A big-ass mansion in Hidden Hills sold recently for a hefty $9,000,000. Make no mistake, that’s a large figure for 2016’s real estate world, kids. The market may still be quite hot on the lower end – we’re talking sub-$5 million or so – but in the ultra-high-end luxury market, things have considerably slowed, even since just a year ago. We’re not sure if it’s just a bump on the road to billion-dollar properties or if it’s indicative of more troubling economic times ahead, but the market is losing steam at the very top. At least in LA.
It’s a shame for nosy hoes like Yolanda Yakketyyak, who love to hear all the juice about the really big sales. But that’s what it is. And frankly, it’s time. Even your gurl, an eternal optimist if ever there was one, thinks our real estate here is unsustainably overpriced.
Anwho. Back to horsey Hidden Hills. Believe it or not, but there are many other rich folks in Hidden Hills besides just those krazy Kardashians and those random rappers and sports stars that hog the tabloid headlines. One of those people is the low-profile Lori Milgard, who most folks ain’t never heard of but is significantly richer than the Kardashians and their ilk.
Ms. Milgard originally hails from Washington State and has a whole boatload of money thanks to her parents’ former ownership of Milgard Manufacturing/Milgard Windows & Doors, a company they sold way back in 2002 for many hundreds of millions of dollars. Exact terms were not disclosed, but the cash-and-stock sale reportedly included $420 million worth of stock alone, so we’d guess the final sale price was the better part of a billion. Maybe even more. So you see, Ms. Milgard is loaded. We’re talking real big, big, big money here. Yolanda happens to know that she and her two adult children are also notably philanthropic and involved in the day-to-day running of the Boys & Girls Club organization, so kudos to them for their time and efforts when they clearly could be eating bon-bons and drinking Pink Champale on a Caribbean beach for the rest of their lives if they so desired.
But we digress again – back to the subject at hand. Because many of Hidden Hills’ residents are celebrities, we were naturally curious about who would fork out such a big number to live in the community. Sure enough, property records reveal the buyers is carefully shielded behind something called the “Groovy Bamboo Trust” – and those oddly-named trusts always indicate the buyer is a famous ho. Yolanda just happens to know that particular trust’s beneficiaries happen to be portly TV producer Dan Schneider and his wife Lisa Lillien, who (ironically?) has built a mini-empire out of her Hungry Girl weight-watching recipes.
Mr. Schneider, in case you didn’t know, is pretty much the honorary owner of Nickelodeon thanks to all the successful shows he’s created for the kiddies there. These include iCarly, Drake & Josh, Zoey101, Victorious, and a bunch of other shows we also ain’t never seen but which you can all be assured have been exceedingly lucrative for Mr. Schneider. And they’ve also catapulted people such as Ariana Grande, Amanda Bynes, and Jamie Lynn Spears to international fame and varying degrees of fortune.
A little digging online reveals there’s some shockingly salacious rumors and accusations floating around about Mr. Schneider that seem so potentially libelous that Yolanda refuses to even mention them here. We just don’t know anything about them, folks. Though we’ve observed the old adage “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” tends to be true, Mr. Schneider might also be an innocent victim of an ugly internet smear campaign. Let’s move on.
Back to the house. The property was originally built in 2007 and purchased from the original owners by Ms. Milgard in 2009. Records show she forked over $7,500,000 – a big number during the height of the recession – and first attempted to unload it in 2011 and then again starting in June 2014 until Mr. Schneider & Ms. Lillien finally came along nearly two years later.
The sprawling behemoth, described in marketing materials as “Country French style”, weighs in at a mammoth 13,000 square feet and packs in 8 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms plus a small guesthouse out by the pool.
The front entrance hall has enough space to park a medium-sized Gulfstream or maybe even Kimmy K’s industrial-sized booty, on the off-chance she comes over asking to borrow a cup of sugar. (What? It could happen. Remember, Kanye’s $53 million in debt, even though Kimmy insists she’s got her man’s back).
The open-concept kitchen has white cabinetry with white countertops on the huge center island and black ones everywhere else. We’re not such a fan of all the acres of rather uninspired interior decor like the off-white walls, the rather sad ceilings, and all those itsy-bitsy fluorescent crappers, but to each their own.
Somewhere there’s an office with fireplace and views into the backyard. We like the huge theater with all those comfy-looking seats.
The ho-hum master bedroom has chocolate-stained wood flooring plus a bunch of staged-looking furniture and a massive fireplace. The master bath could probably double as a spare ballroom or boat/RV garage.
As everyone who’s ever lived in the San Fernando Valley (or has had the misfortune to visit there during the summer) knows, it gets hot as hell. Which is why we appreciate this “outdoor” lounge, where you can bask in the boiling heat without the fear of the sun touching your pristine skin.
The backyard includes a vast swathe of thirsty-looking grass and other assorted foliage. Check out the barren ridge just above the back – that’s what natural Valley landscaping looks like. Yowza! Can you imagine how many thousands of gallons of water Ms. Milgard has to pour on her shit to keep it that pristine shade of green? Where’s the Beverly Hills water-shaming crew’s Valley branch?
Property records reveal that Mr. Schneider and Ms. Lillien recently came down with a bad case of The Real Estate Fickle, as our friend Your Mama would say. Since 1999, when they bought it for $915,000, the couple have resided in a 5-bed and 5-bath residence in a nice-but-not-particularly-posh area of Encino.
However, just last January (2015), the obviously-wealthy couple very quietly coughed up $4,740,000 for a much-larger 9000+ square foot sprawler located just down the hill from their longtime residence (in a much pricier pocket of the ‘hood, natch).
This property looks almost eerily similar to their new Hidden Hills house, with a rambling floorplan, another huge “outdoor room”, and a bland and (in Yolanda’s opinion) too-white interior treatment.
Yolanda happens to know that Mr. Schneider and Ms. Lillien never moved into their new Encino mansion. The property was put back up for sale in October of last year with an asking price of $5,195,000, where it lingers today. Frankly, y’all, we don’t understand why any buyer would pay $450k more than what the Schneider/Lilliens paid only a year ago for an unchanged house, but then again what do we really know? Nothing, that’s what.
As for Ms. Milgard, where oh where did the lady go? Oh dear. Do you really want to know? Okay, well, there must be something in the Valley water because all these crazy fools seem to have come down with the the same dreadful Real Estate Fickle. Nearly two years ago, in June 2014, Ms. Milgard somewhat unexpectedly plunked down a big-time $12,000,000 on a sexy glass pad in the celebrity-infested and centrally-located “Bird Streets” area of the Hollywood Hills, way up near the top of legendary Blue Jay Way. The price was reportedly a per-square-foot area record. Only 8 months later, poor Ms. Milgard was already trying to sell the pad for $13,995,000. After a few months on the market with no bites, the property was yanked off the MLS. As far as we can tell, Ms. Milgard remains the owner as of today.
Some of Ms. Milgard’s closest new neighbors in the Birds include fellow heiress Whitney Kroenke, actor Matthew Perry, DJ Avicii, and Instagram king Dan Bilzerian. Jennifer Aniston has long owned a residence almost directly across the street from Ms. Milgard’s pad which she reportedly uses as office space.
But wait a minute. We don’t think Lady Milgard is currently living in the Bird Streets house. In April 2015, Ms. Milgard paid $2,700,000 in an off-market deal for a recently-renovated 2,755-square-foot ranch-style residence (rendering above) back in good ol’ Hidden Hills. Seems the lady intends to stay in the neighborhood after all, just in a smaller pad now that her kids are grown. Given this change of heart, we’re not sure what’s going to happen to her Birds pad. Will she sell it quietly? Rent it? Keep it as an investment? Hmmm. We shall see, shan’t we?
Finally – and just because we can’t resist a few degrees of real estate separation – Ms. Milgard has a first cousin named Allison Milgard. This other Ms. Milgard bought a two-house compound in the Ho-wood Hills from serial house hopper Ellen Degeneres and then proceeded to date her ex, Hollywood lesbian Alexandra Hedison. After a few years, Ms. Milgard sold one of the two houses to actor Stephen Merchant and the other – ready for this? – right back to Ellen Degeneres. Ms. DeGeneres, it seems, was feeling a wee bit nostalgic. But now she’s already bought a new house in Beverly Hills and Nick Jonas is reportedly renting the old DeGeneres-Milgard-DeGeneres house.
Whew! And so it goes.