Although it’s one of Southern California’s wealthiest communities, Bell Canyon is oft-overlooked by the press. Part of the blame lies with its rather remote location — though technically within the Ventura County boundaries, homes there must be accessed by driving through the LA County neighborhood of West Hills, making the area just a particularly far-flung San Fernando Valley suburb. Basically.
Still, though the enclave of 800 (or so) homes is decidedly suburban, it isn’t really so far out in the boonies as some folks make it seem. Heck, it’s just a quick 10-minute jaunt (by car) north of Calabasas! For our part, Yolanda likes to think of Bell Canyon as a (slightly) cheaper and less flashy alternative to Hidden Hills. Like its more famous neighbor to the south, Bell Canyon is guard-gated and sports miles of white picket fences. The illusion of semi-rural living is important out in these western LA ‘hoods, apparently.
And there’s also plenty of celebs. Though it can’t match Hidden Hills in terms of sheer star wattage, Bell Canyon sports its own horde of famous faces: Shaquille O’Neal, Trey Songz, Niecy Nash and Alyssa Milano all call it home.
Back in July (2018), a decidedly contemporary Bell Canyon mansion hit the market with a $4,950,000 thud. That’s an unheard-of price for the low-key area, where most homes range in value from $1 million at the ranch-style end to $2.5 million at the mansion end. But guess what? The aggressive ask worked, and the house was in escrow within a month. It eventually sold for $4.95 million.
Yes kids, that’s the full asking price. Every last penny; every grain of sand.
For the record, this is easily the biggest Bell Canyon transaction ever. Yolanda’s research indicates that it is over a million bucks more than any other home in the vicinity has ever fetched.
Yowza! So who could the spendthrift buyer be? Well, although the property was acquired through a trust, the new owner is someone y’all probably recognize: a man named Joseph “Joe” Rogan.
The very famous Mr. Rogan — he’s got millions of followers on the Instagram and Twitter contraptions — was born in New Jersey but grew up mostly in Massachusetts while raised by his single mom. A teenage karate prodigy, Mr. Rogan holds a black belt in taekwondo and was the Massachusetts full-contact state champion for four consecutive years before retiring due to injuries.
Mr. Rogan initially forged a career in stand-up comedy after dropping out of college. After a few years of bootstrappin’ his business, he was eventually offered a lucrative development deal with Disney. That contract would lead to a few acting roles and higher-profile stand-up gigs.
By the early 2000s, Mr. Rogan had landed a lucrative host role on Fear Factor, the hit NBC gameshow and was also working as a color commentator for the UFC. Exposure from those plum jobs would lead to the future success of his multiple comedy albums and his Joe Rogan Experience, which is one of the most-downloaded podcasts available. Today (in 2018), Joe Rogan is estimated to have a net worth of $25 million.
But Mr. Rogan’s career highlight — at least to Yolanda — was his 2018 interview with Elon Musk. The hours-long conversation included bits where the pair smoked weed and sipped whiskey together. Oh, and Mr. Musk also played with a flamethrower at one point. It was amazing.
Now in his early 50s, Mr. Rogan has been married to wifey Jessica Schimmel — she’s the daughter of comedian Robert Schimmel — for nearly ten years. The couple have two elementary school-age daughters, and he’s also a stepdad to her adult daughter from a prior relationship.
But onward to the real estate. Turns out that the Rogans are not new to Bell Canyon. In fact, Mr. Rogan has lived in the area for over fifteen years, since shortly after he made it big in showbiz. It was then, in early 2003, that he bought his current Bell Canyon abode, a Mediterranean-influenced mansion that’s less than 5 minutes (by car) from his new place.
Clearly Mr. Rogan is fond of his current location. But his two homes — the old one and the new — are so totally divergent in style that we’ve gotta wonder if this guy is going through a midlife crisis of some sort. Could be! Most fellas just go out and buy a Corvette when they reach middle age. But when you’re rich like Mr. Rogan, you cop a sexy $5 million contemporary manse instead.
(We tease, Mr. Rogan!)
Records show the property was last sold in late 2014 to a local man named Elad Brachot, who acquired the then-vacant 1.27-acre lot for the paltry sum of $400,000. Our Mr. Brachot then spec-built the 8,720-square-foot “architectural masterpiece” (per the listing) that y’all see above. He also most assuredly made major bank after selling it to Mr. Rogan for nearly for $5 million. Good for our Mr. Brachot, we suppose.
The house sits well below the street out front — so low, in fact, that pedestrians walkin’ by will see little more than the home’s roof from their vantage point. That’s sorta good for privacy, but your gurl feels bad for Mr. Rogan’s gardeners, the fellas who will have to lug his overflowing garbage cans up to the street every week. We hope Mr. Rogan gives them a nice holiday bonus.
A paver stone driveway leads down, down, down to a four-car garage and motorcourt with additional off-street parking for several more vehicles. We don’t think the row of garage doors that greet incoming guests is particularly elegant — especially for a $5 million home — but nobody really cares about our opinions anyway. We digress.
The most unusual aspect of this house is that most (all?) of the mansion’s six bedrooms are located on the ground floor. Usually you’d find those suites upstairs, but the lot’s steep slope dictates that the entryway here is actually on the upper level.
Wooden doors swing open to a voluminous foyer that includes a sculptural chandelier. Beyond that is a massive open living space with a fireplace, dining table, chic kitchen with Thermador appliances, marble island and bar-style seating, and a more intimate family area with couches and views over the surrounding hills. Medium grey hardwood floors run throughout the entire house, and the upstairs also has an outdoor covered balcony for enjoying balmy days (and nights).
Downstairs is another intimate family area plus a snazzy media/game room combo. Also buried down there is the master suite, which features walls of glass overlooking the backyard and distant peaks. The master bath looks straight outta a luxe Vegas suite with its glistening marble floors and purple mood lighting. Ooh la la!
Naturally, there’s also a wine cellar/rack with a tasting area. Walls of glass disappear to allow access to the backyard. There’s a long covered porch with LED lighting and an outdoor dining table, a negative-edge swimming pool and spa, plus a firepit, BBQ, and plenty of stone terrace space for sitting or lounging.
As previously mentioned, the Rogans don’t have far to move — their current Bell Canyon house is basically just down the hill and around a couple corners from the new pad. Realistically, they don’t even need a U-haul. All Mr. and Mrs. Rogan gotta do is load up the family minivan (or Escalade or Range Rover, as is more likely) and make a few trips to get all their junk transferred over.
Speaking of the old Rogan house, the couple have been trying to unload the property (off and on) for years now, at a variety of prices ranging from $2.5 million all the way up to $3.4 million. Records show that Mr. Rogan scooped up the two-parcel property as a single man way back in early 2003 for just over $2.2 million.
Spanning 7,573-square-feet of living space, the current Rogan estate includes an open-floorpan main living area with an upgraded kitchen and a family room equipped with a giant golden Buddha (we actually mistook that for a C-3PO replica at first). The opulent interiors include multiple crystal chandeliers and out back there’s a pool with inset spa, in-ground trampoline, and a children’s playset.
The 2.14-acre estate was first listed for sale in 2009, again in 2011, and again in 2017. The last asking price was $3,095,000, but so far no takers. Although the house is not currently on the market, if you’ve got about $3 million to spare and fancy living out in Bell Canyon, Mr. and Mrs. Rogan would very much like to sell you their wee slice of paradise. Give Joe a ring.
Listing agents: Oren Osovski, Keller Williams Calabasas; Rory Shevin, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Joe Rogan’s agent: Erica Fields, Coldwell Banker Calabasas