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Category Archives: A – Real Estate

The Art of Urban Living

The first open house takes place this Sunday, September 17, 2:00 to 4:00pm. Experience the art of urban living in this serene yet central, private yet convenient setting.

1123 Curley

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2017 in A - Real Estate, Daily Activities

 

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Privacy Here Abounds.

Mid-century originality blends seamlessly with modern appointments, while traditional formality meets spacious openness, all within well-crafted, impeccably maintained walls. This elegant yet understated single-level property demonstrates refreshing quality through a number of unique characteristics, all the way from the bottom of the long, ascending private driveway, through the red double front doors into the open marble foyer, on out to the peaceful, tree-focused backyard. The formal living room beckons classic entertaining, the expansive library doubles as a serene home office, and the mature foliage presents inviting nature from every viewpoint.

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Upscale yet realistic is just one of many ways to phrase the overall feel of this 4200-square foot home. Suffice to say, this is my favorite listing of the many I’ve previewed in recent weeks throughout Santa Barbara and Montecito, while it also happens to remind me of Woodside! In every way, inside and out, privacy here abounds.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2017 in A - Real Estate

 

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Channeling The King of Cool

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This brand-new construction located at 2002 Loma Vista Drive in the famous and coveted Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills, with a price tag of close to $28 million, offers at least one truly unique feature not to be found in any comparable estate– a certain special appeal to the discerning buyer. On this property– not in the new 10,000-square-foot home that now occupies this land, but rather on this land in the original home that used to be here– lived the “King of Cool,” the one-and-only Dean Martin himself. This fact certainly was not ignored in the new construction process, as from water features and expansive glass, to entertaining openness and ample bar space, the builder wisely chose to emulate the classic crooner’s unmistakable style, updated to present-day standards of course. Such nostalgia, including the daily opportunity to channel Dino’s spirit that no doubt goes on living here, is bound to earn the seller somewhere close to the asking price. I simply hope every bar in the place comes stocked!

If this is where you want to sleep, contact me and let’s make it happen.

dean3

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2017 in A - Real Estate, Famous People

 

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There’s Always One.

You might think a small condominium complex of just 20 units could run itself harmoniously, as familiar neighbors interact regularly, share pertinent information openly, and enjoy each other’s individual freedom of expression. It can certainly happen, especially in a space more than a half century old. Over the years and through the decades, given a changing mix of unique yet sensible residents, the overall way of life should be rooted in peace and mutual respect.

This ideal remains an appealing thought, no doubt. Sadly however, in the case of at least one such complex, you’ll need to think again. What would seem a given proves not to be, as logic and common sense that were once the order of the day, now quickly dissipate in favor of arbitrary, small-minded policing. At this point you ask: How does this happen, and why?

The answer lies in that occasionally useful yet historically logic-lacking and self-important entity called the Homeowners’ Association, or HOA. Within it, the more specific answer hits you like Christmas lights in July:  There’s always one.

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The “one” rises to psuedo-power through a maddening combination of apathy, absence and downright spinelessness. Some homeowners don’t care, others are not around, and the remaining few simply can’t handle confrontation and therefore will accept it. And now you ask yourself:  Care about what?  What exactly is “it”?

It, to elaborate, is the matter of one new resident who’s lived in the complex for a very short time, making her way onto the HOA board and soon becoming the HOA president, voted in by the aforementioned apathy, absence and spinelessness. In other words, who voted her in? Herself and two other people, perhaps? Clearly the voices of 20 homeowners have not been heard, if this new president ever faced any challenge at all.

Now “the one” has taken her unearned place, conveniently comforted and encouraged by one or two fellow residents who’ve decided to support her “vision.” From here, that self-serving vision is off and running, and nothing will be the same again. What once was, for any number of years and decades, will soon be no longer. The complaints begin, the violation letters get written, and new so-called rules are “proposed.” All the while, the apathy continues. The absence remains. And most frightening of all, the spinelessness prevails. “The one” is well on her path to turning a 50-year-old property into her own creation, merely to suit her own narrow idea of what “everyone” wants, all other residents who’ve lived there 10 times longer be damned. The individual freedom of expression that was clearly established on day one now faces extinction, and jaw-droppingly enough, no one seems to feel threatened, at least not enough to fight back.

HOAs-bullies.pngHOAs maintain necessary order, such as keeping tin foil out of windows and piles of garbage off balconies. The element of enforcement, however, can be taken too far, as “the one” in this case has proven. Whether one unit displays a bird feeder and the other a decorative wind chime should not be a topic of discussion, nor should any newcomer dictate policies to 25+ year residents. The fact that it happens, though far from uncommon in HOAs of all sizes, is simply deplorable. After all, it’s one thing if strict rules of uniformity exist in a development from day one, when potential residents can choose whether or not to live there. It’s quite another for any HOA to try to create such rules decades in, thus altering the longstanding way of life of an existing community.

A mere 20 units should not be subject to such impersonal, bureaucratic strife. In other words, it doesn’t have to be so unpleasant or difficult! Regular and relaxed interaction, open sharing of information, mutual respect, and most of all, freedom of expression, should easily flourish tomorrow just as it all did yesterday. Ironically enough, while an HOA might justify their efforts as promoting harmony, in reality all it’s doing is stripping away any harmony already in place. And for what? For everything to look the same, void of personality and distinction?

The bottom line for any home buyer, or even renter, is this: Beware of the HOA under which you’ll live. Find out everything you need to know ahead of time, and make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle. More importantly, find out whether longtime rules are well in place and generally accepted, or if controversial efforts are underway to create new ones. Most of all, amid the possibility of wrongdoing, know what flies.  After all, what you might think is common sense, won’t necessarily be so, thanks to a misplaced, unhappy individual who does nothing more than ruin the otherwise pleasant community for everyone. In the end, there’s always one.

 
 

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Now You See It…

OpenOn its way.Closed.

Now You Don’t. A full-size bar on a large turntable– one that disappears quickly and seamlessly into the wall– can mean just one thing:  Dean Martin is back. In other words, at least you might say: he lives here in spirit.  This major remodel– born of its initial telltale 1961 footprint– ushers classic mid-century modern into the chic, sharp, rough and polished finishes of today, celebrating cutting-edge technology while commanding a strong link to the entertaining style of yesteryear. From circular walls to centered tub, poolside lounge space to the view beyond– all topped off with new entryway cinderblock stars that really do appear original– in every sense, what’s new is old, and what’s old is new.  This truly unique residence beckons fashionable living around the clock.  Now you see it, and at any time you can see so much more.  And believe me, there happens to be far more than this one impressive spinning bar to be seen!

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2016 in A - Real Estate, Daily Activities

 

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A Big Leap Into History

IMG_1964Attractively tucked away within the discrete terrain of Brentwood Canyon comes this refreshingly authentic mid-century gem, complete with that ideal medley of nostalgic appointments to remind us the best craftsmanship truly stands the test of time– not to mention an occasional shake or two of the earth.  While a full-length partition of decorative cinderblock blends seamlessly with original period railings, wide flat steps and an expansive stretch of floor-to-ceiling glass, that’s merely the view from the curb! Mindful of this auspicious February 29, take a big leap through those classic double doors into the remarkable entirety of well-polished history that awaits.  If you appreciate such preserved and timeless residential style as I do, you shan’t be disappointed with 1115 N. Norman Place.  Simply drive on over in your ’65 Coupe deVille convertible to appropriately complete the experience.

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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in A - Real Estate, And That's My Opinion

 

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A Plunge All Its Own.

Imagine swimming from one end of the house to the other.  Then again, if you happen to reside at 1814 N. Doheny Drive, why bother to imagine?  Simply take the plunge– literally from the edge of your master bathtub– and float on down to check on your living room guests if not beckon for a refreshment to emerge from the onlooking kitchen area.

When it comes to maximizing limited outdoor space, the architectural feats of this new construction clearly win.  From merely this one of several remarkable water features comes so much more to dazzle and delight throughout nearly 8300 square feet of ultra-contemporary living space.  The photos beat all words, while a visit trumps all.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in A - Real Estate, And That's My Opinion

 

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