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Selling LA, Episode 8: Doing the Westside

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Welcome to episode eight of HGTV's Selling LA. Each Thursday night we join local brokers and their clients as they try to sell or buy high-end properties in a tough market. This week we're following former Curbed Broker Babe contestant Nicole Contreras and the lovely Marisa Zanuck. There's a lot of real estate to see this week, so let's begin.

This episode of Selling LA has us following Nicole Contreras of the Valerie Fitzgerald Group. We met her previously in Episode 2 and for those of you who can't get enough of Nicole, here's her press release where we learn she will be on season two of Selling LA.

Nicole is meeting her bff Sara and Sara's fiance Jonathan who are in the market for a home to accommodate the babies they anticipate making shortly after they throw rings on each other. Nicole explains that not only is she their broker, but she's also the maid of honor in their wedding. Sara and Jonathan explain that their current home in Venice is too small and there are way too many sharp edges for their clumsy babies to walk into. They also need decent schools and a traditional family neighborhood.

Nicole brings Sara and Jonathan (possibly the most drama-free couple ever to appear on one of these listing type shows) to a listing in Santa Monica. The 2,539 sq. ft. house located at 942 26th Street features three bedrooms, three baths, a newly remodeled kitchen and a large backyard. It's listed at $1.895 million. It's a beautiful little house and although they both like the house, they want to see what else is available.

For their next stop, Nicole brings Sara and Jonathan to a listing in Brentwood, where the schools are supposed to be decent. The two story home is located at 11964 Gorham Avenue (link to musical tour) and includes four bedrooms, four baths, 30-foot high ceilings, and a very small backyard. The home is listed at $1.995 million.

As she walks past the railing on the second floor of the house, Sara expresses concern that her babies may fall. Nicole agrees that baby falls are a valid concern. Sara loves the home, and it would be a great place to live...without kids. But she and Jonathan agree that it doesn't really fit their needs. They're kind of stuck on the Santa Monica location, but need some convincing about the quality of the schools.

In order to help push things along, Nicole sets up a meeting with a private school in Santa Monica so Jonathan can get an idea about the educational system. Their future babies need stimulation and artistic training. Good lord, this storyline is boring.

Finally, Nicole meets with Sara in the hopes that she and Jonathan have made a decision on the Santa Monica house. But as these things go, they've decided to wait on making a decision until after the wedding. What a letdown. The postscript states that the couple have returned from their honeymoon and are once again looking for a house in Santa Monica. No sale for Nicole. But there's always next season!

In the second dramatic plot of the episode, we join Hilton & Hyland agent Marisa Zanuck as she meets her friend Adi for a mani-pedi. Adi and her husband are looking for a very, very specific house to raise their children. The house should have two stories, four bedrooms, 4,000 square feet, a pool and a yard, be located in Beverlywood, and be priced around $2 million.

Marisa first takes Adi to a listing in Beverlywood at 2611 S. Beverly Drive. The home is apparently designed by a Midwestern penitentiary architect, as great attention is paid to maintaining a cold, fortress-like appearance, including a windowless front exterior, a prison bar motif, and a soul sucking beige paint job. The inside is ok, sort of. It features six bedrooms, five baths, and is being listed at $1.595 million. Marisa notes that the place will need to be redone to bring it up to the taste of Adi, but unfortunately the pickings are slim in Beverlywood.

Back at the office, Marisa sits down with Adi to explain to her that in LA there are other neighborhoods for white people similar to Beverlywood. In a quick finger dance across a map, she identifies Cheviot Hills and Westwood as being in the same general location with the same abundance of "family friendly" features. Marisa is nervous about Adi's reaction to being nudged into other neighborhoods, but feels that it's the only way they'll find a house to her liking.

Marisa next brings Adi to a house in the Little Holmby neighborhood of Westwood. The 1935-built house located at 809 Malcolm Avenue features 4,150 sq. ft., three bedrooms, three and one-half baths, crown moldings, no pool, and a rooster statue on the kitchen island. The home almost features everything Adi asked for, except it's lacking one bedroom, one bath, and it's listed at $2.595 million--over half a million above what she was looking to spend. But Marisa was wearing a crazy pink rodeo cowgirl dress thing, so let's forgive her for missing the mark on this one.

Marisa's next stop with her client Adi is a house in the family friendly, Expo Line hatin' community of Cheviot Hills. You can almost hear the faint sounds of tranquility that will be destroyed as soon as those trains come barging through with those dangerous bike paths and eastside riff-raff and homelesses. Lots and lots of homelesses. The home at 10330 Lorenzo Drive, features five bedrooms, five and one-half baths, a spiral staircase, and a small backyard area. Unfortunately, the small backyard appears to be the deal killer, as the cost to push back the retaining wall and put in a pool will top $100k.

When Marisa gives the news about the pool cost to Adi, it seemingly delivers a deathblow to that deal. Adi asks if it would be possible to get a credit from the seller so that they can afford to put the pool in, but Marisa explains that that's just plain crazy talk. So Adi nixes the deal and asks that they continue to look. Marisa happily agrees, but then in the postscript we learn that Adi has gotten her real estate license and decided to look for a home by herself. Huh? What an asshole move. Anywho, the end of this episode again finds that no houses have been sold. That's Selling LA, everyone! Wahh-wahhhhhh.
· Selling LA Archives [Curbed LA]