Hot Property: Pandemic-era buyers seeking greener, bigger pastures

The Home of the Week is a country colonial-style home in the Bird Streets neighborhood.
(Marco Franchina)

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s this: People continue to reevaluate their living space. This week’s news cycle saw one music star headed back to an old neighborhood in search of more room and another making a big upgrade in one of L.A.’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

Our Home of the Week is a Gerard Colcord-designed country colonial that was quick to draw interest. The charming residence, which was popularized in the beloved show “I Love Lucy,” went from listed to pending four days after hitting the market.

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— Neal Leitereg and Jack Flemming

Looking for more room to roam

He’s packing up his guitars and bandanas, but don’t expect to see Bret Michaels leave Southern California anytime soon. The rock star of Poison fame told The Times this week that he’s moving back to Calabasas, where he’s eager to start on a new home project. Michaels had previously made his home in a roomy Westlake Village estate, which is now for sale at $4.495 million.


Bret Michaels' Westlake Village home
Bret Michaels’ Mediterranean villa-style estate in Westlake Village.
(Jeff Elson)

Not quite a bang, but a hurry

Call it a happy ending in Nichols Canyon for actor Kunal Nayyar. The “Big Bang Theory” star and his wife, model-actress Neha Kapur, sold their secluded compound in the leafy neighborhood roughly two months after putting it up for sale. Set on half an acre, the estate is full of outdoor living spaces, fountains and landscaping. Two guesthouses accompany the villa-style home.

"Big Bang Theory" star Kunal Nayyar's courtyard in his Nichols Canyon home.
Courtyards, patios and a swimming pool with a separate pool house fill out the grounds of “Big Bang Theory” star Kunal Nayyar’s home in Nichols Canyon.
(Joshua Spooner)

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An upgrade for Biebs and Baldwin

Justin Bieber is moving on up. The pop star and his wife, Hailey Baldwin, paid $25.8 million for a spot behind the gates of Beverly Park. The 2.5-acre property is a sizable upgrade for Bieber and Baldwin, who were previously holding up in a smaller Beverly Hills home. A tennis court and a movie theater are among features of the seven-bedroom, 10-bathroom home.

Coach readies to pass in South Bay

Four years after being fired by UCLA, football coach Jim Mora has tossed his custom Manhattan Beach home on the market for $11.995 million. The six-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom house is full of mahogany details and walls of glass. A two-story guesthouse and a small swimming pool — a rare offering in the tightly packed beach city — highlight the backyard.

From the archives

Thirty years ago, “Full House” star and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” host Bob Saget made a move on the Westside, buying a Pacific Palisades home for north of $2.4 million. More recently, it’s been the actual “Full House” house that’s been making headlines. The San Francisco home that served as the setting for the beloved sitcom came up for sale last year and was more recently listed for $5.499 million.

It was 20 years ago when Norm McDonald’s former sidekick and Howard Stern personality Artie Lange breezed into the Wilshire Corridor for a short-term stay. The comic, who was appearing with McDonald on the sitcom “Norm” at the time, leased a two-bedroom high-rise unit that had been listed for $4,200 a month.

Ten years ago, the Brentwood home where Marilyn Monroe died came and went in a flash. Listed for sale that summer at $3.595 million, the hacienda-style home with a kidney-shaped swimming pool was in escrow two weeks later.

What we’re reading

Government-enforced tightening of social distancing rules continues to reshape the housing market, particularly in Hong Kong where the area has seen its largest price drop in five months. According to the South China Morning Post, rules limiting showroom visits and property viewings resulted in a 0.5% drop in July. Analysts believe there will be further declines as a resurgence of COVID-19 has resulted in increased social distancing measures.

The ongoing pandemic continues to reshape not only how people live but also how they search for homes. The Wall Street Journal reports that many are now working from home, so walk scores and community life are trending downward when it comes to buyer preferences. Data from a recent Zillow survey show that buyers are now gravitating toward dedicated office space or less dense areas with fewer neighbors.

A bill that would have allowed for duplexes to be built on most California single-family home lots was approved by the state Assembly, but died after Senate lawmakers ran out of time, reports Los Angeles Times housing reporter Andrew Khouri. Introduced in February, the bill would have allowed for local governments to permit applications to convert a single-family home into a duplex or to demolish a home and build two units.