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Rent vs. Buy Case Study in Hollywood's Chateau Beachwood

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The stretch of North Beachwood Drive leading into Hollywoodland is blessed with a bountiful array of 1920s and '30s architecture, but one of its most striking examples is the well-preserved Chateau Beachwood. Designed in 1937 by architect Walter C. King, it is said to have been built to house Warner Brothers starlets, and to have boasted Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, and Anne Heche as former occupants (we'll certainly buy the latter, though we have our doubts about the first two). The 10-unit French-style complex went condominium in 1989, and although openings aren't all that common, two units happen to have been listed today, one for sale and one for lease. Up for sale is a 1,200 square foot corner unit with two bedrooms, one and a half baths (including the "original master bathroom"), powder room, living room, dining area, and kitchen with adjacent laundry room. Per the listing, features include strip-oak flooring, magnesite stairways, "wedding-cake" relief plaster, and wood casement windows. Asking price for the condo, which comes with one garage parking space, is $529,000; however, there's also the not-so-small matter of the Homeowners' Association fees--$400/month.

Up for lease is the townhouse-style unit next door. Measuring in at 1,177 square feet, this two bedroom, one and a half bath unit also features strip-oak flooring, magnesite stairways, "wedding-cake" relief plaster, and wood casement windows, although, per the listing, this unit's master bath has (alas!) been remodeled. Monthly rent for the townhouse, available as of May 15, is $3,000.
· 2203 N BEACHWOOD Dr [Redfin]
· New Lease at Chateau Beachwood [LA Vintage Condos]