SELLER: Maria Bello
LOCATION: Venice, CA
SIZE: 1,759 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Television and movie actress Maria Bello must really have an itch to shake up her living situation because the two time Golden Globe nominee recently pushed her multi-colored and Buddhist iconography packed Craftsman style abode in arty-farty (and still a bit nitty-gritty) Venice, CA on the market at a (small) loss.
Your Mama’s brief and entirely unscientific research shows the current $1,850,000 asking price represents a $45,000 loss on the $1,895,000 she paid for the place in November 2005. That’s probably a pretty doable amount for a reasonably well-do-to working actress like Miz Bello but one that does not take into account improvement expenses, carrying costs and real estate fees. Even if her very team of successful real estate agents coaxes a full price sale, depending on how much she did or did not spend on renovations and etc., Miz Bello’s losses could easily tally up to a couple hundred grand.
Current listing details show the two-story 1915 Craftsman sits secreted behind a gated fence and high hedge on a postage stamp sized, .08-care parcel on one of Venice’s famous walk streets. The L.A. County Tax Man indicates the three bedroom and 2.5 bathroom house has 1,759 square feet while the official listing shows 2,085 square feet.
West side real estate snobs may grouse about what a gang-infested ghetto Venice still is and how the community’s hordes of RV dwellers sometimes dump their fecal waste on the streets but they can snipe all they want because the area is none-the-less quite and increasingly pricey. It’s also home to Abbott Kinney, currently and arguably the most interesting and impossibly hipsterish shopping and dining enclave in all of Los Angeles.
Anyhoodles poodles, a compact but well organized front entry garden has a minuscule patch of faux-grass and a slightly raised deck with lounging and dining and lounging partly furnished with Parisian park chairs that look like they could have come from the Rose Bowl Flea Market where Your Mama and our stylish and dear old friend Flower from New York are headed in a couple weeks to scout out and score some vintage finds. But we digress…
Tomato red French doors mark the official entry through a wee glassed in foyer/sitting room/veranda. Fortunately for all use aesthetic sensitivos, the mortifying but practical patchwork slate tile flooring in the foyer/sitting room/veranda switches to the far more pleasing original narrow strip wood floors in the living room that gracefully and thankfully stretches the full width of the house. One end of the room is anchored by a book shelf flanked red brick fireplace and the other end by more book-filled built-in bookshelves, a frumpy-lumpy slip-covered sofa and a big ol’ wall-mounted flat scree tee-vee.
The medium brown toned wood floors continue into the dining room that’s equipped with a charming built-in buffet and dressed with dark chocolate colored walls, a rustic and well-worn farmhouse table girdled on three sides by bent cane bistro chairs and a beaded chandelier that looks almost exactly like an upside-down Chinese coolie hat.
Hardly huge, the kitchen is reasonably sized for a small(ish) house with plenty of room for a mac-daddy commercial style range, a vintage metal-topped table for two set in front of garden view windows and a butcher block topped center work island equipped with handy-dandy vegetable sink. The beige tile on the rest of the counter tops—by Your Mama’s humble and utterly meaningless decorative opinion—are an offense to the eyes and the pot rack is, well, a pot rack and anyone who’s been hanging around our little online endeavor for very long surely knows by now that Your Mama has no use for a damn pot rack.
All three of the bedrooms at Miz Bello’s house are located on the second floor according to listing details. Two guest/family bedrooms—one with a ribbon of square windows—share an average sized but (generically) renovated hall bathroom with pedestal sink and perfectly ordinary square white tile lined tub/shower combination. The master bedroom isn’t gonna work for master bedroom size queens but it is sunny with windows on two walls and does have a walk-in closet and a reasonably roomy if dated, late 1980s era attached bathroom with two sink vanity, gray-ish blue tile work and dark stained wood work, a vaulted and wood beamed ceiling and, finally, a spa tub and separate glassed in stall shower.
Given that the entire lot is smaller than many suburban tract houses it’s really a wonderful feat of space planning that there’s any additional outdoor space beyond the aforementioned humbly scaled front yard area. The kitchen has direct access to a narrow graveled side yard with raised herb garden and there’s another smidgen of yard marooned behind both the house and the detached single car garage that, according to listing information, could be converted to additional off-street parking.
Miz Bello previously and briefly owned a converted commercial building in Venice that had been used as a small hotel in the 1940s. She sold the loft-like residence in November 2005 for $2,715,000 to Incubus front man Brandon Boyd who, in turn, sold the quirky crib at a small loss in February 2012 for $2,705,000 to an as yet unidentified buyer who may or may not be a celebrity.
Although she’s rarely the headlining star, a quick spin through the interweb reveals Miz Bello’s been shaking her smoky voiced money maker around Tinseltown for 20-some years and has an extensive resume that shows stints on t.v. programs that include Mr. and Mrs. Smith, E.R. and Prime Suspect. Her numerous silver screen credits include A History of Violence, The Cooler and Coyote Ugly. She currently has a regular recurring role on Touch with Kiefer Sutherland and half a dozen movie projects in the works that include Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal and The Third Person with Mila Kunis and James Franco.
listing photos: The Agency