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Properties, People & Places Making Headlines This May

by | May 15, 2020

From curating homes fit for royalty to weighing in on the current state of the real estate market, here is a look at what made headlines in May at The Agency.


News of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relocation to Southern California caused quite a stir, especially when reports emerged they were house hunting in Malibu, where homeowners include Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga. The Sunday Times spoke with our own Sandro Dazzan about the coveted Malibu lifestyle and Serra Retreat, a gated compound on the land side of the Pacific Coast Highway, where the couple reportedly looked. “I think this area would fit the bill for Meghan and Harry,” Sandro told the Times. “You feel like you are miles from everything. People keep horses there, but you can ride your bike to the Country Mart. You are behind 24-hour guarded gates. Lots are half an acre to 20 acres.” The Sunday Times featured three homes, represented by The Agency, that are fit for a duke and duchess, including 29917 Pacific Coast Highway, 27140 Malibu Cove Colony Drive and 3250 Serra Road (pictured above).


TMZ did some house hunting on Harry and Meghan’s behalf, spotlighting four Westside properties that would be ideal for the family. Among the contenders, 1006 Chantilly Road, represented by Mauricio Umansky. Tucked behind gates in Bel Air, this modern gem features seven bedrooms, a movie theatre, wine cellar, fitness studio and an atrium “with a curved staircase and ceilings that touch the skies,” TMZ writes. 1561 Blue Jay Way, a new modern Hollywood Hills estate (pictured above) represented by Amir Jawaherian, features five bedrooms, jetliner city, ocean and mountain views, and “the place sits way above the Sunset Strip in a showbiz enclave.” 950 Kenfield Avenue, represented by Santiago Arana, is an elegant midcentury home with views of The Getty, museums, canyons and treetops as well as “open decks and an infinity pool—super zen.” 1475 Bel Air Road, represented by James Harris and David Parnes, features six bedrooms, an 800-gallon aquarium, waterfall, gym, movie theater, and “the master suite comes loaded with a large deck, fire pit and massive rooftop deck, offering spectacular views of the ocean, skyline and canyon.”


James Harris gave readers of Robb Report a virtual tour of 1475 Bel Air Road, which he represents with David Parnes. The six-bedroom, nine-bath, Bel Air home features an aquarium, waterfall wall and motorized Fleetwood pocket doors that open to the incredible outdoor entertaining spaces with gorgeous ocean, city and canyon views. Take the full tour with James, and check out the extraordinary design features here.


Bloomberg’s Sound On podcast, led by Chief Washington Correspondent Kevin Cirilli, featured The Agency’s Founder and CEO Mauricio Umansky discussing the COVID-19 impact on the real estate market. “I’m very optimistic,” Mauricio tells Kevin. “We’re starting to see an uptick of showing activity; we’re starting to see people come out; we’re starting to see a floor of volume.” Mauricio also talked about The Agency’s charitable partner Giveback Homes, and how the company and its agents are stepping up to support those in need of pandemic relief. Listen to the full interview here.


Fox Business highlighted the Redondo Beach home of Bravo TV star Karena Dawn, of the Toned Up reality series, represented by Michael Grady and Jagger Kroener. “The Instagram-able 4,359-square-foot home has four bedrooms and six bathrooms,” writes Fox Business of the modern home built in 2017, which Dawn says is “bittersweet to leave.” It includes a luxurious master suite, sweeping Palos Verdes Hills to ocean views, a resort-style backyard and detached guesthouse.


James and David put pen to paper for their regular column in Inman, this time discussing 3 Showing Ideas for Today (Open Houses Need Not Apply). When it comes time to launching a new listing and keeping the home top-of-mind with potential buyers and the broker community, you have to get creative, they wrote. James and David reviewed some unique ideas for social media, videos, and virtual streaming. Sellers want to see that you can offer something strategic, creative, and unique when it is time to launch their property on the market, and buyers will be intrigued if you can distinguish the home from the competition, they noted. Adding, the first thing we do when it comes time to launch a new property is have an all-hands-on-deck team meeting where we determine the buyer demographic and then we devise a plan to showcase the property to the desired audience in a unique way.


Architectural Digest showcased the former home of Hollywood icon Rock Hudson, situated in the hills above the Sunset Strip and represented by Jon Grauman and Cody Thompson. Originally built in 1937, the home, which sits behind security gates and includes a two-story main house and a separate guesthouse, was also recently named a Hot Property in the Los Angeles Times. “The 2,803-square-foot main house boasts a transitional aesthetic, with vaulted ceilings and classic fixtures,” writes Architectural Digest of the home, reportedly owned by the Pillow Talk star in the late 1970s.


Goddess of Pop Cher’s former, two-story, Moroccan-inspired condo in L.A.’s trophy high-rise Sierra Towers is now for sale. Today.com featured the “only duplex in the whole building,” which was also once home to David Geffen and Vincent Gallo. Represented by David Parnes, James Harris and Mauricio Umansky, the residence features 2,300 square feet on the 26th and 27th floors, captures panoramic city and ocean views, and showcases distinct decorative touches by Cher and renowned designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard.


In its piece, Impressive First Quarter for Real Estate Market, Turks And Caicos Weekly News spotlighted The Agency Turks & Caicos Q1 2020 report, which noted that 2020 started off strong for the local market. “Our continued conversations with clients reflect the belief that the market will continue to grow with opportunities presenting themselves in our current circumstances; it will, however, require creativity, hard work and careful consideration,” Managing Director Sean O’Neill told the publication. 

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