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Selling LA, Episode 208: $10 Million Taste

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Welcome to Episode 208 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 but recovering market. Keep trying kids. This week we're following Gary Gold and Nicole Contreras. Let's begin.

We start this week with Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland. Gary meets his clients Melissa and Rachel, the dreaded mother and aspiring child star duo, at their temporary rental. They are in LA for a few days and have been tasked with doing reconnaissance on potential homes for the entire family's eventual relocation from New York City. They're focusing on houses in the $3 to $4 million range, but Melissa admits she has $10 million tastes. Gary looks thrilled as usual.

Gary's first move is to brings Melissa and Rachel to a house in the Pacific Palisades. The house located at 1060 El Medio Place features 5,234 sq. ft., four beds, four baths, and is being listed at $4.995 million. Per the listing, the 2009 house was "designed by James Blakely III and renowned Scrafano architects." It's quite lovely, and Melissa seems to like everything it offers except for the kitchen, which is a bit closed off from the rest of the house. She also appreciates that the yard has a grassy area where her son can practice kicking his soccer balls

On the second stop, Gary brings Melissa and Rachel to a gated house in Trousdale Estates. The 5,214 sq. ft. house located at 475 Castle Place is being listed for $4.395 million. It features five beds, five and one-half baths. Melissa loves the tall ceilings and openness of the floor plan, which she says reminds her of a New York loft.... mmmkay. However, her spoiler monkey sidekick derides the house for having only one story. The child actress-in-waiting prefers two floors. Continuing on the walkthrough, Gary points out that the pool is dated and needs to be redone, as does the master bath, which is covered is some sort of hideous burgundy tile. Having seen enough for the day, they all agree to meet the following morning for breakfast to regroup.

At breakfast, Melissa admits to liking the Trousdale area, just not necessarily the house they saw. Gary tells them he will refocus his search for houses in that area.

For the final stop of their tour, Gary brings Melissa and Rachel to another house in Beverly Hills. The 5,193 sq.ft. house located at 9505 Hidden Valley Rd. features five beds, six baths and is being listed at $5.395 million. Luckily, the house features two floors and an open kitchen. But there's no grass in the backyard. Too bad. Maybe Melissa's son can kick balls in the middle of the street.

Although the houses didn't meet every possible desire that they had, Gary tells the camera that he was more interested in showing them what the market has to offer in order to get them hooked on the LA lifestyle. He realizes he doesn't have an actual buyer until they return to New York and convince the rest of the family to move to LA.

At the end of his segment, Gary has a videochat with Melissa and Rachel, who are back in New York. Melissa tells Gary that her husband is on board with the move to LA and she is planning to bring him to LA shortly to continue the house hunt. The postscript notes that the family is now in LA and they hope to find a home in the next six months. It's assumed that Gary is helping with the search, but maybe not. No sale for Gary this episode.

In the second storyline of the episode, Nicole Contreras of the Valerie Fitzgerald Group is back yet again. She is in Newport Beach meeting Meghan, an interior designer and recent divorcee. We assume they're longtime besties since Nicole seems to be going out of her way to have a girls weekend at the Montage with Meghan, or else she's just a seriously dedicated real estate agent. One Curbed reader has emailed in speculating that Nicole and Meghan are actually related, but it's unclear.

Apparently flush with cash post-divorce, Meghan tells Nicole that she is looking for a home with five bedrooms, a pool, an ocean view, in a guard gated community and good school district for her two sons.

While admittedly not familiar with the area, Nicole agrees to take Meghan to visit houses that might fit what she is looking for. The first home they look at is located in the planned community of Crystal Cove in Newport Beach. Ugh, Orange County. The 7,000 sq.ft. home located at 5 Currents is listed at $7.4 million and features five beds, six baths, a pool with jacuzzi, and views of the ocean and Pelican Hills Golf Course. Despite its location, the layout of the house is very nice with an enclosed central courtyard and large deck. Meghan likes the house, and feels it offers enough room to accommodate her, her boys and her nanny. However, she's not a big fan of the kitchen. She needs something that opens up to the rest of the house so she can keep tabs on her kids.

Nicole next brings Meghan to a house in the gated community of Pelican Hill. From the outside of the house, everything seems ok. Typical Orange County grandiosity. However, on the inside they are hit in the face with white marble, gold leaf columns, and black lacquer. The home, located at 1 Gallery Place, features six bedrooms, seven and one-half baths, 7,700 sq. ft. of floor area, and is being listed for $6.8 million.Unfortunately, Nicole didn't have time to preview it so she is as mortified as Meghan. To fix the house into something that wouldn't assault all five senses would cost Meghan too much time and money, so she takes a pass.

Hoping to do better on her third try, Nicole brings Meghan to another house in Pelican Hill. Listed at $5.5 million, the house at 17 Harbor Light features 7,500 sq. ft., five bedrooms, seven baths, and two big lions at the front gate. Nicole notes that it appears to be a lion neighborhood considering the lion statues all over the place. The inside of the house isn't as packed to the gills with gold leaf as the last one, but this house does feature a big angel mural, lots of marble and white carpet, and a pool that could use a makeover. Meghan tells Nicole that she was hoping to find something more turnkey.

Later, Meghan and Nicole meet for lunch to discuss her options. Meghan tells Nicole that while she liked the Crystal cove house, she probably isn't ready to buy it, so instead she would like to lease it. Nicole returns to speak with the broker for the Crystal Cove house, who informs her that it has already been leased. Terrible! Now they can't even lease a house on this show.

The postscript notes that Meghan found another home for lease in Newport Beach and she hopes to start the search for house to buy in six months. It's unclear if Nicole helped her lease the other house, but we presume the postscript would have noted that.
· Selling LA Archives [Curbed LA]