Elizabeth Banks lays down $6.85 million in Sherman Oaks

Kiddos, Yolanda unfortunately does not have time to play today. We have lots of Stuff to do. For starters, we are babysitting our grandkids today — oh, those precious little brats. And then there are new episodes of Jerry Springer and Judge Judy to watch, plus we have our speedo-clad pool boy coming over today at 4pm. Obviously we don’t have time to stay and dilly-dally. We apologize in advance to y’all and to Ms. Banks, whose new house deserves far more ink than this abridged summary. We’ll make it up to y’all.

So here goes. Way back in December 2015, a large gated house in the Sherman Oaks foothills was listed with an aggressive $6,995,000 asking price. The property entered escrow the following February (2016), but for some odd reason the sale did not close for more than two years, until just a couple weeks ago (April 2018).

Yolanda has not the faintest idea why a house would be in escrow for over two years, but we digress.

Though the buyers’ identities are concealed behind a blind trust, Yolanda happens to know that they are actress/director Elizabeth Banks and her longtime hubby Max Handelman. The couple, who have been coupled since their college days, have been hitched for the last 15 years (wow, an eternity in Hollywood!) and have two young sons.

Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman

Our Mr. Handelman is a blogger and part-time film producer, but it appears to Yolanda that the breadwinner in this relationship is clearly Ms. Banks. She has appeared in a whole slew of films — Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy(2002–2007), Seabiscuit (2003), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), and The Hunger Games film series (2012–2015) — just to name a few, but she might be best-known for her roles in the successful musical comedies Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2. (The latter film was also directed by Ms. Banks!)

As of last year, Box Office Mojo ranked Ms. Banks as the 41st-highest grossing actor, and the fifth-highest grossing actress of all time. So obviously homegirl has the money to afford a nearly-$7 million pad.

The 6,218-square-foot structure was originally built in 1941 but has clearly undergone at least a couple substantial renovations in the ensuing 70+ years. Though single-story, the large house crams in 5 beds and 4.5 baths under roof. The interior living spaces are cozy while still plenty spacious.

A open-plan kitchen has top-of-the-line appliances, there are three “antique French stone” fireplaces on the premises, and most rooms are blessed with 280-degree views of the San Fernando Valley. Other nifty gadgets and gizmos include a high-end camera surveillance system, a Crestron home automation package, and solar panels for efficiency. There is a large pool/spa combo, and the lot size is a very generous 1.18-acres.

Prior to Ms. Banks’ purchase, the house had been owned since 2005 by local advertising exec Benedict Coulter, a guy who unfortunately appears to have faced foreclosure activity on this property but finally succeeded in unloading it to the celebrity couple. Whew!

Our Ms. Banks and Mr. Handelman currently reside in nearby Studio City, where they have owned a mid-century-era house since 2007. Property records show that they picked up the 3,200-square-foot structure (via blind trust) for $1,625,000.

Off we go. Yolanda promises to be back in better form tomorrow.

Listing agent: Ginger Glass, Coldwell Banker
Elizabeth Banks’ agent: Richard Ehrlich, Westside Estate Agency

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