This $18 million Invisible House is the most expensive listing in Joshua Tree — and it’s already a money-maker

Continue reading

AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate Enlists Industry Maverick Josh Ramirez to Lead New Division in Santa Barbara and Montecito’s Elite Market

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron Kirman of AKG | Christie's International Real Estate, one of the nation's top-performing luxury residential sales brokerages, is delighted to announce the addition of Josh Ramirez to the brokerage. In his new position, Ramirez will serve as the driving force behind AKG's expansion into the prestigious neighborhoods of Santa Barbara and Montecito, California. Ramirez brings a unique blend of local expertise, global exposure, and innovative marketing prowess to the table. A Santa Barbara native, Ramirez is poised to elevate the brand's presence, leveraging his in-depth understanding of the area and cutting-edge strategies to forge new paths in these exclusive communities. "I'm thrilled to welcome Josh Ramirez to the AKG family," said Aaron Kirman, Founder and CEO of AKG | Christie's International Real Estate. "With his intimate knowledge of the Santa Barbara and Montecito markets we know he's the perfect fit to help us expand our reach in these coveted communities." Ramirez transitioned to the real estate industry following a successful career in marketing and technology. He joins AKG | Christie's International Real Estate following his departure from COMPASS, where he was responsible for the sale of noteworthy properties such as 900 Las Alturas, which sold for $3.5 million, 242 Ortega Ridge Road, which sold for $3.1 million and 1090 Shokat Dr., which sold for $10.25 million. "When AKG | Christie's International created a unique role to be the first agent to spearhead their presence in Santa Barbara/Montecito, I was beyond thrilled!," said Ramirez. "I refer to Montecito as the 'Monaco of America', due to its Mediterranean climate, coastal living and privacy that attracts royals, celebrities, financiers, (even the King of Spain spent time here) and people seeking a European lifestyle." After spending several years in Sydney, Australia working in the technology industry, Ramirez returned to the states and continued to make waves in the technology and marketing sectors for nearly a decade. As a Director at a renowned publicly-traded technology company, he collaborated with high-profile brands including Sugarfina, Avon, and Road Runner Sports, among others. In 2016, Ramirez's entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found Princeton North, a dynamic creative marketing agency that has since partnered with an array of local and international businesses, such as Belmond, Deckers, and Hoka. To learn more about Ramierz please visit www.joshramirez.com. Ramierz can also be reached at josh@joshramirez.com or 805.455.9066. About AKG | Christie's International Real Estate Founded by Aaron Kirman and headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, AKG | Christie's International Real Estate is one of the nation's top-producing residential sales teams with a total of over $14 billion in luxury real estate sales and over $1.6 billion sold in 2022. Dedicated to infusing innovation and disrupting the traditional real estate sector, AKG | Christie's International Real Estate is consistently ranked among the top 10 producing teams by Wall Street Journal and Real Trends, setting price-per-square-foot records throughout Southern California. To learn more about Aaron Kirman and AKG | Christie's International Real Estate, please visit https://akgre.com and follow us on Instagram at @akg.re. SOURCE AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/akg--christies-international-real-estate-enlists-industry-maverick-josh-ramirez-to-lead-new-division-in-santa-barbara-and-montecitos-elite-market-301784611.html

Inside a Legendary $16,000,000 Canyonside Mansion

Today Architectural Digest takes you up into the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles to visit Garcia House on Mulholland Drive, a legendary mansion designed by architect John Lautner that was recently on the market for $16 million. TRANSCRIPT I'd like to welcome you to the world famous Garcia House built by the architect John Lautner. It's located at 7436 Mulholland Drive in sunny Los Angeles. Look at that house. It speaks for itself. The shape, the style, the uniqueness, the way it was built, the fact that it has the best views. It's not just a house. We believe it's a work of art, and it's all on the market for $16 million. It was meticulously restored by John. I'm John McIlwee and I'm the owner of the Garcia House. John Lautner was a master and the things that he did with his property, on the site really made it so incredibly special. Love to show you guys around. [gentle music] It actually took us about four years to build this pool. Two years to get the permits and two years to build it. What was kind of phenomenal about this is we had the original designs for the pool that John Lautner had come up with in 1960. The original loaners couldn't build it because the house was so far out that no bank would give them a loan. So we inherited the plans, and as you can see, decided to build them. It's one of my favorite places in the entire house because you get to see the entire green of the canyon and in the hills, especially in LA, it is sunny from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM which is completely unique and totally valued for having a pool. What I also love about this pool and this was my decision, was it's salt water. [gentle music] So the staircase is actually kind of the heart of the house. It's this spiral staircase that comes down from the entrance, spills you right into the deck, and we've created this custom sitting area from an artisan in Silver Lake. One of the amazing things about this deck is it's hand poured terrazzo built in 1960. You can imagine, and knock on wood there's not one crack in the entire thing. [gentle music] So this is the living room, and John Lautner was kind of famous for creating and introducing one spectacular living space in each of his houses. It's got 30 foot high windows, which you know, in Los Angeles everybody wants a view. So we're in the Hollywood Hills, you can see the ocean and Catalina and so everybody kind of comes over and goes crazy. We wanted this actually feel like it was a tree house suspended in the air. The house is built on V-shaped struts. It's the same engineering as suspension bridges. There's some stained glass windows in here. There's a red one, a purple one, and a green one. The hardware and the hardscape is original. Unfortunately, people had painted over the original wood. They had taken and cut out part of the promontory there, the extension of the dining room space. We had to replace and rebuild a lot of the things and base it off the original designs that he had. One of my favorite features in this entire place is this lava rock. It's here in the fireplace. It's over in the kitchen on kind of linear walls. It was imported from Hawaii. One of the things that was interesting and we had the good luck to be able to actually meet the original owners. Russ Garcia was a composer. He needed to be able to work and compose his music and Gina, his wife, was a big entertainer, so she needed to be able to have a place where she could have hundred people parties and it would not affect his work. So literally that was the directive they gave John Lautner. It's actually two equidistance spaces under an arched roof. The house does not meet in the middle. It's completely open to the outside. So you can see we have this massive living room that you can hold a hundred people in here easily. If you look over here, this is the metal frame of the house. John Lautner was a master of engineering. He died glass straight through the wood, and so basically all of this glass detail, it's seamless. So the whole thing is on this crazy steel beam that runs through the entire length of the house. [gentle music] So if you can tell this is my baby. It's a fiddly fig that actually has gone crazy here. One of the reasons is it thinks it's outside. It's actually inside. So it's grown like exponentially, but it's completely protected as you can see. So there's this amazing relationship between the indoor and outdoor, and as you can tell it's completely covered by this roof. So you actually feel like you're outside when you're inside during the day. [gentle music] This is the kitchen. It's kind of become the heart of the house. I think with so many properties people tend to congregate in the kitchen, and it's one of the things that we just believe strongly in this house is I want people to come over. I want. [phone ringing] Hello? Actually, it's a wrong number. That's a wrong number. Original birch cabinets were painted over with this weird gun metal gray. People want to have, when you do a renovation they want to have usable kitchens, usable bathrooms. So basically the architects that we use, Marmol Radziner, we worked with them to kind of like have their input and their advice about how to bring this into the modern day but also make it seem original. There's honed granite countertops. The original countertops were black formica. So we basically were able to use something that looked like black formica, was new, because we had to replace it anyway, and then basically gave us something that was contemporary yet seemed like it was original. The entire kitchen we did a project with the appliance company decor. And the appliances, it was this black graphite line that they had that completely worked with the style and the design of the house. It looks like it could be original but it's also new technology, and that was one of the things John Lautner was so adamant about. There's better technology, there's better resources, if there's better materials or systems, a hundred percent he wanted people to use it. So what's interesting about this space is when I say this was a broom closet, it was actually a broom closet. We were able to reconfigure the systems 'cause it was a water heater and air conditioner and drop them under the house. We had to source and find this lava rock from Hawaii and we added it on this plane, and if you can see, the window dies into the wall which was one of the things John Lautner was so famous for. We had to rebuild the deck out front. So we actually were able to find a terrazzo maker that had to reconfigure and find from scratch the composition for the original terrazzo because we had to re-pour it out there. When we built this space we decided to add this here and we were very very diligent with making sure that anything that was here that we put in looked like it could have been here. [gentle music] So this is the primary bedroom. Originally, Russ Garcia's piano was over here where he would compose his music. Lucite bed was made by Charles Hollis Jones. One of the favorite things I have about this room is we put in this wall to wall custom carpet by a company called Ed Fields. [gentle music] So this is the bathroom and obviously this is my favorite place to take a bath. The faucets were made by a company named Paul and Associates, originally designed in the eighties. The stone in this room is called honey onyx and we decided to use this throughout the lower level in this living space because we love it and at night it actually resonates and it glows. [gentle music] So this is what we decided to make our TV room. It's comprised of two original small bedrooms with a shared bathroom. So there was this kind of philosophy which was if something had been ripped out or ruined, you could take liberties to put something back that made more sense. We put the wall on the mullion. So you can see here, they're equidistant things. The original wall was where this piece was right here. It kind of didn't make any sense. So basically the guy, even though he kind of ruined it did us a favor because it allowed us to move a wall and make this really beautiful, very cozy TV room. Once again ,our friend Charles Hollis Jones, more Lucite. He made these incredible end tables. You know, one of the cool things about this room is that we needed to figure out some way to spatially make it feel bigger. So what we did is we added this mirror here and it I don't know if you can see it, but it's actually peach veneer. [gentle music] Wanna come down and see the outside? Follow me. [gentle music] So basically you come down from the living room and we created this walkway that goes all the way over to the pool. There's about 200 different species of plants. A majority of them are agave, aloe, and succulents. This is actually kind of a really rare species of cactus. It is a verde cactus. On one side, it's green, on the other side it's white. So basically, I don't know where you found this thing but it's this crazy monster that again is as happy as can be living at the Garcia House. [gentle music] Well, that's it. I hope you guys enjoyed the time and I hope I was able to give you guys some insight to our 21 year project. This is one of the most unique properties in the world. There's only three of them in the considered space age era. The two other houses are Hemisphere and Silver Top. This is the architectural triumph. There's nothing like this in the world. This is really a piece of art and they really brought back the house to its world class grandeur that it deserves, and it could never be built again. And it's all on the market for $16 million. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/video/watch/on-the-market-inside-a-legendary-16000-dollars-000-canyonside-mansion

Buy it like Beckham! As Brooklyn and Nicola say they’re ‘saving’ for their dream LA home, POLLY BRINDLE from Selling The OC picks the mansions on the market that just might fit the bill

Newlyweds Brooklyn and Nicola Peltz Beckham have announced that they intend to settle in Los Angeles and are looking to buy their dream marital home. While Brooklyn has a net worth of around £7 million and heiress Nicola is the daughter of a billionaire, the celebrity couple claim they are 'saving' for the right one. Brooklyn, 24, and Nicola, 28, bought a £7 million five-bedroom, five-bathroom house in Beverly Hills in 2021. However, they sold it less than a year later, planning to move to Florida — a decision Nicola now admits was 'silly', since all their work is in LA. Now the pair are on the lookout for somewhere to call home and, suffice to say, the usual two-up, two-down starter home most 20-somethings make do with won't cut it. Luckily for them there's no shortage of suitably fabulous LA mansions on the market. £10.5 million: Sauna made of healing Himalayan salt Five bedrooms, nine bathrooms Listed by Alex Huerta, Peter Cornell and Emma Hernan at The Oppenheim Group At first glance it may resemble a multi-storey car park, but, in fact, this is a modern masterpiece set high in Beverly Hills. Just off the master suite is what the agents call a 'private glam room', which features a hair salon, his 'n' hers dressing rooms and a glass-fronted shoe display room. And although they seem more snakes and ladders people, there is a huge sculpted chess board on the lawn of the main garden. Worth £40 million between them, the couple could snap up this beauty and be mortgage free. Polly says: 'This house has a sleek, chic and modern zen vibe, and I've never seen such a large spa inside a private residence. There's even a Himalayan salt sauna, with the walls made out of salt bricks which have healing properties.' £47.8 million: Smart house with bathrooms to spare Eight bedrooms, 21 bathrooms Listed by Shawn Elliott at Nest Seekers and David Parnes at The Agency This 'modern Spanish masterpiece' has eight bedrooms and 21 bathrooms, so even if the whole Beckham clan came to stay there'd be no banging on the door for the loo in the morning. Situated in Bel-Air, the house also has state-of-the art 'circadian rhythm' lighting that adjusts automatically to project just the right amount of light for the time of day, its own 36-seat cinema, two pools and a professional basketball court. £121 million: Chef's kitchen for a cookin' whiz Nine bedrooms, 14 bathrooms Listed by Aaron Kirman at AKGRE Inc The price tag is a little hefty so Nicola may have to ask her billionaire daddy for a loan, but this Bel-Air mansion has 360-degree views of LA and Beyoncé as a neighbour. All nine bedrooms are en-suite and there are five spare bathrooms thrown in, too. There's a huge chef's kitchen, fitted with Miele and Gaggenau appliances, that's big enough to host Brooklyn's film crew for his Cookin' With Brooklyn YouTube show. Better still, the separate staff accommodation features a 'prep kitchen', where a maid or butler could peel a carrot or butter some bread should Brooklyn be too busy to do so himself. Polly says: 'This footprint of this house is enormous. It's like a resort and allows you to have eyes over the city, but without having to leave home.'

This real estate agent to the stars (clients reportedly have included Rihanna, JLo and Justin Beiber) says you should be ‘hyper-focused’ on this when house hunting

You might have seen Los Angeles-based realtor Aaron Kirman of the Aaron Kirman Group (AKG) at Christie’s International Real Estate on CNBC’s “Listing Impossible.” Or seen his name in print, as his team frequently lists celebrity homes (clients reportedly have included Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj, as well as royals from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). Or just heard his name around town: Annually, he and his team sell more than $400,000,000 of real estate, according to real estate news outlet The Real Deal. So we decided to ask Kirman: Even if a buyer doesn’t have a ton of loot to drop on a home right now, what should they know about the market? Here’s what he told us. If you’re planning to buy a home, even if it’s not a mega-mansion, Kirman, 44, says it’s important to consider interest rates (see the best mortgage rates you may get now here), inventory and housing prices — as well as these 4 things. 1. Go deep into the comps “Comps are readily available and fully transparent. Active or pending sales don’t dictate the market, actual sale prices do, so you should be hyper-focused on sales prices in your research,” says Kirman. When looking at comps, realtors suggest taking the neighborhood, square footage, features and amenities into consideration to make sure you are making as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as you possibly can. See the best mortgage rates you may get now here. 2. Try to take the emotion out of the purchase This may be easier said than done, especially if you form an attachment to a home after you’ve toured it and fallen in love with it. “I realize homes can be an emotional purchase because it’s where we live, but at the end of the day, everybody wants to make a sound financial decision. It’s crucial that your decisions are based on good economic sense that will be good for your financial future,” says Kirman. Pros say that once you’ve submitted an offer, make sure the house checks out during inspections and don’t talk yourself into overlooking minor issues, especially if they’ll cost a significant amount of money to fix. Know your spending limit, draw a line and try to wait until after the home is officially yours before you really fall in love with it. 3. Do your diligence on potential real estate agents “[This person should be] an adviser you trust and respect. They should be looking out for your best interest and not their own,” says Kirman. Said another way, the realtor you’re working with shouldn’t be showing you properties you can’t afford or those that may close in their favor, unless they’re financially sound for you. Consider interviewing at least three realtors to get a sense of what each can offer you. And don’t be afraid to ask questions during the interview process about what your relationship with them will look like, what their familiarity with the area is like and what their buying and selling process is like. 4. It’s very hard to time the market “There’s really not a right or wrong time to buy as we’re not smart enough to time the market, so buy when your finances are in place and the time is right for you,” says Kirman. That said, this market has made it tough for many to buy. “Many first-time buyers will likely be on the sidelines until interest rates and housing prices begin to calm down. However, as we head into spring, I do believe housing prices will begin to level off,” says Kirman. https://www.marketwatch.com/picks/this-real-estate-agent-to-the-stars-clients-reportedly-have-included-rihanna-jlo-and-justin-beiber-says-you-should-be-hyper-focused-on-this-when-house-hunting-78a11d61

Special Report: Residential Real Estate Agents – Agent of Change

Aaron Kirman had a busy 2022. He was one of the agents behind the sale of The One, a Bel Air mansion that sold for $141 million at auction, shattering the previous record for a home sold at auction. Then, at the end of the year, he left brokerage Compass for Christie’s International Real Estate. He spoke with the Business Journal about his record-breaking year, new brokerage and thoughts on the industry. How was 2022 for you? How did it compare to other years? Last year was absolutely incredible. We had a record-breaking year. We sold about $1.4 billion, so as you can tell, we had a record-breaking year with some of the most significant luxury sales in the nation, including the sale of the famous “The One,” at $141 million. We represented a ton of celebrity clients, including Robby and Ida Williams, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. We also represented the Sugar Ray Leonard house. A highlight for sure was when we opened up our own brokerage with Christie’s International Real Estate to make the leading luxury brokerage in the country. Has leaving Compass for a new home impacted your business? Yes, leaving Compass was an incredible decision for us. We opened our own brokerage in partnership with Christie’s International Real Estate, which has been unbelievable. Oftentimes, when you open a new company it’s slow, but not with Christie’s. We’ve had buyers, sellers and agents from around the globe wanting to be part of our new brokerage. Since launching, we’ve listed some of the most amazing estate and architectural homes across the country, including Stradella Court for $150 million, the Davis Castle for $87 million, and some of the most significant architectural properties around the globe, including the Invisible House and the Garcia House. Was 2022 a buyer’s or a seller’s market? It depends on the timing of 2022. The first two-and-a-half quarters were definitely a seller’s market, with the last two quarters transitioning into a complicated market, which leaned into a buyer’s market. However, there were variations to the rule based on neighborhood, house, location, etc. We saw the uber-high end was relatively unaffected. What was the most challenging aspect for you as an agent this past year? It was such a weird year. It was so powerful in the beginning, and then it changed so quickly. We’ve never seen a real estate market change so fast. Going from the hottest market in the world to what became quite soft very quickly. The biggest challenge was inventory. We did not have a lot of inventory, and still do not. The second biggest challenge is having the demands of sellers and buyers met because the buyer expectation and the seller expectation is on a very different plane. Has Measure ULA, also known as the mansion tax, impacted the way people are viewing real estate? Do you anticipate it doing so this year? I think Measure ULA caught a lot of people off guard, and it feels like a very unfair measure that never should have passed. It’s written terribly and does not account for variations between commercial and residential properties, wins, and losses, and it will absolutely have an effect on the Los Angeles marketplace and should be repealed immediately. What kinds of property are buyers investing in in 2023 and beyond? Currently, it’s a bit all over the place. We are still seeing a remarkable demand for vacation destinations. We’re also seeing a lot of foreign money come back into the space, while also noticing a lot of stateside money being spent abroad. What is ‘hot’ right now and selling well? In the luxury real estate market, the hottest properties right now are the ones that are either done, newly constructed or have been newly remodeled. People are still feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as a result they are valuing their space, privacy, security and the ability to work from home. What is the outlook for first-time buyers? With interest rates as high as they are now and with the lack of inventory, a lot of first-time buyers will likely be on the sidelines until interest rates begin to come down. What is your outlook for the rest of the year? I am cautiously optimistic about the outlook this year. The big challenge this year will be inventory, which I think will stay low. However, I am remaining hopeful that in Q3 interest rates will decrease, driving movements back up again. — Hannah Madans Welk https://labusinessjournal.com/real-estate/agent-of-change/

Pritzker Family Heir Buys John Lautner’s Garcia House for $12.5 Million

The Garcia House, a Los Angeles home designed in the early 1960s by the famed architect John Lautner that appeared in the 1989 movie “Lethal Weapon 2,” has sold for $12.5 million, just over two months after coming on the market for $16 million. The buyer is Nicholas C. Pritzker, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Pritzker is a member of the Pritzker family, which made much of its multibillion-dollar fortune through the Hyatt Corp. hotel chain. Mr. Pritzker couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. The property came on the market for $16 million in January. It dates to the 1960s but has since undergone a $1 million renovation. The interiors feature glass walls juxtaposed with lava rock and gray terrazzo floors. A stairway separates the living and sleeping areas. There are three bedrooms. The sellers are Hollywood couple John McIlwee and Bill Damaschke, who purchased the house from the actor Vincent Gallo for $1.2 million in 2002, property records show. Mr. McIlwee is a business manager in the entertainment industry, and Mr. Damaschke is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. In an email, Mr. McIlwee declined to comment on the identity of the buyer, but said that he and Mr. Damaschke were thrilled to have “found the next custodian to carry on the John Lautner Garcia House legacy.” “We chose to pass on other offers because we wanted someone that shared our common goal of preservation and integrity,” he said. “As for price, we feel like it was totally appropriate for the house and confirms architecture as art.” The almond-shaped house, which is elevated 60 feet off the ground on concrete caissons, looks like something straight out of “The Jetsons,” and is widely regarded as one of L.A.’s most significant Midcentury homes. When it came on the market earlier this year, architect Leo Marmol of Marmol Radziner, whose firm helped restore the house, called it “a beautifully exuberant, graceful structure.” The house was originally built in the early 1960s for Russell Garcia, a film composer and conductor, and his wife Gina Garcia. It spans around 2,600 square feet with three bedrooms and sits on 1.2 acres overlooking a canyon. It has a large balcony. A central outdoor staircase separates the bedrooms and the living areas, which have glass walls juxtaposed with lava rock and gray terrazzo floors. Messrs. McIlwee and Damaschke worked with Marmol Radziner on a more than $1 million renovation of the property after purchasing it. The renovation included repairing the roof and rebuilding the terrace. They also dusted off Mr. Lautner’s old plans for an ellipse-shaped pool that no previous owners had built. Weston Littlefield of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate shared the listing with Aaron Kirman and Dalton Gomez. Nichole Shanfeld of Carolwood Estates represented the buyer. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pritzker-family-heir-buys-john-lautners-garcia-house-for-12-5-million-75980ee6

This LA mansion is staring down an April 1 deadline before the seller loses millions

The owner of this over-the-top, seven-bedroom and 11-bath mansion in Los Angeles is prepared to accept $6 million less than what he paid for it less than two years ago — all to beat a ticking clock. The home features a Kobe Bryant-themed basketball court, car showroom and a 70-foot infinity pool that appears to float some 45 feet above the mountainside, and it’s on sale for a reduced price of $38 million. If it doesn’t sell by April 1, the property would be subject to a looming new, local mansion tax, which goes into effect next month and could cost the owner a further $2 million. The Brentwood estate, now known as the Star Resort, was built by veteran spec developer Ramtin Ray Nosrati, who sold it back in 2021 for $44 million. According to public records, the almost 16,700-square-foot residence was purchased by the trust of wealthy investor Jeffrey Feinberg, who runs Feinberg Investments. Malka told CNBC yearly real estate taxes on the Star Resort run his client around $550,000 a year, plus about $20,000 a month in utilities. “Plus, the staff and so on, so probably a million dollars of expenses [per year],” Malka said. About a year after buying it, Feinberg put the home back on the market for $48 million but couldn’t find any takers. Feinberg brought in Dan Malka of Ikon Advisors to implement a more aggressive pricing strategy, and the original asking price was chopped down $10 million, or almost 21%. To put that price cut into perspective, it amounts to the home dropping almost $64,000 in value every single week for 94 weeks straight since Feinberg bought it. Trying to unload an expensive mansion in the midst of a banking crisis with the LA real estate market softening and uncertainty looming large isn’t exactly great timing. Feinberg, like all luxury mansion sellers in LA, is also contending with the new mansion tax approved by voters in November. The ULA tax, as it’s called, was designed to “fund affordable housing projects and provide resources to tenants at risk of homelessness,” according to the city of Los Angeles website. It’s levied on the seller as a transfer tax upon the sale of a home, or any real property, that trades for $5 million or more. For homes priced between $5 million and $10 million, sellers will have to pay the city 4% of the total sale price. For real estate trading north of $10 million, the rate increases to 5.5%. The new tax is on top of the city’s current 0.45% transfer tax. And it’s levied based on sale price, not profit, which means sellers will have to pay up even if they’re already taking a loss, as could be the case with the Star Resort. The city’s website includes a tax calculator, which estimates ULA and city transfer taxes owed on a $38 million deal at $2,261,000, or just under 6% of the total deal. For many high-end home sellers and their agents, the race is on to lock in profits and close on a sale before the new tax takes effect. But for Malka, who wouldn’t discuss his client by name with CNBC, the pressure is on to get the best price and rein in his client’s losses before the new tax takes them even higher. “That’s why we decided to give a good price cut and send a signal to the market that my seller is motivated to sell and that he wants to move on,” said Malka, who still holds out hope he can broker a deal before the first of the month. After CNBC’s report on the mansion and looming tax bill was published, Malka reached back out to CNBC on Friday to add that the current pricing is intended to pass on tax savings to a buyer willing to close prior to April 1. His client also intends to raise his asking price to $41 million after the tax takes effect with no intention of accepting offers below that price after March, he said.

10 most lucrative places where older Americans can sell their homes, maximize profit and retire elsewhere

It certainly pays to own a home before you reach your golden years. About 80% of Americans age 60 and over are homeowners, with housing wealth accounting for approximately 48% of their median net worth, according to a February 2023 paper published by Vanguard. And tapping into your home equity can provide a lucrative path to retirement (see the best HELOC rates you may get now here) — especially if you move to a less expensive place. About 60% of migrating retirees are moving to less pricey places — and typically extracting $100,000 of home equity in the process. Where you bought your home matters, a lot. Retirees moving out of their primary residence on the West Coast (Washington, Oregon and California) are most likely to be able to maximize the home equity they built up, and then retire and relocate. Similarly, retirees in the Northeast (New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington DC) are also well positioned to come out of a home sale with cash in hand, the Vanguard report reveals. Current Mortgage Rates for March 21, 2023 ​Zip Code 93109 ​Property Value 870,000 ​Loan Amount 696,000 ​Percent Down20% ​Loan Term 30 year fixed, 5/1 ARM ​Credit Score 740 - 759 This data showcases that if you’re planning to depend on home equity to help fund retirement, where you live now matters. Indeed, selling a home and living off the profits “is very viable for coastal dwellers moving inland to the Midwest,” while it might not be for others, says certified financial planner Derieck Hodges. Most lucrative states for older Americans to sell their home in Average ratio of home equity extracted and the destination house price Washington D.C. 174% Hawaii 116% California 77% Colorado 73% Massachusetts 59% Washington 41% New Jersey 33% New York 33% Oregon 33% Maryland 30% Hodges adds: “Since the pandemic, rents have escalated and values of homes to buy have also increased so many homeowners end up downsizing their space but not radically saving that much money after paying for relocation expenses and closing costs on the sale of their home.” Least lucrative states for older Americans to sell their home in Average ratio of home equity extracted and the destination house price West Virginia -48% Oklahoma -36% North Dakota -33% South Dakota -33% Mississippi -32% Arkansas -31% Iowa -29% Alabama -27% Kentucky -26% Nebraska -25% How to get the maximum value out of your home when you sell “One of the best things a retiree can do to get the maximum value out of their home is to be sure it’s in good shape when they go to sell it,” says Jacob Channel, senior economist at LendingTree. For those who have lived in their home for a long time without making any significant changes, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where your home seems dated or rundown. “You don’t need to gut renovate your home, but modernizing your kitchen, replacing a worn down carpet in a high traffic part of the home or even painting and fixing creaky doors can make a big difference to prospective buyers and not only help you sell your home faster, but also receive a bigger offer,” says Channel. Furthermore, Holden Lewis, home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet, says when you have lived in a house for many years, you stop noticing the things that would bother a buyer, like scuffs on baseboards or toilet handles that must be jiggled. “Ask a neutral person … to walk through the home and identify all the little things that might turn off buyers. Make sure the house’s major systems are functioning and aren’t in need of replacement. This includes plumbing, the roof, heating and air conditioning, the electrical system and the water heater,” says Lewis. For her part, Clare Trapasso, executive news editor at Realtor.com, says this year’s homebuyers are really looking for move-in ready homes with curb appeal that are well located. “Those homes are still selling with multiple offers, sometimes over the asking price, depending on the market,” says Trapasso. Essentially, it’s important for sellers to put themselves in a buyer’s shoes. “When buyers walk through a home, their first inclination is to begin discounting the home for items that are in need of repair or upgrade. I’m not a believer in replacing items in order to sell it to someone who is ultimately going to replace it to their own taste, but I do advise my clients to make sure items that are easily noticeable to a buyer’s eye are fresh and in working order,” says real estate agent Morgan Trent of the Aaron Kirman Group at Christie’s International Real Estate. Before selling their home, experts say retirees should pay attention to the real estate market up to 24 to 36 months prior to pulling the trigger. “If the market has taught us all one thing over the past couple years, it’s that it can be very volatile and the value of many Americans’ most valuable asset can severely fluctuate in a matter of months. While there are a number of variables that make up the overall demand in any one housing market, it’s imperative that sellers do their work and understand the market in which they are located,” says Trent. If you’re set on selling, Lewis says it’s imperative to consult tax experts to gain access to the accumulated equity because capital gains taxes could take a bite out of the sale. “A reverse mortgage is a way to extract equity without selling the home and without making monthly payments. Reverse mortgages require financial counseling and shouldn’t be entered into lightly,” says Lewis. Other options for retirees who want to tap into their home equity include applying for home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), assuming they have good credit scores and aren’t debt burdened. “Before you rush into one of these, be sure you understand what you’re getting into. Defaulting on a home equity loan can result in losing your home and a reverse mortgage could make it extremely difficult for you to pass your house down to your children or other members of your family,” says Channel. See the best HELOC rates you can get here. https://www.marketwatch.com/picks/10-most-lucrative-places-where-older-americans-can-sell-their-homes-maximize-profit-and-retire-elsewhere-733d720d?mod=newsviewer_click&tesla=y

Why Real Estate Agents Are Not Thrilled About Your White Kitchen Cabinets

OK, so real estate agents don’t passionately hate your white kitchen cabinets, but they sure do have some thoughts about them. For some, it’s just that they’re so tired of seeing them over and over again. For others, it’s the fact that the long-popular kitchen trend of all-white-everything is finally falling out of favor, making these types of kitchen spaces a harder sell. Five realtors dished about why they dread seeing white kitchen cabinets in a listing, and why you should probably dread seeing them too. They’re falling out of style. Yawar Charlie, director of the estates division at Aaron Kirman Group with Compass, says that people aren’t looking for neutral kitchens as much anymore. “Right now we are seeing a trend towards darker and bolder cabinets,” Charlie says, indicating that the previously sought-after neutral just doesn’t seem to appeal to people the way it once did. “Sometimes people can interpret white cabinets as being boring, or outdated,” he says. They create expectations that traditional wooden cabinets can’t meet. Not all realtors dislike classic bright white kitchen spaces. In fact, Michael Sadis, the founder of IN•HOUSE Real Estate Group, says he loves white cabinets because the classics never go out of style. “What I hate about them is [they’re] all buyers want.” Many buyers will simply write an otherwise perfect home off if they have natural or stained wood cabinets. Their upkeep can scare buyers away. White cabinets can scare buyers off because they can be a lot of upkeep, which might overwhelm some people (especially those with kids or pets, or kids and pets). “Depending on the white material utilized for the kitchen cabinet, white will discolor, show dirt, spills, and scratches,” says agent Karen Kostiw of Warburg Realty. If the maintenance doesn’t scare them away, the lack of a cozy, homey feel might. “To some buyers, an all-white kitchen looks too modern or commercial and lacks warmth,” she says. They don’t make a home stand out. Every kitchen Yashmin Lloyds, a licensed real estate salesperson with Compass, shows her clients these days is a “turnkey” model with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and Carrara white marble countertops. “It’s so boring and unmemorable,” she says. Instead, she prefers homes that stick out in a buyer’s mind, like ones with unique design details, like high gloss lacquer colored cabinets or unexpected hardware. “Blue cabinets are getting more popular and so is sage, which is calming but not at all dull,” she says. They’re not what a buyer has in mind. Finally, the biggest reason a realtor has for hating your white kitchen cabinets: they aren’t what their client wants. “In my experience, the only people that dislike the white cabinets are the ones that have a super specific vision about how they want their kitchen to look,” explains Tom Meaney, a broker associate with Compass. https://www.thekitchn.com/why-real-estate-agents-dont-love-white-kitchen-cabinets-23512265

In Los Angeles, a European-Inspired Estate With Two Houses Asks $42 Million

Handbag designer Tyler Ellis is listing a newly renovated Los Angeles estate with two houses for $42 million. Ms. Ellis purchased the roughly 0.6-acre Brentwood Park property through a trust for $12.375 million in 2016, property records show. The designer and her husband, investor Benjamin Shriner, tapped the home’s original architect, William Hefner, and design firm the Archers to reimagine and renovate an existing house built around 2005 and add a second structure, according to marketing materials. The roughly 6,000-square-foot main residence and the newly built entertainment house overlook a garden, pool and bocce court, according to listing agents Aaron Kirman and Morgan Trent of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate. Ms. Ellis said in an email that after purchasing the home, she and her husband saw “incredible potential” to enhance it further. The couple added about 1,000 square feet to the main house, which has four bedrooms. In the primary suite, they created his-and-hers closets and baths and a “cozy” den, she said. There is also a chef’s kitchen with a La Cornue range and an office with floor-to-ceiling glass French doors. Ms. Ellis said the couple built the home for their family, including their young son and dogs, and intentionally separated the main house to keep it a “discrete family sanctuary” while using the other house for entertaining. The entertainment house is about 5,000 square feet with two bedrooms and a covered terrace, Ms. Ellis said. A hidden button opens a door to a marble staircase that leads to a lower level speakeasy, home theater and a roughly 6,500-bottle limestone wine cellar, according to the listing agents. “As a designer, it’s all about the details,” Ms. Ellis said. More: An Oceanfront Estate in San Diego to Hit the Market for $38 Million She said she and Mr. Shriner are selling because they are “actively looking for our next project to develop.” Ms. Ellis is a handbag designer who founded an eponymous line in 2011. She is the daughter of the late fashion designer Perry Ellis and TV writer and executive Barbara Gallagher. Mr. Kirman said luxury homes are trading in Brentwood Park, though there is very limited inventory because sellers are holding on to properties. “When we see a trophy house like this, we know there’s innate value because inventory is so few and far between,” he said. https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/in-los-angeles-a-european-inspired-estate-with-two-houses-asks-42-million-dac761fe

Other Features