BestAgents.us proudly announces the recipients of its Top Real Estate Professionals for 2024.

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After declining for weeks, mortgage rates increase

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.39% as of April 13, up from 6.27% recorded last week. One year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.11%. Meanwhile, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.76%. Last week it averaged 5.54%. At the same time in 2022, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.38%. "For the first time in over a month, mortgage rates moved up due to shifting market expectations," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. "Home prices have stabilized somewhat, but with supply tight and rates stuck above six percent, affordable housing continues to be a serious issue for many potential homebuyers." Khater contested that, "Unless rates drop into the mid five percent range, demand will only modestly recover." Aaron Kirman, the CEO of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate, which specializes in Southern Californian luxury real estate told FOX Business that the, "market has been somewhat frozen. Sellers are hesitant to give up their low-interest rates and move, and a lot of buyers have been priced out of the marketplace due to increased interest rates." Kirman continued that, "interest rates rose so fast and so high that buyers are still feeling the sticker shock." Even at the top the ultra-wealthy are hesitant to buy property right now. "They are uncertain if prices will continue to fall, and a good deal is important at any price level. https://www.foxbusiness.com/real-estate/after-declining-weeks-mortgage-rates-increase

Meet Our Agents: Beverly Grove Expert Yawar Charlie

Yawar Charlie’s roots may be steeped in the world of entertainment, but its been SoCal real estate that proved to be his true calling. The grandson of Indian film legend Noor Mohammed Charlie, and an actor himself, Yawar joined Sotheby’s International Realty in 2008, eventually forming The Charlie and Sanchez Realty Group. In the spring of 2014, Yawar and his team made the exciting move to join the international real estate brokers Engel & Volkers, before being invited to join the powerhouse team at the Aaron Kirman Group in 2016, where Yawar has collected a host of accolades—and big sales—since. Some of Yawar’s career highlights include closing 416 property sales in 2021, when he was named as a part of California’s top sales team. Yawar also won Engel & Volkers Ruby award for three consecutive years; has regularly been voted in the top 10 realtors in Los Angeles; and ranked the no. 1 luxury team in L.A.

This Marrakesh-Style Manse on the SoCal Coast Just Hit the Market for $13 Million

This latest listing in California is bringing a touch of Marrakesh-inspired design stateside. Located in the affluent community of Pacific Palisades, the striking old world–style manse at 15217 De Pauw St is a new three-story build with a rooftop spanning 9,705 square feet. The modern home is set on the rim of the Via Bluffs with eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and a four-car garage. Designed by Metro Capital Builders, it boasts an airy indoor-outdoor design with ties to the natural landscape, as well as a number of skylights and large sliding doors that let light in to illuminate its interiors. The retreat-like abode is now on the market for a cool $12.7 million. A vaulted foyer awaits you in the entryway, alongside views of a second-floor lounge area and an overhead skylight. It leads down into the main floor of the residence where more walls lined with Venetian plaster fill the space and accent a floating staircase. Elsewhere on the first level, you’ll find an open-plan living room, dual fireplaces, an office, and a guest suite. Of course, no home is complete without a stunning chef’s kitchen: Unique Viking ranges, a walk-in pantry, Ornare cabinetry, and Cosentino Dekton countertops are just a short walk away from a spacious dining area and two other lounge spaces.

Exclusive Look Inside the Most Expensive Neighborhood in the Country

Before a single home was drafted, a single plot was planned, or a single nail was struck, the land that would eventually become The Case, an über-exclusive new neighborhood in Malibu, was breaking records. Scott Gillen, the community’s developer and designer, bought the bluff-side plot in 2017 for $50 million, and, at the time, it was the highest price ever paid for undeveloped land in the city. Though an immense cost, it was seemingly worth every penny. “This is probably the best bluff in all of Malibu,” he tells AD. “It might even be one of the best bluffs in all of California.” On his new land, Gillen pictured an extraordinary neighborhood, one that would combine staggering midcentury-inspired architecture with unmatched privacy and exclusivity. The Coastal Commission of California and city of Malibu approved plans for five homes, all five of which Gillen designed. Though the project has taken longer than expected due to the pandemic, it’s now nearly done. “We have all five houses standing,” he says. “Three houses are complete, one is on the market, one is in escrow, and the last two are headed towards completion.” The first in the series to come to market, The Edge, listed for $70 million in January of this year. With each home ranging in price from $70 million to $115 million, The Case will soon be the most expensive neighborhood in the country. “There really is nothing like it,” Aaron Kirman of AKG|Christie’s International Real Estate, the listing agent for the neighborhood, says. When complete, The Case will surpass Star Island in Miami, currently considered the priciest neighborhood, where homes cost $40 million on average, according to Bloomberg. The Case will make Paradise Cove, the priciest region in Malibu, look cheap: Homes only cost about $6.2 million there, according to research conducted by Zillow on behalf of AD. “With the price point, it really makes for one of the most architecturally unique enclaves in the country,” Kirman adds. Taking inspiration from midcentury design, each home features clean lines, expansive windows, minimal ornamentation, and a deep connection to nature. Every property also boasts similar amenities, including an ocean-facing pool (the smallest is 78 feet, and the largest 144), a media room, and some kind of sport activity like bocce or tennis. Still, “We didn’t want to just copy and paste,” Gillen says. Owners will never attend a barbecue at their neighbor’s place and walk in to find a home that looks just like theirs. All of The Case residences are different size and layout. However, it’s in the homes’ names where one finds their most identifiable feature: The Edge includes a 75-foot infinity pool that appears to spill over the side of the bluff, while the Glass Tunnel gets its name from the central glass-enclosed great room. The other three homes—the Butterfly House, the Cantilever House, and the Flat House—are named after their respective rooflines: a striking butterfly roof, a massive cantilevered roof, and a paired-down flat roof, respectively. The development itself gets its name from a series of midcentury experimental residences designed—and mostly built—throughout Southern California starting in 1945. Known as the Case Study Homes, the project was sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, which challenged leading architects of the day to design efficient and inexpensive model homes that could be used to relieve the housing boom caused by the return of soldiers following the end of World War II. Designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, Eero Saarinen, and A. Quincy Jones participated, and the experiment resulted in some of the most iconic examples of midcentury residential architecture in the United States, including the Eames House and the Stahl House. “The original Case Study Homes were very cheap and efficient,” Gillen says. Instead of replicating all elements of the first ones, the designer chose to emulate the design ethos that these homes brought into vogue with modern twists. “Scott has given all the amenities and design that a buyer would expect at the price point, but with the beauty of the midcentury look, which is very hard to come by,” Kirman says. “I’ll often work with wealthy individuals who say they want a midcentury home, but, when they go in, they feel a little cold or don’t have the modern amenities the buyers are looking for.” Still, as Gillen emphasizes, The Case is more than just a collection of residences—it’s also a lifestyle. Each property sits privately on three to five acres, though communal walking paths wind around the entire 24 acres of the bluff. A staffed guard house oversees the community 24-7, and an on-site concierge service will be provided free of charge for residents during the first 12 months. “The homes are certainly calibrated for those that want the Malibu beach lifestyle and to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Kirman says, adding he’s never seen anything like this in his career. “To have that that kind of privacy, location, and design, and architecture in one spot is impossible to come by and will never happen again.” https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/the-case-most-expensive-neighborhood-in-the-country

Midcentury Modern Estate Once Leased by Stevie Wonder Can Be Yours

Always wanted to live like a celebrity — specifically, a legendary singer/songwriter with countless hits and awards under his belt? Now’s your chance, because the striking Beverly Hills villa that Stevie wonder once called home just popped up for sale in the posh Trousdale Estates enclave, asking a dash under $11 million. With four bedrooms and eight baths spread across more than 6,200 square feet of single-level living space, the mansion offers plenty of room for any like-minded musician to easily relax in style while enjoying sweeping ocean, canyon and city lights views. Famously leased by Wonder from 2011 to 2015, property records show the place was last sold in an off-market deal for $10.5 million in late 2020. “Music has a way of bringing nostalgia to life anytime you enter a room where hit songs have been played,” said listing agent Holland Ashrafnia in a statement. “The walls in this home hold so much history from the ‘Wonder’ days and I had a feeling when I walked this home that if these walls could talk, you might hear Wonder and Quincy Jones reliving their 1972 ‘You’ve Got It Bad’ album days.” Built in 1970, and tucked away on a nearly half-acre corner parcel secured by a gated driveway, the updated Hollywood Regency-style structure is adorned throughout with hardwood floors, high ceilings and wainscoted walls. Amenities include an office, a gym and subterranean four-car garage. Upon entering the double front doors, a foyer flows to a wet bar-equipped family room that connects via a two-way fireplace to a living room, both with sliding glass doors leading out to the backyard. Other highlights include a formal dining room, plus a gourmet kitchen decked out with a central island, an eat-in peninsula, high-end stainless appliances and an adjoining breakfast nook. Secluded in a wing all by itself, the spacious master retreat features dual walk-in closets, as well as a luxe bath spotlighted by a large soaking tub; and outdoors, the private backyard hosts a covered terrace bolstered by ornate columns, along with a grassy swath of lawn surrounding an oval-shaped pool — all overlooking those picturesque vistas. The listing is jointly held by Holland Ashrafnia, Aleks Lipovic, Kyle Siwik and Aaron Kirman of AKG | Christie’s. https://www.dirt.com/gallery/entertainers/musicians/stevie-wonder-rental-house-trousdale-estates-1203630391/steviewonderhouse_bh13/

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/

Stevie Wonder Once Lived in This $11 Million Beverly Hills Home. Now It Can Be the Sunshine of Your Life.

One of Stevie Wonder’s former residences wants to take you to higher ground. From 2011 to 2015, the legendary musician leased the 6,217-square-foot California digs set in Beverly Hills’s affluent Trousdale Estates neighborhood. The gated home at 600 Clinton Place was built in the 1970s with Hollywood Regency-style touches spanning four bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a number of common spaces. Its spacious floor lets in an abundance of natural light and provides you with views of the Pacific Ocean from nearly every corner. If you’re looking to relocate, the luxe urban oasis can now be yours for $11 million. Lush front yard landscaping leads to the home’s front door. The exterior is at once modern and regal. Inside you’ll find soaring ceilings, wood flooring, and classic white paint on the walls that give it a minimalistic finish. The living room lies just ahead with a spacious area for plush seating, as well as a double-sided fireplace and tall sliding doors that open out to the backyard. Further in, you’ll find the chef’s kitchen with luxe stainless-steel appliances such as a double oven, island-set stovetop, and dishwasher. There’s an excess of cabinet space for storing extra groceries and easily finding dishware when hosting guests. Adjacent is a spacious formal dining area with a tall window offering backyard views. The home’s primary bedroom is set on the East Wing with newly renovated finishes, dual walk-in closets, and an ensuite bathroom. A fitness center, office, and four-car garage round out the indoor amenities. “The walls in this home hold so much history from the ‘Wonder’ days and I had a feeling when I walked this home that if these walls could talk, you might hear Wonder and Quincy Jones re-living their 1972 You’ve Got It Bad album days,” says listing agent Holland Ashrafnia of the H Group at AKG | Christie’s in a statement. The abode’s backyard, meanwhile, features a covered patio with recessed lighting and smooth stone flooring. It extends out horizontally with enough space to house lounge seating next to lush landscaping and an oval-shaped pool. Even better, the backyard serves up mesmerizing views of the LA cityscape. For more details, contact agents Holland Ashrafnia, Aleks Lipovic, and Kyle Siwik of The H Group at AKG| Christie’s and Aaron Kirman of AKG | Christie’s who hold the $11 million listing. https://robbreport.com/shelter/celebrity-homes/stevie-wonder-la-home-on-market-1234827361/

When to Consider Giving Your Listed Home a Breather From the Property Market

Taking a break is always a good idea when it comes to rejuvenating your spirit and your energy, but sometimes it can also be a good strategy when you’re selling your house. Years ago, when everything in real estate was less transparent than it is today, sellers whose homes weren’t receiving any offers could take it off the market and put it back on a few weeks or months later without everyone knowing that it was a reboot of an old listing. These days, property records are an open book, so prospective buyers know when a house has been relisted. Still, taking a house off the market can be a smart move in certain circumstances. “The best plan for any home sale is to strategize first to get the price right and your home in good condition,” said Maria Daou, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Warburg in New York City. “If your home doesn’t sell in one to three months, that’s not necessarily a big red flag to buyers in this market. But if you think you’re priced right and your home shows well and you haven’t had an offer after many months, you may want to take it off the market for a while.” When an Unsold Home Becomes a Liability The biggest reason to consider taking your home off the market is to avoid the stigma of being considered “stale.” Buyers often assume there’s something wrong with a house that sits on the market longer than homes in the same neighborhood and price range. They may not visit such a house at all, or they may make a lowball offer. Knowing when a listing is getting stale is notoriously difficult, especially in a slowing market. “The luxury sector of the market has less turnover than other segments,” said Matt Adamo, a real estate agent with the Aaron Kirman Group at Christie’s International Real Estate in Beverly Hills. “If your home is listed at $50 million or above, don’t expect it to sell for at least six months or longer.” For homes priced between $12 million and $50 million in Los Angeles, Mr. Adamo recommends considering a change in the price or marketing strategy if no offers have been made after two months. “After three months, a house in that price range would be considered a stale listing,” Mr. Adamo said. “There’s more inventory available under $12 million, so with a listing in that range I would make an adjustment after one month if there were no offers.” In Palm Beach, Florida, there’s a pullback in sales and prices because buyers are afraid of overpaying, according to Erin Sykes, a real estate agent and chief economist with Nest Seekers International in Palm Beach. “If the house is fairly priced and doesn’t need renovations, then I recommend that sellers be patient and keep it on the market,” Ms. Sykes said. “If it’s overpriced, just do a price reduction.” Dropping to a slightly lower price to get into a new search range, such as just below $5 million instead of just above it, can get the attention of a new set of buyers, Ms. Daou said. Why Delist Your Home The two main reasons to take your house off the market are to improve its condition or to adapt to seasonality in the market, Mr. Adamo said. “If you’re getting feedback that people like your house but they notice stress fractures or that it needs some other work, then it makes sense to take your house off the market to address those issues,” Mr. Adamo said. “If you can do renovations quickly and cost-effectively, then you can put it back on the market quickly with a slight price adjustment.” Physical or virtual staging, reshooting photos and perhaps adding a video can be valuable steps to take while your home is temporarily off the market, Ms. Sykes said. “Sellers and agents got in some bad habits these last two years when things sold so fast that they didn’t need to do much of anything,” Ms. Sykes said. “Now they need to take the time to make it more marketable.” While sellers may be tempted to raise the price after fixing their house, Mr. Adamo recommends against that unless significant changes have been made since every buyer wants to think they’re getting a deal. Sellers may also want to temporarily take their home off the market during the holidays or to relist at a more optimal time. “In Palm Beach and South Florida, the ideal time to list your home is in October or November before the season starts,” Ms. Sykes said. “In the Northeast and the Midwest, you may want to list 30 days or so before the spring market starts.” Time Off the Market When you take your home off the market temporarily and then relist it, the property will come up as a new listing when buyers search for properties. “Agents and buyers know it’s a relisting but they’re likely to take a second look when it pops up, especially if you have new photos and have staged it,” Mr. Adamo said. For sellers who choose to take their home off the market, a big question is how long to wait until they relist it. For homeowners determined to sell at a certain price and who don’t have a specific timeline for their transaction, Ms. Daou suggests taking their home off the market for a year or two, although she acknowledges that even that won’t necessarily achieve their goals. “If you take your home off the market for a few months, do nothing to it and keep the price the same, you’re not likely to get an offer,” Ms. Daou said. “That’s especially true if you hope to get a big number such as $10 million when your place may be worth closer to $8.5 million right now. You may need to wait a year or two in that case, but there are too many unknowns and that may not work.” Sometimes sellers who choose to take their home off the market for a year or more end up in a worse position because of competition from new developments in their neighborhood, she added. “If you haven’t prepped, painted, decluttered and staged your home, then it makes sense to take it off the market, do those things and get new photos taken,” Ms. Daou said. “In that case, you can put it back on the market within a month or so.” The decision to delist your home temporarily is specific to each home and each seller, but there are some circumstances when a refreshed listing can result in a sale. https://https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/when-to-consider-giving-your-listed-home-a-breather-from-the-property-market-8c63c9d1

Billionaire Kombucha King Buys Beverly Hills Acreage for His Castle

Seller John Horejsi Buyer GT Dave Location Beverly Hills Post Office, Los Angeles, Calif. Price $13.9 million Specs Multiple structures Lot Size 2.74 acres If you were wondering who to thank for hoisting the ongoing kombucha craze upon the world, the hat tip goes to George Thomas “GT” Dave. Now in his mid-40s and born and bred in Bel Air, the high school dropout certainly didn’t discover kombucha — a blend of fermented tea that originated in China millenniums ago — but he was the first to commercialize the drink, which is now a $1.7 billion global industry. Nearly 30 years after he founded GT’s Living Foods, which still controls 40% of the U.S. kombucha market, Dave remains CEO and owner of the company. Dave lives in the Beverly Hills enclave of Trousdale Estates, where he owns two very custom, side-by-side homes that have been featured in YouTube videos. But now he’s a billionaire, and the crafty entrepreneur is ready to build a more epic monument to his success; records show he’s paid nearly $14 million for a 2.7 acre hilltop promontory in Beverly Hills.* There’s an asterisk attached to that purchase, because while the estate has a 90210 address and borders the Trousdale neighborhood, it’s technically located within the city of Los Angeles, in an area known as Beverly Hills Post Office, where utilities and services are provided by L.A. and not Beverly Hills. But that discrepancy worked in Dave’s favor, because it means this property is subject to the city of L.A.’s controversial new mansion tax. The seller originally listed the property for sale two years ago, asking nearly $40 million, but the asking price had cratered to under $19 million by the time Dave rolled up. Facing the looming tax deadline and likely desperate to unload the place, the owner agreed to an even deeper discount, and the deal closed just days before the tax went into effect. That seller was Kansas-based race car driver John Horejsi, a son of Berkshire Hathaway billionaire Stewart Horejsi. Records indicate the younger Horejsi cobbled together the three-parcel estate in the 2000s, and the village-like compound sits behind a long gated driveway at the very end of a narrow cul-de-sac, ensuring privacy and seclusion. Currently on the property are three separate single-story houses, all of them painted a sharp crimson, but the seller made no secret that all three are teardowns. The listing noted that the estate is a “true spectacle” with “one of the best unobstructed views in Los Angeles,” ideal for a buyer “with the creativity to imagine their dream home.” No word yet about what sort of dream home Dave plans to build on his newfound acreage. But based on his track record, we’re betting it will be entirely white, ultra-contemporary and very, very sleek. And with spectacular 360-degree views of the entire city, the mountains and ocean, at one’s fingertips, it would make the ideal place to relax, kick back and crack open a bottle of GT’s refreshing Watermelon Wonder. Aaron Kirman of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate represented the seller. https://www.dirt.com/gallery/moguls/power-players/gt-dave-house-beverly-hills-1203628686/gtdave2

Stevie Wonder’s former Beverly Hills compound lists for $10.99M

Isn’t it lovely? This ribbon in the sky of a house looking down upon Los Angeles is seeking a new owner. At 600 Clinton Place, on a shelf in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains with sweeping views of the city and Pacific Ocean below, a four-bedroom, eight-bathroom residence is fresh on the market with an asking price of $10.99 million. Located in the posh Trousdale Estates neighborhood, the Hollywood Regency-style single-story property was once where singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder received his signed, sealed deliveries — which is to say he rented the address from 2011 to 2015, according to materials supplied to The Post. Built in 1970, the “oasis” offers a gated compound on a lushly landscaped ledge complete with an underground four-car garage, a fitness center and an office — plus the bragging rights that come with its 90210 ZIP code. Set on just under half an acre, the home has a little over 6,200 square feet of interior space in sum. Huge square steps lead to the double-doored entry, through which is a columned foyer and, beyond, a fireplace-equipped living room with a bar. The kitchen has cabinets galore, an eat-in island and abundant counter space, and there’s also a separate formal dining room. In addition to the scenic outlook onto the sea and shining metropolis (or smog, depending on the weather), the backyard also boasts an oblong pool and a covered patio area, the roof held up by slender white columns. The listing is held by Holland Ashrafnia, Aleks Lipovic, and Kyle Siwik of The H Group at AKG | Christie’s and Aaron Kirman of AKG | Christie’s. “This home embodies the quintessential LA lifestyle with incredible views from the hills and celebrity neighbors left and right,” Lipovic told The Post of the address. “This neighborhood in Trousdale is so quiet and private, so owners truly have the best of both worlds when it comes to entertaining and living.” https://https://nypost.com/2023/04/05/stevie-wonders-former-beverly-hills-home-lists-for-10-9m/

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