Diane Keaton, House Flipper

Actress Diane Keaton's sidebar career is fixer-uppers: a longtime historic preservationist (she's a trustee for the National Trust for Historic Preservation), Keaton has complemented her acting career by remaking notable Los Angeles residences. It's a forward-thinking move for the Oscar-winning actress and "Something's Gotta Give" star who's now an actress of a certain age in Hollywood.
Her latest project, a detailed and impeccable restoration of Beverly Hills' architect Ralph Flewelling's hacienda style 1927-built, seven-bedroom, nine-bath manse in Beverly Hills (profiled in Architectural Digest) is camera-ready but recently re-priced at $10.95 million (the second price reduction since it went on the market last March at $12.995 million). It seems these days, that jumbo loans are as scarce as strong female leading roles in movies.

Keaton co-authored "California Romantica: Spanish Colonial and Mission-Style Houses" with writer D.J. Waldie, after she spent almost two years restoring the home and its original whitewashed stucco finish. The 9,000-square-foot house is centered around an interior courtyard and fountain. Unlike Beverly Hills' current favored style of opulent McMansions, Keaton's courtyard Spanish Revival hacienda, filled with museum-quality period furniture, is understated, authentic and almost modern in its simplicity and clean lines. Numerous upgrades were made including an expanded kitchen/family room complete with arched fireplace.

Interior designer Stephen Shadley (who recently worked with Jennifer Aniston on her Beverly Hills' home) was Keaton's collaborator on the project. Before renovating this home, Keaton sold a Bel-Air Spanish-Revival-style mansion, a Wallace Neff design as well as an iconic, Frank Lloyd Wright home in Los Feliz, according to the Real Estalker.

The market remains a challenge for houses priced over $10 million in Beverly Hills and Keaton's is a bit steep. The manse is well over $1,200 a square foot -- pricey even for Beverly Hills standards. The Los Angeles Times/ Data Quick states that the current price per square foot in the 90210 zip code is $672 per square foot and that's off 35 percent from February 2009. Homes that are selling the fastest tend to be in the $3 million to $4 million range. Keaton's home (Zillow.com cites that she bought it for $8.1 million in 2007) is out-of-the-norm -- a great looker but not of-the-moment.
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