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Selling LA, Episode 11: It's Time to Be A Grownup

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It's Episode 11 of Selling LA. We totally missed last week's episode because we were celebrating Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah like everyone else. Seriously, who runs new episodes between Christmas and New Year's? HGTV must be run by heathens. This week we're following the always lovely Marisa Zanuck and Vanessa Fitzgerald. Let's begin.

We start with Vanessa Fitzgerald of the Valerie Fitzgerald Group. Vanessa is helping her friend Bonner find a new home as he seems to have grown out of his bachelor pad phase. He is now looking for a home in Venice because he is ready to settle down and start a family in order to meet societal norms that require him to be married with 1.86 babies. Wife and children: TBD.

Vanessa takes Bonner for a walk around the canals and walk streets, providing him with a history lesson along the way. She notes that walk streets are nice because there is no traffic. We need to write that one down in our diary for future giggles. Bonner expresses his trepidation about moving to a neighborhood so different from his condo off the Sunset Strip, but in order to be a complete human being he must find a family house.

Vanessa first takes Bonner to a house at 2506 Oakwood Avenue, just a short walk from Abbot Kinney. The 1,647 square foot house features three bedrooms, two baths, and is listed at $1.499 million. The house is perfect for a family, but Vanessa reminds us that Bonner is still a bachelor who refuses to get married despite the peer pressure he faces to be paired up or face certain death alone.

Bonner thinks the house is a little small compared to his current condo but he loves the house and feels it could be home. Vanessa urges him to make an offer before it's snapped up, but Bonner wants to see what else is out there in case something better is around the corner.

Their next stop is a house located at 1215 Seventh Avenue. The 2,219 square foot house is listed at $1.469 million and is described by the listing agent as American contemporary with a French twist. It features three bedrooms, three baths, a modern kitchen with red countertops, which Vanessa describes as "disco countertops," and a shower with nine exciting shower jet nozzles. It's also located across the street from the Oakwood Recreation Center. While it has nice touches, Bonner doesn't love it because it reminds him too much of his current bachelor pad.

An antsy Vanessa, sensing that time is running out to make a sale, brings Bonner to another house. The house located at 41 Paloma Avenue is on a walk street, a few hundred feet from the beach. Bonner can tell there is good baby making energy in the house. The four bed, three bath house is listed at $1.465 million, and features 1,647 square feet. Bonner likes that it looks like a family lived there. However, he doesn't like that the house is going to require so many upgrades and it kind of seems like an old persons home, now that he thinks about it. And what's up with that wallpaper? He says it makes him feel like he's in the bathroom at a Red Lobster.

Vanessa notes that since Bonner liked the first house (the Oakwood one) she needs to try to get him to make a decision and make an offer before the house is snatched up. Yet Bonner remains uncommitted. If you hadn't noticed, there's a very unsubtle storyline about Bonner's inability to commit and make a decision, which parallels his anxiety over being a bachelor while all of his friends are getting married. It's a little too Dr. Phil for our tastes.

At episode's conclusion, Bonner and Vanessa meet for lunch. Vanessa hits Bonner with the news that the Oakwood house has gone into escrow, and Bonner has missed out because of his reluctance to commit. Bonner concludes with this week's lesson: "Whenever you see something that you really want, you just sometimes gotta react and go after it." Bonner tells Vanessa that he needs to take a break from looking, but he offers Vanessa the job of selling his Sunset Blvd. condo. She accepts his proposal.

Back to sanity, we join Marisa Zanuck of Hilton & Hyland, who is showing houses to her good friend Ezna, a Brit who needs enough rooms in his new house to accommodate a screening room, an editing bay, a master bedroom, a guest bedroom, and a permanently designated room for his mother, who visits frequently enough to warrant such a room. Ezna is described as a writer/director who in the past has worked with Marisa's husband, Hollywood producer Dean Zanuck. He currently rents, but is looking for something more permanent, specifically a three to four bedroom house, with a pool and jacuzzi, in the $5 to 7 million range.

Marisa first takes him to a listing at 1130 Wetherly Drive, above Sunset Boulevard. The 3,400 square foot house features four bedrooms and four and one-half baths, a guest house, pool, and spa. It is listed at $2.95 million. Everything looks good, but the house lacks built out space for a screening room and editing bay. With the loss of a bedroom for the editing space, and another one for his screening room, he calculates that he won't have extra rooms for his mother and other guests. House fail.

Later, Marisa joins her sister and partner Leyla Blumenfeld on a brokers caravan, where they hope to look at a few more house for Ezna. They stop at a house located at 9838 Cardigan Place in the Beverly Hills Post Office neighborhood. The 7,650 square foot house features six beds, seven and one-half baths, a pool, a screening room and is listed at $3.95 million. After a tour, Marisa and Leyla agree that the house needs a lot of updating and, although it fits within Ezna's price range, it's probably not for him.

They next visit 9544 Oak Pass Rd, described as being in the Frank Lloyd Wright style. Built in 1964, the house features 2,828 square feet, plus three bedrooms and three baths. With some creativity, Marisa also sees an opportunity to create space for an editing suite. The home is listed at $1.995 million. However, there is no pool and no room for a screening room. They agree that the house is probably too small for Ezna's needs, so they move on.

Finally, Marisa brings Ezna along to look at a house she found through her network of agents and clients. The 5,900 square foot house located at 1700 Queens Court is being listed for $5.995 million. It includes four beds, five baths, and features a master bedroom connected to the rest of the house via a catwalk. So sleek. Ezna notes that the house is near the top of his budget, which leaves him little room to change things. While the house features a room capable of housing his editing bay and space for a screening room (and presumably a room for his mother), unfortunately it's unlivable because the views are ruined by the presence of other houses. Ezna finds the view of other houses "miserable."

At episode's end, having failed to find something acceptable to his exacting demands, Marisa meets with Ezna to discuss where they go from here. He admits to liking the first house they looked at on Wetherly, despite its deficiencies, and would like a second look. However, the postscript tells us that Ezna decided not to put an offer on the house, but continues his search with Marisa.

Hopefully in season two we'll find out if Ezna's mother has her own bedroom or if she was forced to sleep on an inflatable mattress in the screening room.
· Selling LA Archives [Curbed LA]