New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel may be known for the quirky characters she frequently portrays in film and on the tee-vee, but her real life taste in residential real estate indicates to Yolanda that she’s a decidedly more traditional gal than a cinema-addicted person may think.
Before we begin: for those of you who appreciate the human element of real estate, Ms. Deschanel grew up rich in the posh parts of Los Angeles, the daughter of five times Oscar-nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel. Her parents have long owned a multi-million dollar home in the Pacific Palisades.
Ms. Deschanel rose to fame initially through supporting roles in blockbuster films (Almost Famous, The Good Girl) before carving out her own comedic niche in bigger starring roles (Elf, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Failure to Launch, Yes Man, and (500) Days of Summer). For the last 6+ years, Ms. Deschanel has hauled in the big bucks as the star of the aforementioned Fox sitcom New Girl.
Anyway, Ms. Deschanel surprised everyone less than three years ago when she shelled out the big bucks ($4,569,000 to be exact) for a spec-house. The unusual thing is that the property is not private (at all), does not sport a pool, and is located in a not-particularly-choice neighborhood. Though it’s technically in LA’s Manhattan Beach — and therefore still searingly expensive — the house is 10 minutes (by car) from the sand and is so far east that it’s practically in the hardly desirable Hawthorne section of town. In summary, Yolanda is of the opinion that it was a poor choice for a very famous celebrity. We are also of the opinion that Ms. Deschanel rather seriously overpaid for her house, as nothing in that locale has sold for anywhere close to $4.5 million.
Well, it seems we will soon know if Ms. Deschanel — who is married and has two young daughters, FYI — really did overpay for her Manhattan Beach house. Why? Because Yolanda has reason to believe she will want to sell it very soon.
Although Ms. Deschanel and her hubby Jason’s names do not appear on the deed, Yolanda happens to know that the couple have just slammed down a significant $5,575,000 for a 2004-built Manhattan Beach house that is less than a mile away from her current digs.
Called a “Cape Cod” in marketing materials, the new structure bears more than a passing resemblance to her old pad. Unfortunately, just like her former home, the house does not contain a pool. For more than $5.5 million, that would be a deal-breaker in Yolanda’s book. But apparently the very fair-skinned Ms. Deschanel doesn’t care much about such things. And in actuality, the $5.5 million pool-less pricetag is comparable to other sales in the immediate vicinity.
Yes, y’all, LA folks are crazy. But Manhattan Beach is a very nice area, of course.
We digress. The paltry .14-acre lot doesn’t allow much space, but there is a mostly undeveloped (save for some stone pavers) backyard that could hold a patch of grass or maybe a vegetable garden. Per public records, the new house of Deschanel clocks in at 4,704-square-feet of living space with 5 beds and 4.75 baths, which is actually slightly smaller than her current home.
So why on earth would Ms. Deschanel spend a million more bucks for a similar-lookin’ house that is both smaller, older, and situated on a more cramped lot than her current digs?
It’s all about the location, kiddies. Although both properties are (technically) in Manhattan Beach, this one is located in the very desirable “Tree” section of the city and is but a brisk 10-minute walk to the beach.
The online listing has notably few photographs, but the open-concept floorplan incorporates a rather ugly breakfast breakfast nook area, a family room, and a windowed kitchen equipped with stainless appliances, an island, and bar-style seating. A staircase with white risers lies off the entrance foyer.
All 5 of the bedrooms are located upstairs. The master suite has a petite private balcony overlooking the petite backyard. Somewhere there’s a hideously tacky wood-paneled game room with a cobalt blue ceiling and one of the ugliest pool tables we have ever laid eyes on. Yolanda advises Ms. Deschanel to burn it, burn it all to the ground.
Listing agent: Edward Kaminsky, Strand Hill Christie’s International
Zooey Deschanel’s agent: Tad Thormodsgaard, Palm Realty Boutique