Posts by Jennifer Karmon

  • Couple spent 30 years hand-building this Old West town

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 1 day ago

    It's the end of an era at the Deskovick ranch.

    The end of more than one era, really.

    In the mid-1980s, Stan and Marjorie Deskovick had already been accumulating Old West memorabilia for decades when he retired from his job as a general contractor and they downsized to their current ranch-style house.

    It's on an acre near Hellhole Canyon Preserve, about 40 miles north of San Diego in Valley Center, California.

    That acre of elbow room turned out to be just what they needed, because there was no way their collection was going to fit into their 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom on Rock Hill Ranch Road.

    They set to hand-building themselves a little old Western town on their property, homemade signs scrawled in paint commingling with authentic trappings. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    The Deskovicks do have kids, but the town wasn't for them or for grandkids, Deskovick told Yahoo Homes firmly. "I did it for me." It was a rewarding project.

    (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    Time wears on, though, and upkeep is getting to be a bit much for the Deskovicks. He's 83, she's 81.

  • Beaten out on 'most extreme home,' Jay-Z and Beyonce re-rent price-cut spec mansion, reports say

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 3 days ago

    Welcome back to the neighborhood, Jay and Bey.

    Jay-Z and his wife, Beyonce, have just signed a one-year lease on the mansion they rented last summer in Los Angeles' Holmby Hills, according to TMZ.

    That's after they were reportedly beaten out in a bidding war for "L.A.'s most extreme home" by Minecraft founder Markus "Notch" Persson.

    They've been house-hunting in the area, reports suggest, while living out of a local hotel — but TMZ says they were sick of hotel life and decided to settle for a year in the mansion.

    They're supposedly paying a mere $150,000 a month, down from the $200,000 or so they paid for about a month last summer.

    The mansion is a spec house that was built by the same developer behind Milan's fashion district. Completed just a year ago, it was originally listed for sale in April at $48 million. But after three price cuts, it's now asking $35.5 million.

    It measures about 16,000 square feet, with seven bedrooms, nine baths and a 75-foot "central gallery" touted as "ideal for an art collector," on about 1.3 acres.

  • TMZ founder: Can't find a buyer for his private (!) Spanish-style crib ... wanna RENT IT?

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 3 days ago

    [Editor's note: We mimicked TMZ's writing style for our headline, but we decided to spare readers the same treatment in the body of our blog post — mostly because we couldn't quite figure out the logic of TMZ's ellipsis placement.]

    Harvey Levin, founder of the ellipsis- and caps-happy celebrity gossip site TMZ, first tried to sell his Spanish-style house just north of the Sunset Strip two years ago.

    But after knocking more than half a million off the original $5.3 million asking price, it still didn't sell. So he gave up and listed it for rent — at $22,500 a month. As far as we can tell, that didn't take, either.

    So today may be your lucky day: He's put it back on the rental market at a discount, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    For the low, low price of just $20,000 a month, you get three bedrooms and three baths in 3,000 square feet, on a lot that's a third of an acre. It's available fully furnished, including giant vintage posters. Interior details include unusual wrought-iron gates in the central corridor and colorful tile floors.

    Also on Yahoo Homes:


  • Newlywed Joseph Gordon-Levitt buys frozen-in-time home, pink sink and all

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 8 days ago

    As if his admirers needed more reason to geek out over Joseph Gordon-Levitt: He just bought a pristine 1940 home in Los Angeles' Los Feliz neighborhood, complete with a pink sink and pink-tiled shower, vintage electric stovetop, scalloped wood trim in the kitchen, a swanky walk-up bar/inglenook next to a brick fireplace, and a "blue glass" cabana.

    Young Mr. Gordon-Levitt paid $3.25 million for the place — an amount that suggests there was a bidding war, as the list price was $2,995,000.

    The previous owner, who died, had owned the house since 1957 and appears to have done little updating. Zillow's records indicate that the home was last remodeled in 1945.

    Gordon-Levitt, 34, rose to fame as an alien disguised as a smirky teenager on the TV show "3rd Rock From the Sun," but he has since appeared in movies like "Don Jon" (which he also wrote and directed), "Looper," "Inception" and "(500) Days of Summer."

    Cementing that impression is the fact that in a secret ceremony in December, he married the CEO of a robotics company, Tasha McCauley.

    Instead, it looks a lot like a fantastic new project they can collaborate on.

  • Channing Tatum buys Princess Leia's old house, across the street from Real Housewife Lisa Vanderpump

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 9 days ago

    Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum and his wife, "Step Up" co-star Jenna Dewan, are moving in across the street from Lisa Vanderpump, co-star of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

    Oh, and their next-door neighbor? Harry Styles of One Direction.

    The Tatums bought into a celebrity-filled pocket of Beverly Hills, spending $6 million on a 1950 Cape Cod-style house that's also near Demi Moore.

    Their house was owned for 10 years by Princess Leia — er, Carrie Fisher — who bought it in 1984 from David Soul, better known as Hutch of "Starsky & Hutch." Fisher sold it to talent agent extraordinaire Kevin Huvane in 1994; he sold it in 2011 to Patricia and Roberto Sneider of "Mexico's prodigiously rich Oberfeld family," according to Variety, which first reported Tatum's purchase.

    The Sneiders originally listed the home at $7 million in May of last year, so the Tatums got a bit of a deal (assuming you overlook the fact that the Sneiders paid only about $4.4 million for it in 2011).

    Also on Yahoo Homes:

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  • Kid Rock relists home you'd never expect to be Kid Rock's

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 10 days ago

    The influences on musical bad boy Kid Rock run the gamut of grit: rap, metal, country, blues, good ol' rock & roll.

    You don't hear a lot about the sitars.

    But there they are, hanging on the wall of his Balinese-by-way-of-Malibu oasis.

    He bought the home on the Southern California coast for $11.6 million in 2006, about two months after marrying Pamela Anderson and about two months before they announced they were divorcing.

    He first tried to sell it almost two years ago, listing it at $13,450,000 in September 2013. He gave it a year before giving up. Now he has cut the price but is still hoping not to lose money on the deal: It's back on the market for $12,750,000, or 10 percent more than he paid.

    For a guy from Detroit who's made his fortune peddling a down-home American persona, all whiskey and overalls, bar fights and trucks, his home is a surprisingly tranquil blend of tropical and Far Eastern influences.

    "I love this house," he told the Times magazine. "It feels like nothing evil ever happened here, which probably comes as a surprise to a lot of people."

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  • $40M in ... Brooklyn? 'Unquestionably the most elegant brownstone' in NY

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 17 days ago

    Time was (and not long ago), Brooklyn's overriding reputation was for urban grit. It was home to some of the nation's most dangerous and drug-infested neighborhoods.

    Now? New York's most populous borough is perhaps best known as the capital of hipsterdom — "repulsive with novelists," as the (ex-Brooklyn novelist) Jonathan Lethem says, "blander, a little more accessible, and it's taken over the world."

    As if to prove its ascendance, Brooklyn recently posted its most expensive listing ever — a $40 million brownstone heralded by the real estate agent thusly: "Much like a long awaited centennial celebration, a residential sale of this magnitude comes around very seldom, and when it does, quite often history is made." The owner bought it in 1991 for $2.3 million.

    The mansion also had a star turn as Don Corrado's home in the Oscar-winning Mafia movie "Prizzi's Honor."

  • Up for bid: Jackie Kennedy's notes on 'dream' house — built just before assassination

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 17 days ago

    "You have done the most fantastic job & everyone agrees that house is really a dream. One could not wish for anything more perfect — if only we could live in it all year long! & Jack loves it. So bravo." — Handwritten letter by Jackie Kennedy (undated)

    "The only thing I am worried about in the room partitions is Jack's closet for dressing shelves, which make his room so narrow and, I am afraid, may make the furniture placement difficult so that he will not enjoy that fantastic view." — Typed letter on White House stationery by Jackie Kennedy, dated December 14, 1962

    "This house may not be perfectly proportioned — but it has EVERYTHING — all the places we all need to get away from each other — so husband can have meetings — children watch TV — wife paint or work at desk — nurse have own room — help a place to sit — all things so much bigger houses don't have. I think it's brilliant!" — Handwritten letter by Jackie Kennedy (undated)

    Unexpectedly, the retreat also became a place for JFK, Jackie, John Jr. and Caroline to heal after the death of baby Patrick, whom Jackie delivered six weeks early in August 1963. He lived only two days.

  • For Valentine's Day, Newark offers cheap land to couples (and only couples)

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 18 days ago

    Newark may not be the most romantic city in the world, but a Valentine's Day gambit by the city certainly aims to tug at the heart strings.

    For three hours on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, couples — and only couples; no singles need apply — will have a chance to purchase one of 100 city lots for just $1,000. (Click here or on an image to see a sampling in our slideshow.)

    “For young families trying to find a place to put down roots, we want to give this place as an option,” the deputy mayor for economic development, Baye Adofo-Wilson, told the Wall Street Journal.

    You might be wondering, as we did: Is this legal?

    Apparently so: Although the city clearly hopes for romantically involved couples ("straight or LGBT," it hastens to say), the offer is technically open to any two people — relatives, friends, etc. A spokesperson told the New York real estate site Brick Underground that two parties' names must appear on the contract of sale, but no other verification of a relationship will be required.

  • Secret's out: Scarlett Johansson buys radically transformed L.A. home for new family

    Jennifer Karmon at Spaces 22 days ago

    The secret's out: New mom and newlywed Scarlett Johansson quietly bought a Los Angeles home for almost $4 million, Variety reports.

    The purchase was made through a trust, so the actress's name isn't on it, but Yahoo Homes was able to confirm that it's in the name of her business manager.

    The home was built in the 1940s but recently underwent a glam (and fairly radical) transformation, losing its character-defining period steel windows and its retro mint-colored kitchen but gaining darker-stained wood floors and au courant marble surfaces.

    Johansson gave birth to daughter Rose in September, secretly married French journalist Romain Dauriac in October and celebrated her 30th birthday in November.

    In December, her L.A. home purchase was finalized — but Johansson managed to keep the transaction under wraps until Variety broke the news.

    Click here or on a photo for a slideshow of Scarlett Johansson's radically transformed Los Angeles home.

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