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Allan Erps' Blog

By Allan Erps | Agent in Nanuet, NY

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Malibu, Agent2Agent in Malibu, Celebrity Homes in Malibu  |  February 4, 2012 6:29 AM  |  2,256 views  |  No comments

    National market report: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sell Malibu home

    February 03, 2012

    By Guelda Voien

    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's Malibu home

    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's Malibu home sold for $12 million.

    From the February issue: Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sold their Malibu home in December for $12 million to Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, according to People magazine. The 4,100-square-foot spread, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, consists of two separate houses, a pool and a tennis court. The top floor of the beachfront mansion was designed for Pitt and Jolie by environmentally conscious architect Christopher Sorensen. What could drag the glamorous Jolie-Pitts away from all this? According to the Daily Mail, Jolie recently surprised Pitt by purchasing him a waterfall near L.A. Pitt, an architecture buff, is planning to build an ambitious house over the falls in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Pitt and Jolie also own homes in Hollywood, New Orleans, the Valpolicella region of Northern Italy and the South of France. DeGeneres and De Rossi, meanwhile, put their 12,000-square-foot Beverly Hills home on the market this fall for $49 million.


    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Hollywood, Agent2Agent in Hollywood, Property Q&A in Hollywood  |  August 30, 2011 8:53 AM  |  2,064 views  |  No comments

    Hollywood's spookiest real estate!!

    PHOTOS: Some architectural styles more frightening than others

    By Arrol Gellner


    As Alfred Hitchcock well knew, nothing sets a mood of suspense better than a spooky old house. The brooding Mansard-roofed Victorian in Hitchcock's 1960 film "Psycho" is probably the best-known creepy old house in pop culture. But there are plenty of others.

    For instance, the eerily rendered Xanadu, home of Charles Foster Kane in Orson Welles' milestone 1941 film, "Citizen Kane." The hauntingly composed images of Xanadu are so central to the story that they're used to both open and close the film.

    More recently, there was the anthropomorphic house featured in 1979's "The Amityville Horror," perhaps the world's only frightening Dutch Colonial. On the lighter side was the eccentric television abode of "The Addams Family" (another Mansarded and iron-crested Victorian, although, like Xanadu, it was actually just a matte painting).

    Just what makes for an unnervingly spooky house? And mind you, we're talking aesthetic creepiness, not pulp-novel-style haunting. Well into the 1960s, old Victorians of the Gothic or Mansard variety were Hollywood's standard issue for spookiness, probably because they were decaying and far out of fashion at the time. After their popular renaissance in the 1970s, however, those gaily colored gingerbread houses possessed a much less sinister effect in the public mind, and hence Hollywood has moved on to other archetypes.

    A really creepy house usually has some anthropomorphic character -- the vaguely hunchbacked, head-and-shoulders silhouette of Mrs. Bates' house in "Psycho," for example, or the diabolical, eye-like attic windows seen in promotions for "The Amityville Horror," or the gaping mouth-like porch of Freddy Krueger's house in Wes Craven's "Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984).

    Anthropomorphism plays an even bigger role in one of the scariest spooky-house films of all time: Robert Wise's "The Haunting" (1963). Here, the gloomy stone pile known as Hill House features rearing Gothic towers and cavernous window openings that eerily recall the empty eye sockets of a skull.

    In this case, Hill House was not a matte painting but an actual English manor house called Ettington Hall near Stratford-upon-Avon, and director Wise used a special high-contrast film to make the window openings seem black and empty. Ettington Hall seen in normal light looks considerably less diabolical, and in fact is now a popular hotel.

    What makes Hill House so deliciously spooky is the fact that we never see anything more explicit than mundane parts of the house itself: a door swelling and bending as if under pressure from some terrible force beyond, or malevolent faces creepily emerging from the patterns in ordinary wallpaper.

    These nightmarish inversions of the ordinary, unlike the explicit fare of "slasher" films, are all the more frightening precisely because they're so domestic and familiar. How many of us, as children, didn't imagine faces in the wallpaper?

    The fact that we never learn just what malevolent force stalks Hill House in "The Haunting" only heightens its stature as one of the spookiest houses in pop culture. Just as in real life, we aren't presented with neat conclusions -- only more unnerving questions.

    As Alfred Hitchcock once put it: "There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it."

    The real-life home in Amityville, N.Y., made famous in "The Amityville Horror." Image courtesy of Dougtone.

    The set for Norman Bates' home in the Alfred Hitchcock classic, "Psycho."
    Image courtesy of ste3ve.

    Set for the Bates Motel in the Alfred Hitchcock film "Psycho," with the Bates home in the distance. Image courtesy of ste3ve.

    Read Arrol Gellner's blog at arrolgellner.blogspot.com, or follow him on Twitter: @ArrolGellner


    Posted Under: Home Selling in Santa Monica, Agent2Agent in Santa Monica, Celebrity Homes in Santa Monica  |  August 19, 2011 5:16 AM  |  2,344 views  |  No comments

    Elijah Wood Lists Santa Monica Home

     By Ann Brenoff | Posted Aug 15th 2011

    A Santa Monica home belonging to Elijah Wood, star of "The Lord of the Rings," has come on the market at $1.85 million.

    The home, built in 1924, is "an opportunity to remodel ... or build a new home," says the MLS listing, but this is one of those addresses where it's all about location, location, location.

    The existing home is a Spanish-style main with a round foyer that has a cast-iron tile floor from a British brewery. Seems a shame to lose that. There is also a guest house and office and the total square footage is 2,130.
    Elijah WoodWood played Frodo Baggins in "The Lord of the Rings" (2001-03) trilogy. He appears in the TV hit, "Wilfred" and will be back as Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012) and "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" (2013).

    Actor Dylan McDermott was the home's previous owner.

    Roya Kianmahd of Keller Williams, Santa Monica, has the listing.


    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Los Feliz, Home Selling in Los Feliz, Celebrity Homes in Los Feliz  |  August 13, 2011 4:48 AM  |  2,124 views  |  No comments

    Hot Property: Disney’s Former Home for Sale!

    By Lauren Beale   

    Walt Disney’s onetime residence in Los Feliz, the wonderful world where his daughters grew up, has come on the market at $3.65 million. The two-story French Normandy-style house, built in 1932, sits behind gates on an acre with views to downtown.

    Disney, not one for retaining walls or formal gardens, according to a 1940 interview in Better Homes & Gardens, often picked native plants over imports and created informal terraces using rocks to hold back soil.

    The property, then an acre and a half, was home to foxes, quails, opossums and rabbits. When World War II started, the Disneys added a victory garden and kept chickens.

    Though pieces of land have been sold off over the decades, the rugged heart of the lot that daughter Diane Disney Miller called “the canyon” as a child remains with the house.

    Inside, original features include the rotunda foyer, vaulted beamed ceilings, stained leaded-glass windows, two bars and a Juliet balcony overlooking the two-story living room from the second floor hall. It was from this vantage point that Miller would look on Christmas morning at the tree below surrounded by gifts.

    During the rest of the year, Disney had a chair in front of the large living room window, where he would sit and read scripts and books, Miller said. “He also loved to sit outside and read in the summertime.”

    One Christmas, a storybook playhouse appeared in the backyard. Today the miniature cottage sits beside a swimming pool, which was added later near a terrace off the living room. The pool from Disney’s day belongs to the house next door.

    The house for sale has four bedrooms and five bathrooms in about 6,000 square feet. What is now a billiards room with a sleeping porch over the garage originally was Disney’s workout room with a punching bag hanging from the ceiling and pictures of his polo ponies on the walls. Later, it was converted to a nursery.

    “My sister and I spent most of our young lives there,” said Miller, who was born in 1933. The Disneys remained in the house into her teenage years.

    When he got into live-action films, Disney decided that he needed a projection room at home to view the daily filming, Miller said. It was part work space and part family film room.

    What had been a guest room, bath and charming little library became a screening room, a booth with 35-millimeter projectors and a small bar, Miller said.

    “My sister and I saw ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Gone with the Wind’ there and then current movies,” she said. The room had a separate entrance with a bathroom for the projectionists. The small sink still sits behind a wooden door.

    Another change to the house during the Disneys’ time there: the decorative painting on the ceilings, which are intact.

    Disney, who in the 1920s co-founded what would become the Walt Disney Co. with his brother Roy O. Disney, died in 1966 at 65.

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