While rising interest rates and stagnant demand have indeed caused prices to plateau in some areas of Los Angeles, other places — particularly those highly exclusive sections of town where the rich folks dwell — continue to see home sale prices surge to record heights. Perhaps that is because the ultra-wealthy often do not rely on bank loans to close a deal? Yolanda isn’t sure. But whatever the reason, any sign of rising rates sapping demand out yonder is invisible. For now.
As a testament to how prices continue to soar in certain neighborhoods, take this mansion in swanky Pacific Palisades. Located on the Riviera — the most expensive Palisades enclave of all — the house was built on speculation in late 2015 and sold in early 2016 for $11,500,000. The buyers then were a French couple named Dany & Yael Boon.
Y’all Yanks probably have never heard of Mr. Boon, but he is a very big deal over in Europe — he has long been one of France’s most popular movie stars. In 2008 alone, he reportedly raked in the equivalent of $33 million USD, making him the highest-paid actor in European film history. Ka-ching!
But we digress. Anyway, the Boons paid $11.5 million for this house. But after just two years of enjoying their fancy Riviera digs, the couple recently decided (for unknown reasons) to divest themselves of the property. Lucky for them, the house sold in less than two months for $13,200,000, nearly the full asking price and $1.7 million more than they originally paid in 2016. For an unchanged estate!
The new owners, Yolanda happens to know, are a couple named Kaily Smith and Adam Westbrook. Our gurl Ms. Smith is the younger daughter of Michael and Iris Smith, those billionaire ballers who famously broke the Southern California real estate record back in April (2018) with their $110 million Malibu home purchase.
Additionally, Ms. Smith is the founder of of SeriesFest, an award-winning television festival dedicated to showcasing the best and boldest in episodic storytelling from around the world. And Mr. Westbrook is a film/TV composer — and a guy successful in his own right. But we digress.
The classic two-story Traditional is conservatively decked out East Coast-style with white walls and black shutters. A gated driveway leads to a two-car garage, and the front door features a wee porch.
Listing information says the structure weighs in with a hefty 10,000-square-feet of living space and 5 beds/5.75 baths. Any way y’all slice it, this is a big gurl. Inside, she’s decked out with shimmering hardwood floors (seriously, how does Mr. Boon get them so shiny? We’d love to know his secret) and an open floorpan. An enormous family room has a fireplace and a glamorous disappearing wall of glass revealing the lush backyard.
The family room opens to the airy kitchen, which naturally has all the usual high-end accouterments: fancy stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, an island with bar-style seating, and a mammoth refrigerator. Elsewhere downstairs are formal living and dining rooms and an office/library.
Also within this structure is a full underground basement. Down there is a bedroom with four bunks, perfect for several live-in housemaids, overnight visitors, or a misbehaving spouse. Y’all can even fit four mother-in-laws in here! Just let ’em duke it out for the two top bunks.
The upstairs area of the house is reserved for immediate family only and features a second (private) family room and four bedroom suites. The elephantine master sports a sitting area, vaulted ceiling, private balcony overlooking the backyard, and dual bathrooms and closets. The other three bedrooms are likewise decked out with hardwood floors, multiple windows, and high ceilings.
Also in the home’s basement level is a movie theater with walls painted a fetching grey-green shade, a wine cellar, and a gym/recreation room.
The completely flat lot spans a third of an acre and the backyard features brick terraces with outdoor dining and lounging options. Beyond that is a large grassy lawn and a rectangular pool/spa tucked into an eastern corner of the lot, which is completely high-hedged for privacy and security. The house does not sport ocean views — or views of any kind, as far as Yolanda can tell. While it may seem a wee bit surprising that $13.2 million does not buy a sexy Palisades view, keep in mind that this house is only a quick skip away from Ben Affleck’s remarkably similar-lookin’ $19 million bachelor pad, which is only marginally larger than this place and also does not include a view.
So depending on how y’all look at it, Ms. Smith may have nabbed herself a good deal here.
Though the Boons sold their Palisades palace after only two years, they are not leaving the neighborhood just yet. Word on the street is that they are leasing — for the time being — a smaller Riviera spread. No word yet on if they intend to buy again, however.
And as for Ms. Smith, she still owns her “starter” house — an $11 million Palisades mansion that she bought in 2016. Yolanda’s intel indicates that Ms. Smith’s “old” house will be available for sale this fall. So to anyone looking for a large Traditional spread in the Palisades — just sit tight for now.