Phil DeFranco’s peaceful Sherman Oaks home proved to be an explosive hit back in November, when it first zinged onto the market. Within a week, the Cape Cod-style abode was in escrow with multiple offers; the property officially sold last week for nearly $2.4 million — $280,000 over the asking price. It’s also almost $750,000 more than DeFranco paid for the place in 2013, back when it was freshly new.
Property records reveal the new owner is award-winning Hollywood writer LaToya Morgan, who’s perhaps best-known for her writing and producing stints on multiple big-name TV series (“The Walking Dead,” “Shameless,” “Parenthood” among them.) Last summer, the native Angeleno inked a major exclusive overall development deal with Warner Bros. Television, reportedly valued in the high seven figures, and she’s co-creating the upcoming “Duster” series with JJ Abrams — so a real estate upgrade would seem the logical next step in her rapid Tinseltown ascension.
Behind the home’s elegant bluish-gray walls lies an open-concept structure with more than 4,000 square feet of living space. The formal living room offers soaring ceilings and clerestory windows; the kitchen packs in an oversized island and high-end appliances; the family room has a fireplace and direct access to the sunny backyard. The entire house is flooded with natural light, thanks to the abundant windows that reflect off the expanses of cloud white paint on the walls.
Also on the main floor are a walk-in wine closet, both a formal dining room and an informal breakfast room, and a butler’s pantry. The two ground-floor bedrooms could be used for guests or live-in staff but currently function as a screening room and a private office.
Three more ensuite bedrooms lie upstairs, including the massive master suite, which takes up more than half of the upper level. A marble fireplace, separate sitting room, and a spa-style bath add a touch of decadence to the real estate pot, and Morgan will also enjoy a covered, private balcony that overlooks the backyard.
Outside, the yard isn’t particularly spacious, but it is private and shady, the former thanks to tall hedgerows and the latter due to an ancient elm tree that towers over the house. An wee patch of grassy lawn has enough space for Fido’s quick romps, and there’s a plunge pool and spa encircled by a rather ugly, if sensible, chain-link child safety fence.
DeFranco, 35, has been one of YouTube’s best-known creators practically since the video-sharing platform’s inception; he and wife Lindsay have upgraded to a $4.1 million estate in nearby Encino. Morgan, for her part, continues to own her L.A. starter house — a perfectly ordinary and architecturally anonymous cottage in North Hollywood that was acquired in 2017 for $826,000, per records.