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Moritz Thiele lays out $10 million cash in the Birds

This story is by special request from a longtime reader. Let’s call him Mike because, well, that’s his name.

If anyone here religiously follows high-end LA real estate listings, you’ve probably stumbled across today’s uber-contemporary house at least a couple times. The property was for sale (off and on) for nearly seven years, beginning way back in April 2012. At one point, the pricetag was a ridiculous $19 million.

The busy-busy home

Custom-built in 2007 by a man named Jerry Preston, the unique pad is located in the scary expensive Bird Streets, a neighborhood high above LA’s iconic Sunset Strip generally considered to be the most desirable section of the Hollywood Hills.

Perennially unsold, but sometimes rented (Google Maps)

After years on the market, several realtor changes and numerous pricechops — and one renter who paid $50,000/month to lease the premises — the property was listed with a new high-end real estate team last year and finally sold this January for exactly $10 million in cash.

We’ll get to the buyer momentarily, but first let’s chat more about the home’s history. Even if y’all do not follow LA real estate, this property may look familiar — the eye-catching architecture has garnered it various media appearances. Most famously, the house was featured in the mega-hit video game Grand Theft Auto V — yes, those crafty GTAV creators actually included an (almost) exact replica of this place in their virtual city. Pretty cool.

The house in real life (upper pic) and in Grand Theft Auto (lower pic)

Although the swoopy mansion doesn’t yet have an IMDB page, it also nabbed a starring role in 2014’s hit comedy Horrible Bosses 2, where it posed as the home of professional jerk Rex Hanson (portrayed by actor Chris Pine). If y’all didn’t catch the house on film, here’s a YouTube video of it.

WARNING: (The YouTube clip is rather offensive and definitely unsuitable for young children and ancient old fogies — AKA Yolanda — alike. Watch at your own peril. And make sure you’re wearing big gurl panties.)

Anywho, the $10 million cash buyer is a German dude named Moritz Thiele. Our Mr. Thiele founded Finanzcheck.de, a Hamburg-based FinTech company/website mainly known as an online comparison portal for consumer loans. Think of the site as Google Shopping but for price-checking lending rates.

Moritz Thiele (photo: Deutsche Startups)

Finanzcheck was founded in either 2010 or 2012 — depending on where one looks online — and in less than a decade, Mr. Thiele bootstrapped the business into a majorly successful online price comparison portal that now employs 267 people. And in July 2017, all that work paid off when the site was acquired by German conglomerate Scout24. The 285 million euro sales price is approximately equivalent to $325 million USD at today’s conversion rates.

So our boy can afford just about any house he wants. And though he remains Finanzcheck’s CEO, 37-year-old Mr. Thiele is apparently unmarried and wants a fancy LA bachelor pad. So that’s what he bought.

Some sourpuss naysayers may decry the cacophonic architecture here — there’s wood accents mixed with glass, metal and stucco. Plus the multiple layers of walls — some crisp and jarring, others curvy and wildly undulating. It’s quite a dramatic appearance, that’s for certain.

The single-story structure sits on a half-acre lot and has 5,749-square-feet of living space with 4 beds and 4 baths. As y’all might expect, there’s a full security system with cameras, alarms and the like.

Just within the custom-made from door is a sunken living room with a fireplace and high ceilings. An open family room area lies adjacent to a wet bar and a rather austere kitchen with bar-style seating and fancy stainless appliances. Somewhere there’s a wine cellar/room bigger than some studio apartments.

Disappearing walls of glass allow the relaxed indoor/outdoor lifestyle for which SoCal is so famous. A rectangular infinity pool overlooks the shimmering LA skyline — “some of the best jetliner views in the city,” boasts the listing.

Yolanda will not speculate on why this place took so many years to sell — maybe the prior owners were just too greedy, we dunno. We’ll leave that discussion to the real estate experts and our (very) opinionated readers. Care to sound off in the comments? Don’t be shy.

Mr. Thiele’s new house is located on a cul-de-sac near the tippy-top of the Birds, in a neighborhood pocket known as Doheny Estates. Although there ain’t any big “celebrities” on this particular street, homeboy does have lots of near-billionaire businesspeople as neighbors — folks like tech entrepreneur Ted Waitt, baller British heir Ashley Tabor, hedge funder Steve Wisch, British CEO Dr. Greg Bailey, Mexican investor Mauricio Oberfeld and Canadian entrepreneur Sam Magid.

EDIT: Whoops, Yolanda didn’t realize that Sam Magid quietly passed away last year. No wonder his former home is on the market with a $23 million ask.

Listing agents: The Altman Brothers, Douglas Elliman
Moritz Thiele’s agent: Amy Black, Redfin

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