‘Will your wins’: Luxury agents share tips for breaking into the high-end market

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How to boost your home’s curb appeal

From first dates to job interviews, first impressions matter. And when it comes to selling your home, that initial glimpse of its exterior is a big deal. In fact, according to a University of Texas at Arlington study published in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, curb appeal can account for up to 7 percent of a home’s value. So it’s important to put your home’s best face forward. Curb appeal is the way your home looks from the outside, and how attractive it is to anyone who passes by. To assess your home’s curb appeal, look at the front of your home and take it in from the perspective of someone seeing it for the first time. The color and condition of the exterior, the landscaping and the overall maintenance of the property all contribute to its curb appeal. This crucial first impression has a big impact when you list your home for sale. “Curb appeal is probably one of the most important and effective tools in selling a home,” says Yawar Charlie, a Los Angeles-based agent with luxury brokerage the AKG | Christie's International Real Estate. 8 ways to boost curb appeal Improving your home’s curb appeal can help you bring in the buyers and get top dollar for your sale — especially if you sell during the peak spring/summer season. Here are eight tips to try: 1. Repaint the house A dingy exterior can make your home unappealing to potential buyers before they even step inside. One of the best ways to refresh it is with a new coat of paint: “A full exterior paint job can go a long way, especially if the paint has faded or is chipping,” says Reese Stewart, a Realtor with RE/MAX Properties SW in Orlando, Florida. “While this can be costly, it can make all the difference.” Cost: Between $6,242 and $11,617, according to Fixr, a home remodeling resource. 2. Repaint just the doors Even freshening up outside entryways with new paint can have an impact. Zillow’s 2023 paint color analysis found that buyers would offer more than $3,300 less for a home with a bland cement-gray front door than one with a bold black front door. “Painting just the front door or the garages can help spruce up the entry point, since it’s one of the first things potential buyers see,” says Stewart. Cost: Between $112 and $205, according to Fixr. But most homeowners can probably do it themselves for less. 3. Clean the windows If a potential buyer is put off by filthy windows, they may not want to see what sits inside them, even if the interior of your home is actually well taken care of. “Giving windows a good scrubbing is an easy and inexpensive way to give your home that sparkling look,” says Stewart. Cost: Between $190 and $460 for professional window washers, per Fixr. But if you DIY, this project will cost you nothing but water, cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease. 4. Refresh the landscaping Full professional landscaping can definitely improve the appeal of your home in a buyer’s eyes, but it isn’t cheap. Luckily, small and economical upgrades, like a few cheerful flowerpots here and there, can also help a lot. “Take a step back and see if you need to repot some flowers or replace some bushes,” says Stewart. “Even some new mulch can go a long way.” Cost: Between $8,000 and $15,000 for a pro job, per Fixr. But if you have a rake and a lawn mower, you can spruce things up for almost nothing. Adding a few inexpensive pre-potted plants and flowers to the walkway or porch will also add color and pop to the entry area (and you can take them with you after you sell). 5. Power wash the driveway For many houses, the driveway is front-and-center. And years of leaves, rain and snow can wreak havoc on its surface, especially if it’s concrete. “If your driveway is discolored, get it power washed,” Charlie says. If there are a lot of unsightly bumps, gouges and cracks, you might even want to spring for having it resurfaced. Cost: Between $180 and $240, per Fixr. If you want to do it yourself, you should be able to rent one from your local home-improvement store for less than $100 per day. 6. Tidy up the lighting Clean, functional and well-placed exterior lighting not only looks nice, but also can be an important safety and security feature. At the very least, inspect and refurbish the outdoor lighting you have. “Make sure that it is clear of cobwebs and dust and that the bulbs are still working,” Stewart says. “It can ensure your home is well-lit if any potential buyers visit around sunset or drive by at night.” If there are some too-dark areas, consider installing another fixture or two, or installing a motion sensor that turns on the light when someone approaches. Cost: Between $350 and $500 to install outdoor motion-sensor lights, according to Fixr. 7. Fix the roof and gutters The look of your roof can be a sticking point for buyers, as can its condition (with good reason). If there are broken roof shingles or other visible issues, or if your gutters are sagging or not properly secured, it’s best to take care of them with the help of a professional before they come up during the home inspection. Cost: Between $400 and $2,000 for roof repair and between $218 and $396 for gutter repair, per Fixr. 8. Upgrade the mailbox It’s small but significant. The mailbox is one of the first things a prospective buyer will see when they arrive at your home: “If your mailbox is faded or is looking worse for the wear, it’s time for an upgrade,” Stewart says. “It might be a small project, but it’s one that can help improve overall curb appeal.” Cost: If your mailbox just needs to be cleaned or painted, the cost is next to nothing. If it needs to be replaced, you can find very inexpensive mailbox-and-post kits at your local home-improvement store. Common curb appeal mistakes Once you have an idea of which curb appeal projects to tackle, you don’t want to waste time or money. Here are some common goofs to avoid: Going overboard: Don’t get caught up in making every upgrade possible. “One of the common mistakes I find when it comes to curb appeal is a homeowner doing too much,” Charlie says. “There can be such a thing as too many trees or too many flowers.” Stewart provides an example: “While a full garden may look beautiful to a seller, potential buyers may see it as difficult for upkeep.” Undertaking projects with no return on investment (ROI): A feature you may love could be seen as a liability to the next potential owner. One prime example is the installation of a lawn water feature like a fountain: “Fountains are beautiful to look at and create a very relaxing environment, but they cost more and are a recurring cost through their water consumption,” says David Steckel, a home expert at Thumbtack. “There is no ROI to a fountain.” Making bold changes: Stick to neutral shades for things like kitchen and bath tile, and especially for exterior paint. “One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is painting their homes a loud, outrageous color,” Charlie says. “Veer toward more of a classic look that will appeal to a variety of people.” Not consulting your HOA: If you live in a home governed by a homeowners association, confirm that your planned upgrades are within its rules. “Sellers should check the bylaws before making any improvements that must go through the HOA for review,” Stewart says. Quick tips for hiring a home pro If you’re hiring a professional to execute any of your curb appeal ideas, remember to: Check online reviews: Look to see what past clients say about the contractor you’re considering. Ask for recommendations: Real estate agents, friends, neighbors and family members can be great resources for finding good home pros. Get a firm bid, in writing: To make sure there are no surprises when it comes time to pay your bill, ask for a bid rather than an estimate. An estimate is like window shopping, says Charlie, but a bid puts hard numbers to the project. “When you decide to use a vendor, make sure that they give you a final bid for what the work is going to cost, so there are no surprises down the line,” he says. https://www.aol.com/finance/boost-home-curb-appeal-200138803.html

Equestrian Dream Home in California Relists for $70 Million

A sprawling oceanfront estate in California that’s loaded with lavish amenities, including a private polo field and a huge wine cellar, is headed back to the market late on Monday for $70 million, Mansion Global has learned. Known as the Bella Vista Estate, the property sits on more than 20 acres in Summerland, a town nestled between the small seaside city of Carpinteria and the celebrity-favored enclave of Montecito. The estate has tried the market before, having been listed with price tags as low as $55 million and as high as the current $70 million ask over the past few years, listing records show. It even went under the hammer, but a sale never materialized. It’s being sold by hotelier Patrick Nesbitt, and his wife, Ursula, and at its heart is a lavish Mediterranean-style mansion, which comes with a host of high-end amenities. These include a 5,000-bottle wine cellar with an adjoining tasting room; a disco/ballroom that can accommodate up to 200 people; a 20-seat movie theater; a sports bar; a beauty salon; a gym; and a spa.

The Closing: Aaron Kirman

Los Angeles’ top residential broker cuts a casual figure, but wants you to know things are getting serious with his new venture. Aaron Kirman, who’s known for spinning trophy properties while sporting T-shirts and jeans, made headlines in late 2022 with news that he was establishing his own brokerage in partnership with AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate. “We’ve just begun,” said Kirman, who topped The Real Deal’s 2023 rankings with $1.1 billion in on-market sales. He’s added some top names to his team so far, scooping up Cindy Ambuehl, ranked 16th on TRD’s 2022 list of top Los Angeles brokers with $268 million in sales volume and Joe Babajian, a top L.A. agent in the 1990s and 2000s whose career was derailed by scandal (but Kirman calls one of the best agents he’s ever met). Kirman balances developing a brokerage with his forte: Selling homes. Bullish on Los Angeles, with aspirations to expand across Southern California’s luxury scene, Kirman sat down with TRD to break down leveling up, the new definition of luxury and why he can’t watch real estate reality TV. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Born: Sept. 24, 1978 Hometown: Los Angeles Lives: Los Angeles Family: Husband What were you like as a kid? I had a really bad speech impediment. I couldn’t say the letter R. I also had severe learning disabilities, severe dyslexia. So my younger years were not so easy. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t talk. On top of it, I knew I was gay at a young age, and that had something to do with my self-confidence. What’s your earliest memory of real estate? My parents couldn’t afford to move, but when I was about 10, I said, “Mom, let’s go look at houses.” I forced her to call a fancy real estate agent in the area, and I remember being in her Jaguar looking at houses. Around the age of 16, I would break into mansions I knew were empty, because I wanted to see what was inside. I wanted to feel it, and I wanted to be part of that world. How did you translate the home visits into getting legitimately involved in the industry? As a teenager, I still had really bad dyslexia and couldn’t hold a job. People liked me, but I made too many mistakes. I was hired by this guy, Alan Long [Legittino, formerly of DBL Realtors], to be an intern at his company. I got fired from that because, of course, I made mistakes. The minute I got my license, I kind of flourished. The minute I was not working for somebody and had to take responsibility, it was meant to be. What was your first deal? A small little house in the Valley for like $200,000. I did what everyone else did, I hustled and sold one, then sold two. What did you spend your first big real estate check on? Even when I was poor and I didn’t have a whole lot of money, I always chose to live really well. When I was 17, I went to my mom and said, “I’m gonna go into real estate. No one’s gonna take me serious because I’m too young to begin with. I need a Mercedes, and I need a nice one.” She thought I was crazy. But she figured out a way to get me a Mercedes. As I started getting a little bit more money, I would always get the newest, nicest car. But I lived with my mom until I could buy my first condo. A car feels like a very Los Angeles answer. It’s different for different people. Once you reach a certain level of success, you no longer have to do it. When you’re young, people don’t take you that seriously unless you have the right look. You came up with the rise of social media. What has that done in your career? When social media first started, I dismissed it. But one time I was on a plane with a billionaire who was 78 and on Facebook at the time. I’m like, “Oh, my goodness, if this guy is on, I need to embrace it.” At one time in this business, it was who you knew and who you had access to, and that’s it. Today, I teach that we can get to anyone in the world through social media. It is an added layer of time, energy and money. To do it right is very time-consuming. But you feel like you’re still getting return on investment there? Absolutely. It’s an integral part of brand and keeping in alignment with your buyers and your sellers. Also, as a broker-owner, it’s great for recruitment. You founded the Aaron Kirman Group under the Compass umbrella in 2018. What’s it like building a team with your name on it? I made so many mistakes. We brought on 50 people our first year, and they were the wrong 50 people. I remember losing a lot of money. Now I know somebody’s gonna be successful pretty quickly. Half of my assistants are top producers, some of them are selling hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars a year. You have three offices now, and sounds like plans for more. How are you mapping where to go next? We’re not quite there yet. Our goal is to dominate Southern California luxury. So we’re gonna be in all the markets where luxury exists, where there’s room for new entrants. People are tired of the old companies, they’re tired of Compass, tired of Coldwell, tired of Berkshire [Hathaway HomeServices]. Speaking of the new wave, you joined the ever-growing population of real estate agents to venture into reality TV with “Listing Impossible” in 2020. How was that? All the shows out there now are all about showing fancy houses and people and pretending like we live these glamorous lives making hundreds of millions of dollars. I wanted to show the real life of what we do every day. The stories we did were hard stories; there were people losing a ton of money on houses that were impossible to sell. We documented that. People can get really rich in real estate and make a ton of money, and people can also lose their shit. Do you keep up with any of the real estate shows? I can’t watch it on my off time. A, a lot of them are not real. B, a lot of it is like fakely put together and C, it’s like watching a bad version of my real day. I honestly would rather eat razor blades. No offense to “Selling Sunset” or Jason [Oppenheim.] Just the thought of having anybody in real estate in my bed freaks me out. How do you take a break? It’s a week off. But I never just take a vacation. Anytime I take a trip, my husband and I are working. We are meeting developers, we are meeting builders, we are meeting clients, and it makes me a ton of money. Not only is the trip paid, but I make a big check along the way. On top of building those relationships, how early do you typically get involved with a new project? The earlier the better. Nothing drives me more crazy than bad houses. I hate them. A lot of time, securing the good houses means I have to be somewhat involved in the architectural process, studying the floor plans, the design. How do you evaluate an aspirational property? I always do my best to figure out who the buyer is. I always do this completely fake story of what that person or people are looking for. But sometimes people surprise you. I once listed a house, thinking someone in their 30s or 40s with a lot of money is going to buy. I sold it to an 86-year-old. The One was a big property that made headlines early on, all over the world. How did you get involved, and did you know what you were getting into? That house was really tricky. I was honest, I was sincere about that — I told [developer Nile Niami’s ex-wife] Yvonne, and she bought in. Eventually, though, we were all hired by Nile Niami, and that didn’t work out. He wasn’t a seller, and then it went to a trustee. We pushed the trustee because the house wasn’t going anywhere. There was too much conflict with too many owners. The trustee fired us after we had fought to get them higher. We were devastated. We had already worked on it for like a year and spent a lot of money. Eventually that trustee got fired. So we were fired twice before we even got to market. There was a new trustee, and I remember telling my partners at the time, “Don’t go in with all the history. Let’s just go in with the here and now.” That trustee hired us and turned out to be an amazing business guy. I pitched the auction strategy because I knew it was going to be a complicated sale, so we wouldn’t have to worry about contingencies and all the liabilities. I’m proud of it. It might have been a disappointing number for some of the investors, but the house had no certificate of occupancy and needed $50 million worth of work. You really emphasize marketing and branding. What was it like thinking about that outside image through such a turbulent process? Just another day at work. I love marketing and advertising and I love media, where you can tell stories. In order to sell houses, we also have to tell the story of the house. I can never guarantee an outcome because I don’t know what a house can sell for. But I can guarantee I’m going to bring it to all the right people, and that’s going to determine the destiny of that sale. How do you bring it to all the right people? They’re relationships. Part of my history was figuring out where wealth is. I always called myself a wealth curator. I have always chased the wealth. And when wealth is coming into the United States, I’m at the forefront. When Russia was the big money here 15 years ago, I was in Moscow, I was in St. Petersburg, doing tequila shots with an oligarch. How are you making the jump to a new stream of wealth or client you don’t already know? I usually know a connector. So I know one person who will lead to the next, to the next. Not to sound arrogant, but I always tell my clients there’s really nobody in the world that I can’t get access to. We hear a lot from brokers who, you know, would target events like F1 races. I don’t do that. I’m not that social, and I feel like sometimes I’m a little awkward in a room. I’m about intimate settings and taking somebody to dinner. So I stay away from Formula One, but I’ll call the people that run Formula One when it’s not happening and try to get to know them in a different way. Have you ever had to get creative to get in contact with somebody? You’re not going to get to that guy that manages $80 billion if you don’t have a connector. Sometimes connections happen by just living life. Some of my best connections, I was not trying to get business. I was at the gym, I was eating, I was on Air France. If you’re looking too much, people smell what I call commission breath. When you have it, nobody wants to be part of that. You embrace the casual approach, jeans and a sweater. You’re not a suit guy. If I could wear sweats every day of my life, I probably would. When I was 18, in my first real estate interview, the interviewer told me, “You might want to not wear those jeans again.” I think they were a little baggy. It kind of hurt my feelings at the time, but I moved on. Do you see that translate to real estate or the type of money you’re working with? The days of those glossy white marble showcase houses are done. People want simple, beautiful, elegant. Yeah, I think “Succession” kicked off this term, but it sounds like quiet luxury has made its way into the real estate market. There’s reasons for that, right? The world has changed. People don’t like to show off any more. I think luxury has evolved into something that’s bigger and better than it was. https://therealdeal.com/magazine/february-2024/the-closing-aaron-kirman/

Top 10 Entrepreneurs to Follow in 2024

Amidst the vibrant landscape of business in 2024, today we introduce you to the 'Top 10 Entrepreneurs to Follow in 2024' – a group of leaders making waves as the 'Best Business Leaders' of the year. From digital marketing to real estate to success coaching, these entrepreneurs have made their mark in their respective fields and bring diverse backgrounds to the fore. Join us as we explore their stories, strategies, and find out why they are someone you will definitely want to keep an eye on on this exciting journey. 3. Joshua Morrow, Entrepreneur Meet Joshua Morrow, an Estate Director of AKG | Christie's International Real Estate which is a brokerage of 180+ agents. With over $1.9 billion in team sales by 2022, Joshua's leadership has shined, helping AKG | Christie's International Real Estate to become the #1 real estate team in Los Angeles. Hailing from Atlanta, Joshua transitioned from music to real estate, winning awards and selling dream homes. Now in Beverly Hills, he not only excels in property deals, but also advocates for issues such as homelessness, children with special needs, struggling youth, suicide prevention and supporting shelter animals. Despite professional victories, Joshua respects his friends, considering them an integral part of his family. After experiencing temporary homelessness at age 21, he understands the value of real relationships. His dream extends far beyond real estate success; He instinctively wants to support his family and provide shelter to needy children. His hobbies include flying, traveling, and learning about different cultures and foods around the world, having visited over 50 countries. In the symphony of Joshua's life, AKG | Christie's International Real Estate, friends and family create a harmonious chord of success, compassion and real relationships. https://biz.crast.net/top-10-entrepreneurs-to-follow-in-2024/

6 Features That are Devaluing your Bathroom Right Now, According to Realtors — How Many are in Yours?

Bathroom renovations don't come cheap, but this isn't a place for compromises. As one of the most practical places within the home quality should always be a priority, and skimping on the job could come at a bigger cost than you first thought. Whether you're planning a full-scale renovation or only have the budget for some DIY updates, you'll want to make sure your bathroom is free from features that could devalue your home. Be it a dated style or deeper underlying issues, there are plenty of things you might have learned to live with yet will stand out like a sore thumb to prospective buyers. If you want to increase your chances of a sale, it's vital that you pay close attention to the modern bathroom features that will add value, as well as those that won't. To find out more, we spoke with some professional realtors to learn exactly what to avoid to give your bathroom the biggest appeal possible. Here's what they had to say. 1. INADEQUATE VENTILATION It might not be an obvious thought, but a lack of adequate ventilation in a bathroom can really impact the value of your space, say experts. As steamy spots, it's vital you avoid a build-up of moisture and condensation which could lead to bigger problems further down the line, especially in small bathrooms. 'Overlooking ventilation is a big mistake,' explains Yawar Charlie, director of estates division at AKG | Christie's International Real Estate. 'Without proper airflow, your sleek bathroom could become a damp, moldy mess. It’s like hosting a fancy dinner and forgetting to ventilate the kitchen – a surefire recipe for disaster.' To keep everything smelling fresh and looking clean, be sure to install a fan or, at the very least, functioning windows. 2. A LACK OF LIGHT These days, it's increasingly common for bathrooms to be built without external windows. If you can't improve the natural light within your space, make sure you have plenty of artificial bathroom lighting, including a practical light source and one that serves a more aesthetic purpose. As California-based real estate agent Lindsey Harn notes: 'The bathroom should always be light bright and clean.' Yawar agrees. 'Treating lighting like a trivial detail?' he asks. 'Think again. The right lighting can make your bathroom look like it’s straight out of a luxury magazine. It’s the difference between a masterpiece and a missed opportunity. Aim for a mix of overhead and accent lighting to keep your bathroom looking lit (in all the right ways).' A simple way to improve your bathroom and add a hint of luxury to appeal to potential buyers is by adding some strip lights behind a mirror for a backlit effect or flanking a vanity with sconces. 3. SIGNS OF MAINTENANCE NEGLECT 'Any signs of mold, mildew, or cracked tiles can really devalue a home, as it may be signs of even more problems that you can’t see,' Lindsey says. While you may have ignored these niggles for so long that you no longer notice them, visitors are sure to spot any signs of neglected maintenance as soon as they cross the threshold, so make sure you carry out any updates before your property goes on the market. In the majority of cases, these sorts of updates are easy to do yourself. Treat any mildewy areas or flaking paint with a fresh lick of anti-mold paint, and consider regrouting and resealing your shower or bath if it's looking worse for wear. The same goes for the likes of dripping faucets, chipped tiles, or poor water pressure. these inexpensive bathroom upgrades can make a world of difference. 4. UNIFORM MATERIALS You might think that mismatched materials make for the cleanest, most appealing look in a bathroom, but Yawar says that couldn't be further from the truth. 'Using the same material everywhere is like wearing socks with sandals – just don’t,' he says. 'Your bathroom deserves better.' While decking your space with the latest bathroom trends might be tempting, a space that's dominated by only brushed brass hardware could be overkill. The same goes for stones like marble, too. 'Mix it up with different textures and materials,' says Yawar. 'It’s not just about functionality; it’s about creating a space that has its own personality. A little variety can transform your bathroom from blah to beautiful.' 5. OUTDATED FIXTURES AND FITTINGS Outdated bathroom trends are a surefire way to turn buyers away from your home, according to realtors. 'Outdated flooring, such as carpet in the bathroom or vintage vinyl, can be a real turn-off,' says Lindsey. Rather than buy into passing fads that quickly date your space, opt for timeless features instead that will guarantee a return on your investment even in years to come. The same goes for unique design choices, too. While we're all about expressing your own personal style, it might be worth toning things down if you're trying to sell. As Lindsey points out: 'Super loud colors, wild wallpaper, or outdated chandeliers can really devalue a space.' A lick of neutral paint before you put your home on the market can bring bathroom space back down to earth and will have wider appeal. 6. INSUFFICIENT STORAGE Last but not least, don't fall victim to the pitfalls of bathroom storage - and by that, we mean a lack of it. 'Neglecting storage is like having a library with no shelves - chaos ensues,' says Yawar. 'Sleek, smart storage solutions are essential to keep your bathroom looking organized and elegant.' 'A cluttered bathroom is a style faux pas you don’t want to commit,' he goes on to explain. 'Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place.' If space is at a premium, look for multifunctional solutions that don't sacrifice style for seamless storage that isn't even noticeable (but be sure to point it out to any prospective buyers!) 'By steering clear of these pitfalls, your bathroom renovation will be less about fixing mistakes and more about basking in the glory of a job well done,' Yawar adds. Now you can have a bathroom that buyers won't be able to forget! https://www.livingetc.com/advice/6-features-that-are-devaluing-your-bathroom-right-now-according-to-realtors-how-many-are-in-yours

How to Calculate Square Footage (And Why Most People Mess It Up)

If you’re looking to add a useful life skill to your metaphorical tool kit, consider learning how to calculate square footage. There are countless situations when calculating how many square feet are in a space comes in handy, from renting or buying a home to furnishing a place. The ability to calculate square footage also unlocks the door to lots of DIY projects. To help teach you how to calculate square footage and how to use this knowledge to your advantage, we consulted two experts who work with this metric every single day: Greer Bronson, a Los Angeles–based real estate agent for AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate, and Anne McDonald, a Minneapolis-based interior designer with a background in construction. Thanks to their insight, we’ve outlined everything you need to know. What is square footage? Square footage is the two-dimensional area of a space measured in square feet (which is sometimes denoted as sq. ft.). It’s the total area of every bit of floor in a room, home, or building. The term “usable square footage” is often used in real estate or interior design settings to describe the portion of the square footage that can actually be lived in, so it wouldn’t include an unfinished basement or a technical closet. How do I calculate square footage? Bronson and McDonald agree that, in the simplest terms, the formula for calculating square footage is length (in feet) multiplied by width (in feet). But in reality, calculating square footage is more complicated than this basic formula, because many rooms are not a perfect rectangle. So the two experts helped us break down what you need to do, step by step. Step 1: Measure the space. Before you can calculate the square footage of a space, you need to determine its dimensions. Dimensions typically include length, width, and height, but you won’t be using height to calculate square footage. You can easily determine the length and width of your space with a tried-and-true old-school tape measure, which is how McDonald prefers it be done. Simply stretch the measuring tape from one side of the wall to the other and record each accurate measurement on a piece of paper. For rectangular rooms, measuring the length and width is straightforward because there are only two measurements to take. When it comes to oddly-shaped rooms, we recommend dividing the space into smaller, rectangular sections and measuring the dimensions of each one. Measuring each niche and nook on its own will make it easier to calculate the square footage. If you’re calculating the square footage of an entire home, you should also measure closets, hallways, and staircases. You can also use newer technology, like a laser measuring tool or a 3D camera, to determine the dimensions of your space. Appraisers often use such tools because they have the ability to calculate square footage for you too. “There are a lot of ways to measure digitally and I've seen that becoming more prevalent,” Bronson says. “The top two machines that I’ve seen are the Magpie and Matterport. Magpie is a laser that you can shoot at the wall and it'll calculate it all for you and create a floor plan. Matterport is a 3D camera that creates 3D house tours.” Step 2: Apply the square footage formula. Once you have measured your dimensions, you apply the formula, length x width, to determine how many square feet are in your space. If you’ve divided your space into smaller rectangles to account for an oddly shaped room, you apply this formula to the dimensions of each rectangle and then add all the products together to get the total square footage of the space. The same formula works if you’re determining how many square inches, square yards, or square meters are in a space, assuming you’re measuring in those units of measurement. Alternatively, you can use an online square footage calculator, which does the math for you when you plug in your measurements. Why should I know how to calculate square footage? For renting, buying, or listing a home. According to Bronson, knowing how to calculate square footage is crucial if you’re renting or buying a home because the listing is not always accurate. “On a lot of listings, there'll be a caveat like, ‘Agent does not confirm square footage. Please measure yourself.’ Or something along those lines so they can't be held liable if they’re a few square feet off,” she shares. Calculating the home’s square footage yourself will ensure it’s accurate and you’re getting what you pay for. Similarly, knowing how to calculate square footage is helpful if you’re a homeowner listing your home too. “It allows you to get the best, fairest price for your listing,” Bronson explains. “If your house is actually larger than you thought, then you could get a lot more money for it. And vice versa, you don't want to dupe your seller or your potential buyers. You want to give them as much information as possible so there are no bad surprises.” For designing a home. As an interior designer, McDonald uses the square footage of a home to dictate the cost of a project. “Right out of the gates, planning how much the client is going to spend on furniture, as well as how much time it’s going to take us to do what we do, comes down to square footage,” she confirms. And though it’s not an exact science, she’s currently developing a formula to calculate how much her average client spends per square foot on furniture, materials, and design fees. Square footage also comes into play when McDonald sources and arranges furniture, especially in a living room. Of course, larger rooms require more furniture than smaller rooms in order to fill the space—but they’re also styled differently. Living rooms with more square footage tend to have floating furniture, which means the furniture stands away from the walls. The sofas are closer to the center of the room, while accent pieces occupy the perimeter. In smaller rooms, the walls are used to anchor the furniture. “Larger rooms, you float and smaller rooms, you don’t,” McDonald says. “When I think about the potential of a room, I immediately think, Are we floating the furniture or not? And if we’re floating it, then everything gets upped. The amount of spend on that room gets upped. My design time gets upped because it’s just a lot more involved. It just breaks down to square footage.” For a DIY home improvement project. General contractors use square footage to figure out the amount of materials they need for any given project by dividing the square footage of the space by the square footage of the material. This then makes it possible for them to determine the total cost of materials. You should do the same when embarking upon a DIY home improvement project, whether you’re painting the walls, installing new flooring, or tiling a bathroom. This will allow you to both acquire everything you need with one trip to the store (or online shop!) and be prepared for the financial undertaking of a project before you start. Just remember to buy 5–10% more materials than you’ve calculated that you need, in case of unforeseen events like spillage and breakage. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/how-to-calculate-square-footage

Mansion above Sunset Boulevard pushes up asking price to $43M

The Bird Streets and adjacent neighborhoods want to fly high on asking prices. A newly constructed mansion in Hollywood Hills West at 1680 North Doheny Drive listed on Jan. 24 for $43 million, making it one of the priciest offerings in the enclave above Sunset Boulevard. The seller is Texas-headquartered entity Caydon La Hills Residential Property, a limited liability company linked to Australian developer Caydon Property Group, which bought the property in 2018 for $5.4 million. At a time when the luxury market is soft, a number of sellers in the Hollywood Hills and Bird Streets markets are looking up. According to a Zillow search, the next priciest option in the neighborhood is in the Bird Streets at 1380 Mockingbird Place, priced for about $40 million. Another area home in the same price range is 1851 North Stanley Avenue at $38 million. Outliers include the mansion at 1898 Rising Glen Road, which listed for $78 million during October. The Doheny Drive home’s listing agents are Aaron Kirman of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate and Branden and Rayni Williams of The Beverly Hills Estates. Kirman said he was bullish on the price for the house because of its architectural design by Vantage Design Group; it’s built into a rocky promontory overlooking Los Angeles. “It’s a super trophy site,” Kirman said. Jason Oppenheim, a veteran of Bird Streets deals and president of The Oppenheim Group, forecast the property would sell somewhere in the $30 millions. “I think it’s on the low end of aspirational,” Oppenheim said of 1680 North Doheny. While he forecast that the Bird Streets area market would eventually command asks of $100 million, the current market probably would not justify the asking price for 1680 North Doheny. Oppenheim brokered area deals such as 8408 Hillside Avenue, where he served as a co-listing agent for a $36 million deal in 2019. He currently represents a neighboring house to 1680 North Doheny. His listing with Mary Fitzgerald at 1375 North Doheny Drive has an ask for $28.5 million. Based on more than an acre, the 13,500-square-foot house features concrete and steel materials, according to a listing description. The home also offers amenities such as a commercial elevator, 4,000 square feet of outdoor deck space, an infinity edge pool, a spa and gardens with a citrus grove. https://therealdeal.com/la/2024/01/26/mansion-over-sunset-boulevard-pushes-asking-price-to-43m/

‘Case Study’ Architect Pierre Koenig’s Own Modernist House Is Selling for Nearly $5 Million

The personal Los Angeles residence of Pierre Koenig—a mid-century architect behind some of the city’s iconic Case Study Houses, including one of the most recognizable homes in the U.S.—has hit the market for $4.995 million. “Pierre Koenig is one of the greatest architects of our time and created the most photographed home in Los Angeles, the Stahl House, so to own his residence is a trophy unto itself,” said Dalton Gomez of Christie’s International RE | AKG, who is handling the sale of the property with colleague Aaron Kirman. Koenig built the steel home—historically archived as “Koenig House No. 2” by the L.A. Conservancy—for himself and his wife, Gloria, in 1985. Staggered over three-levels, the light-filled three-bedroom residence has an open floor plan with rooms that either flow together or are divided by glass walls. At its center is a three-story atrium, crisscrossed by walkways and staircases that connect the two sides of the upper floors. The house “is extremely unique because of the all-metal infrastructure,” Gomez said. “The bedrooms open up to the living space, which then opens to the courtyard, which gives the home this type of jewelry-box feel,” Gomez said. “The front room was used as [Koenig’s] office,” he added, and the space is still intact. “It’s interesting to think what properties and work he created in that office.” For potential buyers, the most appealing part of the home could be that “it comes with bragging rights that it was chosen by Pierre to be the space he lived and created in for so many years,” he said. The house remained in Koenig’s family for some time after his death, and was restored by his stepchildren. It last changed hands in 2017 for $3.46 million. The owners couldn’t be reached for comment. Koenig, who was also a professor of architecture at the University of Southern California, died in 2004 at the age of 78. His “sleek glass-and-steel houses became emblems of the progressive values of Postwar suburbia,” the Los Angeles Times wrote in his obituary. He was integral in the creation of the city’s Case Study Houses, which were experiments in American residential architecture sponsored by the now-defunct Arts & Architecture magazine. Prominent architects like Koenig, along with Charles and Ray Eames, A. Quincy Jones and Ralph Rapson, were challenged to design and build replicable, inexpensive and efficient model homes as the U.S faced a housing boom caused by the return of millions of soldiers following the end of World War II. Koenig’s Case Study House No. 21, the Bailey House, and No. 22, the Stahl House, are possibly the most famous of them all. The Stahl House, which in 2013 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1959 and has since been the backdrop in numerous fashion shoots, films, and advertising campaigns. It was made famous by a Julius Shulman photograph showing two women relaxing in a corner of the house with a panoramic view of the city through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls behind them. https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/case-study-architect-pierre-koenigs-own-modernist-house-is-selling-for-nearly-5-million-9d26b122

You Can Own This Architecture Icon’s Personal L.A. Home for $5 Million

It’s rare to own a home from one of the greats of modernist architecture, especially one that remains true to the architect’s original design. It’s even more extraordinary to own one designed by the architect as his own home. Archived by the L.A. Conservancy as “Koenig House 2,” a 3,000-square-foot residence in L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood that midcentury master Pierre Koenig built in 1985 as his personal residence is now available for $4.995 million. Aaron Kirman and Dalton Gomez of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate hold the listing. Koenig died in 2004 at the age of 78, and his wife Gloria owned the carefully maintained home until 2017, when it was sold for almost $3.5 million. The kitchen and bathrooms have since been updated in a manner that respects and complements Koenig’s original designs. A series of interconnected cubic volumes that step back from the street, the home represents the late-career apotheosis of the innovative architect’s design ethos and his vision for residential architecture in the 21st century. Koenig was an early adopter and champion of industrial, prefabricated, and economical materials, and his designs often made use of natural ventilation. The three-bedroom and two-and-a-half-bath home’s I-beam steel-frame armature supports vast expanses of glass and a 30-foot ceiling in the central atrium that is crisscrossed by a geometric assemblage of bridges and staircases. Beyond the secured gates and serene courtyard entry, the main-floor living spaces include a fireside lounge, a cozy, shelf-lined library nook, and a sleekly updated, open-plan kitchen and dining area that spills out to the swimming pool. The 30-foot interior atrium creates a vertical space where, on hot days, warm air rises and escapes through the atrium to cool the home. Clerestory windows shower the atrium with natural light, and interior walls of glass allow the sunlight to filter into the upper-level bedrooms. And because the Koenigs were music lovers, ceiling heights were carefully planned for an optimal environment for listening to and playing music. At the back, between the house and a detached garage, a courtyard patio has a small swimming pool with an automated cover. The back of the garage cleverly peels open to create a huge, covered patio for alfresco entertaining. Koenig is best known for Case Study House #22 (the Stahl House) in the Hollywood Hills, often cited as one of the most photographed houses in the world. The previous year, he designed the less dramatically sited yet no less innovative Case Study House #21 (Bailey House), also in the Hollywood Hills, for which he and Gloria posed for promotional photographs. https://robbreport.com/shelter/celebrity-homes/pierre-koenig-los-angeles-home-for-sale-1235488356/

Mansion Built Into a Hollywood Hills Cliffside Lists for $43 Million

A newly constructed Los Angeles trophy home that takes living in the Hollywood Hills to another level has hit the market for $43 million. Not simply within the neighborhood, the 13,500-square-foot contemporary abode, set among the city’s posh Bird Streets, is built directly into the hills themselves. It’s also among the priciest homes currently for sale in the Hollywood Hills. “The home is recessed 110 feet into a granite cliff,” explained architect Russell Holthouse of Vantage Design Group, which designed the property. “Very few homes have this site and situation.” It’s “a structural concrete house,” Holthouse added. “Which is extremely rare in Los Angeles, and designed to last an eternity.” The five-bedroom property took a whopping eight years to build, according to Aaron Kirman of AKG Christie’s International Real Estate, who is handling the sale of the home alongside Branden and Rayni Williams of the Beverly Hills Estates. The result is “the ultimate castle in the sky,” that’s “one of the most unique trophy estates in Los Angeles,” Kirman said. Inside, the open-plan home has a cantilevered glass living room, a dining space, and a kitchen with stone counters. Its many amenities include a gym, a yoga room, a spa, and a primary suite with a private sitting area, a spa-like bathroom and a walk-in closet. There’s also huge walls of glass that open up to the outdoors, a sculptural staircase, warm wood accents, automated blackout shades, a commercial elevator, a 12-car garage and far-reaching views. Outside, drought tolerant landscaping is joined by walking paths and a citrus grove, as well as a sizable 4,000-square-foot deck space that has an infinity edge pool with a spa and a sunken seating area. “The sunken fire pit with jetliner views of the city gives you the quintessential L.A. life,” Branden Williams said. https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/mansion-built-in-a-hollywood-hills-cliffside-lists-for-43-million-e3d59109

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