moraga Estates area of Brentwood. The property records are twisted and perplexing as all get out but it appears to Your Mama that the transaction also included a vacant lot across the street and a rugged 31.66 acre lot at the tippy top of Moraga Drive. The Weinbergs quickly flipped the property–or properties–back on the market at $8,200,000 and records show they unloaded the 6 bedroom and 6.5 pooper modern mansion, which we're not sure they ever even even occupied, in March of 2007 for $7,900,000. The peeps at Redfin show that the properties were sold–again as a group–in April of 2009 for just $2,908,000, a strange and inexplicably low number. In early 2010, the Weinberg's former low slung modern mansion in the Moraga Estates was again listed for sale by the current owner(s) with a price tag of $13,900,000. The property was de-listed just a few months later and, as might be expected, it's not clear to Your Mama if the most recent listing was just for the house or for the house and the two other parcels that have repeatedly been sold with it.

In March of 2007 the Weinbergs were back at the real estate rodeo in Los Angeles when they shelled out $8,650,000 for a 1.71 acre spread with a 5,636 square foot Marmol Radziner designed contemporary crib at 1288 Lago Vista Drive in the Beverly Hills Post Office area. Property records reveal that the itchy footed couple sold the property just a year and a half later for $9,000,000 and the all-knowing Lucy Spillerguts whispered in Your Mama's ear that the 6 bedroom and 5.5 pooper beauty was bought by a handsome young tech tycoon with a big toothy smile.

The Weinbergs have not limited their property flipping to the west coast. Once again sorting out the property records was like untying a Gordian Knot but as best as we can sort and suss out from records and previous reports, in 2004 the Weinbergs paid $540,000 for a parlor floor 1 bedroom and 1 pooper condo apartment in a tiny townhouse at 10 Bedford Street in New York City's once boho now swank West Village neighborhood. The previous year they had forked over $1,500,000 for the 3-story carriage house with 2 bedrooms and 2 poopers located behind the teeny townhouse. The two units are not physically adjacent and one must traverse an exterior walkway that overlooks a private garden in order to get from one to the other. That sounds like real bother until Your Mama realizes that it's a lovely and advantageous set up for guests...give them their own apartment and you'll never have to hear them or smell them, iffin you know what we're sayin'. Sales records are, once gain, fuzzy, but there are reports that indicate the Weinbergs sold the two units together in the fall of 2005 for $2,450,000. Although we can't be sure, Your Mama suspects the buyer was a celebrity or some other high profile person because the property is owned through a trust connected to an Los Angeles attorney known to do a lot of business with the famous folk.

Phew! Are the children following along?

Now than, let's get back now to the Hollywood Hills house that Mister and Missus Weinberg recently hoisted on to the open market with an asking price of $3,399,000, shall we?

The Weinbergs bought the Runyon Canyon adjacent property in February of 2009 from director Stephen Gyllenhaal (Numb3rs, Army Wives and etc.) and screenwriter Naomi Foner (Bee Season, Running on Empty and etc.) who at the time were engaged in a bitter and ugly dee-vorce. Mister Gyllenhaal and Miz Foner are, of course, the parents of Oscar nominated actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Your Mama first discussed the 5 bedroom and 3 pooper property–of which we were and still are quite smitten–way back in the Dark Ages of June 2007 when Mister Gyllenhaal and Miz Foner quietly put the property on the market as a rental with a monthly asking price of $20,000.

The second time we discussed and gushed over the elder Gyllenhaal's former marital home was in February of 2008 after they'd heaved the 2,563 square foot on to the sales market with a now ridiculous sounding asking price of $4,200,000.

The third time Your Mama poured over the pictures of the pretty property was in March of 2009, shortly after the Weinbergs took the property off the hands of the warring Gyllenhaals for $2,888,000, a large number by any standard but far, far, far less than the original asking price of $4,200,000.

Your Mama spent a few minutes flicking and clicking the beads on our bejeweled abacus and figured out that the current asking price is a smidgen over 17% what the Weinbergs paid for the property just 18 months ago. We expect that some of the children–not to mention all the Chicken Littles looking for a double dip in an already sagging economy–will surely have something to say about that desired double digit increase in value during the rough real estate patch of the last few years.

Since Your Mama has gone on and on (and on some more) about this particular bit of architectural pretty, it seems like a snooze and a serious beat down of a dead horse to once again talk on the architecture and day-core. If y'all want to know what we think read our previous discussions. What we will say, however, is that we think it's a real damn shame that the Weinbergs ripped out some of the xeriscaping done up by the soo-blime Jay Griffith and replaced it with water sucking lawn.

Yes, puppies, we know unnaturally green lawns are pretty and popular amongst Angelenos and other southern Californians who like to pretend they don't live in a damn desert. However, since water in southern California is a precious commodity in ever shrinking supply and Your Mama predicts it won't be too long before a green lawn is a luxury affordable only to the financially favored, we feel it would have been prudent not to mention environmentally responsible just just leave the drought tolerant landscaping in place. Your Mama will probably take a verbal knife for saying that from all the many folks who seem to think that being an American means having the capital "G" God given right to use (and over-use) natural resources in any quantity and manner they see fit. But that's cool. We'll just have to wait and see who gets to say, "We told you so" when it costs 2 bucks just to flush your damn terlit, won't we?

Anyhoo, let's jump down off of that soap box which is really another beef for another place and back to the Weinberg's real estate matter at hand. Of course Your Mama don't know a candle from a cookie jar but we presume that the Weinbergs have opted to sell their California crib because after Conan O'Brien was deposed from The Tonight Show in an ugly but extremely lucrative coup, Mister Weinberg no longer has a need for a full time residence in Los Angeles. Then again, if real estate history were to repeat itself, Mister and Missus Weinberg are already out hunting for a new house in Los Angeles they can buy and flip back on the market 18 months from now.

Despite their real estate whirlwind in California and irrespective of whether they buy another west coast outpost or not, there is no question that the Weinberg's primary residence remains, as mentioned above, a 34+ acre spread in Red Bank NJ that happens to be just a hop, skip, and a stumble from the waterfront compound of pop-rock superstar Jon Bon Jovi.

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