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Hot Property: Now bigger and better than before

Hot Property, the celebrity real estate beat that started it all, is moving to a new date and place. Starting today, your favorite sneak peek into the lives of Hollywood’s rich and famous will appear in an expanded print section on Saturdays, as opposed to our usual Sunday spot.

In addition to leading celebrity home news, we’ll be exploring L.A. neighborhoods, high-end home trends and major players in the luxury market. As always, you can still catch the latest and greatest on the Hot Property blog as we roll it out all week.

With that out of the way, let’s see what stars made the cut in this week’s mix.

Neal J. Leitereg and Lauren Beale

Talk about a sizzling real estate scene. The calendar shows we’re in the realty sweet spot of the year in terms of the best time to list a home for a quick sale at top dollar. But it’s not just for-sale homes that are pouring into the Multiple Listing Service. We’re seeing sold sign after sold sign in Hollywood hot spots. Some serious coin is changing hands.

Even in the best market, however, ultra-expensive trophy homes sometimes take a long time to sell.

Case in point

Johnny Galecki of “The Big Bang Theory” just sold his Hollywood Hills home for 25% above its asking price. For $2.5 million the new buyers received an open floor plan, 1,700 square feet of living space and a swimming pool. An added bonus: The owner before Galecki was actor Patrick Dempsey. That must make this their McDreamy home.

Johnny Galecki received top dollar for his palm-topped bungalow in Hollywood Hills West. (Shooting LA | Inset: Getty Images)

Private water park

Singer Celine Dion’s water-park happy home on Jupiter Island, Fla., has yet to find a buyer. The 5.7-acre property was recently reduced to $45.5 million after coming on the market in December 2013 at $72.5 million. Besides the awesome water features — twisting slides, river currents, a bridge and 500,000 gallons of H2O — the oceanfront home is designer-done and star worthy.

The location is stellar too. A foursome of pro golfers including Tiger Woods, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman and Gary Player are among those to call this barrier island home.

Celine Dion dropped the price on her oceanfront compound on Jupiter Island, Fla., to $45.5 million, down from $72.5 million. (Alexandre Parent | Los Angeles Times)

His house of the rising sun

We’re positively inspired by Eric Burdon’s Joshua Tree retreat. If your musical memory doesn’t extend back five decades, the 1960s British Invasion vocalist sang with the Animals and War, popularizing "House of the Rising Sun," "Spill the Wine" and the classic "See See Rider."

But about the gated Southwestern-style ranch house: It’s priced at $888,888, set on 2.5 acres enclosed by adobe walls and has spin-your-head-around 360 views that can be taken in from the sundeck or a meditation area.

Eric Burdon of the Animals fame has put his Hacienda-style home in Joshua Tree on the market for $888,888. (Clark Dugger | Los Angeles Times)

A sentimental journey

The passing of Nancy Reagan brought to light a Pacific Palisades estate built on property once owned by the former first lady and President Ronald Reagan. The presidential listing price: $33 million. The developers preserved a few amenities from the Reagans’ years. Among them is the original living room wet bar. Gone is the Reagan projection booth, but the new place does have a screening room.

The newly built spec house on the site of a home once owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan is for sale at $33 million. (Chad Z. King | Getty Images)

Hooray for Hollywood

A Hollywood pedigree, a Hollywood Regency style designer and a film producer seller — who could ask for anything more? Film and TV producer John Goldwyn and hotelier Jeffrey Klein recently sold their Hollywood Hills home for $5.35 million. The restored 1951 house is a very livable example of the genius of architect John Elgin Woolf, known for developing the Hollywood Regency style. Dramatic rooms, offbeat shapes and long narrow windows that seem to double as artwork make this a visually interesting home.

The Hollywood Hills house was once part of the estate compound of filmmaker George Cukor. (Nick Springett)

“America’s Funniest” home seller

Video clip show host Alfonso Ribeiro just sold a Toluca Lake home that makes the most of its 8,400 square feet of lot space. Enclosed by a white picket fence and walls, the property had a two-story traditional-style home, a detached two-car garage, a guest studio, a putting green, a swimming pool and an above-ground spa. Check out the massive master suite.

Alfonso Ribeiro sold his Toluca Lake home of more than a decade for $1.45 million. (Michael McNamara / Shooting LA | Chris Haston)

Dusting off the archives

Twenty years ago this week, a then-28-year-old Andrew Getty, the grandson of late oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, bought a Hollywood Hills villa from the estate of famed film composer Miklós Rózsa. The estate was still owned by Getty when he died unexpectedly last year at 47. It’s now on the market for $7.95 million.

Michael Milken bought a one-bedroom condo at the Sierra Towers off Sunset Strip for around $1.65 million a decade ago. The junk bond king has since found far bigger accommodations, if tax documents give any indication. Milken is thought to be the buyer of the Westside estate known as Fleur de Lys that sold in 2014 for a record $102 million.

What we’re reading

Porter Ranch residents who were displaced during the massive gas leak are finding oil residue in their houses and on their cars when they return home. Even a playground had to be closed for a clean-up, reports The Times' Alice Walton. Southern California Gas Co. has announced it will clean at least 140 of the affected homes.

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