SELLER: Jonathan Karsh
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,275 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 1.75 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last week Your Mama tied things up with a brief discussion about a modestly sized Spanish-style villa in L.A.’s swanky Sunset Strip area owned by well heeled TMZ head honcho Harvey Levin and listed for $5.3 million. We’re going to stay in that vein—or at least that architectural vernacular—and start off this week with an also brief discussion of an also modestly scaled but much less expensive—if not exactly cheap—Spanish style residence in L.A.’s less glitzy Franklin Hills area (between Los Feliz and Silver Lake) owned by director/producer Jonathan Karsh and listed at $1,200,000.*
Mister Karsh may not be a household name but ia none-the-less an Emmy award winning documentary film maker (My Flesh and Blood, Ted Haggard: Scandalous), the former host of the short-lived reality program Kid Nation and an increasingly active producer of mildly tawdry reality tee-vee programs (Catfish: The TV Show, My Teen Is Pregnant and So Am I, Broke and Famous, the Police Women of… franchise).
Online listings indicate Mister Karsh’s casa in the Franklin Hills was first listed last July (2012) and, as of today, is currently in escrow. That’s certainly some good news for Mister Karsh and his market research consultant missus Jennifer. However, hunties, unless their real estate lady managed to secure a sale price in excess of the $1.2 million asking price—don’t laugh, it could happen—it looks to Your Mama like Mister and Missus Karsh are headed for a $77,000+ hit to their conjugal pocketbook since property records reveal they paid $1,277,000 for the house in August 2005.
The two-story residence, fronted by ground hugging foliage that looks like it might mostly be fairly drought tolerant, sits well above the street, was originally built in 1931 and measures in at just 2,275 square feet with 3-4 bedrooms and 1.75 bathrooms. A narrow driveway—one slender enough that Your Mama could never dream of backing out of it without ripping both sides of our BMW wagon to shreds—runs along one side of the house to a detached two-car garage behind the house at the rear of the property.
A teeny-tiny foyer is generally preferable to no foyer at all but the front door of the Karsh residence opens into a Saltillo-tiled foyer so brutally compact that it looks to Your Mama like it’s simply too minuscule for more than one person to be in at the same time. It seems to us that the door answerer must back uncomfortably and awkwardly in to the living room in order to allow the door knocker to enter the abode. Anyhoo, the closet-sized “foyer” leads into a much more pleasantly proportioned “formal” living room with well maintained narrow strip wood floors, heavy wood beams across the ceiling and three over-sized windows, two rectangular ones that flank the fireplace and a super-sized arched one with easterly views over the roof tops of the houses across the street.
A couple steps up from the living room, in the dining room, the floors switch from wood to polished Mexican paver tiles that continue into the small but well-equipped eat-in kitchen that listing information indicates was recently updated with outfitted with commercial grade appliances, simple white cabinetry and mint-ish green counter tops of unknown material that rather disturbingly almost exactly match the color of the exterior trim work. Not that it matters an iota but besides the ill-advised minty green counter tops Your Mama also does not care a lick for the paned greenhouse window over the sink.** French doors in the breakfast area end of the kitchen would probably make for a more elegant and convenient egress but, as it stands, one must traipse through the adjacent laundry room in order to get to the backyard.
Back in the living room, just to the left of the fireplace in the living room another short set of steps ascends to a narrow but ever-so-charming den/library with wood floors, kiva-type corner fireplace and floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves where Mister Karsh keeps both a colorful array of books and an his trio of Emmys.
The wood floors in the den/library continue into a sunny, window lined room next door that has a high pitched ceiling and side-lighted French doors that open to a small dining deck with built-in bench seating tucked into the rear of the residence, the same deck to which the aforementioned laundry room opens and which is described in marketing materials as “reminicent [sp] of a Tuscan hill town.” We don’t know about this hyperbolic Tuscan hill town bizness nor are 100% certain but it is this room, the one with the vaulted ceiling and deck accessing French doors, that is shows as a potential fourth bedroom in listing details. In listing photos, the room is clearly and smartly better utilized as a family room since the most easily accessible bathroom is a three-quarter number that’s shared with the rest of the main floor living spaces.
Upstairs three bedrooms all have lovely wood floors, coved ceilings and newer double-paned windows on at least two walls that allow for summer time cross-ventilation. What none of the bedrooms have, however, is a private bathroom. Instead they all share a spacious but single, sky-lit bathroom with separate spa tub, stall shower and a lot of wacky white, tangerine and navy blue tile work that fights aggressively with the well-worn peach-y colored paver tiled floors.
In addition to the trellised dining deck with the built-in bench seating, the backyard offers a small and patchy but mostly flat patch of partially tree-shaded grass and a slightly raised circular spa lined with mosaic tiles.
Now listen, children, neither Your Mama or the Dr. Cooter is a size queen when it comes to real estate so we have zero issue with the amount of space the house offers but, seriously, for a million two—even in L.A.—we most certainly want a master bedroom with a private bathroom
Of course we can’t say it with any real certainty but as best as Your Mama can tell from a quick spin through various property record data bases Mister (and Missus) Karsh do not own any other real estate in Los Angeles or anywhere else for that matter.
*Yes, children, we know this is some slim celebrity real estate pickings but sit tight. These things go in cycles and Your Mama will have some big(ger) name transactions to tantalize y’all with soon enough.
**For the record, Your Mama dislikes green house windows in general and not just this one in particular.
listing photos: Michael McNamara / Shooting LA for Sotheby’s International Realty