Hot Property newsletter: Real estate as a social distance endeavor

Table for eight? Our Home of the Week, built in 2020, is a modern farmhouse in Beverly Hills.
(Simon Berlyn)

People across the state and nation may be hunkering down, but residential real estate activity in many markets continues relatively unabated. Virtual home tours, internet listing sites and electronic agreement services have taken many of the physical-world steps out of the process, allowing distanced deals to keep happening. Joining the housing market throng this week are a noted composer and his actress wife, a “Down to Earth” actor and the Sparks’ new general manager.

Our Home of the Week is a newly built modern farmhouse in Beverly Hills with a simple yet appealing design. Priced at $5.695 million, the custom-built home focuses on high-end finishes and warm, livable spaces.

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


One down, one to go

A few months after listing their back-to-back homes in Hancock Park, Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman and his wife, actress Bridget Fonda, have sold the larger of the two for $8.75 million.

The couple offered the two properties as a package deal for $14.6 million in October, and the smaller home, which the pair used as a guesthouse, is still up for grabs at $4.888 million.

The century-old two-story they just sold sits on three-quarters of an acre in a gated community filled with historic homes. It features a grand ballroom that doubles as a movie theater, a two-story living room and six bedrooms in its 8,346 square feet.

The Grammy- and Emmy-winning Elfman, 67, has credits including “Spider-Man,” “Good Will Hunting” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Fonda, 56, hit her acting stride in the ‘90s, starring in “The Godfather Part III,” “Single White Female” and “Jackie Brown.”

Danny Elfman's furnished home recording studio/music room with red curtains, rugs, guitars and musical equipment.
Now that’s fancy. Danny Elfman has parted with his home recording studio/music room.
(Simon Berlyn)

Ready to move some earth

Fresh off his travels from the Netflix show “Down to Earth,” Zac Efron is taking care of some business back in L.A. The actor just listed his scenic perch in the hills of Los Feliz for $5.9 million.

A sale would cap a seven-year stay for the 33-year-old Efron, who paid $4 million for the property in 2013.


The contemporary compound of just under an acre has 5,644 square feet of living space with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. A brick wall stretches behind a gold fountain in the sky-lighted foyer, and the adjacent kitchen features clerestories and oversize windows. Floating stairs descend to an indoor-outdoor game room on the lower level.

A spa is tucked into the dining patio, and its runoff water cascades down to the swimming pool a story below.

A hallway at the top of some stairs with a black and white picture of a man and sky lights.
Zac Efron, perhaps feeling the seven-year housing itch, has listed his Los Feliz home for sale.
(Jeff Elson)

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Off to a new home court

Lakers legend Derek Fisher, the new general manager of the Los Angeles Sparks, has sold his Mediterranean-style estate in Tarzana for $2.31 million.

Fisher and his partner, Gloria Govan, listed the San Fernando Valley spread for $2.35 million last month.


The home has a total of five bedrooms, including a primary suite with a marble bathroom and balcony overlooking the backyard. At the far end of the half-acre property, a guesthouse adds a pair of bedrooms and bathrooms. The two residences combine for more than 6,500 square feet.

Between the two homes, a long, landscaped backyard contains lawn, dining areas and a patio with a swimming pool.

Exterior of the home with landscaping, concrete surrounding it and lights on.
It’s out with the old and in with the new for former Tarzana homeowner and recently named Sparks coach Derek Fisher.
(Jeff Elson)

Buyer, seller remain strangers

So far, a buyer and the seller seem to be strangers in the night as far as Ol’ Blue Eyes’ Palm Desert hideaway goes. The desert estate, which spans 7.5 acres in the rocky hills of Coachella Valley, just relisted for $4.25 million, down a quarter of a million from its last asking price.

Dubbed Villa Maggio after Frank Sinatra’s Oscar-winning role in the 1953 war drama “From Here to Eternity,” the secluded compound is perched at an elevation of 4,300 feet, affording some escape from the desert heat below.

The crooner helped design and build the compound in the 1970s, and though it’s been restored over the years, it still includes much of the tile and wallpaper that he chose back then. The gated estate has three buildings: a five-bedroom main house, a three-bedroom guesthouse and a one-bedroom pool house.


Sinatra, who died in 1998 at 82, sold more than 150 million records during his prolific music career. His hit songs included “My Way” and “New York, New York.”

Frank Sinatra's desert hideaway from a bird's eye view shows hills, greenery, buildings, driveway, a tennis court and a pool.
Frank Sinatra’s desert hideaway was the site of many a Rat Pack gathering.
(Sean Garrison)

From the archives

Thirty years ago, tennis champ Michael Chang, the Placentia teen who won the French Open in 1989, purchased a newly built home for just under $1.4 million. The home, in a gated community near Mission Viejo, was on a 7.5-acre site, where the athlete planned to build a tennis court.

Twenty years ago, singer Al Jarreau listed his Encino home at close to $1.3 million. The multiple Grammy-winning artist was selling his 6,000-square-foot home of 10 years partly because of his busy touring schedule. The jazz, pop and R&B singer was looking to downsize.

Ten years ago, actor Orlando Bloom listed his house in a gated Hollywood Hills community for lease at $18,000 a month. The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house had more than 3,200 square feet of living space.

What we’re reading

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love’s Tribeca apartment recently graced the pages of Architectural Digest. The three-bedroom industrial vibe unit, a waterfront new build, ties in motifs from the American West. Reclaimed oak floors and modern signage complete the look.


Now for something different from Massachusetts. Dwell took readers to a free-standing condo with a twist in Cambridge. The plywood-clad house is essentially three boxes stacked on top of each other and then turned a slight angle off their bases. Eight triangular skylights in the roof corners bring natural light into the 1,200 square feet of living space, which includes a finished basement. Yours for $849,900.