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On the Rise: Aaron Grushow deals in multimillion-dollar homes. TikTok helps him show them off.

When Aaron Grushow decided to become a real estate agent, he knew social media was going to be a big part of his career. He grew up with a media executive father and an interior designer mother, and their interests sparked his own. For as long as he can remember, he’s been interested in architecture and digital marketing. He didn’t exactly plan to end up in real estate (he went to college for comparative ethnic studies), but the more he looked at the industry, the more it seemed like the perfect blend of all his passions. And, he thought, he had a leg up on his more established competition: “Real estate agents really weren’t leveraging social media to what I believe was the best of their ability,” he explains. His plan was to use social media to show off the kinds of properties he was dealing with. But, as a new agent, getting into those homes wasn’t easy. “I had to hustle really hard to get people to trust me to come film their luxury homes,” he says. “‘Who’s this kid who has been an agent for just a few months asking to come film this $40 million home?’ There were plenty of people who were like, ‘Get lost,’ but through hustling and networking with the right people, I was able to get that access.” Now, Grushow shows off luxury Los Angeles homes to 1.4 million followers on TikTok. His account has helped him find a few leads for sellers and buyers, but mostly, he says, it’s helped him brand-build. To keep that brand-building going, he’s launching his own podcast, The Standouts, in partnership with Estate Media and Caspian Studios. “[A]s the name suggests, it really is about how to stand out in today’s saturated world, mostly in the spaces of real estate content creatorship and entrepreneurship,” Grushow says. “Every episode I bring on a guest, someone who I deem as a standout in their particular field. Again, often real estate agents, content creators, entrepreneurs, and we really sit down and discuss what it takes to stand out, what they’ve done differently, how they’ve failed, how they’ve learned from those failures, and how they’re succeeding.” You can see the first few episodes of The Standout here, and check out our chat with Grushow below.

Live off-the-Grid With a Vineyard and an Olive Grove

Location: Topanga, California Price: $9.99 million This 17-acre off-the-grid compound in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains offers a wide array of amenities, including a private vineyard and an olive grove and equestrian facilities 45 minutes from Los Angeles. Known as Trust Ranch, the retreat on Will Geer Road has been the site of the Topanga Film Festival and many harvest festivals and Oktoberfests along with weddings and graduations, said listing agent Aaron Grushow, of AKG/Christie’s International Real Estate. “They’ve even had a circus there.” “This home is well known in the community because they have hosted many large-scale events there,” he said. “The grounds can accommodate well over 100 cars.” “One thing that is pretty unique is the amount of usable land and its orientation within the Santa Monica Mountains,” he added. “You just can’t find this amount of space this close to L.A.” More: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Close Deal on $61 Million L.A. Megamansion Topanga in the early 1900s became a retreat for entertainment and arts figures looking to escape from Los Angeles, he said. This property was initially developed in 1991, and the actress Jane Sibbett bought it in 1998. “She’s the one who turned it into what it is today.” There is a “lot of lore around the magical energy of the Topanga area,” he said. “Trust Ranch really encapsulates all of that.” With the surrounding mountains and nature, “you really feel like you’re in the wilderness and feel one with all of that,” Grushow said. “People consider it sacred territory. There is something about it that really speaks to people.” Coming into the two-story main house, you’re greeted with an open dining area and a great room with high ceilings and panoramic views of the rolling hills and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the listing. “Every single room has a unique perspective of the property and grounds,” Grushow said. “You really feel like you’re living in nature.” Design details in the home include reclaimed Douglas fir flooring dredged from the bottom of Puget Sound, custom iron railings and fixtures, tilework created by local artists Paul and Matt Doolin, multiple sets of glass sliders and French doors that open to outdoor patios and terraces, high wood ceilings and oversized windows. The eat-in kitchen has custom cabinetry, an oversized center island and a desk area. The main level also has a media/den area, two en-suite bedrooms and office space attached to a multi-functional room that the owners use for arts and crafts. This room has a loft area with a library. Additionally, there is a full guest suite with a kitchen, a living room, an en-suite bedroom and an office. “The house has a great floor plan,” Grushow said. The majority of the home is on the main floor, with the primary bedroom suite upstairs, he said. It features a private balcony, a walk-in closet and a room the owners use for yoga and meditation. An on-site water well offers off-the-grid independence and a large solar array provides electricity and hot water, according to the listing. More: A Carport by John Lautner, Additions by Richard Neutra—a Restored Hollywood Landmark Is Selling for $8.5 Million Stats The 8,247-square-foot house has six bedrooms and five full bathrooms. It sits on a 17-acre plot of land. There is also an 1,800-square-foot guest house with a kitchen, a dining area and an en-suite bedroom. Amenities Amenities include a vineyard, a detached two-car garage, three fireplaces, 360-degree mountain views, a beach volleyball court, an archery area, a pavilion, hiking paths, an artist’s studio, fruit trees, an olive grove, beehives, solar panels and an organic garden. The equestrian facilities include a barn, stables and multiple riding rings. MANSION GLOBAL BOUTIQUE: Mansion Global Host Katrina Campins’s Guide to Staging Your Home Right Neighborhood Notes “Topanga is pretty isolated,” Grushow said. “There is not even a gas station there.” But it’s just a 10- to 15-minute drive to the coast and Topanga State Beach and a bit farther to Pacific Palisades, which has lots of restaurants and shops, he said. It’s about a 45-minute drive to the center of Los Angeles. Agents: Aaron Grushow, Bryce Lowe, Kirby Gillon, and Teri Lewis of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/live-off-the-grid-with-a-vineyard-and-an-olive-grove-90d6276d/

Malibu’s vacant lots beckon to spec developers

Interest rates may be up and the global economy down, but Malibu is still, well, Malibu. At least the sellers behind a couple new, multi-million dollar vacant land listings are hoping so. “I think people are still feeling really good about the market,” said Madison Hildebrand, an agent with Compass who has a choice listing in the beachside city. “I still think that people who live in L.A. or want to live in L.A. are going to always be attracted to the beach and the ocean and all the great restaurants and the lifestyle that Malibu offers — and there’s only so much development opportunity out there.” One such opportunity, for a lot in the hills of eastern Malibu about a half mile from the coast, hit the market in late March for just under $3 million. The property, located at 20704 Eagle Pass Drive, is 1.25 acres, with ocean and canyon views, and has been owned by the same family for decades. The site is entitled for a three-bedroom, 4,400-square-foot estate with a pool — the result of the family’s earlier development plan — but remains unbuilt. It is marketed to buyers who might want to follow through on those plans or to spec developers. The $3 million ask reflects the location, said Aaron Grushow, a broker with Aaron Kirman Group who has the listing. “There’s always going to be demand in a city like Los Angeles, and a city like Malibu, despite market conditions,” Grushow said of the current Malibu market. “And we feel pretty confident that this can attract the right person.” On the other side of town, some 15 miles west along the coast, Hildebrand has the listing for another 1.25-acre lot that recently went up for $6.4 million. The price is nearly $3 million more than the current owner, an entity called Zuma Block LLC, paid last July, according to property records, but in this case construction is already underway. The project was designed by architect Clive Dawson, who planned for a four-bedroom, 7,600-square-foot mansion built into the hillside, with a pool that offers an ocean view. The grading and septic system is done, the broker said, and a steel frame is in. “This lot is currently mid-construction,” as the listing puts it, “offering the unique opportunity to grab the reins and finish the project with your own tastes and finishes without any lost time.” The $6.4 million tag reflects the entitlements and work already done on the premises. But it also reflects other factors driving up Malibu prices. It takes years to permit and build under the city’s strict codes. Malibu generally has few developable lots available, and both land and inventory became even scarcer after the devastating 2018 Woolsey Fire. The pandemic-era real estate boom supercharged the local market even more. And in recent months, Hildebrand said, Measure ULA, the City of L.A.’s new property transfer tax, has started benefiting the Malibu development market, because luxury spec homes in the City of Los Angeles have become significantly less financially attractive to build and sell, while the City of Malibu has no such tax. “Everyone saw it coming,” Hildebrand said. Plenty of already constructed Malibu homes, of course, are looking for sums that dwarf the $6.4 million ask. Within the past few weeks, Cher relisted her Italianate estate in the area for $75 million, the same price hockey legend Chris Chelios is looking for, and an 8,200-square-foot mansion with a Feng Shui design hit the market for $69 million. https://therealdeal.com/la/2023/04/07/malibus-vacant-lots-beckon-to-spec-developers/

Beverly Hills Home Of Late Fashion Designer David Hayes Sells For $4.2 Million

The Los Angeles home of late fashion designer David Hayes, who famously dressed former First Lady Nancy Reagan, sold on Wednesday for $4.26 million. Located in Beverly Hills, the three-bedroom, five-bathroom residence was originally listed in September for $5.9 million, according to listing records. The house was designed by architect Bob Ray Offenhauser specifically for the designer. Sitting on almost half an acre, it combines European and Asian influences throughout the property. "The rich formal floor plan is timeless and offers a stately lifestyle for those that may enjoy high-class entertaining," Bryce Lowe of Aaron Kirman Group at Compass said in an email. He and Kirby Gillon, also with Aaron Kirman Group, represented the buyers, who they noted are apparel industry executives, but could not be further identified. Toni Schacht of Premier Agent Network represented the Hayes estate. She did not immediately respond to request for comment. Completed in 1982, the home was Hayes’s haven for decades. Behind the gated entry, the property features landscaped grounds and mature plants that shield it from the outside. “Coupled with the privacy in a great neighborhood in Los Angeles, this home is a hidden gem,” Mr. Lowe continued.

A ‘Natural’ Beverly Hills Mansion Seeks $65 Million

Developer Michael Chen said a trip to Big Sur partially inspired him to incorporate nature into the home’s design. A Beverly Hills megamansion with a 15-foot-tall waterfall wall and a monochromatic wine cellar is coming on the market for $65 million. Other features of the pricey mansion: a bridge at the entryway hovers over a man-made stream that runs underneath the entire house and bronze-colored louvers that reflect light. The property also includes a movie theater, a dining room positioned on a skybridge that overlooks a courtyard, an office and a large pool. The property was developed by Luxford Investment Group, a real-estate development company headed by investor Michael Chen. Mr. Chen’s group purchased the site of the property in 2014 for $15 million, records show. He said he spent about six years designing and building the property, which is about 18,200 square feet and has seven bedrooms. He said most of the finishes were flown in from Italy, and an 150-year-old olive tree was flown in from Tuscany as a centerpiece for an interior courtyard.

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