Reality television pioneer turned fashion designer and entrepreneur Lauren Conrad rang in the New Year right with a big announcement: she’s expecting her first child with her former indie musician hubby William Tell.
That the Audi R8-driving former Laguna Beach: The Real OC and The Hills star would find time to become pregnant is impressive to Yolanda — Ms. Conrad is a busy, busy lady who presides over several fashion lines that are sold in major retail stores nationwide. Oh, and she’s also quite the savvy real estate investor. At the tender age of 30, she has already assembled a $20 million portfolio of luxury properties that would make most multi-millionaires quite jelly, we think.
And as Ms. Chen at The Real Deal already revealed, LC is still movin’ and shakin’ on the property front. She has just listed her swanky Pacific Palisades estate for sale with an asking price of $5,195,000 — nearly $800k more than the $4,400,000 she paid less than two years ago, back in April 2015. Let’s take a quick look-see what Ms. Conrad has done to the place that justifies such a substantial increase.
Here’s how the house appeared when she bought it back in 2015, if you’d like to judge for yourself.
First off, some stats: the 5-bed/5.5-bath, 5,871-square-foot house was built in 2004 and sits in the ritzy (if rather remote) Highlands neighborhood of Pacific Palisades, in the back of the guard-gated Enclave community. The listing rather grandiosely terms the residence a “Santa Barbara Spanish” although to Yolanda’s eyes it appears more like a well-styled mock-Med.
Total privacy seems to be the theme here: the house sits way far back on its 1.5-acre lot, up a long driveway lined with olive tree planters. Additionally, the house abuts the open land of the Santa Monica mountains. Expect to see deer and coyotes and perhaps even the occasional bear or two up at Ms. Conrad’s house.
A quick comparison of old and new listing photos reveals that Ms. Conrad replaced the rather ugly pavestone driveway with a much lovelier pebble motorcourt. Tell us, kiddies, is there anything more satistfying than the sound of a Rolls Royce or Bentley rolling slowly over a crunchy pebble driveway? Yolanda thinks not.
It appears Ms. Conrad has applied a fresh coat of white paint inside and out, but changes otherwise seem minor. She has sealed off a pass-through from the entry vestibule to the staircase (wonder why? Isn’t that bad feng shui or something?). But the living room appears entirely unchanged, with the exception of some new furniture.
We do think Ms. Conrad did a good job with the kitchen, which previously managed to look both dated and like it was trying far too hard to be “Country French” or some such nonsense. Marble countertops and high end appliances remain — a SubZero fridge and a La Cornue range that definitely costs more than Ms. Conrad’s assistant’s new Toyota.
The wide-plank rustic hardwood floors continue from the kitchen into the adjacent breakfast space and family room, with its vaulted ceilings and french doors leading to the grassy backyard.
It appears that Ms. Conrad spent most of her renovation dollars in the master suite. And that’s a good thing because it was a bit of a depressing hot mess beforehand. New hardwood floors grace the bedroom, and the tile bathroom has been redesigned with a frilly new soaking tub. A glass-enclosed shower remains, as does the walk-in closet with plenty of storage for Ms. Conrad’s designer wardrobe.
In addition to the four guest/family bedroom suites, the house also has a couple bonus rooms, both of which appear to be decked out as offices/studies.
The sloped lot means that yard space isn’t quite as abundant as you might expect for a 1.5-acre property, but it does have all the necessary features like a full outdoor dining area (with more pebbles!) a lagoon-style pool w/ spa, and an outdoor fireplace for enjoying those chilly January nights.
As we’ve already mentioned, in addition to her Pacific Palisades manor house, Ms. Conrad presides over an impressive luxury real estate collection. Last February (2016) she sold her renovated Beverly Hills apartment penthouse for $2,800,000, more than double what she paid for it four years prior. She’s also got a charming house in Brentwood that she paid $3,651,375 for back in 2012. And in her hometown of Laguna Beach, she owns not one but two multi-million dollar houses: a small cottage acquired for $2,000,000 back in 2009 and a baller-style blufftop house in a prestigious guard-gated community for which she paid a very A-list $8,500,000 back in 2014.
And while Yolanda would guess that Ms. Conrad has not sunk anywhere near $800k in renovations into her Palisades property, home prices are crazy these days. We think our gurl just might get close to her asking price for the house we just discussed. So if you’ve got $5 million to spare and a mock-Med mansion in Pacific Palisades is your cup of real estate tea, hurry up and give Ms. Conrad a ring-ring.
Listing agent: Cary Glenn, Main Beach Realty