Inman interviews Gary Gold about his sale of 9601 Oak Pass

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

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

 

TEXT BY COLLEEN EGAN AND MELISSA MINTON

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM BARTSCH

 

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.

 

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/playboy-mansion-for-sale-200-million-hugh-hefner-staying

 

Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Bidding Wars

los angeles luxury real estate marketFew real estate markets are as exciting or as interesting as the Los Angeles. Not only are many homes filled with rich histories or owned by celebrities, but the luxury homes here can often have some of the most fabulous amenities in the country. And to add to that ‘interesting’ factor, a new trend has shown up – bidding wars and all-cash offers.

In our latest luxury real estate market upswing we’ve already seen firsthand just how much people are willing to fight for the home that they want. The big factor driving things forward is simple – inventory levels for the high end of  the Los Angeles real estate market are lower than ever, and that’s especially true in the case of the luxury home market. This sudden shortage of homes being listed means that people are now ready to pay higher prices for the home that they want.

Recent data suggest that another housing bubble burst isn’t likely to occur any time soon. This is because today’s current price appreciation is not driven by speculation or high-risk loans. Instead, it’s just a simple economic formula of supply and demand. Values have already increased dramatically and it’s expected that they’ll rise by as much as 35% over the next 4 years.

That means two things. The first is that buying a home is trickier than ever, with bidding wars occurring on an almost regular basis and cash offers trying to help persuade sellers to accept an offer quickly.

The second is that this could be a great time to invest in the luxury home market and properties in the area. New developments from the Palladium Residences to Millennium Hollywood are offering chances to purchase homes in the area which could turn into valuable properties later. It’s an exciting time in the LA real estate market, and one that’s well worth taking a look at more closely.

Santa Monica Offers Luxurious Life of Liesure

Pier at NightSanta Monica has long been the image of the Southern California lifestyle, with its picturesque beachfront, bustling pier and iconic Ferris wheel. Local life revolves around the outdoors, evidenced by its boardwalk teeming with visitors, joggers and bikers enjoying the fresh, sea air and ocean vistas. The city offers a blend of laid-back beachy vibe and upscale cosmopolitan chic, with a thriving downtown that offers some of L.A.’s best dining, shopping and healthful amenities. As L.A.’s Westside continues to grow in popularity, Santa Monica has become one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods, enticing a diverse population of young families, students, surfers, yogis, entertainment execs and entrepreneurs.

Santa Monica is renowned for its healthy and notoriously active lifestyle, home to not one, but four farmers’ markets overflowing with colorful produce every week, including the ever popular Wednesday morning market on Arizona Avenue.  Numerous fitness offerings include the well-known Equinox and SoulCycle as well as top-rated yoga studios.  Residents jog the beach bluffs, climb the infamous Santa Monica stairs and bike along the beach paths, enjoying the city’s Breeze Bike Share program, a 500-bike system presented by Hulu.

Additionally, Santa Monica will soon offer better accessibility to Downtown Los Angeles when the EXPO Light Rail connection opens on May 20. It will mark the first time in 53 years Santa Monica residents have been able to hop a train for easy access to Downtown and the rest of the city.

With its perfect blend of relaxed seaside style and walkable urban appeal, Santa Monica remains among L.A.’s most in-demand real estate markets while inventory, specifically for new construction product, remains at an all-time low. There are still deals to make, please contact me with any questions.

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

Chris Michaud, Reuters

  • Jan. 11, 2016, 5:36 AM
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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.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/hugh-hefner-playboy-mansion-on-sale-for-200-million-2016-1

 

Asian Ultra Rich Buying Trophy Properties

super-rich-asianThe ranks of the super-rich are swelling, but nowhere faster than in Asia. Ultra-high-net-worth individuals, classified as having a net worth of more than $30-million (U.S.) each, are snapping up properties all over the world.

Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, and Toronto were found to be the most desirable cities for the affluent home buyer last year, according to the recently released 2015 Luxury Defined report from Christie’s International Real Estate.

The average starting price for a luxury home around the globe is $2-million. Beverly Hills, where luxury begins at $8-million, has the highest price entry point.

Ultra-high-net-worth individuals are looking to diversify their portfolios into different asset groups, one of which is luxury real estate. They’re looking for a safe place to invest at a reasonable rate of return. Just as some ultra-rich buy masterpieces of art or exquisite jewels, an emerging trend in the luxury market is the “trophy home. The trophy home is becoming effectively a collectible asset class.  The ultra-high end of the real estate market established new benchmarks for price in 2014, with buyers buoyed by the global economic recovery and soaring stock market prices. Five properties around the world changed hands for more than $100-million. In the same way people may buy a Picasso, those same buyers are now buying some of those trophy properties. Trophy is the new buzzword in luxury real estate.

Asia had the highest growth rate in its super-rich population last year, increasing by 3.5 per cent compared with the global average of 3.1 per cent, according to the 2015 Wealth Report by Knight Frank, an international property consultancy. Real estate is increasingly seen as a mainstream investment class, accounting for 38 per cent of an investment portfolio on average among the ultra-wealthy in Asia.

Asia’s ultra-wealthy population will surpass that of North America in the next 10 years by 11 per cent. The especially affluent in Asia hold more in total wealth than those in North America, with net assets of $5.9-trillion and $5.5-trillion respectively. The super-rich in China and Hong Kong own the most number of homes, at 4.7 and 4.6 respectively, compared with the global average of three.

Ultra-high-net-worth property investors are becoming increasingly confident and are looking to diversify their property portfolios by exploring new asset classes and locations. They invest in these key cities as they’re deemed to be safe haven and have a historical trend of good capital appreciation.  And the Asian investors are flocking to the West Coast.

Trophy Property Where All The Rage Last Year

trophy propertyAs the global economy continues its recovery, record sale prices of luxury goods and luxury homes continue to capture headlines and intrigue the buying public around the world. What we are seeing in our current market is that $100 million is now the benchmark for this ultra-exclusive category, as more consumers move to collect “trophy” properties. More properties above $100 million were listed in 2014 than ever before.

As the number of wealthy individuals rises, inventory in coveted markets is dwindling and extravagance is spreading to new areas. A thriving real estate market tends to have a cascading effect across the luxury sector, with consumers turning to other categories after a property is secured. Location, lifestyle, and provenance, particularly at the top end of the luxury residential real estate market, are the hallmarks of value and often equally as important as price when high net worth individusals consider a property purchase.

The traditional luxury market has often been pegged at $1 million and higher, according to Christie’s. The ultra-affluent, however, regularly escalate the benchmark. London and Beverly Hills, CA have the highest entry-points with luxury homes starting at $6 and $8 million, respectively. High-value urban market sales rose 15 percent from the year-ago period, largely because of millennials growing up and baby boomers transitioning into new phases of life.,Cities are still performing strongly, not at the levels we saw in 2014, but we expect 2015 to see sustained, healthy growth from major economic hubs. Second home markets led the growth of high-value sales in 2014,

As the global affluent continue to thrive, markets everywhere will rejuvenate.

Los Angeles High End Home Sales Surging

luxury real estateBy most measures, the housing market these days is a bit sluggish. Prices are flat. Sales are drooping. A lot of people are priced out.

But not everyone. The high end is hopping.

Luxury home prices in Los Angeles continued to soar in the third quarter, posting five straight quarters of double-digit gains, boosted by low interest rates and tight inventory, according to a survey by First Republic Bank.

Luxury home sales in Southern California are hitting levels not seen in decades. The number of homes bought for $2 million or more in recent months is the highest on record. Sales worth $10 million or more are on pace this year to double their number from the heights of the housing bubble.

The value of luxury homes (or homes valued at more than $1 million) in the Los Angeles area jumped 13 percent from the third quarter a year ago and 3.7 percent from the second quarter. The average price for a luxury home in the area hit an all-time high of $2.61 million. The third quarter was strong across most markets from West L.A. to Malibu, prices are very strong and buyer interest is greatest for homes selling for $2 million to $5 million

Low interest rates, a strong stock market and waves of cash sloshing in from overseas are boosting demand for high-dollar homes. A record 1,436 homes worth $2 million or more were sold in the six-county Southland in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic DataQuick.

The biggest difference in the luxury market between now and a decade ago is that the world is smaller. Wealthy international buyers are scooping up second homes, investment properties and safe havens for their cash. And it’s easier for them to scout — and travel — the world to do so.

The Southland scores points with these buyers for its weather, its glamour and a population diverse enough that nearly any transplant can feel at home. And despite its reputation as one of the nation’s least-affordable housing markets, Los Angeles can look like a steal compared with other high-end havens. Private wealth managers around the world think California is a very good market right now, compared to New York or London, L.A. real estate is a bargain.”

But it’s not just foreign money that’s heating up the high end.

A surging stock market has boosted portfolios for domestic buyers in recent years, especially for those who have money to invest. Low interest rates have made mortgages cheap. And banks — still risk-averse — are offering lower rates and better terms to deep-pocketed borrowers than to cash-strapped first-time buyers. Meanwhile, wealthier households have seen their incomes grow faster than average in recent years.

High-end home sales are surging in “Silicon Beach,” too, with tech entrepreneurs and Bay Area transplants scooping up multimillion-dollar homes in Santa Monica, Venice and Marina del Rey. Many of the buyers work in the area and prefer walkable neighborhoods, relatively close to work, to the traditional hubs of Westside glitz.

Luxury Real Estate Defined

luxury real estateWhile the term “luxury” can be subjective, a luxury home or luxury real estate is generally defined as a property priced within the top 5-10% of a given real estate market. In most markets that is a home of value of more then one million dollars in the Los Angeles market it’s defined by an entry-level price of about $2 million.

However, there’s more to luxury than a price tag, a home that may have a unique quality or distinct feature that makes it stand out in the luxury real estate marketing arena. One’s perspective has as much to do with the definition as does the opulence, location or architectural significance of a particular property. We offer the following common characteristics of homes classified as luxury:

Exclusive location

Luxury starts from the ground up, and requires a home to be built on pristine property that usually offers an exclusive view. This includes lakefront, mountaintop and ocean-side real estate.

Natural Materials

There’s nothing mass produced about a high-end home, especially when it comes to the material it was constructed with. Common luxury materials include hardwood, marble and granite – all of which carry a timeless beauty, and are built to last.

Clean Design

Luxury calls for a clean and crisp design that is timeless rather than on-trend. Too much clutter can appear cheap rather than chic. That’s why luxury features the very best of a home’s collection, resulting in a richer look.

Harmony

In an upscale home, every element of the house works together in harmony. A luxury home can be classic, contemporary or transitional, but conforms to a consistent style of architecture, furniture, décor and landscape.

Attention to Detail

Detailed décor finishes off a luxurious look, and is handled with the same amount of care and thoughtfulness as constructing the home. While luxury can be bought, it can’t be mass-produced – so decorating an interior to be luxurious takes time to get to details just right.

Introducing: 2014 Innovator Awards Finalists

Inman News is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2014 Innovator Awards. We are humbled to be recognized in the category of Most Innovative Real Estate Agent.

gary gold inman news innovator

 

Luxury Real Estate is Leading the Recovery

luxury real estate salesWhen real estate values dropped during the downturn and other investments lost their luster, luxury residences really became an investment focus and became a portfolio as much as a lifestyle purchase.

The luxury market has been leading the recovery for about two years. The pause button might have been hit on home sales this year, but the luxury market is keeping pace.  Sales of the priciest 1% of homes in the U.S. are up 21.1% so far this year, following a gain of 35.7% in 2013. For the rest of the market, sales have dropped 7.6% since the start of the new year. There are currently more than 9 million millionaires in the U.S., according to Millionaire Corner Affluent Market Insightsand they’re spending. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of homes costing $1 million or above increased 7.8% in March from the same period a year ago. During that same time, homes costing $250,000 or less dropped 12%

There are many factors stimulating the growth of the top sector of the real estate market. First of all, the wealthy are opting to invest in fewer stocks due to the volatility of the European markets. Instead, they are taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates and investing in real estate assets. Foreign buyers from Asia, Russia and Latin America are also contributing to the decreased inventory of real estate in the most sought after U.S. neighborhoods.

While it seems wealthy individuals are comfortable with the economic recovery and spending money again, that doesn’t mean they’ve totally forgotten about the housing bubble burst.  When it comes to luxury home purchases, it’s not all about the McMansions. Many high-income buyers are not actually downsizing, but moving to big cities like New York and Los Angeles—the top two luxury markets in the U.S.

When it comes to buying a home with a seven-figure price tag, here’s what  buyers are demanding:

Décor that Tells a Story. Owners want to be able to tell their guests stories about a home’s features. It’s like luxury travel; it’s all about the experience. They want their home to have a story.

Not Your Average Amenities. People paying top dollar want all the bells and whistles from their homes

Outdoor Living Space. Not only do these buyers want a big back yard that they can landscape and entertain in, they also want to be able to cook outdoors. Affluent homeowners want outdoor space that offers room for multiple gardens, swimming pools, and maybe even a putting green.

Every Chef’s Dream Kitchen. According to Leslie Piper, consumer housing specialist at realtor.com, 54% of luxury buyers identify a chef’s kitchen as their top feature when house hunting.

Green for Green. Expert says wealthy homeowners want properties that have environmentally-friendly appliances and features–and are willing to pay extra for them.

Wine Cellar. Move over wine fridge, luxury homeowners want a wine cellar that allows for both case and bottle storage.

Southern California Luxury Real Estate Outpaces the World

9305-Nightingale-Dr28Southern California luxury estates are in extremely high demand. Whether buyers and sellers are California natives or have arrived in Los Angeles for the first time, the beauty and amenities offered by living in Southern California are unmatched almost anywhere

While 2013 was noted globally for wealth creation as the global economy continued its recovery, Los Angeles and Southern California luxury estates became known globally for a huge leap in supply of the most exclusive properties while seeing their time on the market drop by an eye-popping 47%. The market for the highest end luxury, $5 million and up, is extremely strong as estates of this size are selling in 77 days on average The market experienced a 40% jump in supply and still sold faster in Southern California than every other market except one world wide. Southern California broke records with 4,514 sales at 2 million plus, an increase of 33% and L.A. County also eclipsed previous highs with 2,628 sales.

Luxury estates are becoming to a certain extent a global capital market and the world is embracing the incredible values and offerings of the Los Angeles market. The upswing in pricing and demand in L.A.’s luxury market was not only fueled by local billionaires, many foreigners, house flippers and celebrities added to the mix. A lot of foreign money is funneling into SoCal properties, in particular Beverly Hills and Bel-Air which are still considered good value by comparison. It’s a real estate phenomenon that when people start paying more for houses, other people follow suit and don’t mind paying more, and so on and so on. With home prices rising, equity gains have prompted the segment of the market that was waiting on the sidelines to make their move releasing pent-up demand

Luxury Real Estate is on the Rise

Luxury-Los-Angeles-Real-Estate-For-SaleWith more millionaires and billionaires in the world than ever before, pent-up demand and increasing consumer confidence, luxury real estate sales have been surging around the world. Luxury properties are once again one of the hottest real estate market trends, as London, New York and Los Angeles report a burgeoning luxury housing market. According to Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner Affluent Market Insights report for 2014, the number of Millionaire households in the U.S. has reached a record of over 9 million. There are 132,000 households with a net worth over $25 million.

Christies International Real Estate released its second annual Luxury Residential Property Market report, looking at the market in 10 of the world’s major markets – Cote d’Azur, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney and Toronto. Those markets were compared against each other in terms of sales price, prices per square foot, percentage of non-local and international buyers, and the number of luxury listings per population.

London was rated No. 1 based on its top sale of a property for $101.5 million, and it also had the top per square foot sales average of $4,683. New York and Los Angeles were second and third, respectively, with a significant growth in luxury sales volume. Here in Los Angeles, the mega mansion Fleur de Lys just sold for more than any other house in Los Angeles County ever: $102 million. In an all-cash sale

Most Expensive Sale in US History?

gt0518gtestate-201In what is believed to be the most expensive acreage in US history — the highest single family home sale price in the entire country — the 50-acre waterfront Copper Beech Farm estate sold Friday for $120 million. Purchased by an undisclosed buyer through the “Conversation Institute, LLC”, is a 51-acre farm with a mansion.  The acreage, the location, the price, and the history are all unparalleled! According to Curbed.com, the sale of the home at 499 Indian Field Rd. in the private Mead Point enclave, is the second-largest recorded in U.S. history — the most expensive being Montana’s Broken O Ranch, which sold in 2012 for $132.5 million.

The Copper Beech Estate, which had been owned by John Rudey, a timber magnate with holdings in Washington state, was built in 1898 by the Lauder Greenway family, who were founders with Andrew Carnegie of U.S. Steel. In the coming years, the sprawling stone-and-shingle mansion, built in the French Renaissance fashion, would crown an estate that grew to more than 100 acres at one time, before the Lauder-Greenway family began donating large parcels of land for various causes. It boasts 4,000 feet of private beach on Long Island Sound as well as two islands. comprised of a 30.6 acre parcel and a 20-acre parcel, the property listed in May 2013 with a pricetag of $190 million. There were price reductions and then an offered option of purchasing 30.6 acres of the estate — including the 12-bedroom main house — for $76.9 million.

Luxury Around the World

luxury real estate around the worldIn a recent post we explored what really defines a home as luxury, since the term has often been abused. This is because “luxury” is subjective. Indeed, what one person might consider luxurious can be quite drab to someone else.

Regional markets, however, do have their own quirks, and usually the properties tagged with the “luxury” label in an area are comparable to each other. Here are a few major cities and the defining features of their luxury real estate markets.

New York

In the Big Apple, space is a commodity that is hard to come by. Luxury homes in the city might not necessarily be large in the physical sense, at least compared to rural and suburban homes in more spread out areas. No, luxury in New York is defined by uniqueness of design, history of the property, and the credentials of the architect. In a city where people of every personality type exist, your home has to have its own style in order to stand with the elite.

Chicago

Generally, the price point for luxury homes is $1 million or more. The area you target will determine what you can get for those millions you’re spending. In Chicago, you’re likely to be able to get a lot more property space than if you are in New York City. Chicago’s general real estate market actually has lower costs than many major U.S. cities, but it is also home to some of the highest purchases.    It has been noted that wealthy business people prefer urban situations so that they can easily maintain connections with business contacts. Being near an airport is convenient for those that travel.

Because of Chicago’s business-oriented vibe, luxury is defined largely by price tag, with size and amenities as supplemental factors. Pools and other outdoor features are big attractions for summertime usage.

London

In London, recent tax increases for homes priced over 2 million pounds are making buyers feel as if they’re not welcome in the city. This might be the explanation for younger buyers choosing other locations for their luxury purchases. Unlike New York and Chicago, London’s luxury market is on the decline.

Even more so than New York, London luxury is defined by the historical aspects of a property and the reputation of the names associated with it. Even new properties will emphasize historical-inspired architecture to use to its advantage. The story is the most important aspect of the property.

Thanks to Toby Lancaster for his contribution to this post.

Why the Luxury Housing Market is Hot

los angeles luxury housingThe real estate market feels like it’s bouncing back. Whether it’s Beverly Hills or Malibu, Bel Air or Pacific Palisades, the high-end Los Angeles real estate market has been the hot topic. The high end market has really been thriving — but why? Because there are hundreds and thousands of variables involved in the real estate market, it’s impossible to pinpoint a single cause for this development. But the luxury housing market is downright hot in several markets. Barring a stock market correction — unlikely given how investors reacted positively to the Federal Reserve reduction in bond purchases in December — the trend means the spring home buying season could be a good one, especially for those who are shrewd or lucky enough to have high-end properties in their portfolio.  The National Association of REALTORS® recently announced that sales of properties worth more than $1 million increased by almost a third in October 2013 nationwide compared to the previous year. In September, however, sales of the same properties increased by a whopping 40 percent. Not bad.

Knowing luxury sales are doing well is just the first step in taking advantage of the trend, of course. You also have to know why they are doing well, which means acquiring insight about why the wealthy have been growing wealthier in recent years. First, the stock market is going gangbusters. While naysayers predict a plateau, it still has plenty of room to grow. Just keep in mind that our luxury survey found that 75 percent believe that investing in a home is actually more a sound investment than the stock market itself! Second, foreign wealthy buyers are on the march, especially in in the West, where South American and Asian tycoons are investing in real estate. International buyers represented 23 percent of all home sales in Florida in 2013, for example. Given the difficulties of non-U.S. residents obtaining loans, they tend to pay in cash, too. Lastly, builders are swarming into the luxury home market after years of sitting on the sidelines, giving the wealthy more options. The new builds won’t depress prices anytime soon, however, according to Toll Brothers, because inventories are still low.

In addition to its value as an investment, there are many other less obvious benefits to owning high-end real estate. To own an expensive home up in the hills — whether it is overlooking a glittering city or a calm ocean — is a symbol of status; it is a culmination of hard work, sweat and tears. Furthermore, high-end real estate is usually secluded, therefore offering peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the increasingly crowed Los Angeles County. Lastly, expensive property allows for more freedom and flexibility when it comes to personalizing one’s home; regardless of whatever an owner does with their house, the land itself will retain its value. All in all, the recent boom in the high-end Los Angeles real estate market is likely a good sign for the real estate market at large. Whether it is a luxurious mansion in Malibu, or a modest single-family house in Sherman Oaks, now is the time to find a great Los Angeles real estate and buy a home.

‘Luxury’ is a Much Abused Word in Real Estate

luxury real estateProperty ads urge us to “indulge in opulence” and promise to “pamper you in comfort”. While the glossy brochures and virtual tours may impress you, you often find that the features offered don’t justify the exorbitant price tag of a luxury home.

Luxury is by far the most abused word by residential real estate. As the term is freely used, it becomes important to know the essential features that define luxury.

Living space
Generous living space is a primary requirement of any well-designed home. Luxury homes must offer spacious living rooms,  large gourmet kitchens, well equipped media room and oversized closets  with elaborate systems to organize wardrobes, ample dressing areas and space to pack suitcases.

Attention to detail
In every aspect — from the wood work, to the wall coverings, the hardware, the electric switches, the kind of lighting. Technology is a significant detail with amenities like  home automation systems and electronic surveillance. — A luxury home remains pristine if well maintained.

Exclusivity
While these amenities may be widely available, one key must-have in a luxury home is exclusivity; it must be shared by a small number of people.

Your style
All said, you should see if what you are getting is ‘your’ style. After all, it may turn out that the designer features do not match your personality and definition of lifestyle.

Custom-built
Ideally you may wish to have every aspect — floor plan, materials, features, amenities — designed exclusively for you. Short of full custom, you will definitely want your luxury home to be customized with a high end renovation offering a move-in ready home

Luxury Housing Trend is Move-In-Ready Homes

ScreenHunter_569 Jan. 02 21.42Ultra-luxury homes are coming on the market complete with designer furnishings, art, knickknacks, linen and even electric toothbrushes.

When Elton John sold his  West Hollywood condominiums last year, the buyer got more than four walls. The units came with the singer’s designer furnishings, knickknacks and tableware — even his snake-skin-covered bed frame. Now, one of the condos is back on the market at $3.995 million, along with all the contents.

Some buyers are drawn by the luster that comes from owning a celebrity’s onetime belongings. They are buying an instant lifestyle.  Others, such as time-stretched executives and those shopping for second homes from a distance, want places they can use right away, without having to sweat the small stuff. Some are so smitten with a seller’s taste or custom furnishings that they want the whole package. For sellers, offering a fully outfitted home is a chance to leave behind decor suited to a particular home and start fresh on the next house.

Once the stuff of vacation rentals or corporate housing, fully appointed homes are the latest fad in the ultra-luxury market. There is a segment of the market that wants to have a fully furnished residence they appreciate the convenience of not having to shop or furnish them. High end buyers are purchasing places whose sellers have left them in meticulous move-in condition, down to stocked linen closets, full liquor cabinets and tissues on the dresser.

Although the trend is popping up in other wealthy pockets nationwide, it’s gaining traction in Los Angeles circles in which style and convenience trump expense. This all inclusive tactic also is being tried at newly built luxury condo developments. At the Carlyle Residences on Wilshire Boulevard, buyers of two-bedroom units can opt for “turnkey” packages starting at $150,000. For three-bedroom units the add-ons start at $250,000. The well-stocked condominiums combine contemporary furniture with vintage pieces, high-end appliances.LED televisions, Villeroy & Boch dinnerware, exotic indoor plants are included. The buyer doesn’t even need to bring a toothbrush. A pair of $170 rechargeable Philips Sonicares are standing by in the master bathroom.

You don’t have to do anything, it’s all done.