Sep. 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM ET
This week in celebrity real estate, President Obama’s former apartment is for rent in New York; a Liberace home sold to a lifelong fan; and Dexter’s Michael C. Hall listed his home for sale.
It’s not the Oval Office — it doesn’t even have a separate office — but in 1981, the 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment was Barack Obama’s home during his junior year at Columbia University.
According to the Huffington Post, the future president lived in the pre-war home with a roommate, sharing a monthly rent of just $360. Today, the apartment is listed for $2,400 a month, which isn’t bad considering the unit’s presidential history and the Upper West Side’s median rental list price of $ 3,250.
As far as New York apartments go, this one is pretty standard: hardwood floors and exposed brick. High ceilings and a “walk-in” closet up the place’s appeal.
See more photos of the Presidential apartment.
See more photos of Liberace’s former home.
The entry opens to a grand hall where a dusty chandelier holds center court over marble floors, undoubtedly once polished to a high gloss.
From the entry, a grand French staircase leads upstairs. To the left, a room features a deep red carpet. On the other side, the living space has mirrors from the floor to the ceiling. A built-in wet bar has a countertop covered in small mirrors and in loopy script, “Liberace” still emblazoned on the front. A mural — inspired by Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel — covers the ceiling of another room.
Liberace, of course, hasn’t lived in the home since his death in 1987. The estate passed through a few owners, selling to a developer for $3.7 million in 2006. The recession and popping of Las Vegas’ real estate bubble eventually led to the home’s foreclosure in 2010.
The bank listed the home for sale at the end of July for $529,900, a fraction of its 2006 sale price. It took about a month before the new owner, a self-proclaimed Liberace fan and real estate developer, heard about the home’s listing.
“I grew up thinking Liberace was wonderful,” Martyn Ravenhill told British newspaper Get Surrey. “I was inspired by him from an early age. I learned the piano because of him.”
Currently living in Mexico, Ravenhill flew to Vegas as soon as he heard the property was on the market. Walking through the 2-bedroom, 10-bath home, “felt like destiny,” he said. He just purchased it for $500,000.
Michael C. Hall may have been busy filming the final season of “Dexter,” but he’s also been busy with real estate. The Golden Globe-winning actor has traded a few properties during the past couple of years: He sold a Hal Levitt-designed home last summer, turned around and bought a Spanish Revival home for $1.95 million, according to property records, and then purchased a 1923 property in Los Feliz this past May.
Looks like he’s not interested in holding a large real estate portfolio, so one of the places has to go. Hall’s 1926-built residence, which was once owned by early silver screen star Ronald Colman, has hit the market for $2.35 million. Colman bought the Hollywood Hills home shortly after its construction and lived there until 1940.
Colman probably purchased the home for the same reason Hall did. The Spanish Revival, located at 2092 Mound St., is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac and hidden behind nondescript walls, providing much-needed privacy. A rustic wooden door, akin to something out of the south of France, opens to a set of stairs, leading to a private courtyard and outdoor dining area — the most sensational part of the home, says Josh Myler, who shares the listing with Jeff Kohl of The Agency. It was this “indoor/outdoor living experience” that captured Hall’s attention as well.
“I felt transported to an Old World oasis and marveled that I was in the heart of Hollywood,” Hall said about his first time at the home. “It’s filled with surprises and an understated, earthy elegance … I’ve never come across a home quite like it.”
See more photos of Hall’s home.
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