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Hot Property Newsletter: Signs of the times

Hot Property Newsletter: Signs of the times
The Brentwood estate featured as Home of the Week sits on nearly two acres with an oval-shaped swimming pool, staff quarters and a security building. (Simon Berlyn)

Everybody wants to make a buck. A lot of churn in the real estate market is due to speculation and investment. People inevitably try to time the market and cut their losses or increase their gains. And no wonder. Some have a lot of skin in the game, trying to turn multimillion-dollar properties. This week, we’ll highlight a few such examples including a Holmby Hills place once owned by a megastar singer-entertainer and a house that’s just one in a series of sales for a supermodel.

Our Home of the Week takes us to Brentwood, where a Georgian Regency-style estate gives off a certain presidential glow. The $42-million list price includes elegant rooms curated by former White House interior designer Michael Smith.

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Once you’re done reading about these deals, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find Hot Property stories and updates throughout the week.

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Back into the fray

Owlwood, a 10-acre estate with a Hollywood history as rich as any, is back up for grabs in Holmby Hills.

This time, it’s being floated for $115 million, down from the $180-million price tag it wore last summer. The property last sold in September 2016 for $90 million — so there’s still some meat on the bone.

The Italian Revival-style mansion, with more than 12,000 square feet of grand living space, has been home to such luminaries as 20th Century Fox Chairman Joseph Schenck, actor Tony Curtis and singing duo Sonny Bono and Cher.

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There are rolling lawns, a guesthouse, a tennis court and a swimming pool.

The centerpiece of the 10-acre property is a 1930s Italian Revival-style mansion with nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms across 12,201 square feet.
The centerpiece of the 10-acre property is a 1930s Italian Revival-style mansion with nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms across 12,201 square feet. (Hilton & Hyland)

Time to get out?

If Tyra Banks’ recent moves give any indication, investment properties are apparently so last season. The model and television personality just sold a contemporary-style house in Pacific Palisades for $4 million.

That makes three sales in the Westside neighborhood to date this year for Banks. She sold a two-bedroom town home in May for $1.47 million and in June parted with an updated ocean-view house for $8.9 million.

The house she most recently sold has four bedrooms, five bathrooms and 3,700 square feet of open-plan living space. Among eye-catching details is a floating glass-and-wood staircase.

Banks, 44, began her career as a model before expanding into acting. The 24th season of her show "America's Next Top Model" premiered in January.

(David Zaitz Photography)

Comic’s latest flip

Comedian and television personality Adam Carolla is looking to catch an offer for his La Canada Flintridge home. He’s put the Midcentury Modern-style spread on the market for $3.395 million.

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Carolla, who previously hosted the show “Catch a Contractor” on Spike, renovated the 1963-built home after purchasing it three years ago.

The 3,980 square feet of white-walled living space contain a vaulted-ceiling living room, a family room, five bedrooms and four bathrooms.

Patios, mature trees and an artificial lawn surround a new saltwater pool and spa in the backyard.

Carolla, 54, gained fame as the co-host of the radio show “Love Line” and has hosted the daily podcast series "The Adam Carolla Show" since 2009.

(Charmaine David)

Tied to Old Hollywood

Here’s a home with history: The Beverly Hills home of actress-writer Renée Taylor and her late husband, actor-playwright Joseph Bologna, has sold for $7.425 million.

But that wasn’t the 1926 house’s first brush with fame. The Tudor Revival was once occupied by Shirley Temple's mother-in-law and often visited by Temple and her first husband, John Agar.

After Taylor bought the property in 1975, she spent two years overseeing renovations to replicate parts of other celebrity homes or places that captured her imagination. One of the seven bathrooms was inspired by a bathroom in Greer Garson's former Bel-Air home.

The two-story house has leaded-glass windows, a secret passageway, a wood-paneled family room and seven bedrooms within 4,600 square feet of living space.

Taylor, 85, teamed with Bologna to write the Broadway comedy "Lovers and Other Strangers" and the film "Made for Each Other." She played the mother of Fran Drescher's character on the sitcom "The Nanny."

The 1926 Tudor Revival-style house, once owned by Shirley Temple's mother-in-law, sits on slightly more than a third of an acre in Beverly Hills.
The 1926 Tudor Revival-style house, once owned by Shirley Temple's mother-in-law, sits on slightly more than a third of an acre in Beverly Hills. (Noel Kleinman)

Not his ‘childhood’ house

Peter Billingsley, who gained fame as the charming boy character Ralphie in the 1983 movie "A Christmas Story," has landed the role of homeowner in Manhattan Beach with a $3.175-million purchase.

The two-story Mediterranean, built in 2009, opens to a high-ceiling great room and features six bedrooms and six bathrooms.

Actor-producer Billingsley, 47, did extensive work in commercials starting at age 2. Chocolate lovers may remember him as Messy Marvin from the 1970s Hershey’s television ads.

More recently, he has been an executive producer for the series “Fear(less) With Tim Ferriss" (2017), “F is for Family” (2015-17) and “Undeniable With Joe Buck” (2015-17).

The two-story Mediterranean in Manhattan Beach was built in 2009.
The two-story Mediterranean in Manhattan Beach was built in 2009. (Redfin.com)

Scribe signs on the line

TV writer-producer Alison Schapker has sold her 1919 Craftsman Revival-style house in Hollywood for $1.45 million.

Set behind a tall hedge and wraparound porch, the 1,735-square-foot house features a living room with a fireplace flanked by built-in cabinets, a dining room with a china hutch and an updated kitchen containing a vintage O'Keefe & Merritt oven and range. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

French doors lead to a patio, yard, a stand-alone guesthouse and a detached studio.

Schapker’s credits include such shows as “Scandal” (2015-17), “Lost” (2006-07) and “Alias” (2003-06).

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The Craftsman-style home in Hollywood was built in 1919.
The Craftsman-style home in Hollywood was built in 1919. (Redfin.com)

From the archives

Ten years ago, pop star Britney Spears listed her Beverly Hills Post Office home for $7.9 million. The house, in a gated community, had six bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms and about 7,500 square feet of living space containing a wet bar, a library and a den.

Twenty years ago, actor Jason Priestley of “Beverly Hills, 90210” fame purchased a Los Feliz home for about $1.7 million. The four-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot house was built in 1929, but had recently been refurbished.

What we’re reading

Twenty-four million American homeowners believe it’s acceptable to tap into home equity to cover everyday expenses, reports Bloomberg. Wait. Isn’t this how we got in trouble the last time?

Record-breaking U.S. wildfires are fueling a cottage industry of private firefighters for the rich or otherwise well-insured, reports the Guardian. Crews are being hired in greater numbers by insurance companies to minimize damage and keep policyholders’ homes from being destroyed.

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