Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Fugly and Proud Los Angeles Real Estate

It’s Tuesday and that’s not exciting, so we thought we’d share a little bit of immensely-entertaining novelty real estate.

Today’s featured bit of real estate insanity comes to us courtesy of CurbedLA. So far as we know, no one especially famous has lived there, but that’s okay. The disturbing decor is really the “star” here.

For starters, the front lawn is lined with plaster replicas of the David. Never mind the David’s long-standing canonical status as a “masterpiece”, and never mind that masterpieces are inherently one of a kind:

But it gets even better. How, you might ask? Well, the house is full of fake dogs. Ugh. Not only that, but no one bothered to remove them from the listing photos. Also, there’s a giant disembodied ceramic hand in the dining room:

To top it off, the kitchen and backyard create an utterly bizarre contrast to the crazed-but-consistent black-and-white-with-creepy-accessories thing they had going on in the earlier photos.

And what’s this charming abode asking? $2.4 million. Not outrageous considering the neighborhood, but certainly amusing. Let’s hope the fake dogs are included.


The City of Los Angeles vs. Deutsche Bank

Angered at the sight of vacant, decaying properties draped in weeds and scarred by graffiti, the City of Los Angeles is suing German banking giant Deutsche Bank for negligence. The City claims that the bank, which holds titles to various foreclosed homes and apartment complexes all over L.A., had an obligation to oversee the upkeep of the properties in order to prevent their becoming eyesores and safety hazards.

Take a look at the mess:

Pretty bad, right? There’s no question that sights like these are hurting surrounding property values.

Deutsche Bank claims that they aren’t responsible – the loan servicers are. While that might be technically true, the City of L.A. isn’t buying it.

Angelyne’s Hideous Hot Pink Condo Actually Sells

CurbedLA recently caught hold of a shocking listing in Malibu – the three-story, unimaginably vulgar, hot-pink decorated condo belonging to beloved Los Angeles icon Angelyne.

If you’ve never heard of her, she’s basically the patron saint of the “famous for nothing” (think Paris Hilton, Camille Grammer, etc).  She rose to “fame” in the 80s and 90s, when billboards and murals began popping up and showcasing her, um, “charms”.

Kudos to Angelyne for making a name for herself (probably not her real name, though). It’s really too bad, though, that when she made her deal with the Devil she let the Devil keep the decorating skills. Take a peek:

It’s upsetting, no?

There is, however, a silver lining (NOT a hot pink lining):

1. This place actually sold for $25K above its listing price. (Um, what? Yeah.)

2. The RealEstalker article about this place when it first went on the market back in November ’10 is ab.so.lute.ly. fab.ul.ous. We always enjoy catching up with the RealEstalker, but this article is particularly enjoyable. Behold, an excerpt:

Listing photos show that at least one of the three guest bedrooms was worked over and put through the wringer of Angelyne’s one-noted and all pink decorative sensibility and includes cotton candy colored walls, matching deep shag carpeting, and a molded plastic bed frame, end tables and dresser set in the shiniest of hot pink a person should never see. Where does a person even buy furniture like that? Seriously, folks, where? Really turning the decorative piss into vinegar is that tawdry, gauzy and two-toned wannabe baldachin that is only made more heart wrenching when seen in conjunction with the pink heart-shaped pillow and pile of discarded clothes on the floor around the bed.

If horrific decorating provides the impetus behind unparalleled pseudo-celeb real estate prose like that, we have to say that we’re fans.


Home Prices in SoCal are the Lowest in Years

As we all know, the housing market in California has been struggling for a while – particularly in Southern California, where a large portion ofthe local economy is driven by construction and real estate related activity.

But it seems that, according to the real estate section of the LA Times, SoCal home prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2009. The median price of a Southern California home is now $270,000.  The raw number of sales is down, too, dropping 5.9% compared to January 2010.

Of course this isn’t the end of the world,  and unusually bad winter weather can realistically explain quite a bit of the drop. 

“It is very hard to tell a trend from January, but I think we are experiencing a market that has not yet found its forward momentum,” said Edward Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “You can’t have a healthy housing market without a healthy job market.”

 This, of course, makes perfect sense. But it’s still disappointing news for those who predicted that 2011 will be the year that the housing market picks itself up and dusts itself off.

Who isn’t disappointed? Well, homebuyers, obviously. This is the cheapest homes in Southern California have been in years. This might very well be the “double-dip”/”rock-bottom” that everyone’s been talking about. And given the upcoming changes in the mortgage industry, this might be the homebuyer’s magic moment.

New Homes-Sweet-Homes

According to the Los Angeles Times, sales of new homes within California actually rose during the month of December- by a nice healthy margin of 17.5%.  Not bad, particularly considering that the end of the year is often a slow time for real estate sales.

What does this mean?  Well, it’s great news for builders and the construction industry, for sure.  For quite a while now new homes have had a tough time competing with the low prices on existing homes.  Foreclosures and short sales, despite their risks and red tape, have proved more attractive to buyers than shelling out for a brand-new place.

The trend may be related to the fact that foreclosures appear to be slowing down in the Golden State – although whether that’s a substantial fact or a result of shadow inventory remains to be seen.

Broad-minded: design for downtown L.A. museum revealed

Way back in August, NBC Los Angeles spread the news that downtown L.A.’s skyline is expecting a new arrival – the Broad Museum, which will house the collection of American philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad (pronounced like “road”, according to his Wikipedia page).

It’s a thrilling acquisition for downtown L.A., which, while rich in architectural treasures and cultural attractions (like the brilliant L.A. Opera headed by Placido Domingo or the stunning Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry), sometimes suffers a lack of foot traffic, particularly during the summer months.

The project is, ideologically speaking, part of an effort to revive the American civic center.  When Broad announced the location of the museum, he explicitly stated that, “We believe in downtown”.   While, even in cultural meccas like L.A., not everyone goes to the opera, a museum like the Broad should reach a much larger audience of tourists and locals.

Broad’s collection includes a dazzling treasure-trove of classic mid-century Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.  The works of not-so-avante-garde-anymore Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Koons,  Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst and others will be thrillingly familiar to even the most elementary of modern art-history scholars (we’re talking 20th-Century Survey 101 here).

Just this week, Curbed.com posted computer-generated images of the museum’s proposed design, and it’s terribly “modern”, to say the least.  While the design – by famed NYC design firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro – has garnered muted praise from many architectural critics (this review from the L.A. Times basically says that, while it doesn’t live up to the firm’s reputation, its “beauty and simplicity” create “much to admire”).

Peruse the comments section of the Curbed.com feature, however, and you’ll find less-flattering reviews – comparisons have been made to pigeon coops, airport terminals, Austin Powers movies, cheese graters, an “alien lizard ship”, and more.  What do YOU think, California?

City of angels, indeed – L.A. resident searches for architectural artifacts

Recently author J. Eric Lynxwiler wrote to the L.A. Observed blog to inquire about a missing person – sort of.

Actually, he was looking for thirty-five of them, and “they” are giant art-deco angels.

These 1.5-ton golden beauties once graced the Richfield Oil Building,  which was built in 1929 and demolished in 1968.  During the building’s heyday, forty giant angelic caryatids watched over Flower Street in Downtown L.A.

At least five have been salvaged – Lynxwiler’s, and another four reside at UC Santa Barbara – but the whereabouts of the other 35 are unknown.

Below, one of the few photos of the angels hanging out together, courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey.  You can find more here.