California Real Estate Scammer Pays for Wedding With Investors' Cash

The honeymoon is over for a Long Beach, Calif., man who was sentenced to jail time this week for defrauding investors in a real estate Ponzi scheme. Between 2003 and 2006, Jon Weldon James, 33, defrauded 50 investors, taking more than $33 million via phony investments. Instead of investing in real estate as he promised,... Continue Reading »

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne Rent Out Their Malibu Beach House

Empty-nesters Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne are selling their Malibu beach house. However, they seem to be waiting for the right price as the five-bedroom, five-bath 4,500-square-foot home has been on the market since 2006. It is now available for lease at $40,000 per month. Located on La Costa Beach (not as exclusive as... Continue Reading »

America's Highest-Priced Home Sale in Bel Air: Is It Worth It?

The owner was asking a lot, and the buyer paid plenty. The end result? The most expensive residential real estate sale in the U.S. so far this year. A 48,000-square foot, hilltop mega-mansion in Bel Air, Calif., has closed for more than $46.5 million (the previous record held by the Bootjack Ranch in Colorado). According... Continue Reading »

Real Estate Fraud: How to Spot a Scam

Real estate and mortgage fraud cases may be the latest fallout from the recent real estate bubble. Two recent California court cases demonstrate the lengths that white-collar criminals will go to in order to deceive buyers, banks and investors. In Orange County, a former real estate broker stole clients' identities,... Continue Reading »

L.A.'s Most Expensive Condo on Wilshire Sells for $7.27M

One of six penthouse mega-condos at Wilshire Boulevard's The Carlyle Residences closed last week for $7.267 million. Sale of the 5,194-square-foot home made it the highest-priced condominium sale on L.A.'s famed eight-lane boulevard of high-rise residential buildings since February 2008. Built and developed by the Elad... Continue Reading »

Hollywood at Its Heights, Just $11.5M

With jetliner views of the Los Angeles basin -- from the ocean to downtown -- this $11.5-million contemporary home is the kind of Hollywood Hills showplace that might you imagine every hot, young movie or music star lives in. (Check out Kayne West's $3.9 million pop-art filled, architectural home on a nearby slope). Winding... Continue Reading »

'Real Housewife' Short Sale in the O.C.

Sometimes the reality of high-flying finances even hits reality TV stars. Being a blond bombshell on Bravo TV's "The Real Housewives of Orange County" didn't prevent celeb housewife Tamra Barney from facing real estate woes. Barney, like many other divorcing spouses and those in financial difficulties, just sold her Ladera... Continue Reading »

Beverly Hills' Most Expensive Condos

Buyers looking for a carefree luxury home for sale in Beverly Hills now have a new option: the Montage Residences -- on the seventh and eighth floors of the pricey Montage Hotel. Live like a Hilton or L.A. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt (who's transitioning from a well-publicized divorce) with perks such as 24/7 room... Continue Reading »

Malibu House Deal: Buy One, Get a Ferrari F40

Of the hundreds of homes for sale in Malibu, Calif., only one comes with a fast-moving incentive -- 200-miles-per-hour fast, in fact. From now until June 30, owners of a $4.5 million, five-bedroom, five-bath 5,834-square-foot house will sweeten a sale with a sleek Ferrari F40. Reportedly one of the auto world's fastest... Continue Reading »

California Dream: Green House for Sale, $3.5M

Just an hour north of Los Angeles, the Ojai Valley is a modern day Shangri-La. With great weather and sunshine year-round, the semi-rural enclave borders the Los Padres National Forest and comes with a real Main Street. At the forefront of many eco-building initiatives, Ojai is also a traditional haven for artists and... Continue Reading »

Ventura, California's New Eco-Minded Art Colony

The arts are now becoming a housing trend in California. First we saw a Burbank senior housing complex with an arts focus and now a mixed-use, mixed-income artists' complex in Ventura. Downtown Ventura recently welcomed artists with a unique live/work complex called WAV (Working Artists Ventura). It offers 69 affordable... Continue Reading »

Los Angeles' Model Green Home: How Green Is Yours?

Typically in California, we retrofit houses for earthquake protection. Now a new business Residential Energy Assessment Services is retrofitting houses to make them more energy efficient and "green." Clever business model, especially in this market. To demonstrate what they can do for your house, the firm worked with... Continue Reading »

Shred Your Way to a Cleaner Apartment

Here's another to-do while prepping for your taxes: Take a close look at those boxes of old documents (tax returns, receipts, and more) that have cluttered up your apartment. Consider shredding your way to a cleaner, less cluttered space. Recommendations for IRS record-keeping vary for individuals but the minimum time to... Continue Reading »

Perry Farrell's Rock-Star Home for Sale

This home has rock-star pedigree -- and a very unusual exterior color palette. Jane's Addiction lead singer and Lollapalooza tour founder Perry Farrell recently listed his Venice, Calif. contemporary home for sale. Designed by Culver City-based architect Steven Ehrlich, the 2,200-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath home is a... Continue Reading »

How to Spring Clean for a Successful Home Sale

Putting your house on the market? Before the "For Sale" sign goes up, give your property the ultimate spring cleaning. When it comes to showcasing your home for sale, there's no such thing as a house that's too clean. "The house has got be cleaner than Christmas," advises Los Angeles-based Sotheby's real estate agent... Continue Reading »

Moving Bridges: Beau's California Estate For Sale

Actor Beau Bridges and his wife Wendy have put their Hidden Hills, Calif. estate on the market for $3.25 million reports Move Trends and Luxist. A long time character actor, Bridges has decades of TV and film credits to his name and is widely recognized as the older brother of Oscar winning actor Jeff Bridges - not to... Continue Reading »

Diane Keaton, House Flipper

Actress Diane Keaton's sidebar career is fixer-uppers: a longtime historic preservationist (she's a trustee for the National Trust for Historic Preservation), Keaton has complemented her acting career by remaking notable Los Angeles residences. It's a forward-thinking move for the Oscar-winning actress and "Something's... Continue Reading »

Brad and Angelina's Venice, Italy Rental

Spending her production per diem to the max -- and not doing a very good job evading the paparazzi -- Angelina Jolie, along with Brad Pitt and kids, are rumored to be renting the historic Mocenigo Palazzo on Venice's magnificent Grand Canal. The Pitt-Jolie's are in Venice while mama is shooting "The Tourist," a thriller... Continue Reading »

How to Use Twitter to Find Your Dream Home

Don't overlook when searching for your dream home. You can find agents and properties via the social media site -- not just where Lindsay Lohan's partying and what Martha Stewart's dogs are up to. Thousands of real estate agents worldwide are actively tweeting (not surprising as they are experts at... Continue Reading »

Beverly Hills' Gagosian Gallery Addition Brings Out the Stars

Art and design shared the spotlight during L.A.'s week of Academy Award-related festivities last Thursday night as Beverly Hills' Gagosian Gallery unveiled its addition in a starry opening for photographer Andreas Gursky. Among the crowd in the Richard Meier & Partners-deigned space were actors Adrien Brody (mother... Continue Reading »

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