Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter, your weekly window on the country’s most interesting real estate market – at least in my professional opinion. Where else does a 19th century water tower turn into a pirate-themed retreat just steps from the Pacific Ocean?

The local landmark was by far the most interesting list of the week. Built in the 1890s and redesigned several times since, the 87-foot-tall structure at Sunset Beach is losing its life as an Airbnb luxury rental and looking for a permanent resident (ideally one who is willing to shell out $ 4.95 million. dollars.)

The San Fernando Valley also saw some action in early June, with rapper Polo G losing around $ 5 million at a Chatsworth mansion with a bloated garage. He joins Swae Lee, YG and DJ Mustard in the neighborhood, which is quickly becoming a hip-hop star’s paradise.

In Los Feliz, a 101-year-old haunt with a celebrity past has gone on sale for $ 15 million. The most famous is the former home of comedian WC Fields in the 1940s, it has housed several actors in the decades since and is currently owned by Dodgers co-owner Bobby Patton.

Looking for a summer project? Watch out: the cost of wood is skyrocketing to the point where even a picnic table can put you over your budget. Lumber suppliers have mistakenly assumed that demand will plunge during the pandemic, and their miscalculation leads to prices double or even triple compared to last year.

So building a house may be irrelevant. But what about buying one for $ 1? Personal finance columnist Liz Weston looked at the pros and cons of buying your parents’ house for money, and the tax obligations that are sure to follow. There is no free house.

While catching up with you, visit and love our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week.

A local landmark lists for sale

First built in the 1890s and rebuilt several times since, the tower includes four floors of living spaces with pirate themes and striking views.

(Sheldon / Creative Ivester inc.)

At Sunset Beach stands one of California’s most original homes: an 87-foot-tall structure that serves as both a feast for the eyes of passers-by on the Pacific Coast Highway and a reminder, in an era of rapid redevelopment. , that some things are worth saving.

The iconic water tower dates back to the 1890s, when it served steam engines traveling up the California coast. Now it is up for grabs at $ 4.95 million.

Overlooking the homes crammed along the sands near the Seal Beach and Sunset Beach border, the striking residence has become popular with locals in the decades since it was built – but it has a tumultuous past.

Another rapper arrives in Chatsworth

The 11,000 square foot home includes a pool, tennis court, and custom garage that can accommodate 14 cars.

The 11,000 square foot home includes a pool, tennis court, and custom garage that can accommodate 14 cars.

(Neu Focus)

Chatsworth is fast becoming a hip-hop paradise with musicians such as Swae Lee, YG and DJ Mustard making their home there in recent years. Rapper Polo G is the latest to flock to the San Fernando Valley suburb; he just shelled out $ 4.885 million for a Mediterranean-style spot in the guarded community of Indian Falls Estates.

Claiming nearly 2 acres, the property has wobbled on and off the market since it was built in 2018. Records show it was first listed for $ 6.2 million and was recently offered at 5. million dollars before Polo G, real name Taurus Bartlett, won. up.

The place is full of amenities, but what really sets it apart is the garage. There is a standard two-car garage attached to the house, but at the back, a guesthouse-sized custom garage has 14-foot doors and space for 14 cars.

Dodgers owner offers historic estate

Built in 1920, the Italian-style residence belonged to comedian WC Fields and actress Lily Tomlin.

Built in 1920, the Italian-style residence belonged to comedian WC Fields and actress Lily Tomlin.

(Todd Goodman / LA Light Photography)

Hollywood history is up for grabs in Los Feliz, where the WC Fields Estate – a 101-year-old Italian mansion where the namesake comedian lived in the 1940s – has just been put up for sale for $ 15 million. .

Built in 1920, the architectural gem has housed several celebrities since Fields, including “Pay It Forward” actor Gary Werntz and “Grace and Frankie” star Lily Tomlin. Today, it’s owned by Bobby Patton, the Texas oil mogul and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Records show he took over the property for $ 7 million in 2013.

The leafy residence covers two-thirds of an acre in Laughlin Park, a gated enclave home to stars such as Angelina Jolie, Casey Affleck, Emma Roberts and Kristen Stewart.

Where’s all the wood?

Carlos Guido works on a construction site with contractor Chris Williams in San Marino.

Carlos Guido works on a construction site with entrepreneur Chris Williams in San Marino.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The cost of a common good has clouded summer plans, and it’s not gas: soaring wood prices are making new homes, renovations and even simple picnic tables considerably more expensive, write Andrew Khouri, Carly Olson and Andrew Mendez.

Sometimes bills come in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars above the estimate. In the most extreme cases, projects came to a screeching halt as prices spiraled out of control.

Analysts said prices are expected to remain high for an extended period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the coronavirus began to spread in the United States last year, lumber suppliers assumed demand would plunge and they blocked production as a result. Distributors followed suit, stopped buying wood and sold their inventory.

A house for $ 1

In a recent article, columnist Liz Weston answered a question about the pros and cons of looking after one’s parents’ house for free.

Dear Liz: My stepfather recently passed away. My mother-in-law is not well enough to live on her own. My husband has a brother and sister who would love my husband and I to buy my grand old in-laws house for $ 1, take care of my mother-in-law 24/7, and achieve 60 years of updates. and home repairs. I see a lot of downsides to this arrangement, but no benefits. Is there a way that this deal can work for us, and not just other siblings?

Reply: The advantage is that you own the house. Although the house is not in very good condition, it is likely an asset of some value. Whether it’s worth enough to be worthwhile and whether you want to acquire it that way are open questions. (Click through for the discussion of taxes and the constraints of full-time caregiving.)

What we read

Could the national real estate market cool down? Or at least a little cooler? The Washington Post analyzed data from Realtor.com and Redfin and found that home prices are still rising, but at a slower pace than in recent months.

Location, location, location. When looking for a home, be sure to check if it’s more than an arm’s length from an amusement park. In The Know watched a beach house in Delaware that has gone viral thanks to a giant ship that appears to be rushing a few feet from the house.

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