Celebrity Home of the Day: 'Real Housewives' Kyle Richards

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celebrity home kyle richardsKyle Richards of 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' and her real estate agent husband Mauricio Umansky have sold their swanky Bel Air, Calif., pad for $2.1 million, down from a first listing of $3.45 million in May 2009.

But no tears shed here on the sale price of the 4,200-square-foot home they bought in June 2004 for $1.935 million, since they purchased their new place at a 30 percent discount. What they'll miss the most about the old place, however, is the view, says Umansky.

"We had a full view of the San Fernando Valley with all the lights and the San Bernadino Mountains. The really jagged mountains, snow-capped in the winter time, was really very pretty," he said. Umansky, an agent with residential brokerage Hilton & Hyland who has his own business, LA Luxury Estates, told AOL Real Estate in a phone interview, "It's one of the things we are not going to be able to replace."

But people move for all kinds of reasons, and for this family with four children it was to get a larger house. "We needed more bedrooms. We have four kids and they each have their own room now."
Photos of 'Housewives' Richards New Bel Air Home
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Celebrity Home of the Day: 'Real Housewives' Kyle Richards

See photos in our gallery of the 6-bedroom, 7½-bath home they recently purchased. As well as photos in another gallery of the home they sold. (The latter photos were taken by Umansky's mom, Estella Sneider of Luxury Style Photography. She is his exclusive listing photographer; and his dad, Eduardo Umansky, is an agent on his team.)

As we reported before in "'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Richards Buys $3M Home," they are remodeling the 6,500-square-foot dwelling they purchased in January to a "Ralph Lauren comfortable" style home, which is a departure from the "zen" style home they left behind.

See Photos of Sold Home of 'Real Houswives' Kyle Richards
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Celebrity Home of the Day: 'Real Housewives' Kyle Richards

"We have a change in style, but that doesn't mean we won't miss the old stuff," says Umansky, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico with his parents at age seven, but still lives in the same part of town he grew up in. In fact, so does Richards, who was a child actor appearing in shows such as Little House on the Prairie and eventually as Nurse Dori on ER.

While the remodel has been going on the family has been leasing and staying in hotels for the past three to four weeks. When they do settle in "real soon," they will be enjoying films in their new movie theater room (perhaps even the Disney children's horror film, The Watcher in the Woods, Richards was in.)

"We are really excited about it. It is not just a big television, but a real theater," says Umansky. (And when you see the "before" pictures in our photo gallery, you'll note that the theater room is in need of a face lift, as are some of the other rooms. We hope Umansky will share "after" photos with us once the remodel is complete.) The home also has a gym, an office, and an
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outdoor sports court with basketball and volleyball areas.

Remodeling is nothing new for this family. About four years before selling their old place to a fashion designer who owns Adore Apparel, they remodeled that home, which sold for $2.1 million, down from the last list price of $2.45 million.

"I didn't make money on it, but I think I broke even," Umansky says about the return on investment for his sold home's remodel. He added that the sold price was about 30 percent lower than what the home could have fetched at the height of the market, but that's okay because he made up for it on the next home purchase. And that's what other potential home sellers should consider rather than fret over what they are losing on the sale.

"Take my house as an example mathematically," he explained. "At the top it was probably worth $3 million. Take 30 percent off, that leaves $2.1 million, which is about what I sold it for. Take the new house, which in my opinion was probably worth $4.5 million at the top of the market. Take 30 percent off and that's $1.35 million off, which makes about $3.1 million and I paid $3 million. I'm losing $800,000 on the sale but am buying $1.5 million cheaper. I'm really $750,000 ahead."

Umansky, who says he practices what he preaches, says now is the time to buy. "I don't think the market is going to go down anymore. It has stabilized and will eventually start creeping up. The inventory is being reduced. The buyers are buying and supply is going down."

So if you still can, do as Umansky did, and upgrade by buying at a discount. Don't stress too much over any losses you take when you sell your current place, as you're likely to make it up on a purchase.

Rear of new home of Richards and Umansky. See more photos of this home.

Rear of home Richards and Umansky sold. See more photos of just this home.

Sheree R. Curry, who has owned three homes and sold one for a big profit, one at a loss and broke even on another, is a three-time award-winning journalist who has covered real estate for six years. During her 20-year career, her articles have appeared regularly in the Wall Street Journal, TV Week, and Fortune. She's been writing for AOL Real Estate since 2009 from a Minneapolis-area rental. She seeks a book publisher -- or at least a lender who'll give a reasonable mortgage rate to a self-employed mom.
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