Hot Property newsletter: Clear sailing for sellers of high-end homes
Excessive heat, smoky and unhealthful air, high winds … nothing seems to be putting a damper on the Southern California home sellers’ market. Among those in the power position of selling are the owners of a Malibu home once owned by an early-TV mom. This week also sees a celebrity power couple buying a fresh L.A. mansion.
Our Home of the Week is a three-bedroom penthouse nearing completion in West Hollywood. The $13-million asking price includes something unexpected: a 2,900-square-foot private outdoor terrace with a spa, a fire pit and a kitchen.
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.
— Jack Flemming and Lauren Beale
The stuff of Legends
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen have landed a newly built, ultra-modern mansion in Beverly Hills for $17.5 million.
The 10,700-square-foot hillside house, custom-built this year, takes in sweeping views of the city below. There are seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a 300-bottle wine cellar and an LED movie theater.
Open-concept spaces feature 24-foot ceilings, white oak floors and walls of glass. The living room, dining room and double-island kitchen all open to the outside, where a 100-foot saltwater pool lines the edge of the property.
Legend, 41, has won 11 Grammy Awards, as well as an Oscar for the song “Glory” from the 2014 film “Selma.”
Teigen, 34, is a television personality, model and author. She hosted “Lip Sync Battle” from 2015 to 2019 and appears on the Quibi show “Chrissy’s Court.”
Big man on the block
Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has a new place to play in Las Vegas. Two years after opening his restaurant Big Chicken on the Strip, the NBA legend has paid $765,000 for a nearby home.
It’s a far cry from the house he’s currently selling, a 31,000-square-foot Florida mansion with an indoor basketball court and 95-foot pool, on the market for $19.5 million.
The Las Vegas home covers 5,400 square feet, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms in two stories. The backyard features a tiki-style cabana, a bridge that accesses a spa and a fountain-fed pool with swim-up bar.
Shaq, 48, played for six teams during his basketball career, winning three NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat. He joined TNT’s “Inside the NBA” program in 2011 as an analyst.
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Featuring hobbit-trod floors
Elijah Wood is looking for a buyer in Austin, Texas, where his 130-year-old Victorian just hit the market for $1.85 million.
The actor, best known for his role as Frodo Baggins in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, paid $1.075 million for the property eight years ago.
Despite updates, the 1890s gem stays in touch with its roots with period details such as hand-carved trim, wood banisters and floors, and an original antique doorbell.
A 2009 restoration added a third level for a total of four bedrooms. There’s also a guesthouse.
Wood starred as a child actor in the films “Avalon,” “Paradise,” “Forever Young” and “The Adventures of Huck Finn.” More recently, the 39-year-old appeared in “The Trust,” “Come to Daddy” and the FX series “Wilfred.”
Where TV mom kept house
The former Malibu home of actress Barbara Billingsley, known for her role as matriarch June Cleaver on the classic TV show “Leave It to Beaver,” is for sale at $8.775 million.
Built in 1948 and updated over the years, the 1,964-square-foot beach house has teak floors, two fireplaces, an eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Wall-to-wall windows in the living room take in unobstructed views of the ocean and pier.
Decks, patios and an outdoor dining area create additional living space. A private staircase leads to the beach below.
Billingsley, who died in 2010 at age 94, owned the Malibu home for decades after “Leave It to Beaver” ended in 1963, preferring the quiet life of the beach city to Hollywood’s hurried pace, according to Turner Classic Movies. Her other credits include the 1980 parody film and cult classic “Airplane!”
From the archives
Thirty years ago, actress Heather Locklear of the sitcom “Going Places” and her husband, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, were on their way to a new home in Westlake Village. They purchased a home in the mid-$2-million range. Amenities included an underground wine cellar, a sauna and a gym.
Twenty years ago, actor Tony Curtis put his Bel-Air home of a decade on the market at just under $1.2 million. The three-bedroom house had an Italian garden where the “Some Like It Hot” star spent time painting. At the time of the listing, he was having a house built in Las Vegas and was exhibiting his artwork at the MGM Grand.
Ten years ago, Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton sold the Alfred Newman Estate in Pacific Palisades for $10.75 million. She had spent more than two years refurbishing the Lloyd Wright-designed Midcentury house, which was named after and built for the nine-time Academy Award composer.
What we’re reading
The $49,500 price and the claim that they “snap together like LEGO Bricks” made us stop to study the prefab efficiency homes recently featured at Dwell. The 20-by-20-square-foot Casita unit from Boxable can be towed by a pickup and assembled on site in about an hour. Plus it comes complete with a kitchen, a washer and dryer, heat and air conditioning.
Some new student housing at UC Berkeley is turning heads. Three stories of 3-foot-thick fake stone wrap around a corner of the 55-unit building. Adding to the Harry Potter-worthy vibe are fake timbers and giant lanterns, reports the San Francisco Chronicle
The view from Sacramento
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