Tag Archives: California

Alicia Keys buys America's 'coolest home'

Alicia Keys buys America’s ‘coolest home’

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Alicia Keys buys America’s ‘coolest home’

Fifteen-time Grammy-winner Alicia Keys is a big winner once again, snapping up America’s “coolest home,” the Razor House, for US$20.8 million.

With sleek, contemporary lines and commanding views over the Pacific Ocean, the Razor House has graced the pages of magazines and websites around the world, in addition to a starring role in Visa Black Card and Calvin Klein television commercials. Designed by Wallace E. Cunningham in La Jolla, Calif., the home was on the market originally at US$45 million, then at US $30 million, reduced to US $24.99 million, with Keys paying US$20.8 million.

Built in 2007, the Razor House extends several stories below the original surface, so each roof forms a terrace to the adjacent upper floor. The centre of the structure is essentially hollowed out creating a perimeter house wrapped around an open courtyard which allows daylight, moonlight and stunning views. The main house has 10,240 sq. ft. of living space, including two master suites, two additional bedrooms, six baths, two steam rooms/showers, gym, roof-top spa and built-in outdoor barbecue. The detached multi-leveled guest house has 1,301 sq. ft. and includes two bedrooms and two baths, each having separate entry points on different levels.

Luxury finishes and special touches include travertine stone floors that run continuously from interior to exterior, solid-walnut flooring in the library and on the family room ceiling and suede-wrapped walls in the primary master suite. The library contains a custom Ralph Lauren glass-and-stainless pool table, while both the main and service kitchens are furnished with Gaggenau, Miele, Subzero and Hoshizaki in multiples to cover large-scale entertaining. A subterranean garage houses four cars and a glass elevator operates all the way to the rooftop-terrace level. Entertainment includes a state-of-the-art theater and a 5,100-cu.-ft.-infinity swimming pool.

One of California’s most picturesque locations on the Pacific Coast, La Jolla has been the home of Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, actor Gregory Peck, astronaut Sally Ride, NFL pioneer Paul Brown and actress Raquel Welch.

The Razor House is located near Torrey Pines Golf Course, Del Mar Racetrack and the La Jolla Playhouse.


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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch back on the market – again

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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch back on the market – again

Photo credit: Compass

Michael Jackson died 10 years ago on June 25, 2009, and many people around the world commemorated his death by listening to his hit songs and watching his iconic music videos. They celebrated his astronomical career by remembering his early performances as part of The Jackson 5, replaying interviews, and watching documentaries like This Is It that shows the work that went into organizing his last concert, which sadly he never got the chance to perform.

Also remembered is his beloved Neverland Ranch, where he lived from 1987 until 2006. This was where he was finally able to experience childhood, having never had that luxury as part of the hard-working, family-singing group The Jackson 5.

Two years after his death, Neverland was put on the market for $100 million, but never sold. Today, restored at great expense to resemble the original ranch it was when Michael purchased it, the estate is back on the market and reduced to $31 million.

In 1977, developer William Bone bought the bare acreage in Santa Barbara County in Los Olivos, California. Bone engaged an architect to design all the main structures on the property, dig the lake and landscape formal gardens. It was his own fantasy land of sorts, as he was able to design it his way rather than at the direction of his clients. It took him two years working with architect Robert Altevers to get the design to his liking. He named it the Zaca Laderas Ranch and lived there until selling it to Michael in 1987.

Michael bought the 2,700-acre ranch for about $25 million and then spent millions more to develop it into a child’s fantasy land, which he appropriately named Neverland, in reference to the Peter Pan fairy tale. The 13,000-sq.-ft. main house, formal gardens, four-acre lake with fountains and a five-foot waterfall, along with an attractive stone bridge, had already been built by Bone when Michael purchased the property.

Michael added three railroads, a petting zoo, and a full amusement park complete with nine major rides and an arcade. He also installed an electric railroad with 100-feet of track behind the house for his own children.

Neverland was Michael’s beloved home until 2006 when he was charged with child molestation, which supposedly took place at the ranch. Although he was acquitted, the association of so much negativity with the ranch made it difficult for him to continue living there. Except for caretakers, the ranch was closed.

By 2007, Michael was behind in payments on his loan by about $23 million and the ranch was due to go on the auction block; however, investment group Colony Capital stepped in and bought the loan, making them co-owners. In 2009, Colony began restoring the ranch by removing the zoo and amusement park and replacing them with a Zen garden. The amusement park rides are now part of Sacramento’s California State Fair.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of Michael’s death, his beloved Neverland Ranch, renamed the Sycamore Valley Ranch, has had a massive price reduction from the original $100 million to $31 million. The listing agent is Suzanne Perkins of Compass Realty, Montecito, California.


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A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

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A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

In 1971, Warren Buffett bought a contemporary-style beach home in Laguna Beach for $150,000, long before prices on the Southern California Pacific Coast began to skyrocket. It’s now for sale for $7.9 million.

He has had the six-bedroom home listed for over a year at $11 million (U.S.), but recently cut the price by $3.1 million, now asking $7.9 million.

Known for his Midas touch in choosing investments, Buffett is equally well known for being a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to living like the billionaire he is. Never one to be led by societal advancements, he refrains from using popular technology and has no egotistical need to keep up with the Joneses or prove that his anything is bigger and better than his peers. Of course, with a worth of almost $85 billion, he has few peers. The only visible evidence of his largess is the private jet he purchased in 1989, only because it saved time in getting to his meetings.

One of the most unexpected things one would expect from a billionaire such as Buffett is that he would still be living in an average family home that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 in Omaha, Nebraska, the city where he was born. That’s not to say that he didn’t make one splurge in personal real estate. While married to his first wife, Susan Thompson, he did buy the beach house where the family of five would vacation and spend holidays. The house, which he purchased for $150,000, overlooks the Pacific and is only a short walk to the sandy beach. Now that it is no longer used, he put it on the market in early 2017 and is now ready to make a deal, reducing the price by $3.1 million.

Today, the house is located in a much more developed community than when he bought in. It is located in a gated community that sports multiple tennis courts, a swimming pool and beach volleyball courts, among other amenities. He and Susan enjoyed entertaining their friends at the house but found that there were so many that he also bought a house next door and built a stairway to connect the two. After Susan died in 2004, Warren rarely used the home and sold the connecting property in 2005. At 3,588 square feet, the Laguna Beach house is much different than Warren’s traditional Omaha home, which is worth about $600,000. His California home is very contemporary with six bedrooms and seven baths, big windows, sculptured ceilings and recessed lighting to spotlight the home’s modern art, a long fireplace and multiple built-ins. Two of the bedrooms have private entrances so guests can come and go without disturbing others. All rooms, including the large family room and decks, have ocean and beach views and the rock cliffs spilling onto the beach of Emerald Bay. Though Buffett will no longer be playing his uke on the deck or bridge with his friends, it is an excellent property for enjoying family and friends with plenty to do on one of California’s most popular beaches.

Newly priced at $7.9 million, the listing agent is Bill Dolby of Villa Real Estate, Emerald Bay, Calif.

Source: toptenrealestatedeals.com


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Ellen's Montecito home up for sale

Ellen’s Montecito home up for sale

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Ellen’s Montecito home up for sale

Ellen DeGeneres has been at the top of her profession for years and has won multiples of almost every entertainment award on the planet. She’s made us laugh with her stand-up comedy, glued to the television watching her sitcom Ellen, surprised the world as the first person to come out on national television and has entertained us since 2003 in her long-running talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

In 1986, when Johnny Carson not only had her appear on his show but also pulled her over for a conversation on the couch, it was obvious that her fame would soar. Carson was a star maker and a summons to the Tonight Show couch was like hitting the jackpot for an up-and-coming comedienne.

For over 30 years, Ellen has been one of America’s favourite performers winning more People’s Choice Awards than anyone else (20) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barak Obama in 2016.

Ellen is well known for her endless energy dancing up and down the aisles of her TV show studios, headlining numerous Hollywood award shows, her frequent work and performances. In her spare time, Ellen is by far the No. 1 celebrity home flipper, leaving her competitors such as Jennifer Aniston, Meg Ryan and Diane Keaton in the leftover construction dust.

Ellen and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, have put their 1930s Montecito estate — which held a prominent role in Ellen’s book Home — on the market. It is an extensive house with expansive grounds on a hill overlooking the ocean and mountains.

Known as The Villa, it was designed by noted architect Wallace Frost after returning from Italy. Entranced by 17th-century Italian villas, this was the home he envisioned and built for himself and his family, which he replicated with great accuracy. Decades later, acclaimed architectural designer John Saladino fell in love with its “mix of grandeur and modesty” and commenced a five-year meticulous restoration of the property for his personal use.

Ellen and Portia purchased the The Villa in 2013 and expanded the estate through the acquisition of two adjacent properties, and it now totals more than 16 acres. They spared no expense in modernizing the historic property for a relaxed California lifestyle. The 10,500-square-foot home includes six bedrooms, eight baths, nine fireplaces, multiple libraries, a marble-wrapped chef’s kitchen and formal rooms.

An indoor-outdoor entertaining pavilion was built from stone excavated on-site with hand-made iron windows. The couple also added a lap pool, sunken championship tennis court and installed state-of-the-art irrigation, mechanical, electronic and security systems. The listing agent is Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty. Ellen and Portia have recently placed their romantic Montecito, California 1930s Italian villa on the market at priced at $45 million ($61 million Cdn).

https://www.toptenrealestatedeals.com/homes/weekly-ten-best-homedeals/ 2017/03-20-2017/


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