Real Estate newsletter: Mansion on Manson murder land6 min read
Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter. Our top story this week harkens back to an infamous night in the summer of 1969, when four members of the Manson family drove into the hills of Benedict Canyon and murdered Sharon Tate and four others.
The house where it happened has since been demolished, and its address of 10050 Cielo Drive has been changed to 10066 Cielo Drive. A mega-mansion now occupies the property, and it’s being shopped around for $85 million.
Call it the home that “Full House” built because it’s being sold by Jeff Franklin, who created the sitcom in the 1980s and remodeled the property into an amenity-loaded showplace. He last made real estate news in 2020 when he bought and sold the iconic San Francisco Victorian used to portray the Tanner family’s residence in the show.
The second-biggest listing sits a few miles north in Studio City, where the longtime compound of late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek surfaced for sale at $7 million. Trebek owned the home for more than 30 years, and it’s being listed by his daughter Emily, who’s a real estate agent with Compass.
We also got some new Southern California housing data for December, and huge surprise: Home prices hit another all-time high. The six-county region’s median price soared to $675,500 last month. In 12 months last year, the median record was set 10 times. Sheesh.
The week also saw a new installment from Rachel Schnalzer, our audience engagement editor, who’s been answering reader-submitted questions. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite segments, and this week, she looked into why L.A.’s iconic skyline is so far from the beach.
For all my design-minded readers out there, Lisa Boone took a look at another ADU. This one features a drab alley-facing garage in West L.A. that was transformed into a light, airy space with clerestories, bi-folding doors and skylights.
While catching up on the latest, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week.
A mansion on infamous land
“Full House” creator Jeff Franklin is shooting for the stars in Beverly Crest, asking $85 million for his 21,000-square-foot mega-mansion.
Franklin is a regular in real estate headlines; he sold a spec house for $20.2 million in 2016 and flipped the iconic San Francisco Victorian used to portray the Tanner family’s residence in “Full House” for $5.35 million in 2020.
This, however, is his most ambitious listing to date — not only due to the sky-high price tag, but also because of the property’s infamous history. The mansion sits on the same land where Sharon Tate and four others were murdered by the Manson family in the summer of 1969.
Back then, the property’s address was 10050 Cielo Drive, but in 1994, real estate investor Alvin Weintraub demolished the house and changed the address to 10066 Cielo Drive in an attempt to separate the estate from its dark past.
Trebek’s longtime compound lists for sale
Clue: The home of this beloved game show host just hit the market for $7 million in the hills of Studio City.
Answer: Who is Alex Trebek?
Records show Trebek, who died of cancer in 2020, purchased the property for $2.15 million in 1991. The listing marks the first time the home has surfaced for sale since then.
It’s currently owned by Trebek’s widow, Jean. His daughter Emily Trebek, a real estate agent with Compass, is handling the sale.
The compound spans about 1.5 acres in Fryman Estates, a celebrity enclave in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Depending on your route, it’s about a 30-minute commute to Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, where “Jeopardy!” is filmed.
December sales set another record
Southern California home prices hit another all-time high in December, capping a year of sharp growth that left many first-time buyers frustrated while homeowners counted their equity gains, writes Andrew Khouri.
The six-county region’s median sale price reached $697,500 last month, up 16.3% from a year earlier, real estate data firm DQNews said. It marked the 10th time the median set a record in 2021, a frenzy driven by low rates, millennial buyers and a desire for more living space during the pandemic.
Some economists forecast that prices will rise again this year, but the increases are expected to be smaller as affordability — already an issue for many — becomes an increasing barrier to homeownership.
What’s with L.A.’s skyline?
In summer 2021, we began asking readers to submit their most pressing business-related questions about Los Angeles and California. Then we put the questions to a vote, allowing readers to decide which question we would answer in story form.
Our latest winner was submitted by Javier Barraza, an economics student at Cal State L.A., who asked: “Why doesn’t L.A. have a skyline by the water like New York, San Francisco and Seattle?”
Not to snub Santa Monica’s Clock Tower building and other notable coastal high-rises, but L.A.’s most recognizable skyscrapers — such as the Wilshire Grand Center, U.S. Bank tower and Aon Center — lie roughly 15 miles from the Pacific, writes Rachel Schnalzer.
How did L.A.’s quintessential skyline end up so far from its beaches, unlike at many other U.S. cities?
From an alley garage to an ADU
Rarely do detached garages evoke a sense of sleek sophistication. The exception? A garage-turned accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, in West L.A. that thoughtfully disguises the structure’s original purpose, writes Lisa Boone.
Inspired by a series of California laws that were designed to promote the development of accessory dwelling units, or “granny flats” (the laws were modified again last year in an attempt to address California’s housing needs), Justin Nasatir and Mara Grobins Nasatir purchased a 1,200-square-foot house in West Los Angeles in 2017 with the goal of transforming the detached, two-car garage into an income-generating property.
“When we saw the large garage and its proximity to the Expo Line, we thought it was a good candidate for an ADU,” Justin said. “We were thinking about it as a rental unit because it had its own entrance in the alley, didn’t have parking requirements and it was transit-adjacent. We thought it would be a good thing to improve housing supply as well as add to the value of our house and help us financially.”
What we’re reading
Pools and movie theaters are a dime a dozen these days as developers cram as many amenities into homes as possible, but one Temecula property comes with something way cooler: an observatory. The listing photos include shots taken by the telescope, and they’re impressive. The Sacramento Bee has the photos and details.
People are spending millions on digital real estate in the metaverse, but Insider spoke to experts who say the investment is a huge risk. “You log in there now and it doesn’t blow your mind — it’s basically Roblox or some version of Second Life that we had a decade and a half ago,” one source said.