Some time ago, as he is wont to do, our friend Vlad the Revealer at Celebrity Address Aerial rang our proverbial doorbell to breathlessly ask about a house. Said house is a boxy contemporary thing in the proverbial heart of West Hollywood, and it recently sold to a mysterious blind trust controlled by a well-known Hollywood business manager. Yolanda was curious about the celebrity buyer’s identity, so we opened a right proper real estate investigation.
Lo and behold, much to Yolanda’s surprise, we were told the buyer of the house is not a famous entertainer but rather a local real estate agent! No, seriously. His name is Matt Altman, and he is currently with the Douglas Elliman brokerage. He also frequently pops up on that Million Dollar Listing TV show, where his brother/business partner Josh stars.
Naturally, Mr. Altman is one of the most successful agents around town and peddles some of LA’s priciest homes in the city to a variety of billionaires and assorted superstars. That has all made him a very rich man. Case in point: less than one year ago, he raked in $8,550,000 when he sold his personal residence in guard-gated Mulholland Estates to model/reality TV hog Kendall Jenner. (Mr. Altman had purchased the property only a year prior for $5.4 million from financially-beleaguered actor Charlie Sheen).
Since then, Mr. Altman’s whereabouts have been a mystery (if anyone was wondering about his whereabouts), but it seems he is willing to slum it down in WeHo for the time being. Records show that Mr. Altman’s trust paid $2,896,250 for the property, where he bunks up with his lovely wife Johanna Sicat.
Now kiddies, $2.9 million is a lot of money to most folks, but it is also nearly $500,000 less than this house sold for only 18 months prior, in December 2015.
Why the steep decline in value? Hmmm. We think it might be a combo of several factors. For one, the property was brand-new in 2015, so maybe that cool new-construction sheen wore off quickly. Perhaps the original owner just wildly overpaid. Or maybe other potential buyers were scared off by home’s connection to a particularly grisly 2016 murder. You see, the home’s original owner — the one who paid $3.4 million in 2015 — is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial for the torture killing of his girlfriend. If found guilty, he could potentially be saddled with the death penalty.
In May 2017, Canadian construction heir Blake Leibel murdered his model girlfriend (and mother of his infant daughter) Iana Kasian. The case made headlines due to both the graphic nature of the slaying and Mr. Leibel’s wealth. He is the son of Canadian construction magnate Lorne Leibel, and last year his brother Cody paid more than $25 million for a big house up in guard-gated Beverly Park. (But we digress…)
We refuse to recount all the horrific murder details here — call us a snowflake if you must, but it is simply all too shocking and might upset the young’uns who frequent Yolanda’s blog. But suffice to say that poor Miss Kasian was scalped, and her body completely drained of blood. If y’all can stomach the macabre, click here to read more.
Yolanda is not certain if Mr. Leibel had even moved into this house by the time the murder occurred, but we do know the killing did not take place here — rather, it went down in a nearby West Hollywood apartment. But now let’s thankfully get on to more pleasant things: the house in question.
While the .14-acre lot won’t win any size queen awards, the size is typically for this area and the house is fully hedged and gated for privacy. There is a two-car garage and off-street space for two more vehicles on the driveway.
The metal front door swings open to an airy inner atrium, which in turn leads to the 4,800-square-foot house. As is typical with most contemporaries in this area, the first floor is essentially one giant room of intertwined public spaces.
There is a formal dining area, a living area, a kitchen with high-end appliances, and acres of walnut hardwood flooring.
The master suite has a sitting area, a fireplace plus a cubbyhole to store one’s wood (ahem) and a large walk-in closet large enough to accommodate most designer wardrobes. The master bath takes a more austere approach with grey porcelain tiles, but it is equipped with a party sized-shower, dual vanities, and a soaking tub.
(And check out that Jeff Koons balloon dog hiding under the staircase!)
In addition to the master bath, there are 4 additional bedrooms and 5 more baths. Other spaces include an office and a rather cramped gym. The backyard contains a saltwater pool, but the standout outdoor space is the 1,600-square-foot rooftop deck, with its fireplace and numerous options for lounging. Plus, check out that over-the-treetops view of the city.
Mr. Altman and Ms. Sicat put this house up for lease at $22,500 per month earlier this year (2018), though as far as Yolanda knows they continue to reside there.
As for Mr. Leibel, records show he still owns a stately 1926 Tudor house in Beverly Hills for which he paid about $3.8 million in 2014. This house, Yolanda believes, is currently occupied by his ex-wife and their two young sons.
As we were beginngin to write up this story, Yolanda received word from a snitch that Mr. Altman’s older (and arguably more famous) brother Josh had also quietly completed the acquisition of a new home. If y’all care about the Altmans – or heck, even if you don’t — stay tuned.
Listing agent (lease): Matt Altman, Douglas Elliman