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Madison Hildebrand, Josh Altman and Josh Flagg all have homes in the Los Angeles area — and they are all very different from one another, much like the agents themselves. The trio recently talked to THR about why they chose these particular homes to call their own, their inspiration behind the décor and what their long-terms plans are for the property. (Click here for more photos.)
Hildebrand bought his Malibu home nearly seven years ago, right as he was starting his own career in real estate.
“This was a great space, and it was something I could afford,” says Hildebrand, who paid $980,000 at the height of L.A.’s real estate market and has since invested $100,000 in the property. “It was extremely private — it’s on one of the most exclusive, private beaches [Little Dume] — and that, coupled with the fact that it was literally right next door to my office, it seemed like I had to have it.”
Hildebrand says the original décor was one part “Medieval Times nightmare” and another part “hacienda feel.” As for the inspiration behind his renovation, Hildebrand says, “I think I’ve got some tribal roots in my blood. It all starts with the black and white.”
Hildebrand adds he recently refinanced and reappraised the 1,900-square-foot property and says he would be able to sell for about what he paid for it — which, given the market downturn following his purchase, makes it a good buy.
And “it is still a good investment, even during the worst of the market, because I can always rent it out for more than my mortgage and taxes and have a positive cash flow,” says Hildebrand, who did rent it out for a couple years before moving back in late last year. “It’s a good investment, as far as an income-producing property.”
“I’m actually renting right now,” admits Altman, who lives in a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,500-square-foot house in West Hollywood with his fiancee, Heather Bilyeu.
But he has a good reason for renting at the moment: “I actually used to flip homes, so I flipped out of my last house and we moved into this one because we’re looking to buy. … It’s been more about investing for me. My grandfather always told me it was important to invest, that money was for lending and not spending. That’s how I was brought up. You’ve got to be smart with your money.”
To that end, Altman just paid $2.3 million for a property just above West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. He says the property is a “teardown” but touts the “beautiful view” and tells THR that he plans to build a 7,500-square-foot modern house with an infinity pool. “It’s strictly an investment,” he says, noting that it’s likely going to take him six months to get all the proper permits.
Meanwhile, what appealed to him about the house he’s renting was its open floor plan, he says, admitting that it was just something that could hold us over until we buy something else.” Altman says he’s been a landlord’s dream in the year-plus that he and his girlfriend have lived there.
“The No. 1 rule of renters is to try not to put too much money into it, but we ended up putting money into it,” he says. “We’ve added value to the house.” That includes building out a third bedroom into a “beautiful dressing room closet” and renovating the pool.
Altman says he and his fiancee probably won’t be there much longer, when they buy something for themselves to live in, but there are some definite musts on his dream-home wish list: “Between my suits and her closets, it has to have insane closet space. And a pool — I’m a total pool guy and probably go for a morning swim three times a week. I’m all about the California lifestyle.”
Flagg bought his Century City home five years ago. While he declines to divulge the purchase price, he reveals that he has invested about $500,000 in the property — and he considers it “a very good investment.”
The property is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,700-square-foot unit on the 17th floor of a 30-story high-rise that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles, along with Wilshire Boulevard.
“I gutted the whole thing, and I changed it from a traditional unit into a contemporary unit,” says Flagg, who renovated alongside his partner, interior designer Colton Thorn.
“It’s pretty eclectic,” he adds of his design inspiration. “We travel around the world, and we buy things all over the world — antiques, contemporary art — and we find ways to make it work together.”
Overall, he says, comfort was key.
“I wanted it to look luxurious but still be comfortable,” he adds.
Click here for a gallery of more images from the three homes. Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles airs at 9 p.m. Wednesdays on Bravo.
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