Flashback to First Class Friday

As nice as it is to drool over the multi-million dollar homes of the rich and famous and clutch your pearls in shock at the amazing prices that are being asked, it is also reassuring to realise that the people buying and selling these homes are still subjected to the challenges of trying to move real estate (there are just a few more zeros on the end of their checks than you or I would most likely write). A few posts that I put up in the past are worth going back to and seeing what the outcome was.

The Liongate Estateliongate that I wrote about last month was up for sale for a cool $65 million. Coming fully furnished throughout it’s 23,000 square feet and featuring 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms and even it’s own panic room it’s an absolute steal at that price. Amazingly though, someone thought that was too expensive and decided to bargain with the vendor. Lucky they did because they were obviously a motivated seller and subsequently dropped the price by a whopping $19 million (that’s almost a 30% discount!). So the lucky purchaser picked up the property for $46 million and although heavily discounted, the owner has still made a nice little profit considering their original purchase price of 12.2M.

HPEarlier this year I wrote about Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe putting his local Toorak penthouse up for sale. After owning it for 10 years and originally purchased when he was filming a movie in Australia as a teenager, he hoped to make a nice little $600k profit. After what would likely have been an expensive marketing campaign and also having moved his furniture out and getting the property professionally styled for sale he has recently pulled the property from the market. Rumor is he has another film project in the pipeline locally and might need to keep a place to unpack his carry-on luggage.

MJIf you’ve been saving your dollars for either of these previous gems, don’t be upset that they are now off the market. There are still two properties that you can pick up. Michael Jordan’s house that I wrote about in November 2013 is STILL on the market after failing to sell at auction last year (it may have been the $250k registration fee that put people off). Originally for sale at $29 million, you can now pick it up for $16 million!

2Or if you want to live beach side in Australia then you may recall the stunning Mandalay House that I wrote about in January 2014. $25 million is what the vendor originally wanted for this tropical paradise but now it’s being marketed as ‘price reduced’. Whilst no figure is being attached to this campaign I’m sure it will be enough of a saving to get that private helicopter that you can land in your front yard!

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First Class Friday

To finish off the working week let’s see what you could spend your spare money on. Realistically most of us could barely afford the letterbox of this place but if you have a spare $65 million lying around you might be interested in the Liongate Estate. Built in the 1930’s you could live it up like the Fresh Prince in this Bel Air mansion. 24,000 square feet provides you with a generous 11 bedrooms but you may struggle to locate a toilet as there are only 17 bathrooms. The swimming pool (with fountains), tennis court, movie theatre, massage room, gym and ballroom all add up to plenty of work for your team of housekeepers. Kenny Rogers owned this house in the 1970’s but since he moved on it’s expanded in size considerably. Check out the before and after pics below. The videos are enough to make you run to your Bentley and get the cheque book out of the glove box!


And this video is worth watching simply to see them getting their money’s worth out of the flying drone mounted camera!

First Class Friday

Here’s a little bit of property porn to finish off the week. It may not be to everyone’s taste but I wouldn’t say no to sleeping in one of the spare bedrooms. If you’re a regular Bravo watcher you may recognise the property developer Mohammed Hadid who when not designing mega-mansions is usually seen hanging out with one of the housewives of Beverly Hills.

And looking at the footage below it appears that they didn’t use their phone to take the footage. I guess when it’s on the market for $195,000,000 you can afford to get a proper film crew in, it is LA!

It’s real estate reality!

I’m a sucker for some reality TV and when it’s combined with real estate I’m in heaven. I’ve been addicted for a good while to Million Dollar Listing which is an American reality series filmed in a similar way to the Real Housewives series (they may not admit it but I know several readers that are regular viewers), There are series set in both LA and New York and each feature a range of over the top and outrageous properties being sold by even more over the top and outrageous real estate agents. Below are a couple of clips from previous seasons. If you love big properties and big personalities then I’d recommend getting into what some would describe as real estate porn!

Looking around LA

I think I’d find it almost impossible to come to LA and be surrounded by so much real estate without getting out for a bit of a look. So today in sunny West Hollywood I consulted Google Maps and off I went. Whilst I would have loved to have gone up into the hills to stroll through mansions my lack of car (and multiple millions of dollars) kept me local. I selected 2 properties to view, one on the ‘If I won lotto list’ and the other was on the ‘this could be doable one day’ list. Let’s start with the home that would use up my lotto winnings.

Described as a Stunning 3 bed, 3.5 bath town home with superb finishes located near the famous and trendy Melrose Place, I’d certainly be thrilled to call this place home. At just under 1.5 million it’s not cheap, but for the location in West Hollywood and the amazing property I’d be thinking this is good value. Huge bedrooms, great bathrooms and a large outdoor area help finish off the 1 year old 2250sq foot 2 level condo.

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Although the agent was assuring me that the US property market is well on the rebound I had the luxury of looking through this amazing property by myself for almost 45 minutes. I get the feeling that the level of confidence in the local property market may not be quite as positive as he indicated, or maybe all of the movie stars were off filming today. So I then packed up my bags and headed west to the other end of West Hollywood, literally the other side of the street to Beverley Hills.

This cute bungalow below is situated in an area known as the Norma Triangle and was built in 1922. This was the more realistic property I wanted to inspect, with 2 beds and 1 bath it is quoted at $787,000. OK, maybe not amazingly cheap but half the price of the previous one…and it comes with your own recording studio (formerly known as a garage). It had a completely different feel to the other property being much more homely. A fantastic hedge rose 10 feet as your front fence which appears very common in LA and looks great. There was also a nice backyard to relax in after your exhausting recording sessions. I’ve asked both of the agents to get back to me with what their rental estimates would be, I’ll be interested to see what percentage return you get.

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I’d always recommend having a look at properties in other countries if you get a chance whilst travelling. I find it not only very useful to get an idea of what you can get for your money but also fascinating to see how others live!