The Ultimate Open HouseMillions of Japanese will--beginning...

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Ultimate Open House

Millions of Japanese will--beginning this week--get tours of Southern California homes and commercial property currently on the sales block.

“Sunday Preview of Homes,” a weekly television program produced for Fred Sands Realtors and shown throughout Southern California, will be telecast throughout Japan on 14 different Japanese cable networks. The locally produced program will be shown five times a week on each Japanese network and is to be dubbed in the Japanese language. It will premier on Japanese stations on Thursday.

The program will stimulate even more foreign interest in Southern California property, said Michael Selsman, a spokesman for Fred Sands. Sands wants to whet the Japanese appetite for local real estate partly because demand for Southern California’s high-priced homes has dipped recently.


“The Japanese are willing to pay top dollar because they appreciate the value of Southern California property,” Selsman said. “This is a ‘Home Shopping Network’ for homes.”

Does It Have Magic Fingers?

San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel recently boosted the price of its penthouse suite to $6,000 a night, or $250 an hour.

A hotel spokesperson said the $1,000-a-night increase for the eight-room suite with round-the-clock butler and maid “makes it the most expensive in the United States and possibly the world.”


The suite includes a walk-in vault, 24-karat gold-plated fixtures in its four bathrooms, a two-story circular library, a game room with a stained glass skylight, an outdoor terrace with a view, a dining room for up to 50, a kitchen and three bedrooms.

The price does include limousine service to and from the airport.

30 Minutes for 30. . .Anything

Thirty silver spoons, 30 tomatoes and 30 rolls of toilet paper are among the items collected by financial planner Alan Ungar for 30 minutes of personal advice. On the third Thursday of each month, Ungar opens his Calabasas office to counsel people who trade 30 of anything for his time. All the food and household goods are donated to Haven Hills, a home for battered women and children. If Ungar receives 30 cents or $30, he turns the money over to Beyond War, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit peace advocacy group. “This is my way of giving something back to the community,” says Ungar, who schedules appointments throughout his “Thirty Minutes/ thirtysomething” day. “I want the people to bring something because they have to make a commitment.”