Hot Property

Newsletter: Hot Property: Home for the holidays

For something that would seem so easy to personally define as one place, “home” can be many places.

A house that was just purchased is a new home. One vacated for sale is an old home. The residence of parents might still be a family home.

Multiple property owners might have vacation homes, summer homes or ski homes. Then there are investment houses, which were never homes to their owners.

Hot Property looks at them all, and at the people who have passed through their chains of title. Brick by brick and stick by stick the structures called home give us a framework to understand other people’s lives.

Lauren Beale and Neal J. Leitereg

Picture perfect

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan has listed her retreat in Whistler, Canada, for sale at $13.5 million Canadian dollars.

With its natural setting and potential for white winters, the lodge-like residence is a perfect gather-around-the-fireplace home. The mezzo-soprano and pianist built the custom house two years ago.

The 8,300 square feet of living space has great potential to be a place where the buyer will make some memories.

Sarah McLachlan has put her custom retreat in Whistler, Canada, on the market. (Re/Max Olson & Associates | Inset: David Bergman)

Fun in the sun

Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl sold his Oxnard beach home of nearly a decade for $2.9 million.

The three-story home has a prime location on the sand and takes in the ocean views. Just the spot to dig in during leisure time.

Dave Grohl had owned the property for close to a decade. (

A home for all seasons

Singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige and her husband, music executive Kendu Isaacs, listed their home in Saddle River, N.J., for sale at $13 million.

The 4.2-acre estate centers on a mansion of 13,173 square feet with some features that speak to year-round living. There’s an indoor basketball court, a gym and an outdoor swimming pool.

They bought the three-level residence seven years ago for $12.3 million.

The three-level mansion has 13,173 square feet of living space accessed by two grand staircases and an elevator. (

Going deep in Del Mar

Five years ago, NFL quarterback Carson Palmer paid $4.4 million for a half-acre lot with an ocean view in Del Mar. He's now asking just shy of $25 million for the custom contemporary-style home that resides on the property.

Completed last year, the 8,000-square-foot house is prime for indoor-outdoor living with such details as telescoping walls of glass, an infinity-edge swimming pool and an open-air living room.

A bocce ball court, a sports court and gym are among the athletic amenities.

Carson Palmer has listed his ocean-view contemporary-style home in Del Mar for sale at $24.995 million. ( | Associated Press)

Decades of daily life

The longtime home of author Gore Vidal is on the market in Hollywood Hills at $5.695 million. The novelist and screenplay writer died three years ago, and his family is ready to sell.

The 1929 Mediterranean features hand-carved fireplaces, decorative ironwork and original tiles. A lot of family history played out here.

Gore Vidal's 1929 Mediterranean-style home in Hollywood Hills is up for sale. (Lee Manning Photography | Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

His old house

Chris Hardwick, head of the multimedia company Nerdist Industries, will be wedding actress Lydia Hearst next year, and they’ve already bought their marital home. Now he has listed his place in Hollywood Hills for sale at $4.05 million.

Evoking a European farmhouse, the updated and customized 1924 home has 5,100 square feet of living space that includes log cabin interiors on one level — not at all nerdy.

A dining patio sits off the kitchen, which also opens to a large informal dining area with walls of windows. Either spot would seem a great space to gather for a family meal and get-together.

The European-inspired farmhouse sits on gated and walled parklike grounds in the Hollywood Hills. (Teague Hunziker Photography)

Bye, bye bachelor pad

Guitarist and singer Benji Madden wed actress Cameron Diaz this year, so it’s no surprise that his bachelor pad has popped on the market in Hollywood Hills West at $1.495 million.

A gated driveway crosses over a stream to reach the secluded bungalow of “The Voice” coach and Good Charlotte band member. Makes us think of a Hallmark card.

Inside the renovated 1951 house is 2,183 square feet of contemporary, white-walled interiors with a large open-plan space containing the living room, dining area and kitchen.

The renovated one-story home is set amid mature trees. (

Hoping to cash out

It seems unlikely anyone spent Thanksgiving gathered at the 10-seat kitchen island at the Hollywood Hills home for sale by actor Tim Allen, star of “Last Man Standing.”

Why, you might ask? The updated ranch-style home has that designer-done/staged look of a house ready to be flipped. The former "Home Improvement" star, who owns other property in the area, is asking $1.95 million for the property — a sizable increase from the $1.4 million he paid for it two years ago.

The single-story home in Hollywood Hills West was built in 1963. ( | Getty Images)

Time capsules

Ten years ago, television talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was compound building on the Westside, having bought side-by-side properties for about $22 million. Must have been a cash buy. The real estate-minded comic closed escrow in five days.

Twenty years ago, Hot Property brought holiday greetings of a sort in the headline “Cheers From Brentwood.” Actor Ted Danson and his wife, actress Mary Steenburgen, had just bought a Colonial-style home in Brentwood for close to $3.5 million.

Danson, who had two Emmy Awards under his belt for playing the bar owner in the long-running TV series "Cheers," and Steenburgen, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in "Melvin and Howard" (1980), had been married the previous month. They had co-starred a year earlier in the movie "Pontiac Moon." (1994).

What we're reading

— Will air travel home for the holidays eventually be less of a hassle for L.A.’s rich and the famous?

Airport commissioners have approved a private lounge at Los Angeles International Airport in the hopes of curbing paparazzi and fan crowds. Fees of up to $1,800 per trip for the privilege should keep a few looky-loos at bay.

— And just in time for Thanksgiving, the Estately blog has mapped out America's pie preferences using Google Trends data. California is firmly entrenched in the pumpkin pie category, while Southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and North and South Carolina form the crust of what the blog calls the "Sweet Potato Pie Belt."

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