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Friday, April 29, 2011

I am just so loving these lovely days at Kanapali beach...wouldn't you? This is my view right now in the water.

DeGeneres and de Rossi put Beverly Hills 'compound' on the market for US$60 million -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Lis

DeGeneres and de Rossi put 'compound' on the market for US$60m

Reported by ninemsn Finance staff
Friday, April 29, 2011
Beverly Hills compound on the market
Beverly Hills compound on the market

Chat show host Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, have quietly put their Beverly Hills home on the market for US$60 million ($55 million).

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The couple was first rumoured to have put the multi-residence compound on the market in mid-February and Beverly Hills real estate sources recently revealed the hefty price tag to the Real Estalker blog.

The main home on the property, which includes a detached guest house, staff quarters and an underground garage, is rumoured to have been listed for US$49 million ($45 million).

But the entire compound, which includes the main house and two adjacent residences that were originally purchased as a privacy buffer, is reportedly on the market for US$60 million.

DeGeneres and de Rossi put Beverly Hills 'compound' on the market for US$60 million -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air Set To Serve California Eats -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estat

Puck-chef-md.jpgWe've just received confirmation from a creative over at the under construction Hotel Bel Air that, as surmised, once the venue reopens this fall, Wolfgang Puck and his restaurant group, the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group (WPFDG), will oversee all of the property’s food and beverage operations. The hotel's restaurant has been named Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air and the culinary concept focuses on modern California cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences.

In other news, Hotel Bel Air room rates will start at $565 with the addition of a $100 dining credit until Dec 29.
·Rumormongering [~ELA~]
·Puck Coming to Hotel Bel-Air, Dia De Los Muertos at Las Perlas [~ELA~]

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air Set To Serve California Eats -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Check out our newest video of this Hollywood Hills Modern Home For Sale - Hollywood Hills - Sunset Strip - Beverly Hills Real Estate- Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Es

Check out our newest video of this Hollywood Hills Modern Home For Sale - Hollywood Hills - Sunset Strip - Beverly Hills Real Estate

8121 Gould Avenue - Los Angeles, California 90048
$1,239,000

Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 Upgrades to Beat the Bathroom Blahs |Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.Chris

The bathroom is a utilitarian space — high on function, but often low on design. Upping the bathroom’s appearance however, doesn’t need to involve a demolition team and a big chunk of your annual salary. Involving a weekend and less than $500, you can completely change the look of an outdated and tired bathroom, as well as increase your home value if you’re in the market to sell.

  • Paint: $15-30. Like any room in the house, the bathroom immediately improves with a coat of paint, looking cleaner and updated without spending a ton of money. If you have a small bathroom, consider buying lighter paint to make the room appear larger. Try a satin or eggshell finish paint that holds up better to moisture and cleaning. Have more time? Re-stain or paint the cabinets as well.

  • Faucet, knobs, pulls $5-150. Like the kitchen, the bathroom has a lot of cabinets and drawers. Rather than spending hundreds to replace them, put in new knobs and pulls for an instant facelift. Even the most blah cabinets look better with brushed nickel hardware. For about $100 more, you can also replace the faucet to coordinate the bathroom’s look.

  • New or updated mirror: $30-150. Let’s face it: The medicine cabinet is usually not the most attractive feature in a bathroom. Consider replacing it with one or two flat mirrors. Worried about storage space? Use wicker baskets or shelving to hold your bathroom toiletries. If you already have a large mirror above the sink, try framing it for a quick update. Purchase molding — wood or tile works well — and attach it around the edges of the mirror using an adhesive like Liquid Nails.

  • Update lighting: $20-$150. In a small room such as the bathroom, good lighting matters. A dark bathroom immediately looks dingier and makes getting ready for work in the morning more difficult. Update those old sconces with lighting that fits with the theme of your bathroom. Don’t have the money or know-how to replace the lighting? Put in new glass shades for an affordable and easy fix.

  • Accessories: $10-$60. Swapping out a moldy shower curtain and stained towels is the simplest and least expensive way to update the entire look of the bathroom. Stick with a simple color palette and don’t overdo the accessories. Use drawer and countertop organizers to reduce clutter, which makes the room seem smaller. As a finishing touch, add a framed piece of art on a wall or potted plant.

Need more bathroom home improvement ideas? Check out Zillow’s Dueling Digs.

5 Upgrades to Beat the Bathroom Blahs |Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Kanapali beach surf and overlooking the island of Lanai.

Kanapali surf April 27.3GP Watch on Posterous

Kanapali beach surf and overlooking the island of Lanai.
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Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beverly Hills Website - Greystone Concours d'Elegance - This Sunday in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-L

 
2nd ANNUAL GREYSTONE MANSION CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE
~Sunday,  May 1, 2011~
10 am – 4 pm

 
Photo courtesy of Aram Chobanian

Admission tickets are now on sale for $100 ($125 day of the event) - please see link above/left.

Your admission includes:

- Viewing of over 150 world class vintage and classic autos and motorcycles

- Gourmet food from Beverly Hills' finest restaurants

- Beverages and "adult libations"

- Two espresso bars, two margarita bars and two beer gardens

- A marketplace of automobilia and fine arts plus numerous auto industry vendors

- Two for one admission ticket to the Petersen Museum.

- Access to the mansion and estate grounds (rarely seen by the public)

- Musical entertainment

- Historical exhibits

- Lecture series by auto industry experts

- Free parking and shuttles (Parking Structure is located at 9333 W 3rd St)  

- Event program book and poster


The event is held in conjunction with the Friends of Greystone a non-profit organization, with a portion of all proceeds going toward the ongoing preservation of the Estate. Greystone Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    

Link to Conference and Visitors Bureau

Beverly Hills Website - Greystone Concours d'Elegance - This Sunday in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Wolfgang Puck Reveals New Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Esta

Wolfgang Puck Reveals New Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

Posted: 04/26/11 12:04 PM ET


Wolfgang Puck's New Festival

We broke the news some weeks ago in our Jay Weston's Restaurant Newsletter that Chef Wolfgang Puck had resigned from the board of the Puck-Lazaroff Foundation, which for over 26 years had sponsored the American Food and Wine Meals on Wheels Festival held every September at Universal Studios' Western Street. They had raised millions of dollars to help the nuns of St. Vincent care for the aged and indigent folks of L.A. with hot and hearty meals delivered to their homes. But Wolf and partner Tom Kaplan assured me that they were working on something "exciting" which would replace the event with an even more exciting fund-raising spectacle. This week they filled me in on some of the details at a small chef's reception held in front of the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill in the courtyard of the immense L.A. Live Nokia Plaza venue downtown adjacent to Staples Center.

Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck announced an exciting new L.A. food and wine event.


While details are still being threshed out, it appears that American Express Publishing has joined with Dick Clark Productions and the founders of the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Fest, David Allan Bernahl and Rob Weakly and their Coastal Luxury Management, to create the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival to be held from Thursday, Oct. 13th to Sunday, October 16th. Lexus will also be one of the sponsors, as well as AEG's L.A. Live organization. Wolfgang has been involved with AEG since opening his superb WP 24 gourmet Chinese restaurant atop the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the overall complex. I am told that the new event will comprise more than 100 food, wine and tasting events and seminars held all over town, from the Santa Monica Pier to downtown's L.A. Live center. Fortunately, it does not compete with the event of which I am a participant on the restaurant committee, Special Olympics' Pier del Sol held at the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday, October 10th.

Rory Herrmann of Bouchon
Bouchon Bistro's Rory Herrmann is one of the chefs participating.


A handful of top chefs appeared at the luncheon hosted by Wolf's catering operation, which efficiently handles the Oscars' Governor's Ball and hundreds of other events during the year. I spotted Iron Chef star Morimoto busy photographing the affair, while Walter Manzke (soon to announce his new restaurant location), Ludo Lefebvre (with a new Pop-Up coming), David Myers, Sang Yoon (just opening his new Asiatic complex, Lukshon, on Helms Avenue in Culver City), Tyler Florence, Nancy Silverton (of the Mozza empire, getting ready to open a hamburger place at the original Farmer's Market), Matt Molina, Josiah Citrin, and my buddy Rory Herrmann, Chef de Cuisine at Thomas Keller's iconic Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. With so many top chefs appearing, it is obvious there will be a star-studded food event similar to the former fund-raising one, though no details were revealed as to location and cost. Think of it as our West Coast version of the South Beach, Miami, Aspen and New York food events.

So I can only suggest that you mark your calendars with a big 'Busy' for that long weekend and await further details here.

Follow Jay Weston on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaywestonsbcglo

We broke the news some weeks ago in our Jay Weston's Restaurant Newsletter that Chef Wolfgang Puck had resigned from the board of the Puck-Lazaroff Foundation, which for over 26 years had sponsore...
We broke the news some weeks ago in our Jay Weston's Restaurant Newsletter that Chef Wolfgang Puck had resigned from the board of the Puck-Lazaroff Foundation, which for over 26 years had sponsore...

Wolfgang Puck Reveals New Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our newest video of a Spanish Style Home For Sale in Los Angeles - Beverly Hills Homes For Sale - Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes

Our newest video of a Spanish Style Home For Sale in Los Angeles - Beverly Hills Homes For Sale - Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Friday, April 22, 2011

The beautiful flowers @VillaBlancaRestaurant always make me smile! Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Img00270-20110422-1230

The beautiful flowers @VillaBlancaRestaurant always make me smile! Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com
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Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

The best dressed women in Beverly Hills shop at CHANEL on Rodeo Dr. Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Img00269-20110422-1220

The best dressed women in Beverly Hills shop at CHANEL on Rodeo Dr. Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

It's a seller's market for celebrity real estate? -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http

It's a seller's market for celebrity real estate

Home  Press Room   It's a seller's market for celebrity real estate
Thursday, April 21 2011 - By Becky Harris
Uma Thurman is one of several celebrities who's had luck selling their property.
Uma Thurman is one of several celebrities who's had luck selling their property.
It may be a buyer's market in the housing industry, but in celebrity real estate, it's the sellers that are making out best.

According to Zillow.com, many Hollywood actors and actresses stand to gain millions of dollars more than they paid before moving into their residence, even after cutting the initial asking price. The star-studded list with new-found wealth includes Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Winona Ryder, Diane Keaton, Jennifer Aniston and Dennis Quaid.

Zillow.com reports that some of the celebrities' homes have yet to be sold, however, because they put so much work into renovating their properties, there is high potential for significant profit. For instance, Zillow.com reports Jennifer Aniston bought her Beverly Hills estate for $13.5 million, but after modernizing the home, she stands to earn $28.5 million. Others have already seen more green. The website reports Uma Thurman sold her property for $12 million after purchasing it for $9.5 million, a profit of $2.5 million.

This may not be the norm, however, as findings from a Trulia.com report indicate sellers have cut $24 billion in potential home equity over the past year.

It's a seller's market for celebrity real estate? -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Today's News in Beverly Hills - Beverly Hills Courier Online - Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Est

Beverly Hills Courier Online: In Today's Courier


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April 22, 2011 
Greetings Beverly Hills Courier Subscribers! 

Greetings!

This week's Beverly Hills Courier is now available on-line at bhcourier.com


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CLICK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE ONLINE E-EDITION FOR 04/22/11

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© The Beverly Hills Courier 2011

To advertise in our newsletter or our website:
Contact our online Advertising Manager
Thanks for reading and check us out on the web at
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Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Taylor Swift buys a house in Beverly Hills; Still calls Nashville home -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor

Taylor Swift buys a house in Beverly Hills; Still calls Nashville home

taylor-swift-acm-gi.jpgTaylor Swift can officially call herself bi-coastal.

The 21-year-old singer already owns a swanky Nashville condo, and now she has a place to hang her hat in Los Angeles as well. Swift's new pad reportedly ran her between $3 and $4 million and is being described as "beautiful and cozy." Right.

The country princess purchased a "small, charming and very secluded" home in Beverly Hills, according to Page Six. Sources say she is "really excited about having her own place" in the west coast city.

Don't count on Swifty to spend too much time in La-La-Land, though. To the dismay of certain staffers here at Zap2it, her primary residence will remain in Nashville. According to a second source, she only bought the place in order to avoid hotels while in LA. If she's got the cash (which she obviously does), why the heck not.

This is Swift's second piece of purchased property this month, as she also dropped $1.4 mil on a Nashville home for her parents. What a good kid.

Follow Zap2it on Twitter and Zap2it on Facebook for the latest news and buzz

Taylor Swift buys a house in Beverly Hills; Still calls Nashville home -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spago in Beverly Hills getting ready for the dinner rush. Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Img00268-20110421-1917

Spago in Beverly Hills getting ready for the dinner rush. Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com
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Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Beverly Hills Courier Online Breaking News - The Economic Summit in Beverly Hills 4/26/2011 at the Beverly Hilton - Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Cel


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April 21, 2011 
Greetings Beverly Hills Courier Subscribers!

Greetings!

Thank you for being a loyal online subscriber to The Beverly Hills Courier. See below for a sneak peek at the stories making news today in Beverly Hills and on the Westside.  To get all the information on these stories, make sure to pick up the full Beverly Hills Courier on Friday.

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Beverly Hilton Barricaded For Obama
Posted Thursday April 21 , 2011 - 2:28pm

 

President Barack Obamas visit to West LA today will end his day at the Beverly Hilton. The Hilton has already been barricaded at Santa Monica Boulevard and is currently surrounded by police cars. 

 

It is not clear what entrances to the Hilton are open and The Courier recommends avoiding the area entirely if possible.

 

Obama is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 2:30 p.m. He will attend a fundraiser at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, where he is scheduled to speak around 4:30 p.m. He will attend a private fundraiser at a Brentwood restaurant later in the evening.

 

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© The Beverly Hills Courier 2011

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Beverly Hills Courier | 8840 Olympic Blvd. | Beverly Hills | CA | 90211
Beverly Hills Courier Online Breaking News - The Economic Summit in Beverly Hills 4/26/2011 at the Beverly Hilton - Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

The flowers are in bloom at www.BeverlyHillsLuxuryHomeForSale.com. Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

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The flowers are in bloom at www.BeverlyHillsLuxuryHomeForSale.com. Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills-Bel Air-Hollywood Hills-Sunset Strip-celebrity mansions-luxury estates-homes for sale-Realtor-Real Estate - http://www.ChristopheChoo.com
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Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

5 Celebrity Real Estate Mistakes Real People Make - Great Advice -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real

5 Celebrity Real Estate Mistakes Real People Make

A friend of mine who is generally inclined toward intellectual pursuits recently took a trip out of town on her own. As she recounted her solo hotel stay, she exclaimed that the high point of her trip was being able to watch reality television without her family’s judgment. I told her that when her family gives her guff, she should point out that beyond the pure (albeit debatable) entertainment value, there are lots of lessons and takeaways that can be gleaned from the stars of reality TV, film and the music industry.  

Unfortunately for celebs, when it comes to real estate, the lessons they can teach us tend to be cautionary tales. Behind their ultra-bright veneered smiles, many pararazzi magnets hide housing horrors and real-life real estate dramas.

Here are five Hollywood-inspired lessons to file in your mental rolodex under “Real Estate - What Not to Do:”

Celebrity Real Estate Mistake #1: Overspending. If you’d seen the episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey in which everyone’s favorite “Skinny Italian” table-flipper Teresa Giudice pulled out a fat bankroll of cash to pay for her four kidlets’ every little leopard printed, pink ruffled, pose-striking desire, it probably came to you as no surprise that her home with husband Joe ended up with their home - and all its contents - on the bankruptcy auction block in 2009.  (To be fair, Giudice has always maintained that her home was not in foreclosure.) Nevertheless, the auction listing confirmed the worst overspending suspicions; the Giudice estate was laden with gilt rococo couches, faux marble chess sets, even a suit of armor!

Bottom Line: Los Giudices took lots of heat in the press for their over-the-top spending, but they certainly weren’t the only American family who spent so much at the top of the real estate market that they ended up with debt they couldn’t sustain and mortgage problems when the market crashed.  Spend less than you make. Save up for rainy days. And ask yourself before you buy anything: Do I really need this?  And if it’s a major purchase which could someday come between you and your mortgage payment, ask yourself this, too:  Would I stake my house on it?

Celebrity Real Estate Mistake #2: Assuming the bank will work with you.  Here, again, the Real Housewives are our teachers, but this time, we’re talking about Lisa Wu Hartwell in the ATL and Alexis Bellino in the OC.  From the blogosphere and their own admissions, it seems that they both were in loan workout talks with their banks, having sought assistance with their upside down mortgages, when things went south.

Wu Hartwell (a real estate agent) and her baller hubby Ed were in the middle of negotiating a short sale on their home when the bank sold it at a foreclosure auction.  Bellino and her husband, Jim, tried for months to secure a loan modification and keep their home, but had multiple foreclosure notices filed against their Newport Beach home as well before finally selling the place for nearly $2 million less than they owed on it.

Bottom Line: Many homeowners stop making mortgage payments in the hope it will “encourage” the bank to work with them and grant a short sale or loan mod - and the fact is, sometimes it works.  Some banks even flat out tell their borrowers not to bother applying for help unless they’re behind on their payments. But the fact is, once you start missing payments the snowballing past due amount can quickly get out of hand, and take you from simply wanting a loan mod to the bank’s cooperation being essential to keeping your home.  Before you start missing payments, understand that you could very well end up losing your home if the bank doesn’t play ball.

Celebrity Mistake #3: Knowing nothing about your own finances. Real Housewife of OC Lynn Curtin was shocked to tears when her teenage daughter was handed an eviction notice. She was surprised, but her husband wasn’t - he’d been hiding their deteriorating financial situation for a long, long time.  The end result?  She and her kids had to move out of their luxury waterfront rental home - and into Grandma’s condo.

Bottom Line:   Ignorance ain’t bliss. No one but you is responsible for your awareness of your own finances, no matter what your division of labor with your spouse around paying bills or bringing home the bacon happens to be.  Since homelessness is the most severe, but highly possible, real estate result of willing cluelessness about your financial situation, it behooves you to stay on top of what comes in - and goes out - of your accounts on a monthly basis (and to be certain your housing expenses are paid!).

Celebrity Real Estate Mistake #4:  Flipping a house, expecting a fast fortune.  In 2007, Ricky Martin paid over $16 million for this house, then poured a good deal of cash (and some very good taste I might add) into it, preparing to flip it. He’s made beaucoup bucks using this strategy in the past - but this one was timed all wrong.  The market tanked right around the time he listed the home for sale at $22.5 million in 2007 - and it’s still on the market at $18.5 million!  Given the fact that a mortgage on $16 million would run a mere mortal a cool $100K/month, it’s a good bet he’s losing money faster than his notorious hips can swivel.

Bottom Line: Flipping houses can be high reward, but it can also be high risk.  Even well-connected, well-funded repeat flippers can occasionally take a bath.  If you don’t have the cash to withstand a disastrous flip, don’t even try it.

Celebrity Real Estate Mistake #5:  Not paying your taxes.  In the face of tax liens in the millions of dollars and allegations of fraud by his financial advisor, Nicolas Cage lost at least 3 homes to foreclosure in 2009, and has at least one more still on the market. Comedian Sinbad’s new reality series actually opens up with a stand-up routine devoted, in part, to losing his home due to tax issues.  Chris Tucker’s $11 million tax lien was publicized right before his 6,000-plus square foot Florida home went on the market.

Bottom Line:  Of course, most of us don’t have the millions in income it takes to create millions in income taxes. Yet the IRS says around 10 million Americans - most of whom don’t have Academy Awards - fail to file their returns every year.  Occasionally, late returns cause a domino effect into a tax problem that impacts an individual’s ability to pay their rent or mortgage.  So, pay your taxes.  Get a financial advisor or tax preparer with stellar references from long-time clients, and make sure you understand what’s going on with your taxes - don’t just sign the papers. (See Celebrity Real Estate Mistake #4.) 

5 Celebrity Real Estate Mistakes Real People Make - Great Advice -Los Angeles-Platinum Triangle-Beverly Hills Real Estate-90210-Bel Air-Holmby Hills-Sunset Strip-Hollywood Hills-Luxury Estates-Mansions-Celebrity Homes-Homes For Sale-Listings-Realtor-Real Estate – http://www.ChristopheChoo.com

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