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Friday, August 31, 2012

Two Rodeo on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Two Rodeo on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. One of the best shopping streets in the world and one of the finest cities to live in.


Christophe Choo

Coldwell Banker
Previews International

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

Cool thunder and lighting in Palm Beach

New Listings & Open Houses for Beverly Hills & Los Angeles in This Weekend's Coldwell Banker VIEW Magazine is Online Now!

New Listings & Open Houses for Beverly Hills & Los Angeles in This Weekend's Coldwell Banker VIEW Magazine is Online Now!

If this message does not display properly, CLICK HERE to view it in your web browser

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

Rumor Confirmed: Matt Damon Buys a Home in Pacific Palisades for $15 Million.

Rumor Confirmed: Matt Damon Buys in Pacific Palisades

Source: IMDb

Back in May, Curbed reported that actor Matt Damon potentially had his eye on a resort-like Pacific Palisades home. A few months later, and we’re reporting that the home indeed has sold, and according to property records, it looks like it now belongs to the A-lister.

Last listed for $15.95 million, records show that Damon picked up the home for $15 million. Described as the “best house in Pacific Palisades,” the home is on a half-acre, private, corner lot with lush landscaping. A koi pond, pool and spa pavilion are also in the yard.

The home itself offers 8,890 square feet, 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. The zen-inspired retreat has 35-foot mahogany vaulted ceilings, disappearing walls of glass and an open floor plan.Three levels of living space are connected by an open atrium and floating staircase. The home also features an office, maids’ rooms as well as a large gym.

Rumor Confirmed: Matt Damon Buys a Home in Pacific Palisades for $15 Million.

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

On January 1, the LA River Officially Becomes Accessible.

On January 1, the LA River Officially Becomes Accessible

Thursday, August 30, 2012, by Adrian Glick Kudler

2012.08_lariver1201.jpgUpdated 4:20 pm: Starting January 1, 2013, we are going to have a real LA River. Governor Brown has signed SB1201, which designates our concretey waterway as a for-real river, not just a flood control channel, and requires that the County treat it as such (meaning: access!). According to the bill (pdf), it amends "the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act to include in the objects and purposes of the district to provide for public use of navigable waterways under the district's control that are suitable for recreational and educational purposes, when these purposes are not inconsistent with the use thereof by the district for flood control and water conservation." In 2010, the EPA officially designated the LA River as a navigable waterway (and therefore protected under the Clean Water Act)--that means it falls under a part of the California Constitution that "guarantees the
public a right of access."

The bill also *reiterates the LA County Flood Control Act (this is not new, as previously implied), which gives the LA County Flood Control District some ways to raise money (bonds, borrowing from the federal government) for river improvements and the ability "to preserve, enhance, and add recreational features to its properties and ... to acquire, preserve, enhance, and add recreational features to lands or interests in lands contiguous to its properties, for the protection, preservation, and use of the scenic beauty and natural environment for the properties or the lands and to collect admission or use fees for the recreational features where deemed appropriate."

Combined with about a million other recent efforts to revitalize the river--restorations, cleanups, parks, etc.--it's starting to feel like we made have a real Danube on our hands one of these years.
· Governor Brown has signed SB 1201 LA River Expanded Public Access Bill! [FoLAR]
· Sacramento Passes Bill to Allow Easier Access to the LA River [Curbed LA]

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On January 1, the LA River Officially Becomes Accessible.

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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

SmartThings: The One Hub to Rule Your Home with Your Phone.

SmartThings: The One Hub to Rule Your Home with Your Phone

August 30, 2012
Posted by david_marine in General

hero detail 300x208 SmartThings: The One Hub to Rule Your Home with Your Phone

SmartThings: The Control Hub for Your Home

SmartThings has a pretty lofty goal. They want to be the hub to control everything in your home. While some companies and apps today control various aspects, like lights or air conditioning or security systems, SmartThings thinks that’s just child’s play. Actually, children are the only thing SmartThings can’t control.

From cabinets being open to clothing recommendations based on weather to lights turning on when you get out of bed, SmartThings is central command for every exiguous aspect of your home in the palm of your hand. Sounds complicated? Surprisingly, the concept is simple. By attaching custom sensors to objects you want to control, it then sends signal to a SmartThings hub that looks as innocuous as a WiFi router which then communicates with your iPhone for alerts and to adjust various settings.

Apparently the demand to literally be master of your domain is quite high. The SmartThings page on (Kickstarter is a site for funding new ideas & companies) shows that the funding for this product has already exceeded its first round goal by 82% making it well on its way to mass production.

The interesting part for me is there is a potential here to create a new ecosystem for developers and even home owners to build on. Through what they are calling their SmartApps platform, I envision 3rd parties will eventually be able to create their own custom features that can be integrated with the SmartThings hub. The Kickstarter page lists the following as existing enhancements to the platform:

  • Get notified immediately if your pet runs out of your yard without you with the “Oh No, My Pet Is Loose!” SmartApp.
  • Get an early warning or directly contact a plumber when there is a leak somewhere (bathroom, basement), before damage gets out of hand with the “It’s Leaking!”  SmartApp.
  • Monitor drawers and cabinets that contain precious or dangerous items with the “My Stuff is Secure” SmartApp.
The day of the truly smart house is incredibly close. For homeowners, a system like this can help the increasingly busy life of a homeowner be on top of the general upkeep and maintenance of their home.

For me the only question is how much angrier I would be when I lost my phone? Check out the demo video for SmartThings below and visit their page on Kickstarter to get more details.


Image courtesy of


Related posts:

  1. Phone Home Shopping


SmartThings: The One Hub to Rule Your Home with Your Phone.

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

Live Like a Star | 10 Celebrity Homes For Sale

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Live Like a Star | 10 Celebrity Homes For Sale

Posted: Aug. 29th, 2012 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment

Photo Courtesy of Hilton Hyland
It has been a pretty good year for luxury real estate, with great offerings all over the world, but it's been even better for celebrity listings. So many of our favorite famous faces have been putting their homes up for sale, giving you a chance to live like a Hollywood star. Here's our ten favorites, from Mark Wahlberg's Beverly Hill estate to Robin Williams' Napa country home, each one currently still on the market and waiting to be snatched up.

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg has been in the spotlight for years, transforming himself from a rapper to a really talented actor. He also has pretty good taste when it comes to landscaping because his Beverly Hills estate looks more like a luxury spa than it does a home. On the market for $12,995,000, this gated home sits on Oak Pass Road on almost two acres of land. Within the home you can find high ceilings, a large Master Suite, four additional bedrooms in the main house and two in the Guest House, a Chef's kitchen, a digital projection theater room, a formal dining room, and living rooms perfect for entertaining. Of course, seeing as how Wahlberg is known for his fit body, there's also a huge gym that spans two stories and a sports court where you can play basketball and tennis. While the inside of the home is nice, the backyard is what's truly stunning with its waterfall that flows into a pool grotto. The pool is perfectly sized and shaped for the landscaping, and looks like it belongs on a remote island.

Mark Wahlberg's home is being listed by Hilton Hyland.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackon's French Chateau is on the market for $23.9 million and is located in Los Angeles in Holmby Hills on 100 N Carolwood Dr. The 17,171-square-foot estate sits on 1.26 acres of land, features seven bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, and is the picture of elegance. The estate's design has a flair for 18th-centure Rococo, as well as Parisian architecture and a stunning courtyard. One can find a wine cellar, library, game room, dramatic theater, spa, gym, and 12 fireplaces within the house, making it great for anyone who plans on entertaining a lot of guests. The landscaped gardens are certainly one of the property's perks, surrounding the home in winding vines and manicured trees.

The listing is being handled by Mauricio Umansky on behalf of The Agency Real Estate.
Photo Courtesy of The Agency

Jennifer Love Hewitt

The former teen star has a lot going on in real estate right now, as she's not only selling her home in Toluca Lake, CA for $2,895,000, she's also leasing another one of her property's just a few doors down for $12,500 a month. The home Hewitt is selling is at 10015 Toluca Lake Avenue and is 5,921 square feet with six bedrooms and bathrooms. The house is gated and features a spacious floor plan that seems open and friendly. Outside you can find a pool with a large patio and built-in bar. The home certainly isn't as grandiose as others on this list, but it definitely seems like a great combination of luxury and comfortable living.

At 10024 Toluca Lake Avenue is the home for lease, which is 3,216 square feet and has four bedrooms and bathrooms. As Toluca Lake is such a great vacation spot, this home would be great to rent for the summer or fulltime, especially considering the Spanish home opens right onto a lakefront dock.

If you're interested in either buying or renting, both listings are being handled by Kath Fisher on behalf of Gibson International.
Photo Courtesy of Gibson International

Matt LeBlanc

Best known for "Friends," Matt LeBlanc has found his way back on TV through "Episodes" where he plays an extreme version of himself. With his newfound success he's decided to lease his Pacific Palisades, CA home for $12,995 a month. The 3,930-square-foot home has four bedrooms and five bathrooms, as well as a powder room, open beams on the ceilings, and a large patio outside.

The listing is being brokered by Prudential CA but information can be found via
Photo Courtesy of

Jim Carrey

As one of the biggest stars on this list, funny man Jim Carrey seems to have gotten tired of his 2,900-square-foot Malibu home. He's selling it for $13.95 million, giving everyone else the chance to call the contemporary estate their own. With five bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, an open floor plan with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, a balcony off the master suite, and a rooftop deck with a hot tub, this Southern California home seems perfect.

Janelle Friedman is handling the listing.
Photo Courtesy of Janelle Friedman

Alex Rodriguez

The Yankees' third baseman is selling his single-family home in Miami Beach, so if you have $38 million to spare, you may want to check this South Beach waterfront estate out. Alex Rodriguez bought the home in 2010 for $24 million, and is trying to make himself a nice profit by selling it for more than 58 percent of the original price. The nearly 20,000-square-foot home has nine bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and takes advantage of the water views by having an outdoor kitchen and two docks. The modern home also features a home theater, which is in nearly every celebrity home, as well as a guest house and 12-foot high walls of glass that surround the property.

Mayi de la Vega is behind the listing for ONE Sotheby's International Realty.
Photo Courtesy of ONE Sotheby's International Realty

Robin Williams

It's safe to say that Robin Williams is one of the funniest people alive, with his spastic behavior and character personas, and for just $35,000,000 you can buy his country home in Napa, CA. With around 653 acres at your disposal, this property has plenty of land for you to explore via nature trails, and even has a natural lake and a solar farm. The home itself features an Italian design and is around 20,000 square feet. It has 25 rooms total, five bedrooms, six full baths, and six partial baths. Among the rooms is a library, theater, and cellars for art and wine. There is also an elevator, as well as a viewing tower that gives a great view of the valley and canyon. For wine lovers, there are established Cabernet Sauvignon grapes on the property, giving the perfect chance to enjoy some wine country living.

The listing is being handled by Donald Van de Mark and Tina Shone on behalf of Sothebys International Realty.
Photo Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers is known for her cut-throat fashion critiques so it's no surprise that her Upper East Side condo in New York City is designed beautifully. The Rococo style it reflects may not be for everyone, but it's certainly sophisticated and impeccably pieced together. On the market for $29,500,000, the 5,190-square-foot penthouse is set high in the Spender Condominium, a low-rise building just steps from Central Park and Fifth Avenue. The full-service, Pre-War condo has four bedrooms and five baths, and was designed by architect Horace Trumbauer, reflecting a neo-French Classicism. It features 23-foot ceilings, a private elevator, and a sweeping two story gallery that joins with the bright living room. According to Ellimen Real Estate, the penthouse has parquet-de-Versailles floors, 18th century French panels, and original wood-burning fireplaces.

Dolly Lenz is handled the listing via Ellimen Real Estate.
Photo Courtesy of Ellimen Real Estate

Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell has been going through a lot lately, from her recent heart attack to her secret marriage, but it seems she's not bothered by selling her Miami Beach estate. It probably won't be too difficult to find a buyer for the $19,500,000 waterfront home that rests on over an acre of land on Star Island. The property comprises of the main house, which has over 11,000 square feet of living space, and two separate guest houses. With 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms total, you can certainly have guests over without having to worry about where to put them. One of the neatest features about this property is the massive "Tree of Life" in the driveway, giving the home's facade a very mythical look.

Kevin Tomlinson is handling the listing.
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Tomlinson

Celine Dion

Celine Dion has been spending her time lately performing in Las Vegas as part of a three-year contract, which may be part of the reason why she's put her mansion in Montreal, Quebec on the market for $29,655,500. Set on a private island that measures around 830,000 square feet, this sprawling stone home was custom built in 2001 specifically for Dion and her family. The island is completely fenced in and has a private gated bridge watched over by security. The 24,000-square-foot mansion reflects a French Normand Chateau design and is dominated by stonework. It also features a neat slate roof and a classic interior design. The main floor has a formal living room and dining room, as well as a custom kitchen, library, family room, and sun rooms. A staircase leads to a master suite and a children's suite, with a guest bedroom and gym found on the third floor. Outside there are stone terraces and great water views, as well as a large pool and pool house that makes outdoor entertaining easy with its kitchen and grill.

The listing is being taken care of by Joseph Montanaro with Sotheby's Realty.
Photo Courtesy of Sotheby's Realty

You might like : Luxury Estates Related Topics : CelebritiesReal EstateArchitectureInterior DesignPenthouseLifestyle News

Live Like a Star | 10 Celebrity Homes For Sale

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to Prioritize Home Repairs.

How to Prioritize Home Repairs

August 29, 2012
Posted by Lindsay Listanski in Tips for Home

home repair tools 300 How to Prioritize Home Repairs

image via

Buying a home can be an expensive endeavor, and many potential buyers choose to shave a couple bucks off the final price by purchasing starter homes or properties that need a few repairs. And while this strategy can be an effective way to save money and, in some cases, personalize the house, knowing which repairs are more pressing can help new homeowners avoid delaying certain issues for too long.

Prioritize wiring and electrical issues

Focusing on correcting bad wiring should be a top priority for any new homeowner according to CNN Money. At best, electrical issues can cause headaches for homeowners when it comes to operating appliances, lights and electronics. But at worst, faulty electrical wiring can lead to fires and electrocution, which may result in fatalities, emotional trauma and financial problems, the news source explains.

Common signs of electrical problems include loose or hot outlets and lights that frequently dim when other appliances are turned on. Individuals who experience these types of issues may want to enlist the services of a professional electrician to investigate and correct the problem. The service may set homeowners back a few hundred dollars and replacing bad wiring can range in the thousands, but sound peace of mind and a safe home can go a long way both mentally and financially.

Look for structural damage

Problems with a home’s foundation can lead to dangerous cracking and shifting of the house, so it’s important to repair any structural issues before focusing on less time-sensitive matters. Homeowners may spot structural damage by looking for cracks in masonry work, split beams and small piles of pine dust or mud trails, which suggests wood-boring insects or termites, the news source reports.

Homeowners who spot these common signs should contact a contractor to explore the damage and decide on a plan of action. Similar to correcting electrical problems, the costs of repairing structural damage can range into the thousands. However, failing to repair the problem could balloon into more severe and costly issues.

Examine roof and gutters

Rain storms and snowfall can cause big problems for homeowners if their roof and gutters are not up to par. Insufficient roofing or clogged gutters can lead to water leaking into the home or it’s foundation, resulting in rotting, mold, electrical damage and insects. Roof inspectors can pinpoint any issues and propose a plan of action.

Once these time sensitive home repairs have been completed you can move on to “more exciting” tasks like upgrading rooms, painting, and focusing on landscape.

Related posts:

  1. The 10 Home Remodeling Projects You Should Not DIY

How to Prioritize Home Repairs.

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

Two Rodeo in Beverly Hills.

Peter Marco Jewelry on Rodeo Drive.

It will be 90 degrees in Beverly Hills today, perfect day to head out to Malibu.

It will be 90 degrees in Beverly Hills today, perfect day to head out to Malibu.


Christophe Choo

Coldwell Banker
Previews International

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

My segment for NBC LXTV Open House - Hidden Gems of Beverly Hills.

My segment for NBC LXTV Open House - Hidden Gems of Beverly Hills.

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

Ryan Seacrest Sells Fabled Mansion in the Hollywood Hills for $11 Million

Ryan Seacrest
Unloads Fabled Mansion
Ryan Seacrest has just sold his mansion.
Ryan Seacrest
has just sold the mansion he called home before upgrading to Ellen DeGeneres' sick pad ... TMZ has learned.

The 8,000 square foot house -- which has a detached nightclub -- was listed for $12.9 million and sold for $11 million.  Sounds great, except Ryan paid $11.5 million when he bought it back in 2006.  Blame the housing market ... but we're guessing it's not going to make a dent in Ryan's wallet.

The sale became official this morning.  The new buyers are some rich English folk.

By the way, Ryan bought the house from Kevin Costner.  Kevin purchased it from Richard Dreyfuss.

Ryan and Julianne Hough are now living in Ellen's former mega-mansion, which he purchased for a cool $37.5 million.

Ryan Seacrest Sells Fabled Mansion in the Hollywood Hills for $11 Million

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Top Ten Legal Mistakes Home Buyers Make

The Top Ten Legal Mistakes Home Buyers Make
That is why is it critical to get the proper representation by hiring an expert with experience to represent you in the purchase of a home for sale.

Christophe Choo
Christophe Choo Real Estate Group
Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills
301 North Canon Drive
Suite E
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Telephone: (310)777-6342
Fax: (310)278-2315

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

Sales of Existing Homes Improve as Prices Rise.

(MCT)—Sales of existing homes are strengthening and prices continue to rise, stoking confidence in the housing market’s recovery.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, resales of single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops grew 2.3 percent in July from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million. The measure took an unexpected fall in June.

Resales jumped 10.4 percent compared with the same month last year. Economists at the association believe sales could reach 5 million next year.

Nationwide, prices were on a tear, with the median rising 9.4 percent from a year ago to $187,300 last month. The increase is the largest since a 10.2 percent boost in January 2006.

Demand is stronger due to low mortgage interest rates and rising rents, according to Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist.

But “the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions,” Yun said in a statement.

Though first-time buyers made up more than a third of resale clients, in normal housing conditions they’d constitute 40 percent. Many are still being pushed out by investors making all-cash offers, even though the ranks of such buyers are shrinking .

Distressed homes, which include foreclosures and short sales, made up 24 percent of sales in July, down from a quarter the previous month and nearly 30 percent a year earlier.

The median price of a single-family home was $188,100, up 9.6 percent from the same period in 2011. Sales of such properties rose 9.9 percent over the same period to an annual rate of 3.98 million.

©2012 Los Angeles Times
Distributed by MCT Information Services

Sales of Existing Homes Improve as Prices Rise.

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

Another spectacular day in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

Another spectacular day in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.


Christophe Choo

Coldwell Banker
Previews International

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

Turn Your Backyard Pool into an Island Resort

Turn Your Backyard Pool into an Island Resort

If you plan to have a pool party, you may want to look at dressing up your back yard. Recreate the feel of an island resort paradise without spending a lot of time or money. You will have a party that is talked about for months and fondly remembered when the winter snow has arrived.

Use Items You Have on Hand

Look around the house for some fun-colored towels and roll them up. Place them around the pool where they will be useful for guests getting out of the water. They will add pops of color in different places.

Bright flowers in a vase, whether they are real or artificial, work as a great centerpiece. You can always pick up a few at your local craft store for just a few dollars if you don’t have any on hand. A single flower floating in a bowl also adds an island feel. For evening entertainment, votives with candles lined along the pool add a festive touch.

Get out your kid’s sand bucket, wash it up, and serve candy or sodas in it. Any brightly-colored plates, napkins, or plastic ware that you have on hand will be perfect for a pool party. Go for blues, yellows, oranges, and greens to feel really festive.

Make Your Own Decorations

You don’t have to be very crafty to come up with some unique decorations for your party. For instance, make a simple menu sign with a chalkboard. Use colored chalk to write your drink or food menu on it, and draw figures like a glass or piece of fruit. Buy cheap bamboo sticks and glue them around the edges of the chalkboard. Lean it against a vase or candle on a table, or attach a hanger and hang it on your deck. 

Buy Cheap Items for Your Party

Pick up several tiki torches to keep the bugs away and look festive at the same time. Pick up a few grass skirts from your local party store or online and line a table with them. 

Set the mood with the right music by playing island tunes in the background. You can often find CDs at your local music store or download them from an online digital store.

Buy two or three colorful beach balls and throw them in the pool for the guests to play with. Throw some colored pillows on your patio furniture to dress it up.  


Don’t forget the food to set the mood. Slices of tropical fruit, like pineapples and bananas, placed on a festive platter will be a tasty addition to your party. Serve foods like kabobs for appetizers or your main course. You can find many recipes online to fit in with your island theme.

The main thing to remember when planning your island resort pool party is to keep it fun and simple, so you can enjoy it, too. It is supposed to be laid-back and relaxed, and the host should set the example.

Turn Your Backyard Pool into an Island Resort

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