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Celebrity Realtor Reveals What Stars Are Looking for in a Home

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Author Dennis Lehane inks a deal for Westchester home

Author Dennis Lehane, whose popular novels include “Mystic River” and “Shutter Island,” is ready for the next chapter on the Westside. The writer has put his Playa del Rey home on the market for $2.85 million and bought another property nearby in Westchester for $2.395 million, records show. He’s not gaining any living space — at 4,698 square feet, his new spot is two square feet smaller than the old place — but the outdoor areas are a bit bigger. The frontyard boasts gardens and a putting green. In the backyard, there’s a saltwater pool, a spa and a patio topped by palm trees. The house itself spans three stories. Entered through double doors, the main level features arched doorways, wood-framed windows and floors clad in hardwood and tile. Highlights include a kitchen with an oversized island and a family room with a dramatic wall of built-ins. Smart-home capabilities, a game room and a movie theater with a wet bar are among amenities.

Top-Producing Realtor Barbra Stover Joins Real Estate Powerhouse Team Aaron Kirman Group

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Oct. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Barbra Stover, a prolific Los Angeles-based real estate professional regularly recognized as a top-producer for closing a multitude of million-dollar deals and for her recurring starring roles on 'Million Dollar Listing' and 'Selling L.A.,' announced today, she's joined Aaron Kirman Group at Compass. Stover joins billion-dollar producing team Aaron Kirman Group and will serve as Director of Aaron Kirman Group's Luxury Estates Division based in their Beverly Hills headquarters. "Barbra has extensive experience working with high-profile clientele, and is a proven and respected professional in the industry," said Aaron Kirman, president of Aaron Kirman Group at Compass. "We are delighted to have her join our team as a director within the luxury estates division." With over 18 years of experience, Stover credits her expertise to fostering trusting relationships with her discerning clientele, the majority of whom are repeat and referral. Stover has received numerous accolades including multiple "Top Producer" awards for her multi-million dollar sales, and her passion for interior design has landed her features on HGTV's "Selling L.A." and Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles." Prior to joining the Aaron Kirman Group at Compass, Stover previously worked with Rodeo Realty and Coldwell Banker's Beverly Hills East Office. Some of her notable past clients include the late Dr. Jerry Buss, Eriq La Salle, Gerald Levine, and Dennis Lehane. "I'm thrilled to be a part of this amazing top producing luxury real estate team," said Stover. "Aaron Kirman Group has the technology, tools and expertise that opens more doors to endless possibilities for me and my clients." Founded in 2017 by Aaron Kirman, President of International Estates at Compass, Aaron Kirman Group has grown into a billion dollar-producing real estate team built on a single guiding principle: to build a team where a group of like-minded individuals could support one another to rise together in competing within the most dominant and competitive market in the world. Based in Beverly Hills, California, Aaron Kirman Group is consistently ranked among the top 10 top producing teams by Wall Street Journal and Real Trends, setting price-per-square-foot records throughout Southern California. Check out Aaron Kirman and his team on their raved-about new show, Listing Impossible on CNBC. For more details, visit www.aaronkirmangroup.com or on Instagram @aaronkirman.group. Stover can be reached at 310.902.7122, stover@stoverestates.net and www.stoverestates.com.

Yawar Charlie Talks Real Estate, Acting With Millionacres

Yawar Charlie has made his mark in two different careers: as an actor and a real estate agent. He combined those two on the CNBC show Listing Impossible, where agents work to convince clients to follow their plan to make difficult million-dollar properties sell. Charlie is the grandson of Noor Mohammed Charlie, a Bollywood pioneer and film legend. After dozens of movie and television roles, the younger Charlie turned his focus to real estate and now is with the Aaron Kirman Group. Below, he shares insight about how he makes it all work and what he sees in the real estate market around him. So, what do you like better: acting or real estate? Be honest! And tell us why. I fell in love with real estate as a long-term career after buying my first home and thinking of ways to make the process better. I was getting typecast in stereotypical TV roles because of my ethnicity, so after helping friends with their real estate needs as a hobby, I decided to become a licensed Realtor. I was lucky enough to have found a second career in real estate where I was able to use my creative communication skills. I used my entertainment connections and started a very successful career. Now I'm really in charge of my own destiny. As I like to joke around and tell my clients and friends, my acting degree did not go to waste because I use those skills every day in real estate! You always must be on, focused, and ready to roll with the punches no matter what stands in your way. Much like acting! What was your favorite role as an actor, and why? I would say my favorite role as an actor was one of the last theater tours that I did where I played Romeo in a production of Romeo and Juliet with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Often when you look how I look, you get typecast as the villain, and this was one of the first opportunities I had to show the romantic leading man side of my personality. What was your favorite transaction as a Realtor, and why? That would be my first deal. I sold my best friend's parents a home, and let's just say my friend's father was less than pleasant to work with. He put me through the paces, and the transaction was a court-approval probate transaction, and I had never done a deal before. So not only was it educational, but I had to be on my toes because I had a very difficult client to deal with. But I'm happy to say that I got the deal done, got him a great deal, and even got some referral business after it. I told myself if I can do this, I can do any transaction! When did you buy your first home for yourself, and when did you buy or sell your first home as a Realtor? How do you compare the experiences? I bought my first home after I had just appeared on a soap opera and saved up enough money for a down payment. I used a casual friend who happened to be a real estate agent and unfortunately, he was bad at his job. I found that I was doing a lot of the research on my own, and that's where I developed my interest for real estate. Once that transaction was over, I realized that this would be a great supplemental career to my acting. But within a year, the real estate took over and I've been doing it full time ever since. I remember how hard it was as an artist to save up my money for my first down payment, and I've never lost that feeling. I try to carry that feeling forward to every transaction, so when I hand my clients the keys to their new home, I know the thrill they must be experiencing, and I'm very thankful to have been part of the experience. When I sold my first property, I remember again being so aware that this was a very personal experience for the seller, and I wanted to respect their space. I wanted to find them a good client to take over the home that they showed so much love to. Overall, the experiences are very similar because at the end of the day, if you're trying to create abundance for your clients, your approach to buying and selling are the same. Do you do more work with sellers or buyers? I feel like organically it comes in waves. There are times of the year I have nothing but buyers, and then suddenly I'll have multiple listings going at the same time. There's no rhyme or reason, but I will tell you that right now with interest rates so low, I do have a lot of buyers trying to get into the market. How does the work you do on camera with Listing Impossible reflect real-life real estate agent work? Be honest! Do you have to redo takes, for instance? And is it hard to get clients and others to agree to be on the air? The great thing about working on Listing Impossible is that it's a very accurate portrayal of what it takes to sell real estate in Los Angeles. When you work in the ultra-luxury market, inevitably there's going to be challenges with selling that home. Our show accurately depicts the challenges of selling homes that have been sitting on the market or are problematic in other ways. It's called Listing Impossible for a reason. Everything you see on screen happened, and the personalities you see are exactly how they are in real life. The production company handled the coordination of the clients and houses that you see on TV, but each of us had personal relationships with the people that we represented on the show. We're giving our clients the opportunity to appear on camera. Some of them opted to do it, and obviously some opted not to. But again, what you see is what you got.

As-Is Real Estate: What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know

Before putting their homes on the market, some sellers make expensive renovations that may or may not significantly improve the home’s resale value. Other sellers don’t want the hassle and expense of spiffing up their properties, and decide to market a home “as is.” When you see a home that’s being sold in “as is” condition, what exactly does that mean—should you be worried that the property is a money pit? Is an as-is listing a wise strategy for sellers? Here’s what all parties need to know about these two little words. What does “as is” mean, anyway? Historically speaking, when a house was sold “as is” the home was in disrepair, says Katie Falk, partner at the Falk Ruvin Gallagher Team of Keller Williams Realty in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. In the current seller’s market, however, the term is not necessarily as negative as it once was. “Selling a house ‘as is,’” Falk explains, “typically means that the seller wants the buyer to accept the condition of the home as it is upon writing an offer to purchase.” This means that the seller does not want to fix anything that may come up during the inspection, she says, nor do they want to engage in negotiations with the buyer. However, buyers who engage in as-is transactions are not necessarily stuck if problems arise. “There are times where an inspection is performed after the offer is accepted on an ‘as is’ property,” Falk says, that “reveal issues that the seller was not aware of, such as a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace or leaks in the basement in an obscure corner.” In those scenarios, she explains, buyers who agreed to purchase a property as-is may request that newly discovered problems be corrected. As Is: The Upside For sellers, the advantage to marketing a house “as is” is they avoid the hassle of costly and time-consuming repairs on the home they’re selling—and buyers know this in advance. Sellers may be “aware of siding that may need to be replaced, masonry work needing repair…scratched hardwood floors, and a need for an exterior paint job,” explains Ellen Schwartz, a licensed associate real estate broker for Compass who works with clients in Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Offering the home “as is,” however, is the seller’s way of acknowledging up front that the house needs work, but they’re not willing to deal with those repairs themselves. Buyers know that the inspection is only for informational purposes, Schwartz adds. Since an as-is home is not necessarily in disrepair, says Falk, sellers can benefit from adding this description to their home’s listing—particularly in a seller’s market, when it’s common to receive offers from multiple buyers. “Along with price and terms is the inspection contingency,” she says. “The seller does not want [the inspection] to be a contingency at all.” In other words, if the inspection reveals problems with the home, the seller still isn’t willing to negotiate the buyer’s original offer. Buyers who willingly enter into as-is deals should be careful about making too many demands of sellers. A real estate transaction “can become prickly,” Falk warns, “if the buyer is requesting repairs and the seller is adamant about not making any changes.”

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.

If You’re Looking to Ward off Bad Luck in 2021, an 18th-Century House by Oxford, England, Could Do the Trick

The newly listed country home, asking £2.25 million, was once part of Christ Church College and comes with rare “witch marks” A U.K. country house with a centuries-old security system “to protect against evil spirits” was listed last week for £2.25 million (US$3.1 million). A series of witch marks can be found throughout the exposed 17th-century wood beams of the house, which is located in the village of Garsington on the edge of Oxford, according to listing agent Samuel Lamb, a senior negotiator at Knight Frank Oxford. “They are quite rare actually,” he said. “They were known to have warded off evil spirits.” The property also was once part of the University of Oxford’s Christ Church College, and served as the kennels for the school’s hunt, Mr. Lamb noted. The Old Kennels, as the home is known, has a Grade II historic designation, which denotes a building of significant architecture. Sitting on just over an acre of land, the home has six bedrooms and three bathrooms, plus a partially converted barn, and former stables and kennel buildings. It boasts period details such as vaulted ceilings in the barn, open fireplaces and a paneled front door believed to date from the 17th century.

Newly Built Miami Beach Estate Headed to the Market for $21 Million

A newly constructed Miami Beach estate designed by renowned Italian architect Achille Salvagni is being listed today for $21 million. Mr. Salvagni creates custom furnishings and interiors for luxury properties and yachts and the house “is his masterpiece,” said listing agent Oren Alexander of Douglas Elliman. Set on roughly a third of an acre that includes 111 waterfront feet of Miami Beach’s exclusive Surprise Lake, the property features a 90-foot infinity pool at the water’s edge, a private boat dock, patios and covered balconies. The two-level, 7,951-square-foot home, which features six full bathrooms, one half bathroom and seven bedroom suites, has several iconic interior sculptural elements, including a statement bronze staircase and curvilinear walls. Large windows visually connect the two floors and merge the indoor and outdoor spaces. A grand entry gallery leads to a double-height living room and a dining room, which is off the professional chef’s kitchen that features sculptural custom cabinetry adorned with 24-karat gold-leaf detailing.

Historic London Mansion Unveiled as Boutique Development

After an extensive five-year makeover, a London mansion that’s been home to a veritable who’s who of London’s well-to-do has been transformed into a boutique apartment building with prices starting at £1.25 million (US$1.74 million). Formerly home to the likes of Lord Arthur Hobhouse, a High Court judge; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s solicitor; and Oswald Vaughan Lloyd-Davies, a surgeon whose clients included members of the royal family, the Marylebone property’s six apartments hit the market Tuesday with listing agencies Aston Chase and Beauchamp Estates. More: London Luxury Housing Made a Surprising Resurgence in February The units comprise a four-bedroom duplex designed around a central courtyard garden; an “ultimate bachelor pad,” with high ceilings, a balcony and a terrace; a pair of two-bedroom apartments; a three-bedroom spread; and a one bedroom home, according to a news release from the London-based brokerages. The Georgian-era house, now six units, was home to a laundry list of London’s well-to-do

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