LA Bachelor Pads See Real Estate Success
Here’s the single man’s real estate wet dream: An ultracool property outfitted with lights that dim; fireplaces inside and out; a sleek, modern kitchen; privacy; pool; and preferably, jetliner views. Animal prints and lava lamps may still be included—but only as ironic touches. “Doesn’t have any grass, only a view,” is how Ben Bacal, agent for Sotheby’s International Realty, pairs down the property pinnacle for bachelors. The poolside must be loungelike, with space for entertaining, as LA’s affluent bachelor essentially desires a “Soho House in his backyard,” says Bacal.
There’s a long tradition of statement residences for bachelors, and Hollywood’s bachelor elite has famously played into the convention. The 1970s saw the Jack Nicholson/Warren Beatty playboy era—Nicholson’s Mulholland Drive home and Beatty’s 15-year residency at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel have since acquired legendary status. These days it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s Bird Street-located aerie and his beachfront Malibu Colony compound (available for lease this summer for $150,000 per month) that typify the contemporary, sexy leading man’s bachelor digs. Although Ashton Kutcher’s new manse—a glass and steel stunner offering views of Lake Hollywood (asking price was $10.8 million)—with its floating dining room, home theater, gym, infinity-edge pool, and sauna, is an extravagant come-on.
“[Bachelors] want to be in the areas where the action is,” says real estate agent Mike Deasy, CEO and managing partner of Deasy/Penner & Partners, notably in places above Sunset Strip—the Bird Streets or Trousdale Estates, close to bars and clubs in Hollywood or Downtown. Mulholland Drive, an artery to almost every hot spot, attracts the sports-car and motorcycle-riding types, says Bacal. He’s seen Bronson and Nichols Canyons gain cachet because of their accessibility to Hollywood’s nightlife. “Privacy is another must-have,” says Keller Williams Realty’s Jamie Adner (adnergroup.blogspot.com). High fences, walls, and hedges that make for a cloistered world are desirable. “The bachelor wants to be able to entertain, party, and romance at any hour of the day without anyone knowing what’s going on,” Adner contends.
“Much sought after is the ranch, midcentury lake home or authentic Spanish house with a very specific axis: house, pool, then view,” Deasy notes. In contrast, the South Bay’s beach communities are magnets for pro athletes. “A lot of professional athletes live down there,” says Deasy, because the Lakers and Kings training facilities are in nearby El Segundo. Venice—now referred to as “Silicon Beach”—attracts the single, high-tech types from Google, Yahoo!, and other tech companies.
“Each of these areas has different action, so to speak,” says Deasy. Outdoorsy guys favor the beach cities because of the accessibility to biking and surfing. Surprisingly, storage is a concern. “Bachelors need a lot of storage: They might have five surfboards, snowboards, skis, cars, and everything else,” adds the agent. “Storage is even more important than an extra bedroom in some cases,” he notes. Downtown’s minimalist and modern loft living attracts buyers with a different mind-set, expressed as hip, adventurous, and arts-oriented. The multilevel loft penthouse at the Biscuit Company Lofts is on the high end of the urban-chic spectrum. (Once leased by Nicolas Cage, the penthouse, owned by actor-director Vincent Gallo, sold for an asking price in the neighborhood of $2.599 million.) Completely private—a world unto itself—the penthouse’s wraparound rooftop terrace has extraordinary city views.
The 38 live/work townhomes of 940 E. 2nd Street in Downtown’s Arts District feature architectural details such as exposed steel beams and brick walls. A repurposing of a historic sugar depot, the property features a unique interior street that allows home owners to park right at their door. (Pricing starts at $585,000 for a 1,332-square-foot unit.) Pro-sports fans are calling Downtown home because of its proximity to the Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, and the area’s happening nightlife.
To complete the bachelor-pad picture, there are some interior must-haves. Whether or not the bachelor cooks, owing to guys’ obsession with gadgetry, the kitchen must be fully tricked out with a hidden dishwasher, Poliform-style cabinets, and built-ins such as a Miele espresso machine. “An extravagant master bath, practically as big as the bedroom, is also part of the ultimate bachelor pad,” adds Adner.
Of course, the most coveted digs for a bachelor—a secluded midcentury home with stellar views—continues to hold value and even excel in the market. According to The Real Estalker blog, days after his marriage to actress-model Agyness Deyn, actor Giovanni Ribisi listed his private 1,600-square-foot Silver Lake hideaway with an open floor plan for $989,000; predictably, the three-bedroom, two-bath house went into escrow almost immediately.