Inman interviews Gary Gold about his sale of 9601 Oak Pass

Inman interviews Gary Gold about his sale of 9601 Oak Pass Road in Beverly Hills for $20 million dollars.

What Mega-Rich Homebuyers Get for their Money (in Hong Kong, less space)

The wealthiest billionaires in China, the US, the Middle East and elsewhere are splashing out on one-of-a-kind homes, with US$100 million the new base price for developers catering to this tiny global elite.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 12:32pm

When the world’s ultra-rich go shopping for new homes these days, they’re no longer looking for the traditional “palaces”. While decades ago, the ultimate in luxury might have been studies in ornate excess – Trump-esque golden toilets, an aesthetic straight from Versailles – today’s buyer is more likely to go bespoke.

“Very often these properties are expected to be … ultra customised and one-of-a-kind, complete with furnishings, art and vehicles,” says Marc Carver, principal of the Carver Property Group, a luxury real estate company with offices in New York and Atlanta. “As the number of global high-net-worth individuals continues to grow, so will their appetite for more and more exclusive products, particularly real estate.”

That means properties such as the US$125 million Rancho San Carlos in Montecito, Santa Barbara County, Calfornia – one for those with a refined sensibility: there is a linen and sewing room, a children’s wing and, of course, a Scotch whisky pub. Or the La Dune estate in the Hamptons, priced at US$100 million, with sunken all-weather tennis courts and 122-metre stretch of beachfront. Or a sprawling 38,000 sq ft spread in Bel Air, California, with 150 art installations, 12 luxury cars in the garage, a cinema with seats layered with Hermes throws and pillows – and a price tag of US$250 million; it’s a home that the man who developed it, former Hong Kong handbag magnate Bruce Makowsky, says only about 3,000 people in the world could afford.

That, no doubt, includes Shenzhen real estate tycoon Chen Hongtian, who last year reportedly paid about HK$2.1 billion (US$270 million) for a home on The Peak, setting a new record for Hong Kong.

The entrance to the most expensive house in the US, listed at US$250 million, in Bel Air, California. Photo: Berlyn Photography

These 3,000 people are the same ones being courted for other uber-pricey properties, such as The Manor in Holmby Hills, in Los Angeles, on the market for US$200 million, and the US$195 million Gemini house in Manalapan, Florida. A few years ago, the idea of a US$100 million single family house in the US was incomprehensible. Today, it’s the starting point for a thriving category of homes specifically for billionaires.

“The sky is the limit,” says Rick Hilton, chairman of Beverly Hills luxury residential brokerage firm Hilton & Hyland. “Once we hit the US$100 million mark, we broke the glass ceiling – and we’re seeing people comfortable with spending more than that.”

Hilton and other operators in that super-prestige realm are buoyed by the growing ranks of the billionaire set; according to Forbes, 2016 welcomed in another 198 people worth in excess of US$1 billion. These are the people, Makowsky said recently, “who spend US$200 million on a boat and US$100 million on a plane, and yet they’re still living in US$40 million homes. Why wouldn’t your house be as valuable as your plane?”

The former Playboy mansion in Los Angeles recently sold for US$100 million. Photo: Hilton & Hyland

Makowsky and other developers are seeking to redress that imbalance with a new crop of homes that indulge every conceivable fantasy and aesthetic. The Manor has its own nightclub and spa; Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, recently sold for US$100 million, includes a swimming grotto and a room with a built-in pipe organ; a US$100 million house in Holmby Hills comes with a bar/lounge and hiking trails. And there’s the aforementioned Rancho San Carlos and the Hamptons estate.

Even though there are 3,000 people in the world who could buy [one of these homes], there’s a much smaller list who would buy one.

Gary Gold

Makowsky has made his US$250 million home not just move-in ready, but set up so a buyer can arrive and throw a house-warming bash on the same night: a staff of seven comes with the house for two years from the move-in date, the wine cellar is stocked with 2,500 bottles, and there are three kitchens – one of which has a revamped vintage meat grinder worth six figures.

The bowling alley is equipped with enough shoes for your entire party, and guests can treat themselves to a massage overlooking the pool, browse artworks (such as a US$1 million piece from Chinese sculptor Liao Yibai) or borrow one of the US$30 million worth of cars and motorcycles that are house accessories and bear marques including Bugatti and Lamborghini.

The 38,000 sq ft Bel-Air property includes a classic car collection. Photo: Bruce Makowsky/BAM Luxury Development

Makowsky says he didn’t initially set out to build the most expensive house in America. A few years ago he sold a home he’d built for US$70 million to Markus Persson, who was flush with cash from the sale of his company (which makes the Minecraft game) to Microsoft for US$2.5 billion.

At the time, US$70 million was the most ever paid for a home in Beverly Hills. In the past two years, prices for “trophy” homes in places such as Los Angeles, Miami and the Hamptons have slid up past the US$100 million mark, landing at the historic quarter of a billion dollars that Makowsky is seeking for the Bel Air property, which he built on spec to await a buyer.

Brokers working in the highest echelons of the market are aware of the inherent challenges of selling those properties: even if someone has a couple of hundred million dollars lying around to invest in a new pad, they may not want to. Warren Buffett, worth a reported US$74 billion, has famously lived in the same house since 1958.

The view from beside the swimming pool at the house Makowsky is selling for US$250 million. Photo: Bruce Makowsky/BAM Luxury Development

“Even though there are 3,000 people in the world who could buy [one of these homes], there’s a much smaller list who would buy one,” says Gary Gold, the Beverly Hills realtor who sold the Playboy Mansion last August. The house first went on the market in early 2016 for US$200 million, but sold eight months later for half that price. The global publicity the listing received was helpful, but ultimately, Gold says, he needed to reach out to only a “handful of likely candidates”.

“This was a very specific targeted effort, tweaking the messaging to people so they would understand what we were selling,” he says. The estate was ultimately sold to the head of a private-equity company who happened to already live in the neighbourhood.

Given the pretty finite number of potential buyers, houses in this price range are rarely snapped up in an instant, says Makowsky, adding that developers and sellers have to be patient and that negotiation is part of the deal.

Rancho San Carlos in Montecito, California has its own pub. Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty

Hilton says the Los Angeles market remains undervalued when compared with cities such as London, New York and Shanghai; ultimately, he says, on a per-square-foot basis, there is more value for money in US west coast properties than in other places. He says he’s seeing traction from the Middle East and China, and that the people looking at these US$100 million-plus properties tend to skew younger – typically in their 30s – and want to spend some of their newly acquired wealth.

Makowsky agrees, saying that on a per-square-foot basis, Los Angeles offers far greater value for money than other parts of the world.

“In Hong Kong, this house would cost considerably more than this,” he says. (Indeed, the HK$2.1 billion house on The Peak is just over 9,000 sq ft, less than a quarter of the size of Makowsky’s Bel Air home.)

Still, as far as straightforward investments go, there are probably smarter places to park your money, says Paul Habibi, a professor at the UCLA Ziman Centre for Real Estate. “At that end of the spectrum, when you’re dealing with the uber-wealthy, I don’t know if they’re making decisions with their best economic interests in mind,” he says. “There is such a thing as overconsumption, which this falls into.”

Habibi also says the typical buyers for these homes are new-money rather than old, and fall into two categories: those seeking a repository for funds, and others for whom such a purchase is a “look-at-me” move.

“There are people who have never had this kind of money before, and who are looking to experience it fully for the first time, whether it’s ridiculous or not. When you’re paying a few million just in property taxes every year on a single home, that is not a smart investment,” he says.

Gold says even at that level, pricing is everything. “Sellers are under the impression that whoever the hot buyers are at the moment – the Russians, Middle Easterners, Chinese – are just going to throw their money around and not care about it,” he says. “But nothing could be further from the truth. These are the places in the world where negotiating is a sport. If you price a home too high, you’re not going to get offers.”

Luxury Add-Ons of Cars, Yachts or Helicopters Don’t Always Make the Sale

Russians turn attention to South Florida real estate, Canadian foreign buyers’ tax gets a caveat, and more news from around the world



The buyer of this 12,385-square-foot mansion will receive a Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph.


Buy a condo, get a sports car.

While this sort of two-for-one arrangement has become common in markets where there are a lot of luxury property listings, add-ons like this aren’t always what makes the sale—and in some cases, can actually harm a negotiation, experts say.

In some cases, luxury extras— like six-figure classic cars, yachts, helicopters and fine art—can add value, especially when they’re relevant to the lifestyle of the would-be buyer. Other times, they don’t impact the end deal, but are a way to attract attention and get media coverage. And then there are the cases in which including luxury extras with a listing are seen as a sign of desperation, and a cue for brokers to negotiate hard on price.   

MORE: Click to View a Chelsea Townhouse Comes with a Bentley for the Buyer

“When it comes to these houses that come with a boat or a Porsche, in general, it’s a gimmick,” said Gary Gold, executive vice president of Los Angeles agency Hilton & Hyland. “But if we’re talking about a $25 million house on Kauai that’s fully furnished and comes with cars, or a property on a golf course that includes a bonus golf cart, that makes sense. Those aren’t coming out of left field.”

When Mr. Gold considers where this practice of throwing in an extra car came from, he sees a direct link to how resort homes are generally sold fully furnished with everything you need already there.

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When Los Angeles developers saw how many buyers of homes in the  $10 million to $30 million range were using properties as the equivalent of a vacation home, and only staying there for two or three weeks of the year, they adapted that practice to this market.

It was about five years ago that Mr. Gold noticed that many luxury spec homes in neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Bel Air were coming fully furnished. Today, he estimates that more than 50% of these properties priced above $20 million come with high-end, modern furniture.

In Manhattan, the developer of a new West Chelsea townhouse, listed for $36.8 million, is applying the same logic, and including a 2016 Bentley, valued at $368,000, as well as modern furnishings, which the client can purchase with the property.   

MORE: U.S.’s Most Expensive Home Hits Market at $250M

“We wanted this mansion to be the complete, turnkey package,” said Compass broker Alyssa Soto Brody in an email. “The home is already breathtaking, but we wanted this home’s buyer to be able to just walk in and start enjoying.” 

A much more extreme example of this same practice is Bruce Makowsky’s 924 Bel Air Road. Listed for $250 million, this 38,000-square foot spec mansion comes with 100 curated art installations, millions of dollars’ worth of classic cars and motorcycles, a deactivated helicopter and a $1 million outdoor TV.

“He did something in an extraordinary way,” Mr. Gold said, “and he’s shooting for a certain type of person that’s going to be completely enamored with the whole thing. I think it’s cool.”

If these are cases where the luxury add-ons make sense from a utility or lifestyle perspective, there are also times when extras are included in an organic way, leading to increased exposure and a sale.

Brad Robson, a listing agent for Place in Brisbane, sold a property that fits that criteria in late-November. The Chelmer house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and came with a 1993 Porsche Carrera 911, valued at $100,000. It sold a week before it was meant to go to auction for $2.31 million—an amount that Mr. Robson said the seller was “thrilled” with.

MORE: Buy This Home, Get the Helicopter and Rolls-Royce for Free

“I don’t believe the car was the reason that we sold it for a premium price,” said Mr. Robson, noting that the seller was looking to unload the car at the same time as the house, so they decided to make it a package deal. “What it did was generate a huge amount of interest over and above what we would have gotten without it.”

Because it’s incredibly uncommon to include an extra like this with a sale in Brisbane, Mr. Robson said the curiosity from would-be buyers was genuine. “If everybody was doing things like this, I certainly wouldn’t,” he said.

In the end, the buyer “loves the car, but isn’t sure what he’ll do with it just yet.”

But when the extras are thrown in as an afterthought—neither part of a lifestyle package or included in an organic way—there’s a chance the whole thing will backfire, said Dolly Lenz, the founder of Manhattan-based Dolly Lenz Real Estate.

“As a buyer’s representative, if I see a developer or seller offering a car, trips or other incentives, I see that as a major sign of weakness, and a cue to negotiate hard on behalf of our buyers for those units,” she said. “It’s just so silly. Anyone buying these properties could afford those things on their own.”

Mr. Gold agreed, noting that he recently told a client selling a $3 million West Hollywood house to forget about throwing in a $60,000 car, as he was inclined to do.

MORE: When The House is Just a Starting Point: 3 listings where the perks are plentiful

“That would have been a mistake on so many levels,” Mr. Gold said. “It makes it look like you’re desperate, adds an unnecessary cost, and now, you need to find someone that loves your home and also loves Porsches.”

Not to mention that this type of maneuver can be frustrating when it comes to paperwork tied to the sale. “In general, people don’t want to pay property tax on an extra like a car or artwork,” Mr. Gold said, so they separate the home from the add-on. “You’re basically adding an unnecessary cost that could impact how people look at your house.”

The Playboy effect: asking prices soar in LA

Wall Street titans and foreign billionaires are vying for famous properties

January 16, 2017 08:30AM 
By Laurie L. Dove 

The Playboy Mansion was listed at $200 million and sold for a record-breaking $100 million. Hugh Hefner, inset, has the right to remain for life.

From the January issue: Blockbuster deals are inspiring some homeowners to go for the gold. After the Playboy Mansion broke the nine-figure barrier in August 2016, homes that sold for mere millions in recent memory hit the market with asking prices in the tens of millions.

Market pros contend that price discovery is an even more delicate art these days, with seemingly more global billionaires than ever freely roaming the market, leading to mega-dollar signs in the eyes of sellers.

“The property starts at a price the seller wants, that’s not supported by real world conditions, and there doesn’t seem to be concern or shame that it’s significantly overpriced,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraiser Miller Samuel.

To further complicate matters, when a Los Angeles home has the whiff of Hollywood lore, the question of the right price gets dicier. Sellers and their brokers often find it tough to settle on an asking price for an incomparable home. The Playboy Mansion, for example, originally listed at $200 million in January 2016, before selling for a more than respectable $100 million.

“We had zero comps. I mean, it was the Playboy Mansion. It’s one of a kind on multiple levels,” said Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, the co-listing agent on the property with Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency. “But when you have a seller with an asset and a buyer with money, and they go through the catharsis of coming together, more times than not they arrive at what the property really is worth.”

Many aspects of the deal were unusual, not least among them, Hugh Hefner. The founder of Playboy Enterprises will be allowed to continue living out his days on the property that his company purchased for $1.05 million in 1971.

Daren Metropoulos, who lived next door, bought the 1927 Arthur Rolland Kelly-designed Holmby Hills mansion, located on five acres at 10236 Charing Cross Road. A principal at the private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co., which owns Twinkie-maker Hostess Brands, he eventually plans to join the two estates, according to a statement on his website.

Hefner may be the poster boy for testing the limits of aspirational pricing on an incomparable home, but he is far from the only seller with the moxie to do so — and to have something to show for it.

Shortly after the Playboy Mansion deal closed, two more Holmby Hills trophy properties sold at or near the $100 million mark.

One of them, a spec house built on Barbra Streisand’s former estate at 301 North Carolwood Drive, listed in April 2016 for $150 million. It closed at$100 million in October, tying for first place with the Playboy Mansion in The Real Deal’s ranking of top residential sales. Along with the usual perks one expects at $2,631 per square foot, the listing mentioned a nail salon, massage rooms and an indoor water wall. The neighborhood is steeped in Hollywood history. The 38,000-square-foot mansion is situated directly across from Frank Sinatra’s former property and down the street from Walt Disney’s former home, the Carolwood Estate.

The property’s new owner, Tom Gores, is the chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, a private equity firm that oversees more than two dozen companies with $6 billion in assets. He also owns the Detroit Pistons NBA team, among other interests, and currently ranks 194 on the Forbes 400 list. His niece Tiffany Martin of the Agency represented him in the part-cash, part land-trade deal.

A house built on spec on the site of Barbra Streisand’s former Carolwood Drive abode sold for $100 million after being listed for $150 million.

Meanwhile, the legendary Owlwood estate, a 22-room mansion located at 141 South Carolwood Drive, flirted with the record books when it sold for $90 million in September  — $60 million under the original asking price of $150 million, which seems to be the new normal for one-of-a-kind homes. At various times, the properties that were combined to create the 10-acre estate were home to such Hollywood legends as Jayne Mansfield, Tony Curtis and Esther Williams.

“Very wealthy international buyers from China, Singapore, India and Dubai were coming in, looking for a trophy property,” said listing agent Ann Dashiell of Douglas Elliman.

The Owlwood estate’s most famous former occupant — Cher — even stopped by for a tour. She and former husband Sonny Bono purchased the estate for $750,000 in 1974. Cher gained ownership of the house when the couple divorced and sold it to carpet business owner Ralph Mishkin for $950,000 in 1976. He named Owlwood after the birds on the property, and sold it for $4.2 million two years later to a businessman from Monaco, who later expanded the compound by 8.5 acres and sold it for $35 million in 2003.  

Now Dawn Arnall, who purchased the property in 2003 with her late husband, the founder of the AmeriQuest Mortgage Company, has sold it to Bob Shapiro, the CEO of Woodbridge Luxury Homes. Real estate professionals believe that Shapiro plans to divide the estate into housing lots and sell them off one by one.

American fashion designer Tom Ford is yet another bold-faced name to purchase one of the year’s priciest homes. Brokers have known for some time that Ford, the director of “Nocturnal Animals,” was hunting for a new luxury property.

As TRD reported in September 2016, Ford made a $53 million off-market bid on a Beverly Hills estate owned by hotel developer Brad Korzen and interior designer Kelly Wearstler. The 3.2-acre, seven-bedroom house at 809 Hillcrest Road had been purchased by Korzen and Wearstler in 2005. The couple unsuccessfully listed the property in 2010 for $46 million, and again in 2012, by which time the asking price had dropped to $39 million.

(Click to enlarge)

Yet when Ford closed on a home a short while later, it was at a different deluxe address. He picked up the home once owned by Bloomingdale’s department store heiress and socialite Betsy Bloomingdale at 131 Delfern Drive in an off-market deal with her children, who had inherited the estate.

The 10,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom house was being shopped around at $55 million, but according to TheMLS, Ford picked it up for just shy of $39 million, putting it at number five in TRD’s ranking. It includes a distinctive red-walled library and a number of outdoor perks, including a pool house, swimming pool, outdoor living area and a tennis court. The house was built in the 1920s in the Spanish Colonial style, then remodeled in the 1950s by silent film actor and designer Billy Haines. Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty Beverly Hills was the listing broker.

Another global business titan, Elon Musk, has been on a buying spree. In September, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO snapped up a $24 million off-market property in Bel Air that was in an unfinished state of remodeling. The 14,290-square-foot property, which is located at 954 Somera Road, is the fifth house Musk now owns overlooking the Bel Air Country Club, and his sixth in L.A. In December 2012, he began a string of purchases with a $17 million deal for a 20,000-square-foot house on Chalon Road in Bel Air, which has become his main residence.

Brokers say that even more properties are being shopped around at eye-popping prices. Take the Spelling mansion, for example. The property at 594 South Mapleton Drive — now owned by British heiress Petra Ecclestone Stunt — is currently listed at $200 million, which is $115 million more than its purchase price in July 2011. However, unlike many mansion listings in which pricing seems plucked out of thin air, the house, which was originally built by the late American film and TV producer Aaron Spelling in 1988, has at least undergone a substantial renovation.

Another residence raising eyebrows with its current asking price is 455 Lorraine Boulevard in L.A.’s Windsor Square neighborhood. The home was built in 1913 and afforded historic status not only for its Beaux-Arts style, but also for the slate of presidents — Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon among them — who were guests of longtime owners Norman and Dorothy Chandler.

The 9,329-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house was sold by the Chandlers in July 1997 for about $2 million. Nigerian furniture magnate Robert Oshodin bought it for $9.5 million in June 2014. Pros doubt his improvements justify the current $50 million asking price.

“A lot of these asking prices are made-up numbers rather than being based on any comps,” Miller said. “It’s probably more common than we realize, because everybody is fixated on the top line number and not how the sausage is made.”

The Playboy effect: asking prices soar in LA

Top real estate sales of 2016: L.A.’s record year included two $100-million sales


Jim Bartsch

The Playboy Mansion, which sold last year for $100 million, was among the $19.8 billion in L.A.-area properties sold between November 2015 and November 2016.


Neal J. Leitereg Contact Reporter

Jan. 6, 2017 6:00 AM

Storied estates and speculative development in Los Angeles County’s toniest neighborhoods pushed the high-end market to new heights in 2016.

Of the dozen single-family home sales of $30 million or more, two changed hands at $100 million — a record-setting mark once thought of as unattainable.

Here’s a larger look at the most expensive homes sold this year in Greater L.A.

$100 million — Holmby Hills

Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos and principal at the investment firm Metropoulos & Co., made real estate history in August with the purchase of the Playboy Mansion.

The $100-million deal for Hugh Hefner’s longtime home and workspace was the biggest sale of a single-family residence ever recorded in Los Angeles County, eclipsing the previous county record set two years ago when the Westside manor known as Fleur de Lys sold for $88.3 million.

The Gothic Tudor-style home was designed by Arthur R. Kelly for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. in 1927. The 29-room house includes chefs and catering kitchens, a game room and a screening room with a built-in pipe organ. Twelve bedrooms are within 20,000 square feet of living space; the master suite spans two floors.

As part of the sale, Hefner will remain at the estate for the remainder of his life. Metropoulos, who owns a property adjacent to the Playboy Mansion, plans to eventually connect the two estates.

Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency held the listing for the mansion. Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represented Metropoulos.

$100 million — Holmby Hills

In October, Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores matched the record set by the Playboy Mansion with the purchase of a mega-mansion built on speculation.

The complex deal saw Gores trade a number of his own holdings as opposed to financing or making an all-cash purchase. He will retain a stake in the other properties in the event that they are developed or sold.

Developed by Gala Asher and Ed Berman, the more than 30,000-square-foot house is on a site where an estate once owned by Barbra Streisand once stood. Including several guesthouses, the property has 10 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms including a master suite of more than 5,000 square feet.

Ginger Glass of Coldwell Banker Previews International was the listing agent. Tiffany Martin and Christine Martin of the Agency represented Gores.

$90 million — Holmby Hills

Owlwood, the Carolwood Drive estate once home to actor Tony Curtis and later singing duo Sonny and Cher, sold to a development group headed by Woodridge Luxury Homes chief Robert ShapiroDawn Arnall, the widow of late billionaire and Ameriquest Capital Corp. founder Roland Arnall, was the seller.

Sitting on 10 acres of grounds, the residence includes a 12,200-square-foot Italian Revival-style mansion, two guesthouses, a swimming pool and a tennis court. The development group intends to retain the main house and subdivide the property to build four additional homes, according to sources not authorized to comment on the deal.

The Arnalls bought the home in 2002 along with two adjacent properties — the former homes of actress Jayne Mansfield and actress-swimmer Esther Williams — that were combined into one estate. Both residences were later razed, though the pool house and 70-foot-long swimming pool from Williams’ former home were retained.

Ann H. Dashiell of Douglas Elliman held the listing. Adam Rosenfeld and Kyle Giese of Mercer Vine represented the buyer.

$40 million — Beverly Hills

Tom Gores, as part of his $100-million purchase, sold a mansion on Beverly Park Lane to a California limited liability company.

Although details are scant, tax records show that the sprawling Mediterranean has 20,013 square feet of living space with seven bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. A large motor court, a swimming pool and spa, lawns and formal landscaping fill more than two acres of grounds.

Gores, through a limited liability company, bought the property six years ago for slightly more than $21 million, records show.


$39 million — Bel-Air

Developers Jonathan Adler and Joe Englanoff, through a Nevada-based LLC, sold a contemporary-style mansion built on speculation for $9 million less than the original list price of $48 million.

Designed by Paul McClean, the 14,230-square-foot home includes such amenities as a media room, a billiards room and a gym with a steam room. A wine cellar is accessed by way of a thumbprint security system.

Motorized glass doors open to an outdoor lounge and expansive decking. A 90-foot infinity-edge swimming pool also lies within the grounds.

Brandon and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland Ben Bacal of Rodeo Realty, Mauricio Umansky of the Agency and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker were the co-listing agents. Fred Bernstein of Westside Estate Agency repped the buyer.

$38.75 million — Beverly Crest

Designer and filmmaker Tom Ford finally found his trophy estate in December, buying the home of late socialite Betsy Bloomingdale for about two-thirds of the rumored asking price of $55 million.

The Roland Coate-designed home, built in 1929, sits on more than three acres in the 100 block of Delfern Drive and has a formal rose garden, a tennis court, a swimming pool and a pool house.

Architectural firm Marmol Radziner has been commissioned to update the home, which includes a wood-paneled library, a billiards room, formal and informal dining rooms and a pair of kitchens. There are a total of nine bedrooms and seven bedrooms in 9,680 square feet of living space.

Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty was the listing agent. Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency represented Ford.


Link to article:


Playboy Mansion Sold for $100 Million, but Hugh Hefner Is Staying


The new tenant, owner of Hostess Brands, will acquire the zoo, the grotto, and a silk-pajama-wearing resident





Posted August 16, 2016

The Playboy Mansion has a new owner. The storied property sold for $100 million—just half of the $200 million listing price, which made it the most expensive estate in Los Angeles at the time. The new owner is Daren Metropoulos of the private equity firm Metropoulos & Co., which owns dessertmaker Hostess Brands. Metropoulos also owns the house next door, having bought the adjacent property for $18 million in 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. One of the world’s most famous (or infamous) properties, the Playboy Mansion occupies five acres in L.A.’s prestigious Holmby Hills enclave bordering the Los Angeles Country Club. It’s also the home of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who will have a life estate according to the terms of the sale, meaning that he can stay there until he dies. (Considering he’s the man who made the mansion and its parties the stuff of legend after Playboy Enterprises purchased the home for $1.05 million in 1971, that doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable.)

“Aside from it being the Playboy Mansion, it’s also one of the finest estate properties in the country,” says Gary Gold, executive vice president of real-estate firm Hilton & Hyland, who is one of the listing agents, along with Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency. “It’s literally the best of the best of the best. Properties like this don’t come up for sale.”

Construction of the Tudor Revival mansion began in 1927, and the main house has six bedrooms, six baths, and two powder rooms. The estate also includes a four-bedroom guesthouse and a two-bedroom games house.

“To me, quite honestly, the biggest highlight is the architecture itself—the house is absolutely stunning,” says Umansky, CEO of the Agency. “We don’t have a lot of 1920s architecture here in L.A.” He adds that the interior will need some refurbishing, “but you’re starting off with a piece of art.” And the new owner agrees. Metropoulos said in a statement that he is less interested in the home’s wild past and more interested in preserving its architectural significance.

The grotto might be the most talked-about feature of the grounds, but other highlights include the zoo (the home is one of the few private residences in L.A. with such a license), the lagoon-style pool, the tennis court, and the rolling lawns.

“The grounds are absolutely breathtaking,” Gold says. There’s also a koi pond, a small citrus orchard, and two well-established forests of tree ferns and redwoods. After Hefner’s reign comes to an end, Metropoulos plans to combine his two properties into one that will span 7.3 acres.


First look: Playboy Mansion Marketing Images

Hugh Hefner’s multimillion dollar listing is on the market — it’s being sold by Gary Gold

Published on Jan 12, 2016



Marketing is everything when it comes to sales. The listing agents behind the Playboy Mansion — Gary Gold and Mauricio Umansky — have the benefit of a very well-known brand and name behind the property, which recently went up for sale with a $200 million asking price.

But recent press about the condition of the mansion has been less-than-glowing. A 2013 Vice article describing the property as “kinda depressing” has been on the front page of Google results for the “Playboy Mansion” search term for months, and with Playboy’s announcement that it would no longer be publishing nude women in magazines, the question of whether the company is still relevant in the digital age is being widely debated in the publishing community.

Add that to a contingency that the mansion’s current owner, the illustrious Hugh Hefner, be allowed to continue to occupy the property until his death, and the sale could get even tougher. Hef might be in his late 80s, but it’s also safe to assume he’s received top-notch medical care for most of his life. He could be kicking around for another five to ten years, or possibly even longer than that.

Well, the infamous “they” say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s the case, then these press-ready photos that Gold and Umansky shared with Inman should be getting Hef a lot closer to that coveted $200 million price tag. The mansion looks just as stately as it did when it was first built in 1927.

The last remodel on this seven-bedroom, 14,000-plus-square-foot dwelling was completed in 1947, according to public records.

The most likely buyer? My guess is either a history buff, especially someone interested in the history of publishing — or a startup tech wizard who’s got fond memories of the magazine.

Hugh Hefner’s Iconic Playboy Mansion is Going on Sale for $200 million

Chris Michaud, Reuters

  • Jan. 11, 2016, 5:36 AM
  • 14,021

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy

The cocktail hour during an advance screening of “Entourage” at the Playboy Mansion on May 20 in Los Angeles. 

The iconic Los Angeles mansion of Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire, is being put up for sale for $200 million, Playboy Enterprises said, one of the highest asking prices for a private residence in the United States.

The Gothic Tudor-style mansion, which has an area of nearly 20,000 square feet (1,858 square meters) and boasts 29 rooms, sits amid 5 acres in Holmby Hills west of the city.

In addition to amenities such as a tennis court and a free-form swimming pool, the estate is home to the infamous Playboy grotto, which over the years served as the setting for some of Hefner’s most lavish, hedonistic parties.

The mansion, in which Hefner still lives, also has a zoo license, the company said in a statement announcing the sale.

“The Playboy Mansion has been a creative center for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold,” the statement added.


Want to Buy a Home? Here’s a Step-by-Step Look at How It’s Done

Owning your own home has been part of the American Dream ever since the ‘shot heard round the world’ set off the American Revolution. To help make that dream a reality in 2013, has provided 10 resolutions to help in a successful quest.

  • Decide What You Want—Given the commitment of buying a home, the first step is to decide on EXACTLY what you are looking for in terms of location, price, and what kind of home you need.
  • Get Your Financial House in Order—This means to figure how much you will have available for a down payment and what your monthly budget would allow for a mortgage payment.
  • Get Your Pre-Approval Before House Hunting—Meet with a loan officer and get a pre-approval letter that states your financial records have been reviewed and you can readily qualify for a given loan amount.
  • Find Your Realtor—Given the complexity of purchasing a home, it is highly-recommended a real estate professional is hired to help guide you through the buying process.
  • Find Your New Home—You can go through online listing of homes for sale that match your exact specifications, and/or you can use a realtor to provide a list of suggested homes that match your criteria
  • Understand Your Mortgage Options—Buyers should learn as much as they can about the various mortgage options available, which will determine the ultimate cost of a home
  • Make An Offer—You have three options at this step, according to They are accepting the listed price and drawing up a contract; make a counter-offer with different terms; or reject it and not make an offer
  • Protect Yourself with Insurance—Title insurance, which protects you in case it is later found the title of a property is actually invalid; and homeowners insurance, which protects against fire, theft and other liability
  • Close on your New Home—With advances in technology, this has become a more streamlined process, according to In this step, you get one final chance to walk through the home to make sure there have been no changes in its condition since the sales agreement was signed
  • Tie Up Loose Ends—This step includes determining all of the utilities you will need to run the home. Additionally, be sure and hold on to all the paperwork of the sale as these can be used for tax purposes.

We hope this helps in your house search and that 2013 is the year you purchase your own home. Happy hunting.

Tune Into Gary’s Latest Interview with Zillow

Zillow presents a first look phone interview with Gary Gold. Learn best practices and tips from successful Beverly Hills real estate agent, Gary Gold. Check out the video now.

Catch Gary Starring in the Latest Episode of HGTV’s Hit Show Selling LA

GARY GOLD STARRING IN SEASON TWO OF HGTV’S SELLING LA “LOOKING FOR A PROJECT”. In Gary’s latest episode he works with renown architects John Finton & William Hefner, helping them find their next project. If things go right Gary could have not one, but two deals out of this when they finish the project and put it on market to sell.



In Gary’s last episode on Selling LA, Gary works with his client Kathy to put her beautiful Montecito estate on the market.  He also has to help her find a new place to live in Los Angeles giving him the opportunity to make two deals happen!

Gary Gold Starring In HGTV Selling LA “$10 Million Estate”

Gary Gold’s client Michael Beaudry has recently redone an incredibly gorgeous $10 million estate, which he wants to flip ASAP. If Gary can get people out to the estate and make a sale, he will earn a massive 6-figure commission. But if not, he will not only lose out on this deal, but might drop out of the running for Michael’s next big flip.


Business Week

No Boom, No Bust

Showbiz Wealth Management Report 2011

Aaron Spelling's mansionAaron Spelling’s mansion recently sold for $85 mil, well below the $150 million asking price but still indicating a robust high-end market.

Traditionally, real estate has been a hedge against the vagaries of the stock market and other sometimes volatile investments, but that hasn’t always been the case during what has come to be known as the Great Recession that began in 2008.


Yet, despite dropping housing prices across most regions, savvy investors have found blue chip properties that have resisted the downward pressure and even managed to rise in value. And the showbiz elite in Los Angeles has taken advantages of some rock-solid opportunities in its own backyard.

“Generally speaking, the world is thinking that the United States is on sale right now,” says Billy Rose, prexy of the Agency, a Los Angeles-based real-estate brokerage firm. But his own experience belies that belief.

The former agent is in expansion mode as his appropriately named company opens offices worldwide in order to reach international buyers seeking security. “Most everyone wants to invest in North America; both the U.S. and Canada are perceived as stable,” he adds.

Much of that worldwide interest is focused on Los Angeles and in particular, Beverly Hills, one of the world’s strongest markets.

BevHills arose as a bedroom community for industryites in the 1920s, and remains embedded in Hollywood’s homeowner and real estate investor psyche. “We’re seeing a lot of second, third, fourth and fifth home buyers,” says Rose pointing, to five $13 million home sales in the past two months to buyers who won’t be living in the properties full time.

Gary Gold, exec VP of Beverly Hills luxury real estate firm Hilton & Hyland, echoes that assessment. “A trophy (Beverly Hills) property, beautifully done, is selling more than it’s ever sold for,” he says. “Beverly Hills real estate is a flight to quality.” He notes that some of residential real estate’s current marquee properties are found in the flats of Beverly Hills, Trousdale Estates and the bird-named streets above the Sunset Strip. He recommends either buying “an ultra premium property or buy the best site and re-do it,” which not for everybody.

Los Angeles’ high-end properties are not the world’s most expensive. Comparatively, London, Hong Kong and Gotham per-square-foot rates exceed those of BevHills — which only increases its attractiveness to investors.

International buyers are driving the high-end market, Gold says. L.A.’s (and Hilton & Hyland’s) priciest home sale in 2010 — $85 million for the mansion that belonged to the late TV tycoon Aaron Spelling — went to an international buyer.

Adding to Beverly Hills’ desirability for investors, as opposed to even Malibu or Hawaii, is its access to commerce, per Gold.

“Any major metropolitan city is always attractive to investment,” says Rose, who recently analyzed the real estate market in Toronto, a boom town in part due to the Canadian government’s conservative fiscal policy.

However, Toronto’s 138 condominium tower projects under construction might raise concerns for investors, as too much of the same kind of product often results in a glut. (Miami’s condo towers or Las Vegas’ housing developments are two examples of too much of the same kind of inventory outstripping demand.)

“Property in L.A. is valuable because there is not a lot of copy-and-paste,” Rose says. “There’s not wide-scale development; every property is different from the next.” To investors, that’s a major positive on a potential investment property’s balance sheet.

Jeweler To The Stars Michael Beaudry Lists Mediterranean-Style Home

Date:June 24, 2011 Author:Erika Riggs
What do Warren Buffett, Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Barbra Streisand have in common?

For one, each of them has worked with Beverly Hills diamond cutter and jewelry designer Michael Beaudry.

“We have enjoyed a long list of celebrities and distinguished entrepreneurs that we have designed pieces for,” says Beaudry.

While the name Beaudry is primarily associated with one-of-a-kind diamond pieces, he’s also making a name for himself in home design with the launch of his home collection. The collection is featured at the Beaudry Flagship Salon at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.

“I’m a frustrated architect,” Beaudry explained. “If I wasn’t a diamond cutter, I would have been an architect.”

Nowhere is this more apparent than Beaudry’s home overlooking Los Angeles, just listed on the Beverly Hills real estate market for $10,995,000.

It’s the third house that Beaudry and his wife Laura, also a jewelry designer, (who recently worked with Halle Berry), have lived in and renovated before selling.

“When we transform a property our goal is to show people how to live in it, by handcrafting or acquiring the right furniture and fixtures and spending a lot of time getting to know the bones of each home.” said Beaudry. “Our idea here was to bring in an authentic European sensibility and validate the architecture of the home so that it feels like an original early era Los Angeles estate.”

The two of them plastered the walls, added historic elements — like the 17th-century mantle in the great room and reclaimed stone from Greece in the motor court — as well as designed textiles, tile, and the landscape, turning the 2001 home into a Old World Mediterranean villa.

Listing agent Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland describes the home as a piece of jewelry.

“The home…is beyond belief, from the lighting to the custom wall treatments. [It] has the same sensibility as his jewelry does,” said Gold.”He sells it like he sells his jewelry.”

The home is situated on a premium bluff location — something that Gold says is rare in Beverly Hills real estate, especially for a newer construction.

“Most of it [Beverly Hills] was built up in the ’20s,” Gold said. “If you want a new home you are mostly likely tearing an old home down.”

The bluff location gives the house unobstructed views of the city skyline and Pacific Ocean beyond.

Beyond prime views on a very private lot, the 6-bedroom home, 9-bath home features a media room, gym, 1,500-bottle wine cellar and tasting room, library and master bedroom with his-and-her bathrooms, a study and multiple terraces. The home also has a pool with entertaining area and comes complete with an outdoor theater, fireplace, commercial bar, grill and putting green.

After renovating this house, Beaudry says he and Laura already have ideas for another home project.

“We currently have our eye on other properties, but this one will always be special,” he said.


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Video House Tours: Have They Gone Too Far?

video house toursSome real estate agents are looking to transform the industry by turning virtual video house tours into online mini-movies, complete with actors — or just starring themselves.

Video house tours are said to help peak a buyer’s interest in a property. In fact, the 2010 National Assocation of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that 61 percent of homebuyers say virtual tours are very useful, right after photos and detailed information about the property.

However, the tours we know are mostly just moving versions of a slide show montage and some agents seek to spice things up.

The videos from those agents delving into this medium tend to be walkthroughs of the property. They range from the professionally produced with music to homemade with a handheld camera.

“Video can be a wonderful marketing tool, but it’s only as good as the quality of the presentation,” says Tom Postilio, a cast member on the current season of Selling New York, and the managing director and associate broker at full service real estate agency Core Group NYC. “Sometimes photographs are better at capturing the very essence of a thing than video.”

AOL Real Estate asked Postilio and three other well known luxury real estateagents to critique three home tour videos by their colleagues to see if they make the cut. Take a peek to see if you agree with the experts.

Cigar Distraction
New York, New YorkMax Dobens, senior vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman in New York, creates broker-generated video with a handheld camera and posts the videos to his Facebook site and to his YouTube channel. His representative said he’s had luck with them (if not, why do them, right?), and one couple even saw one of the videos and wanted him to handle the sale of their apartment.

Glad to hear it appeals to sellers. But does it appeal to buyers? In one of his videos for a $1.195 million condo on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, he walks through the 1,133-square-foot unit, cigar in hand, telling viewers about this home on the 22nd floor of the Dunhill.

Although cigars are often associated with luxury, for me, to see the agent talking to me, waving a tobacco wrap in what could be my new home just does not appeal. Even though Dobens cigar did not appear to be lit, it was just a big turnoff. When I moved into my current place it took me two weeks to fumigate the cigarette smell that had penetrated the walls and carpet (my trick, fabric softener sheets and baking soda). I wouldn’t wish that experience on others.

Diane Saatchi, a senior vice president of Saunders & Associates in Bridgehampton, N.Y., agrees with me. In her email critique she wrote: “OMG, the cigar was the first turn off. I would not want to be in an elevator, taxi or apartment with someone likely to smell of cigar smoke.”

Former Apprentice Wade Hanson, who sells luxury real estate for Re/Max Results in the Twin Cities, exclaimed, “Really, a cigar! Is that really necessary? Is a buyer going to purchase this home because the Realtor is holding a cigar?”

Hanson, who knows a thing or two about appearing on-air after his stint on NBC, also thinks Dobens could’ve benefited from having a script, while the second turnoff about the home for Saatchi was the noisy street, which she says was apparent when Dobens struggled to open the terrace door.

But taken from someone who knows Dobens personally as a “great guy and a great broker,” Postilio says Dobens presentation is personable, informative, and professional. “I only wish the quality of the video were more refined. Also, I believe that some of the rooms might show better in person than they do in the video.”

Postilio says that he feels the video, however, “does its job because if I were looking for an apartment that fits this description, [it] would entice me to call the broker for a showing.”

You Sexy Thing
Manhattan Beach, Calif.

In this piece, conceived by Sotheby’s International agent Gerard Bisignano, not only is a brief tour of the $12.5 million listing shown, but so is the beachfront and street life as the prospective homebuyer, portrayed by an actress, speaks on the phone to a friend describing that she has just found the perfect home.

“The ad is clever in that it does not rely on an agent yakking about the obvious,” says Saatchi. “It has appeal to a young, wealthy buyer and if that were me, I would be interested enough to want to see the house.”

And that’s the goal, to get people to want to see the home. Listing agent Bisignano tells AOL Real Estate that when he first received the listing he started to think about a unique marketing strategy for this Ray Kappe-designed home.

“Almost all real estate videos are the same; the agent brings you for a tour pointing out the kitchen, master bathroom, et cetera,” says Bisignano. “Though I’ve seen some well produced videos, I felt this house was the perfect canvas to do something creative and totally ‘out-of-

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the-box.’ It is my job to make my listings stand out above all the clamor and this was a natural result of trying to achieve that goal.”

The piece definitely stands out. The actress portraying the homebuyer sounds as if she works for a sex phone line. Although there are no intimate bedroom shots, and she is dressed in business casual, the sound of her voice just makes you think you were watching something x-rated. When the camera cut to the bath faucet, I just knew it would show water gush out (it didn’t though). One blogger put it this way: “Vaguely adult themes… it’s probably best to be sure the kids aren’t watching.”

As for Postilio, his reaction when he saw the video was “Wow.” He added, “In the business, we frequently refer to the term ‘real estate porn’ to describe photos of exceptionally beautiful properties, but this takes the cake. Apparently, the broker is confident that the ultimate purchaser of this property will be a man who frequents gentlemen’s clubs.”

Gary Gold, a top producer and executive vice president at Hilton & Hyland, a Beverly Hills’ preeminent luxury real estate firm with over $1 billion in annual sales, says that “Buyers have images in their head of what they are looking for and they are scouring the Internet looking for those images, whether it is a perfect kitchen or large yard or city view.” (And in this case, perhaps it’s a home on the beach.)

He says the Manhattan Beach house video seems to be “well thought-out” and “effective,” as “it told a story of the house and of the Manhattan Beach lifestyle.” But overall, Gold, who believes in the power of Internet marketing and has featured hundreds of virtual tours such as the one for this $1.3 million gated country estate, says ultimately, “it does not matter if it is a video or virtual tour as long as the photography is superb, the photos or video is assembled in a logical sequence and it is short and to the point.”

Postilio adds, “What fuels our home-buying dreams is our ability to imagine ourselves living in the home of our dreams. The human imagination is capable of creating its own storyline; there’s no need to impose a prefabricated lifestyle on buyers.”

Classic Style
Paradise Valley, Ariz.

Video production company,, produces online video walk-through of the home using a professional presenter. The style is classy, and focused on the home. It has the feel of a Sunday morning home showcase infomercial. The website says: “Obviously, nothing is as good as walking through the house yourself, but our online video is the next best thing.” Our expert agents agree.

“These videos seem to put more of a focus on the home,” says Hanson. “They are classy and give a complete tour of the home. These are nicely done and won’t turn buyers off like a few of the others.” However, he says he would like to see more video rather than just still shots.

For Saatchi, who also thinks this is the better of the bunch, but says the four-plus minute video was way too long for her taste. “I lost interest after one minute, would have stayed for two. I find customers view real estate ads at work or while watching TV and keep the sound off. Our customers tend to be impatient, have short attention for details and like to be in control. They do not like to be told the obvious and especially have no interest in being told to ‘lounge at the pool, relax in the over-sized tub or prepare gourmet meals in the professional style kitchen.’ However, once someone has decided on a house, they like to have the videos to show to their friends.

She says, “I have not yet seen any great video ads. Still ads and videos err on giving too much information and generally provide enough information to help the shopper decide not to see the property or use the agent.” She adds, “Real estate is hard to advertise; well-priced products generally sell themselves.”

sheree r. curry

Sheree R. Curry
, who loves trolling the Internet for homes for sale, is a three-time award-winning journalist who has covered real estate for six years. During her 20-year career, her articles have appeared regularly in the
Wall Street Journal, TV Week, and Fortune. She’s been writing for AOL Real Estate since 2009 from a Minneapolis-area rental. She seeks a book publisher — or at least a lender who’ll give a reasonable mortgage rate to a self-employed mom.

More on AOL Real Estate:

What Celebrities Want In A Home

What Celebrities Want in a Home

By Erika Riggs, Zillow
May 6, 2011
Provided by:
Tyler Perry’s home lounge means never having to reserve a table.
Photo: Zillow
More from Zillow» See Most Expensive Homes for Sale

» See 7 Frank Lloyd Wright Originals for Sale

We have our list of must-haves when looking to buy a home, but what do celebrities want in a home? A pool? Perhaps a home theater, gourmet kitchen and wine cellar?

Yes, all of those, but chances are, if you’re an A-List movie star, sports star, or chart-topping musician/singer, your number one priority is privacy.


Gates and Privacy

Stars such as Billy Dee Williams seek gated privacy
Photo: Zillow

“It’s a huge issue,” emphasized Coldwell Banker agent Jade Mills, who has worked with Jennifer Aniston. “They want to be able to come home and get away from the paparazzi and want privacy when they go into their yard. They usually have foliage [and] hedges so that people can’t look in.”

Or, said Beverly Hills real estate agent Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, they want gates.

“It’s either got to be a gated, secure area or a gated community,” explained Gold, who currently holds the listing for Ashton Kutcher’s bachelor pad. “If you’re behind gates, no one can follow you home.”

This home, currently owned by Star Wars star Billy Dee Williams, is on the Beverly Hills real estate market for $4,195,000. Although the “Zen-like” mansion has 5,295 square feet of living space, its biggest draw for celebrities is the gate and foliage surrounding the property.

Everything Under One Roof

The celebrity kitchen is for entertaining.
Photo: Zillow

Also, celebs require having everything under one roof. Unlike most people, running over to the gym or grabbing a bite to eat at a café isn’t always possible.

“If you’re a big celeb and going out to lunch, to dinner, to the gym can be a hassle and something you don’t want to do,” Gold said. “These are people who don’t go out but entertain at home more than the typical person.”

Rather than the formal dining room, some celebrities love to go the way of a gourmet kitchen with room to entertain there, Mills said.

This gourmet eat-in kitchen, pictured above, is in Mischa Barton’s home in Los Angeles. This piece of Beverly Hills real estate is currently listed at $8,695,000.

Home Theaters

What could be more essential than a proper home theater?
Photo: Zillow

For movie stars, home theaters are the next item on the home checklist, said Los Angeles real estate agent Mauricio Umansky of Hilton & Hyland. “They’re in that business and they expect it.”

Burt Reynolds’ former home (above) features a home theater with seating for thirty. The mid-century modern house is listed on the Beverly Hills real estate market for $10.9 million.

Pool, Hair Salon and Guest Homes

Molly Sims’ home office is a great retreat
Photo: Zillow

A pool, hair salon, and guest house are additional celebrity must-haves.

Many celebrities today are not just singers or actors, but product spokesmen, designers and producers and thus ask for additional space for a home office.

“Each [celebrity] has their own thing and needs a hobby room, a studio, a dark room, or a computer room,” explained Umansky.

Molly Sims’ home, on the Hollywood Hills real estate market for $2.8 million, has a personal office, redesigned specifically for Sims to work on her jewelry line. The space was featured in InStyle magazine in 2009.

Dog run, night club and other uncommon amenities:

But of course, there are always a few unusual requests.

Mills said she often looks for homes that have plenty of space for a client’s dog.

“Some people won’t buy if there isn’t an appropriate area for a dog to have a little run, or a little area,” she said.

Gold said he’s had to try to find a place that would take a 9-month-old mountain lion.

“Slash (of Guns and Roses) was a client of a mine and he wanted to remodel his house and needed a luxury rental for a year. He needed somewhere that would allow his 160-pound mountain lion named Curtis.”

Umansky said his oddest request was to find a piece of real estate that would allow for a nightclub in the home.

Apparently night clubs aren’t that altogether uncommon. Tyler Perry’s LA home does indeed feature a basement nightclub, as well as gym, screening room, and dine-in wine cellar. His house has been on the Hollywood Hills real estate market for nearly a year and is now listed at $11,595,000.

So far, no one’s asked for a helipad.

“Not here in Los Angeles, but out in Malibu where the ranches or vineyards [are] — that’s a different story,” Umansky said. “That’s more of a billionaire must-have.”

Click here to see more What Do Celebrities Want in a Home?

Ashton Kutcher Sells House, Beats Out Charlie Sheen Yet Again

Tuesday, July 5, 2011, by Adrian Glick Kudler


Soon-to-be Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher has sold the house that he (partially) built with his own two hands–it was on and off the market in just under five months. In 2004, Kutcher paid $1 million for the house high above the Sunset Strip and with help from dad undertook a major Duncan McIntosh-designed renovation. Instead of moving in, he married Demi Moore, and finally listed the house for sale in February, asking $2.6 million. He also opened it up for tours, with proceeds going to the Demi and Ashton Foundation to fight human trafficking, and announced that part of the agent’s commission would also go to the Foundation (round of applause for Hilton & Hyland’s Gary Gold). The four bedroom house closed escrow last week, with a final sale price of $2.35 million. It’ll be fun to see whether ousted Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen can do any better with his house in the Mulholland Estates, which he listed in May for $7.2 million.
· Ashton Kutcher Selling Charity Tours of Hills House He Built Himself [Curbed LA]

One Less House, One New Role: Actor Ashton Kutcher Has Sold His Sunset Strip-Area Bachelor Pad

By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles TimesJuly 16, 2011

One less house, one new role

Update: Actor Ashton Kutcher has sold his Sunset Strip-area bachelor pad for $2.35 million.

The updated Craftsman features a home theater and a two-story wine tower that holds 210 bottles. The 3,235-square-foot house has four bedrooms and 41/2 bathrooms. It sits on nearly an acre with an infinity-edge pool and spa.

This fall, Kutcher, 33, will join the cast of “Two and a Half Men,” which fired star Charlie Sheen earlier this year. Kutcher starred on “That ’70s Show” (1998-2006) and in the films “Killers” (2010) and “No Strings Attached” (2011).

He bought the house in 2004 for $1 million, rebuilt it but never moved in. Instead, Kutcher married actress Demi Moore in 2005.

Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, was the listing agent. Steve Sanders of Coldwell Banker’s Sunset Boulevard office represented the buyer.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Ashton Kutcher Puts Bachelor Pad On The Market for $2.6 Million

Ashton Kutcher Bachelor Pad

Via Zillow: Ashton Kutcher has listed his old bachelor pad for a modest $2.6 million (by Hollywood standards). Described as a “modern craftsman,” this home features four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a home theater, and a two-story wine cooler that can hold 210 bottles. The indoor/outdoor floorplan allows visitors to flow outside to an infinity-edge spa, pool, and waterfall. The estate sits on just under an acre of landscaped grounds behind a gated drive, allowing for privacy. After purchasing the home in 2004, the actor and his father, Larry, renovated and expanded it from roughly 2,000 square feet to 3,235 square feet.

Zillow reports that the star will not just sell his labor of love, but will also have “an online home listing and designer showcase to benefit the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA), a non-profit organization that raises awareness about child sex slavery and helps in the rehabilitation of the victims.” is now selling tours of the home, which has been staged by five LA designers, at $250 per person. All proceeds from the home tour ticket sales–as well as a portion of listing agent Gary Gold’s commission from the home’s sale–will go directly to DNA. To purchase a ticket to see this celebrity pad, visit Gilt City Los Angeles.

How Much Would You Pay To Sleep In Ashton Kutcher’s House



Ashton Kutcher Bachelor Pad

From a sales listing for a Brooklyn apartment:

…2BR/2BA Duplex Loft Condo W/Parking!

Be a part of “Hollywood History”! Remember the bank in the 1975 Al Pacino classic movie “Dog Day Afternoon”? Well, be the owner of a lovely 2BR/2BA open layout loft in the very same “bank”! 🙂

             Dog Day Afternoon is a about a gay man who robs a bank to pay for his partner’s sex change. It’s dark and gritty. It’s not a “:-)” kind of movie.

But the Realtor who is selling the apartment is highlighting the fact that the movie was filmed in the building, which was turned into condos a few decades back.

Dog Day Afternoon is a about a gay man who robs a bank to pay for his partner’s sex change. It’s dark and gritty. It’s not a “:-)” kind of movie.

But the Realtor who is selling the apartment is highlighting the fact that the movie was filmed in the building, which was turned into condos a few decades back.

Along with routine real-estate photos (fireplace, stairway), the listing includes a picture of cops pointing guns at Al Pacino.

“It’s kind of scary, but it’s Al Pacino,” says Celeste Moses, the Realtor. “It’s an attention getter.”

Does the celebrity connection matter in real estate? For an answer, I called the capital of celebrity real estate — Los Angeles.

“I currently have Ashton Kutcher’s house for sale, and we did get a lot of exposure,” says Gary Gold, who has been selling homes in Southern California for 30 years.

“I probably had at least twice as many showings than I would have normally,” he says. “If you get more exposure and more potential buyers see the property, you have a better opportunity to get more money.”


Multimillion-Dollar Homes On Sale For Half Price

If you’ve dreamed of owning a million-dollar home, the time is now. According to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), high-end homes in the U.S. are now listed for 27 percent less than their prices at the peak of the market in June 2006. That translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings — and the possibility of buying a million-dollar home for, say, $500,000.

Los Angeles real estate agent Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland confirms most of the homes in the million-dollar bracket are selling for a third less than the peak market price — and that many of his clients are taking advantage of the discount.

“The [luxury] market is solid; people are buying for sure,” he said. “In general there aren’t too many people that say ‘let’s wait until prices get lower.’ ”

Gold emphasized that not all real estate markets are the same. While average prices are down 30 percent across the U.S., some of the higher-end homes in New York or San Francisco are still selling at strong 2006 prices, and properties elsewhere can be found listed for even lower prices — up to 50 percent off.

“Real estate is very local and every neighborhood is different. Every situation is different. There are certain things that are selling from zero to 50 percent [off] depending on the situation,” said Gold.

Why such a significant drop in prices? According to Gold, these homes may have been overpriced when they sold in 2006, or they are now located in a real estate market that is no longer considered high-end. Below are seven homes currently found on Zillow that were once priced in the million-dollar price bracket when they sold in 2006 but are now listed at prices 48 to 52 percent less. And no — these are not distressed sales (foreclosures or short sales).

Beverly Hills Michael Beaudry Estate

A true beverly hills estate on a private gated bluff with panoramic ocean & city views. pass through a long private driveway to a cobblestone motor court and 14 car dedicated parking . the media, grand kitchen, formal dining and formal living rooms all have breathtaking views. a huge master offers his + her baths, 2 terraces and a study. there are 3 additional suite, maids and a separate guesthouse. grounds feature a stunning pool area & terraces thru-out. the party deck is like your own 5 star resort with a commercial bar & grill and putting green. also available as a lease for $45,000.



As featured on Beautiful Homes and Great Estates. Brand New Bel Air Crest Tuscan Estate. For more information on this Bel Air Estate for sale.  Past a large motor court, this over 3\4 acre estate, situated on a view-commanding ridgeline is graced by a new construction 9,000 square foot home. Designed by architect Ron Firestone, custom craftsmanship and old world details are combined with every modern amenity.  Hand forged wrought iron and glass front doors open up to the two story formal entry with black walnut parquet floors. A two story Living Room flanked by Cantera stone columns overlooks the rear grounds and mountains beyond. The Great Room with wide planked floors, beamed ceilings and a stone fireplace, features a bar & stone wine cellar. The Library serves as a warm respite detailed in rich woods and a burgundy marble fireplace.  The Master Suite has spectacular views from every window, a fireplace, sitting room, large walk-in closet and changing Area. The Master Bathroom has large Steam Shower, Spa Tub and Massage Room.  The massive backyard is a dream with sweeping lawns, an infinity edged pool and a loggia that serves as an outdoor living room and kitchen. A rare offering.


CBS Evening News

Celebrity Estates in Beverly Hills – Gary Gold interview with CBS News.


Cher Estate Tour In Beverly Hills

Gary tours one of the finest estate properties in Beverly Hills with KTLA’s Gayle Anderson.


Gary Tours Beverly Hills & Bel Air Estates

Gary Gold goes on a video interview with Reuters including celebrity real estate properties around Beverly Hills & Bel Air.


Christie’s Great Estates Newsletter

Los Angeles Times

Gary On European Television

To view more exclusive Beverly Hills celebrity homes for sale, please visit here.


Wall Street Journal Estate of the Week

Los Angeles Times Home of the Week

Newport Beach Waterfront Estate

Waterfront Mansion located on Harbor Island in Newport Beach where neighbors are Billionaires.


Palos Verdes Estates Grand Cliffside Estate

Gary is featured on this episode of Beautiful Homes and Great Estates in the Los Angeles community of Palos Verdes Estates luxury ocean view Italian Villa ocean for sale as featured on Beautiful Homes and Great Estates. Custom built authentic Italian luxury Palos Verdes luxury estate. Breath taking panoramic ocean views, situated on a view-commanding cliffside is graced by authentic Italian construction 10,000 square foot home in Bel Air Crest. Designed by architect Ron Firestone, custom craftsmanship and old world details are combined with every modern amenity in this luxury estate for sale. Hand forged wrought iron and gates entry to courtyard featuring hand crafted. Formal entry open up to the two story columns, hand laid tile, solid circular moulding. A two story Living Room with triple bronzed arched doors, with no pant used in wall coverings.The rear grounds feature pool and spa with Pacific Ocean beyond. The Great Room with wide planked floors, beamed ceilings and a stone fireplace, features a bar & stone wine cellar. The Library serves as a warm respite detailed in rich woods and a burgundy marble fireplace. The Master Suite has spectacular views from every window, a fireplace, sitting room, large walk-in closet and changing Area. The Master Bathroom has large Steam Shower, Spa Tub and Massage Room. A rare offering. For more information on this Bel Air Crest Estate for sale, contact Bel Air luxury realtor Gary Gold.

Aerial Tour Of Beverly Hills “Legendary Estates”

Access Hollywood asked Gary to give a guided Tour of Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills finest and most legendary Estates.


Gary Speaks on Marketing


Beverly Hills Mansions

Los Angeles Business Journal Urban Living

It’s All This and Flora Too

Thiller of a Villa: The 10,000 square-foot house has materials and artwork from Europe

Photographs by Everett Fenton Gidley.
By Ruth Ryon
Times Staff Writer
Whoever buys this Palos Verdes bluff estate had better like Flora, because she could be here for the long haul. She weighs 240 pounds and would be a challenge to move.

Flora, a large marble bust carved in France during the 1700s, is among the artwork that’s part and parcel of this 2002 estate. Another is a courtyard statue that the home seller had carved to look like one in a Naples museum.

The Italian-style villa is filled with unusual things from the past, including the 5-inch-thick front door as well as the Tuscan roof tiles, which were handmade int he 1850s. There are solid-bronze French doors, reclaimed farmhouse beams and limestone exterior walls from Vincenza in northern Italy.
Terra-cotta blocks – 300 years old and from the South of France – were used for exterior paving blocks. Some of them bear fingerprints from when they were pressed into molds.

Interior walls are plaster with a Venetian finish, and the wood floors are either American walnut or imported Italian parquet. There are also some stone floors.
About this house: Considerable attention was given to fine finshes, but the most outstanding feature is the head-on ocean view. There is also a sweeping view of the city.

Asking Price: $12 million
Size: There are five bedrooms and nine bathrooms in 10,000 square feet, and the house is on close to an acre.
Features: The home also has verandas, terraces, a pool and a lawn. Other features are a family room, library, breakfast area and elevator.
Where: Palos Verdes Estates
Listing Agent: Gary Gold, Hilton & Hyland, Beverly HIlls, (310) 858-5411. To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, please send color interior and a description of the house, including what makes the property unusual, to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; or e-mail