Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter, which this week is anchored by a transmission from the rolling hills of rural Italy.
If Southern California home prices have you down — and you happen to have a dollar lying around — you’re in luck. Eager to attract new residents, towns and villages across Italy have historic homes on the market for around $1. They’d cost even less, but it’s technically illegal to give a property away for free.
Unfortunately, there are no such bargains in the still-hot L.A. market. Compare that one-buck bucolic retreat in the Italian countryside with the $14 million needed to buy a modern home above the Sunset Strip. That’s how much Ariana Grande hauled in for her nest in the Bird Streets of Hollywood Hills — $300,000 more than she paid for the place last year.
The “Most Dramatic Listing of the Week Award” goes to NBA star Ben Simmons; not because of the house itself, but the circumstances behind it. The Philadelphia 76ers point guard demanded a trade during the offseason, and after the team refused, he put his custom mansion outside Philly on the market for $5 million. The listing surfaced one day after he was kicked out of practice and suspended for a game due to conduct detrimental to the team.
If you’re getting tired of scrolling through photos of extravagant mansions such as these online, try checking them out in person. Every weekend, open houses for homes that cost anywhere from $10 million to $40 million pop up across L.A. County, and The Times published a guide on how to find them.
We were also treated this week to two deeply reported columns from Erika D. Smith, who explored gentrification and the housing situation in South L.A. One column explores why real estate in the area is getting more expensive, and the other issues a call to action best summarized by a quote straight out of the story: “Don’t sell your house if you’re Black and you’re from this neighborhood. Don’t sell your damn house!”
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Italian estates are in the bargain bin
A view of Valle Peligna with Pratola Peligna in the background. The town of Pratola Peligna, located about a two-hour drive east of Rome, is trying to attract new residents with as many as 250 homes each being sold for a euro.
(Angelo D’Amico / Getty Images)
The first time Heather and Steve Giammichele of Southern California decided to take a road trip through Steve’s ancestral homeland of Italy, their car broke down about three hours outside of Pisa. At least 30 townspeople stopped to make sure the couple were OK, and one ended up canceling …….