Welcome back to the real estate newsletter. This week, we’re looking at the highs and lows of Southern California’s diverse real estate market—and we also have an update on one of Los Angeles’ most magical establishments.
The highest rises come in the form of Mark Wahlberg’s Beverly Park estate, which he’s shopping around for $87.5 million. The movie star dedicated the precious complex during his decade-long stay, and if he gets his price tag, it will be Southern California’s second biggest sale so far this year.
In the still pricey but under $87.5 million range, Matthew Stafford picked two-thirds of Drake’s Hidden Hills party complex for $11 million. The Rams star paid the way for the side farmer’s request, but apparently didn’t want the “Yolo Estate,” the crown jewel of the Drake complex, which includes a grotto, recording studio and mechanical bull.
On the low end, we’ve scanned all listings for you and found five homes on the market for $500,000 around Los Angeles County. It’s weird to say half a million is the bottom line on the market, but with the median home sale price hovering around $840,000, that’s simply our new reality.
The “Magic Institution” that I didn’t skimp on subtly earlier is Magic Castle, a club dedicated to magicians exclusively to Uber. About a year after the famed estate was rocked by allegations of sexual abuse and discrimination, the 114-year-old Gothic mansion has a new owner: a video game mogul and lifelong magician who has set his sights on preserving the historic space.
Finally, we got a post about housing from columnist Pat Morrison, who has sharpened the Angelenos’ interest in luxury real estate. Filled with vintage postcards from iconic real estate, this piece is an exploration of a common obsession and recent history of the Los Angeles luxury market.
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Mark Wahlberg lists the colossal mansion
Mark Wahlberg’s gigantic mansion – a complex full of amenities with a golf course, skate park and grotto – just appeared for sale for $87.5 million in Beverly Park.
If the movie’s star gets its price (or anything close to it), it’s somewhat far behind in Southern California home sales this year behind The One, which auctioned $141 million in March.
There is a reason why the palace is so expensive. At 30,500 square feet, it is the seventh largest home currently on the market in Los Angeles County. And while mansions of modern specifications occupy many prominent places, the Wahlberg Place stands alone as a European-style showcase that blends old-world style with an abundance of modern amenities.
Wahlberg, who starred in the biographical drama “Father Stowe,” bought the property for $8.25 million in 2009 and commissioned the mega mansion’s architect Richard Landry to build the house. Landry finished it five years later, installing 12 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, and countless plush living spaces on the two-story floor plan.
From rapper to superstar Ramez
A few months after winning the Super Bowl, Matthew Stafford is spending hard. The Times confirmed that the Rams quarterback dropped $11 million on two adjoining homes owned by Drake.
Stafford must have liked what he saw. He bought the larger home for $5 million, or $500,000 more than asking price, and spent $6 million on the smaller home—more than double the asking price of $2.9 million. He now owns three homes in the star-studded neighborhood, having acquired a private mansion last year for $19.6 million.
Neighboring properties make up two-thirds of the bundle of prized real estate that Drake has been amassing over the past decade and shopping for $22.2 million after buying Robbie Williams’ property in Beverly Crest for $75 million. The third lot – a party-ready property known as the “Yolo Estate,” complete with a recording studio and mechanical bull – is still on the market for $14.8 million.
$500,000 worth of homes around Los Angeles County
For buyers on a budget, the Southern California housing market can feel impenetrable. Bidding wars and supply shortages pushed prices to record highs, and according to Redvin, the average home in Los Angeles County sold for $839,000 in February.
Fortunately, The Times recently published “The Great SoCal House Hunt,” a comprehensive step-by-step guide to buying a home in Southern California. It even comes with a Southern California calculator that analyzes your money and tells you how much you can afford (and which neighborhoods work for you).
Buyers in the $500,000 range may have to consider condos, condominiums, or condominium rentals in addition to single-family homes, but for those who want to get creative, there are still plenty of options. Here’s What $500,000 Buys In Five Los Angeles Communities.
The wizard buys Magic Castle
In an effort to preserve the historic castle in Hollywood, video game magnate Randy Pitchford buys the famous home of the Academy of Magical Arts, wrote Roger Vincent.
Pitchford said the purchase, which is expected to be completed by the end of the month, will ensure that the main property in the heart of the tourist district remains the Academy Club and performance venue. Price not yet disclosed.
Pitchford is best known as the founder of Gearbox Entertainment Co. , which developed the popular Borderlands video game franchise. He is also a lifelong wizard and a member of the academy located in Magic Castle, where he learned the tricks of the trade.
The sale comes just over a year after the storied establishment was rocked by allegations of misconduct, which were detailed in an investigation by the Los Angeles Times. In interviews with The Times, 12 people – including guests and former employees – accused Magic Castle’s management, staff, performers and members of the academy of abuses that included sexual assault, sexual harassment and discrimination based on race or gender.
Los Angeles’ relationship with real estate
For nearly 150 years, real estate has been the universal A-theme for Angelenos, writes Pat Morrison.
“Buy it and sell it and look at it and yearn for it—a hobby, a hobby, a preoccupation, and everyone has a story to tell. It’s a genre in reality TV. This was the founding impetus for the once vast tram system, which was initially built not to take people where they want to go. Going, but to where the real estate maker wanted them to go to buy his property.
“To live in Southern California without having walls around you is to feel, however short and short of term, deceived by its fictitious promise of even a modest home to people of dreams and mediocre means: a cottage, or a bungalow, or a farmhouse, with little yard for the pleasant California life.
“There are places in the country, in the state, where a ‘million dollar house’ still feels like a lottery ticket fever dream, but Los Angeles isn’t one of them. Today, what was once a working family’s dream home, like the two-bedroom homes in a city Lakewood planned after the war, it’s now a “starter” home, at a crazy $700,000 for less than 900 square feet.”
what we read
If home prices are dropping in Los Angeles, there are plenty of places with affordable real estate. MarketWatch has compiled a list of five “surprisingly cool cities” where you can buy a home for $150,000 or less. Entries include Wichita Falls, Texas; Rockford, Illinois; Syracuse, New York; Topeka, Kan. Little Rock, Ark.
The hot market makes sellers of all of us, and priests join the party. According to the Guardian, church leaders are fighting back taxes and lowering membership rates by selling valuable land, and one church in Miami has negotiated a potential deal to dispose of 2.2 acres from a 3.4-acre plot for $240 million.