BEN LEE’S BLOG

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BEN LEE’S BLOG

Own Your Own Castle by the Sea in Laguna Beach

By |January 20th, 2020|Buyers|

Imagine waking up each day to the view of the crystal blue waters of the Pacific from your very own castle by the sea. You could make this dream a reality with this 5-bedroom Laguna Beach home that offers more than 8,000 square feet of interior living space and a private outdoor oasis along a breathtaking bluff.  There are also four guest villas on the property, which brings the total to 12 bedrooms and 11 baths (as well as room for 16 vehicles) on the compound. 

The main house here includes a great room with 22-foot vaulted ceilings, arched doorways, casement windows, stained glass, and several beautiful stone fireplaces (and every room has a view!) 

In the spacious kitchen you will find updated fixtures, cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances. There is even an open-concept office space with a large window that looks out on the dolphins and whales below. 

Surrounded by numerous large outdoor porches and decks, the indoors and the out seamlessly connect. And as an added bonus, the property – which was constructed between 1918 and 1922 – is Mills Act-approved. 

Located at 2527 South Coast Highway (between Moss Point and Victoria Beach in Laguna), this one-of-a-kind property is currently listed for sale at $27 million. Private tours can be arranged for interested purchasers. 

Westside Stories

By |January 18th, 2020|From The Newsletter|

The Pacific Design Center consists of 3 separate buildings designed by the Yale scholar and designer Cesar Pelli. The first was the Blue building in 1975 often called the blue whale. Then the green building followed in 1988 and finally the red building in 2012. The buildings are on a 14 acre site that for many years had to contend with a metal plating company that would not move from its small building on Melrose Ave which inhibited the design concept of the three integrated buildings.One wonders how much that plating company held out for before it was finally removed so that the front of the campus on Melrose could be completed.Down the street on San Vicente is the Beverly Center which is now having an expensive redesign to accommodate the newest concept in malls and better to compete with the Beverly Grove development of Rick Caruso just to the East. Does one remember when the Beverly Center design was disparaged by saying its building was the box that the Blue Whale came in?

Unique Loft in Long Beach Offers Space and Loads of Amenities

By |January 16th, 2020|Buyers|

Inside of what used to be a Masonic Lodge, this nearly 1,000 square foot condo offers one bedroom and one bath. But don’t let the small number of rooms fool you. Given its high ceilings (with exposed duct work), large windows, and open floor plan, this loft unit is bright and airy. There is also a balcony off the living room that provides plenty of room for outdoor seating.

The roomy kitchen boasts stainless steel appliances (as well as a large gas stove), along with ample counter space, and multiple shelves for storing larger pots, pans, and other cooking apparatus. 

Originally built in the 1920s, the building was converted over to condominiums in 2005 – although much of the initial aesthetics remain, like the black and white checkered floor in the lobby. Just some of the amenities that are included with this property are a spa and fitness center, as well as a community deck with plenty of space for larger gatherings. 

Located at 835 Locust Avenue (near downtown Long Beach), this one-of-a-kind residence is currently on the market for $564K (and monthly homeowner’s association dues of $430). Interested purchasers can schedule a private tour.

Former Home of Dr. Phil in Beverly Crest on the Market for Under $6M

By |January 13th, 2020|Buyers|

While he may be good at helping his clients to sort out their issues, the jury is still out on whether or not Dr. Phil possesses great design sense. But, while the next owner of his 5-bedroom, 6-bath home may need to do some tweaking in terms of aesthetics, there is a lot to work with here.

The Mediterranean-style residence was initially built in 1960, and it includes a tree-themed interior with a spiral staircase engulfed in tree roots, and bar stools that are in the shape of tree stumps. 

Some of the other unique items of note include the large entry-way chandelier that appears to be engulfed in a web of vines, and a billiard room that features steel blue floors. Added to that is the dining room that has a wall of assault rifles as it décor. 

Outside, the tree theme continues, starting with an iron front gate that is covered with root-like chords. On the private half-acre property, you will also find an in-ground pool, as well as a spa, outdoor fireplace, and dining area. 

Located at 1642 San Ysidro Drive in Beverly Hills, this home is currently listed for sale at $5.750M. Private tours can be arranged for interested purchasers.

Perfect Vision

By |January 11th, 2020|From The Newsletter|

I’ve worn glasses for as long as I can remember but I have a feeling that my vision this year will be perfect.That’s right. It’s 2020 and there’s nothing like that first month of a new year of a brand new decade to bring goals, resolutions, hopes and dreams into razor sharp focus. But this month in particular feels extra clear and not just because it’s officially 2020! Regardless of the optical innuendos,I feel like being able to see both near and far into the future falls right in line with this year of “perfect vision.” In other words: Happy 2020. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying January so far.

There’s something about the beginning of the year that lends itself to a bit of a (re)introduction; a few brief words about who I am and what I do just in case you have never seen or read this newsletter before.Amazingly, this marks our 84th issue.Once a month for nearly seven years,I’ve shared stories and insights into my family, hobbies and interests. Through fun monthly raffles, I’ve given away thousands of dollars in gift cards to local restaurants and businesses within the neighborhood. My father in law, a former resident of Cheviot Hills and proud graduate of Overland, Louis Pasteur Jr. High and Hamilton High has written a monthly column that offers a historical perspective on a variety of local landmarks. And with in all that cool content, I’ve included information about all my current real estate listings. Over 10,000 homes receive this newsletter so it’s fair to say at least double that number, maybe 20,000 or more people take a look at the properties I have for sale in any given month.

If we’ve never had the pleasure of meeting, here’s a little bit about who I am, what I do and how I got here. My name is Benjamin Sigmund Lee and am a second generation native Los Angeleno. I was born in Malibu and moved to Santa Monica when I was 12 attending Crossroads for middle school and then graduated second in my class from Santa Monica High (I missed being Valedictorian by earning just one “B.” It was in chorus and still burns.) I left sunny Southern California for Wesleyan University in snowy Middletown, Connecticut and four years later came back to L.A. for good. I graduated from Loyola Law School, met and married Lilli Harris, also a native of Los Angeles, and together we live in Cheviot Hills with our three boys: Mason (15), Spencer(13) and Vincent (10). After working as a real estate attorney for a few years, I made the decision to leave behind the grind of a large law firm and go into business for myself. I took the vast real estate knowledge I had working as a lawyer and shifted my focus towards what I really liked but never had time for before: working directly with people. Helping individuals navigate the intricate and often complicated processes associated with buying and selling real estate is something I am very proud to do. I know that my legal background gives my clients an added bonus because they are getting someone who knows how to negotiate, knows the ins and outs of contracts and knows how to put a deal together in a smart, experienced and professional way. Real estate is still considered the largest and most substantive investment one can make and I do feel it’s an honor to assist and counsel my clients throughout the process.
I think my passion for the business helped propel me to become the number one agent in the number one Coldwell Banker office (Beverly Hills North). Another contributing factor to this achievement, though,is the fact that I’m the indisputable neighborhood expert. I live in the neighborhood in which the bulk of my real estate focus lies. When I sell a property for the highest price per square foot in the area, that’s as good for my investment as it is for my neighbors. I can sell an enormous amount of houses here because buyers know I’m sincere when I say it really is the greatest place to live. My boys have attended the local elementary school and I faithfully contribute money to various school fundraisers around town because I know that good neighborhood schools help everyone’s property values, including my own. I also dabble in real estate development.Whether it’s building homes for my family to inhabit or as investments to sell off market, it’s been a really fulfilling creative outlet that combines my interest in architecture as well as interior and landscape design. To see a project through from beginning to end and feel as though I’m contributing to the beautification of my community has been equally satisfying.

So, there you have it: a bit about me.If you are a new reader, now you know who I am and what I do. If you’ve been a faithful follower of this newsletter for nearly seven years, then apologies for the unintentional redundancy and be sure to read next month’s issue which will hopefully be back on track with brand new material.

In the meantime, may your New Year’s vision stay perfect and bifocal free throughout all these months that make up 2020. I look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood!

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