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Hot Property: A superlative selection

The luxury home beat is a lot more rewarding — not to mention fun — when we love the houses we’re writing about. We saw a slew of them that caught our attention this week, and we couldn’t be happier to share them with you.

Here are some of our favorites and why we’re so excited about them.

Neal J. Leitereg and Lauren Beale


Daydreaming

Who can’t imagine themselves living the life in this $35-million waterfront retreat on Lake Tahoe? The Pines, owned by Sacramento Kings co-owner and 24 Hour Fitness Chief Executive Mark Mastrov, is a 13.6-acre estate outfitted with a basketball court, a three-hole golf course with a practice green, two gyms, a swimming pool with a spa, waterfalls, a covered bridge and trout ponds.

But he had us at the 35-foot-tall living room topped by exposed wooden beams and featuring a floor-to-ceiling granite fireplace.

The waterfront mansion along Lake Tahoe sits on 13.6 acres. (Chase International | Inset: Getty Images)

Heartwarmer

Here’s a place with “Leave It to Beaver” curb appeal. The Los Feliz home that actor Tony Hale of “Veep” is offering for lease at $6,950 a month exemplifies it in spades.

The traditional-style home, built in 1937, has a red-brick walkway that ends at a bright yellow door flanked with black shutters. Bay windows are positioned on both sides of the front façade, and black shutters continue on the second-floor windows.

If that’s not “aw shucks” enough for you, the 2,226 square feet of living space includes a laundry/mudroom that has a doggie door that leads to a run. Get out the checkbook.

Tony Hale of “Veep” listed his Los Feliz house for lease at $6,950 a month. (Anthony Barcelo | Los Angeles Times)

Digging it

Comic actor Fred Armisen of “Portlandia” has listed his tidy hillside bungalow in hipster Silver Lake for $949,000. The refurbished 1927 house combines vintage details with modern amenities.

The “Documentary Now!” star is en vogue in the re-envisioned kitchen. The ever-so-current mismatched cabinetry includes white cupboards above and deep denim-blue cabinets below. That’s one of the best applications of the two-color cabinetry trend we’ve seen.

The 1927 Craftsman Bungalow was refurbished to include modern amenities. (David Charbonier | Los Angeles Times)

Live and learn

Josh Safran, who gained fame as a writer for “Gossip Girl,” taught us something last week. Or at least his house did.

The “Quantico” creator and producer just listed his very cool gated house in Hancock Park at $3.295 million. Outside, the place looks like an English country home true to its 1929 origins.

Inside, however, are these wide exotic arches leading into the main rooms. The openings, which reach a point at the top, are called ogee arches. Now you’ve learned something too. You’re welcome.

A rotunda entry and steep pitched roof give character to the 1929 house in Hancock Park. (Shel Mosk / Val Riolo | Getty Images)

A musical history lesson

What makes a home studio great in our book isn’t the appearance or cutting-edge technology but who recorded there and the music that came out of it. A personal favorite of ours is the late jazz-rock fusion great George Duke’s Le Gonks West recording studio, which recently sold as part of an estate in Hollywood Hills.

That 1,400-square-foot space is where Jeffrey Osborne’s “On the Wings of Love,” A Taste of Honey’s “Sukiyaki” and Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” were made. It’s also where the keyboardist collaborated with the likes of Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder and Frank Zappa.

The back-to-the-’70s studio has a control room, a live room with sound isolation booths, office space, a bathroom and its own entrance. But you just can’t put a price on that history. Unless it’s the $2.35 million the place just brought.

The Hollywood Hills estate of the late jazz great George Duke was the site of his storied Le Gonks West recording studio. (Joel Danto | Getty Images)

Most calming

This seems the perfect place to get away from a hectic work life. Writer-director-producer Scott Cooper, who gained fame for “Crazy Heart,” has put a Brentwood house up for sale that gets our vote for a restful environment.

Priced at $3.695 million, the Midcentury showplace has three walls of glass in the main living areas that look in on the entry-adjacent courtyard garden. The centerpiece fireplace has a minimalist vibe in the clean-lined living room.

Scott Cooper put his Brentwood house up for sale at $3.695 million. (Jun Tang | Los Angeles Times)

From the clip file

The homes of certain celebrities have grown in popularity over the years, particularly those linked to the Rat Pack. Thirty years ago this week, it was the onetime Beverly Hills home of Dean Martin that caught our eye. The 10,000-square-foot mansion on nearly two acres listed for sale for a whopping $6.9 million. It eventually would sell three years later for just under the asking price: $6.5 million.

Twenty years ago this week, “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston did his best Bob Vila impression by teaming with his brother-in-law to build an addition to his Sherman Oaks home. The duo added a 300-square-foot detached office to the property to complement a 1940s home of 2,600 square feet.

What we're reading

— Lionel Richie could have a starring role in your next dinner party. Perhaps not the pop superstar himself, but his new tableware that is part of the Lionel Richie Home collection. Richie opened up to the Los Angeles Times about his new venture, his Beverly Hills home and hosting the perfect party.

— Here’s something you don’t see every day: a glass slide flying through the Los Angeles skyline. L.A. Times reporter Emily Alpert Reyes details the new glass slide that was added to the U.S. Bank Tower via airlift last week. The slide is part of a $50-million makeover to the downtown building.

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