Yolanda’s most popular stories of 2016

As we bid adieu to what has been for many folks — Yolanda included — a tumultuous 2016, we pause and reflect over the changes we’ve seen up on this itsy-bitsy website. Hard to believe, but Yolanda created this space nearly one full year ago, way back in January (2016). Since then, we’ve posted 200+ stories and had lots of fun.

Just so you know, we have this cool little feature on our site that shows how many views/clicks each individual story has received. And in case you didn’t somehow already notice, Yolanda is a wee bit OCD. We love numbers, lists, and rankings. And we also love houses, natch. So we thought a list showing our most popular (most read) stories of 2016 was something all y’all eyeballs would enjoy.

We like this list because it’s got a healthy range of folks. There are actors, singers, entrepreneurs, and even a socialite and a YouTube celebrity. There are modern mega-mansions, Traditional mansions, and an architectural tour-de-force or two. Yolanda likes that our casual readers and/or subscribers are interested in a variety of topics. Apparently.

So without further babbling or digression, here are the year’s top 20 most interesting or most click-worthy posts, according to the innocent folks out there who somehow stumbled across this site.

(P.S. the competition for the ultra-coveted “crown” of Most Popular Story of 2016 was not even close. The #1 story had nearly quadruple the amount of views of our #2.)

20) An undercover $32 million sale quietly breaks the Pacific Palisades record

Financier Richard Hollander and his wife Jackie paid an unprecedented $32,500,000 for an ultra-modern house designed by spec-mansion king Paul McClean. For starters, the residence is at least 10,000-square-feet with an underground garage and ocean/city views. The sale price is by far the most ever paid for a house in LA’s tony Pacific Palisades neighborhood.

19) La Cañada Flintridge’s own Vince Dundee buys $23 million worth of Malibu sand

La Cañada Flintridge-based film equipment rental entrepreneur Vince Dundee paid a total of $23,250,000 for two adjacent oceanfront homes on Malibu Road. One of them is the modern spec-mansion seen above.

18) Ricky Martin pulls out a loca $13 million for a contemporary Beverly Hills (Post Office) casa

The internationally famous Ricky Martin decided to take his loca life back to Beverly Hills (Post Office), with an aggressive $13,500,000 for a lovely and newly reimagined/expanded mid-century modern.

17) Harry Styles secretly sells his LA house at a major loss

Oh, those crazy One Direction boys and their real estate trouble-making ways. No fewer than five 1D stories are featured here on Yolanda’s list. Poor (rich) Harry Styles took a cringe-worthy $800,000+ loss on the Beverly Hills (Post Office) house that he bought back in 2014 and that was his first-ever home purchase in the US of A.

16) Stein Mart Chairman Jay Stein spoons out $22 million in Trousdale Estates

After decades of primarily residing in Jacksonville (FL), apparel magnate Jay Stein (of Stein-Mart fame and fortune) plunked down a fat $22,500,000 for a vacation home on what is often considered to be the best street in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills. The “museum modern”, as it is christened, features a windowed motorcourt.

15) Just who is Tina Trahan?

Socialite, madam, or blackmailer? Just who is Tina Trahan and what does she do? We still don’t know. But we are quite certain that the lady is loaded. She spent $7,150,000 on a Santa Monica spec-mansion early this year. (And she also paid another $6,000,000 for a “condo” in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. But we digress.)

14) One Direction’s Niall Horan Buys a Freaky Frank Gehry

Ho hum, another One Direction boy. This Irish bloke bought a Hollywood Hills home partially designed by Frank Gehry. Oh, and one of his nearest new neighbors is Lady GaGa.

13) “Jeunesse” founders Randy Ray & Wendy Lewis spend $16 million in Trousdale Estates

Orlando (FL) based multi-level marketing (MLM) entrepreneurs Randy Ray and Wendy Lewis snagged a spec-mansion in the ever-trendy Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills. The single-story house is rather spectacular and had a pricetag to match: the couple paid $16,000,000.

12) Gerard Butler covertly acquires two “architectural masterpieces” on Malibu’s Point Dume

The ultra-eligible Scottish bachelor hunk traded in his leased Malibu digs for something more permanent. The architectural compound — a truly gorgeous property — sits privately in the pricey Point Dume neighborhood.

11) LA’s Biggest Sales of 2015

For some reason, people like livin’ in the past. Yolanda’s first-ever published story, exclusively about 2015 transactions, proved to be a hit — or whatever — all year-round. And yes, Taylor Swift bought that $25 million house. Even though she loves lyin’ about it.

10) Maurice Marciano spends $20 million in Trousdale Estates

GUESS? may not be the fashion phenom it once was, but apparently folks are still very interested in how Maurice Marciano lives. Short version: in Trousdale Estates, in a spec-mansion designed by Paul McClean and for which he paid $20,800,000.

9) Mandeville Mystery 2: Shawn Levy Sells to Trent Reznor for $16 million

Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and Oscar-winning movie soundtrack composer Trent Reznor has a supersized war chest of cash. He and his wife Mariqueen Maandig spent $16,650,000 to buy the Brentwood mansion of director/producer Shawn Levy. The house is located in the bucolic Mandeville Canyon neighborhood and the interiors were done up by celebrity decorator Windsor Smith, a lady who Yolanda loves even though we occasionally and good-naturedly poke fun at her.

8) YouTube stars Rosanna Pansino & HuskyStarcraft plop out nearly $4 million in Tarzana

Take a cute young lady and mix her into a cooking show. Add a pinch of nerdiness, and what have you? YouTube gold, apparently. Enough to afford a $4 million estate in the Tarzana neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley.

7) Louis Tomlinson pays $7 million for a new old Hollywood Hills house

It may not seem like the most toddler-friendly house, but One Direction band member (and young father) Louis Tomlinson forked out a serious $7,300,000 for this newly-rebuilt old Hollywood Hills house nonetheless.

6) Is one of LA’s largest mansions facing foreclosure?

Reclusive self-made real estate investor Don Abbey, once indisputably the most lavish-living resident of the tiny Bradbury Estates guard-gated community in also-tiny Bradbury, CA, appears to be on the brink of losing his epic mansion to foreclosure. The compound totals 47,000-square-feet across multiple structures, making it easily one of the largest estates in the entirety of LA County.

5) Tobey Maguire weaves his way into a $13 million Brentwood spec-mansion

Spidey may be getting a divorce but that hasn’t stopped him from weaving a big new pussy web in Brentwood. He paid right about $13 million for this brand-new spec-mansion.

4) Makeup bazillionaire Jamie Kern Lima dumps $13 million on a Brentwood contemporary

She’s a former Miss USA contestant, a former Big Brother reality star, a Baywatch girl, and holds an MBA from the Ivy League’s Columbia University. She’s also a self-made entrepreneur who sold her company for $1.2 billion and straightaway bought a $13 million mansion in Brentwood. She’s the 39-year-old Jamie Kern Lima and she’s here to remind Yolanda that our life is just not gonna cut it.

3) Louis Tomlinson (or Liam Payne?) Buys a $10 Million Calabasas crib for his baby mama

Yet another One Direction member-owned home — this one a sprawling estate out in the Monte Nido area near Calabasas and Malibu. Owned by Louis or Liam? We now suspect the culprit is Liam.

2) “The Walking Dead” star Steven Yeun pays all-cash in Los Feliz

Mr. Yeun had a busy 2016: he got hitched to his longtime lady love Joana Pak, sold his Hollywood apartment, and bought his first house in Los Feliz. All cash, no less. Oh, and his Walking Dead character also died.

1) Harry Styles pays $7 million for a new Los Angeles house in an ultra-top-secret deal

Far and away our most-viewed (and most commented) post of 2016 was our reveal of His Hair Highness Harry Styles’ new West Hollywood house. Three stories of private party fun — ooh la la. And “bachelor pad” is sexuality neutral, just so y’all know. At least in Yolanda’s little black book.


P.S. In case Yolanda starts imbibing early tomorrow and forgets to post any new stories for a bit, we wish everyone a Happy New Year! Don’t worry, be happy. And may all your real estate dreams come true.

  1. Rabbi Hedda LaCasa says:

    Dear Yolanda,

    Thank you for bringing real estate light and laughter to 2016! May you and the Yakketyyaks enjoy the blessings of health and happiness, prosperity and peace during the new year and always.


  2. Classicist says:

    I really enjoy this blog. I forget what led me here in the first place but I never forget to check for new stories.
    Thank you and happy new year!

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