17 Feb Flipping Out | Juliette Hohnen
I married actor Steven Weber and I realized that if I wanted to have children we couldn’t both be working and traveling like maniacs in our jobs in television. I wanted to have children and my job at MTV required me working almost 24/7 and being able to travel on a moment’s notice.
I wanted to be an actress and a singer but realized that I didn’t have enough of the ‘look-at-me” gene needed to be a performer.When MTV Europe first started, there were four PA assistant positions available. I had no experience or qualifications so I blagged my way into the Studio position. I worked my way up to running the News Bureau and being on-camera talent for MTV news.
Most thrilling and challenging was going out with a camera crew the day after the earthquake in LA, and climbing to the top of the broken 10 freeway and doing to-camera pieces and then going to Northridge to interview people who were at the epicenter. By that stage I had done 1001 premieres and award shows and celebrity interviews, and I much preferred interviewing real people about real things. It was edgy and scary and I had trouble even finding anyone who would be my sound and cameraman that day. I also enjoyed sitting in front of Fellini in the press room at the Oscars. Being on the set of the Doors movie was like going back in time. Flying to Russia before the fall of the Wall, and interviewing Roman Polanski was also a thrill. While I worked for TNT, ABC, ET and EXTRA, my time at MTV was the most fun thing.
I had been to interior design school before I worked for MTV and I started buying and flipping houses while I had children. It was really more of a hobby but when the writer’s strike happened my husband took a play in London for four months, and we did not have the income we needed. I found a pocket listing in Malibu and decided to flip it.
I would get up, take my kids to school then go to the job site to oversee the work, as I had already cut out the contractor and had hired my own subs and a handyman to do the job. Afterwards, I would go home, cook the children dinner and go to Santa Monica college, where I got my real estate license.
Once I had the license and finished the house I put it on the market and sold it in three showings. I had a tremendous rush. It was fun, and also the easiest deal I had ever done, and I was very happy to save the commission. I saw how important pricing and staging and being available at a moment’s notice was to getting your asking price. If only all sellers listened to me like I did! After that, I knew the market was going to crash so I thought it the perfect time to do this professionally and make a living instead of house flipping and that’s how it started!
HILTON AND HYLAND
I have been at Hilton and Hyland for almost a year. I have been a realtor for 8 years going on 9. The first four years I was what I call a “stealth realtor”. I was embarrassed and I didn’t’ tell anyone. Most people knew me as someone who had been on camera and married to a celebrity. Now I was putting out signs for my open houses, while my husband was taking my kids to parties. But once I committed to it, I started to be very successful.
Venice/Echo Park, Silverlake and Franklin Hills are the cool, young areas with the walkability factor people now really value.
The recent changes with permitting and the coastal commission west of Lincoln will result in East of Lincoln going up at a much more accelerated rate in Venice. With Santa Monica being so expensive, Mar Vista is now really going up. Santa Monica and Brentwood and Beverly Hills will always be strong. You really can’t go wrong buying in those areas but you need to be willing to slightly overpay or pay all cash if you want a great family property between $2-5 million.
Hidden Valley road and Lime Orchard (where I have sold more houses in the last two years than any other realtor) have gone up like crazy. Ashton Kutcher bought Tom Freston’s house off
market for over $10 million and Jennifer Lawrence just bought Jessica Simpson’s old house for $8 million. Look for more high end sales in this area which is guard-gated and funky and cool, in a way that is not like most of the ‘desperate housewife’ developments. I also think the new trends in real estate now are not just about pricing properties well or presenting and staging your property well but it’s about being able to market it’s development potential.
Real estate tends to go in 7 year cycles, and we are about to go into year 3 of it. As long as interest rates remain low, it will remain a good time to buy or sell.