Source: LA Times - Southern California's high-profile real estate market attracts celebrities, and creates quite a few too.
The face. The hair. The voice. Why does that real estate agent seem so familiar? Because, in that only-in-L.A. kind of way, there's a good chance the agent is also an actor, reality show personality or has had some other brush with fame. The last decade's real estate bubble and bust spawned more than 20 reality cable television shows devoted to home buying, selling and flipping, so the odds are that some of those agents will end up at an open house near you. Broaden the spotlight to music and acting, and the recognition factor climbs even higher.
"There's been an explosion of celebrities," said Stuart Fischoff, a professor emeritus of media psychology at Cal State Los Angeles. "There are so many different venues for people to become celebrities."
At age 17, Sharona Alperin was the inspiration for the song "My Sharona," a No. 1 hit by Los Angeles band the Knack. Today, Alperin sells high-end real estate in West Los Angeles working for Sotheby's International Realty, Sunset Boulevard. Although she had been selling real estate for more than 20 years, Alperin's website doesn't shy away from her connection with the energetic rock anthem, blasting it on the home page.
A recent addition to the ranks of real estate licensees is Stuart Damon, who played Dr. Alan Quartermaine on "General Hospital." Stuart Damon, who ended his role of 31 years on the soap opera in 2008, teamed up with his son Christopher Damon six months ago to establish Damon Group within Joyce Rey's Coldwell Banker office in Beverly Hills.
An actor for five decades, he keeps a foot in both worlds having made several appearances on "Days of Our Lives" this year while laying the groundwork for his real estate business. If strangers give him a puzzled glance, he just volunteers who he is. It's an ice-breaker.
"Even when I'm at Coldwell Banker, sitting at the office meetings, I'll be getting these strange looks: 'Who are you? Do I know you? Haven't I seen you before?' And we'll strike up a conversation," Damon said. "There's just a general feeling of friendship and a kind of closeness because they know who I am, even though I was playing a character."
This feeling of a personal intimacy where none exists is called a parasocial relationship, according to Fischoff, who has studied the celebrity phenomenon. "You feel you know them but all you know is the persona. It's illusory." Read more at LATimes.com
Source: Wikipedia - Tehrangeles is a portmanteau deriving from the combination of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and Los Angeles.
It is used when referring to the large number (estimates range from 500,000 to 600,000) of former Iranian nationals and their descendants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area; it is the largest such population outside of Iran. In common usage, it usually refers to the proportionally larger Persian-American subset of Iranian immigrants, many of whom are second generation citizens. This area is now officially recognized by the City of Los Angeles as "Persian Square". Thanks to the many efforts of residents, business owners and Councilman Paul Koretz's office.
The Persian community in the L.A. area originally centered in the Westwood neighborhood of west Los Angeles, particularly Westwood Boulevard between Pico Boulevard and the UCLA campus, often referred to as Little Persia or Persian Hills/Persian Square. It is between Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. Immigration to the area increased several-fold due to the events surrounding the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Westwood Boulevard became known for its many Persian shops and restaurants; and the Persian expatriate community of Los Angeles entered all forms of media including magazines, newspapers, radio and television stations.
As the population grew, many Iranians have moved all over Los Angeles, with other large neighborhoods forming in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Woodland Hills and Encino in the San Fernando Valley and Beverly Hills, California ; the city of Irvine as well throughout Orange County and Persians also made their homes in San Diego and the Palm Springs area (Coachella Valley). The Persian population of Beverly Hills may be as high as 40% of the total population. The vice mayor of Beverly Hills, Jim Delshad, is Iranian-born.
Source: curbedLA - Given unemployment figures, there's probably no easy way to gauge what's going to happen with housing prices, but nevertheless, we turn to San Diego-based real estate company DataQuick, which is reporting that the median home sales price in Los Angeles County rose 5.9 percent in December to $339,000 from a year ago.
According to a press release by the company, the median sale price for all of Southern California rose year-over-year for the first time since summer 2007, news which DataQuick interprets as "reflecting a more normal distribution of sales across all price categories." In particular, the release notes that in December there were more sales in higher-end markets including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Newport Beach. But is that the reason the median sale price is higher? Meanwhile, the SoCal median home sale price has increased or stayed the same for the last eight months, according to DataQuick, but we're still way off the highs seen during the boom. In December, the home sale price in SoCal was $289,000, 42.8 percent lower than the peak Southland median of $505,000 seen in 2007.