Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Welcome to the season premier of Million Dollar Listing LA.! The intro includes a montage of our three real estate agents talking about how the terrible economy hasn’t affected the high end housing market as much as it has everything else. In other words, “Fuck you, regular people!”
We start the episode in the home of Josh Flagg. Every time I type his full name, I want to write Randall Flagg and then refer to him as “The Man in Black.” My love for “The Dark Tower” runs deep, what can I say? Josh is making breakfast for himself and his boyfriend Colton. Josh interviews that his relationship with Colton works so well because they’re exact opposites. He gives us a few examples that boil down to “Josh is kind of an asshole and Colton isn’t.” Ah, the foundation of a strong romantic relationship.
Someone named Matt comes in the room and asks if they want hypoallergenic shampoo or color enhancing shampoo…for Godzilla…Josh’s dog. The last time I gave my cat a bath, it was in vinegar enhanced dish soap. She had fleas – this soap was recommended by the vet to soften the fleas shells and kill them. It wasn’t hypoallergenic nor did it enhance her color, but it killed the fleas and left her smelling like apples for a few days!
While Godzilla finishes his bath, Josh receives a call from Barbara – one of his best clients. She represent an estate he’s worked with for many years. When the estate wants to sell or lease a property, they come to Josh. They set up a meeting for 2 o’clock that afternoon. Godzilla is all done and joins Colton and Josh in bed. Colton says, “Look at the little turkey!” in the most annoying voice I’ve ever heard. Now, I’m a pet lover. Lord knows I talk to my cat on a regular basis. I’ve been known to say, “Who’s my little princess?” in a voice that would make babies roll their eyes. However, Colton takes this to a whole new level. Then the three of them all start howling together.
Next we visit the home of Madison Hildebrand. He is ridiculously tan. He tells us that he’s been tested over the last year and it has only made him stronger. To prove a point, he drops down and does some shirtless push ups on his balcony. Madison finally puts on a shirt but leaves it mostly unbutton. Baby steps, I guess. He’s having trouble getting ahold of Heather, his assistant. She wants to work in the Beverly Hills office as an extension of Madison. However, she wants to keep her salary while going out and finding her own leads. Any new business she brings in is split 50/50. Madison says this would be great if Heather was bringing in any business, but she’s not.
Perhaps it’s because she’s currently in Josh Altman’s bed! We meat our second Josh of the episode as he wakes up in bed with his dog and Heather. He tells us that Heather is officially his girlfriend. He then refers to them as “being in escrow.” I hope one day a man says something that romantic to me. *Swoon.* They don’t officially live together, but all of Heather’s clothes are in Josh’s closet. Josh arrives at a listing appointment in Bel Air. This is where the incredibly wealthy own their incredibly wealthy homes. Now, I know that I’ll be crucified by car lovers, but I have to say it. Josh looks like he’s driving around in a child’s Power Wheels car in that thing.
Josh enters the house and it’s filled with lots of art. This is where we meet Steve – the seller. Steve doesn’t seem weirded out by someone just randomly walking into his house. Even if I’m expecting someone to come over, I prefer they knock first – not just knocking as they enter. This is ESPECIALLY true if I’m meeting someone for the first time.
Josh points to a diorama (that’s really the best way to describe it) that shows hot air balloons in a large dome and asks Steve what it is. Steve explains that his dream is to move to Las Vegas and build one of those domes so people can come inside and fly around in hot air balloons. Steve also has a flying bike that goes on one of these balloons. You know, Steve, most mid-life crises involve buying a motorcycle or a cool car or hooking up with much younger women. You have an excuse to go nuts here! Why are you wasting it on balloons and bikes?
Steve gives Josh a tour of the house and they end up in the back yard at the salt water pool. Finally, they arrive at Steve’s archery target. I may have to agree with Josh when he says that Steve is the coolest guy he’s ever met. Yeah, he’s a little eccentric. However, he seems like he’d be a lot of fun to hang out with.
We return to Josh Flagg as he enters Barbara’s yoga class and just stares at the class for a while. That’s a bit creepy. I wonder what the people in the class must be thinking. OK, not really. They were probably filled in on what was going on by the producers when they agreed to appear on the show. It is still an awkward moment with Josh just watching. At very least, he could look over the balcony at the nice view or something. Then he starts trying to do yoga in his flannel shirt and skinny jeans. It looks pretty much like you’d expect.
The class ends and Barbara comes over to talk to Josh. The family that she represents made it rich in the mortuary business. Barbara explains that they’re looking to lease a property. They leased to a tenant five years ago for $50,000/month. However, some new amenities have been added along with some new artwork and furniture. Josh advises that, in this economy, it’s probably not a good idea to ask for a huge monthly rent. He’s thinking more around $30,000/month. Barbara invites him to come by the house on Friday because she’ll be there finishing the inventory. I have a feeling this entire meeting was just to give the viewers some entertainment by watching Josh do yoga. This entire conversation could have taken all of five minutes over the phone…like when they spoke earlier.
Back to Josh Altman! They need to stop putting the Joshes back to back. This is getting annoying for me. Well, at least I know I won’t type the wrong name. His strategy for selling Steve’s property is going to be a little difference because the place is so unique. He’s calling his VIP list to come see the property – people he knows would be interested in a house like Steve’s.
Josh gets interrupted by a call from his mom. She just saw the cutest little ladybug. I stop listening to the ladybug story here because I’m too busy hoping Josh will get pulled over for talking on his cell phone. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think California was the first state to make this illegal. There is something fun about watching rich and successful people get in trouble for little things like this It would just be a little victory for the middle class. He does not get pulled over and we hear no more about the wonderfully intriguing ladybug story.
Mean while, Madison is meeting with Stella – another real estate agent. They’re in Malibu Lake. Madison tells us that this place is “kind of a secret.” Not anymore, Madison. I saw a bunch of us pull some money together, buy a house or two in the area, and just drive down the property values with our cheap beer and economy cars. He asks Stella why she’s out in Malibu when she is based in Beverly Hills. The seller of this property is her ex husband. Madison has been called out to be the “buffer zone” in this situation.
Next, we’re back with Josh Flagg. The property that he is trying to lease for Barbara is in a private gated community in Beverly Hills. There are no liens on the property, so it will generate a lot of income for the estate. Josh helps Barbara finish the inventory. The millions of dollars worth of art and furniture in the house just adds to the value. Josh compares it to living in a museum. I want to live in a museum – namely the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. I don’t care how old you are, living with dinosaurs would be the coolest thing ever.
Because of the new editions to the house, Josh thinks they can raise their price to $35,000/month. Barbara tries to talk him into $40,000, but Josh stays realistic. He explains that $35,000 leaves them some room to negotiate with anyone who may want to lease the house. The estate is no longer paying a mortgage on t his property, so any money coming in would be pure profit.
Josh Altman is back at Steve’s house. He is meeting with a different Barbara. So, in this episode, we have two Joshes and two Barbaras. There aren’t a lot of names for parents to choose from in the Los Angeles area, I guess. Barbara II says that the outdoor part of the property feels like a sexy jungle. Josh jokes back, “That’s my line – sexy jungle.” Yes, Josh. It’s your line so much that you literally have not used it until this moment when Barbara brought it up.
Suzanne, a potential buyer, rambles on about Drew (her husband or boyfriend – someone interested in buying the house with her) growing up in the mountains and being on the ski team. She says that this property just reminds her of skiing in Vermont. I’m not sure how she got “Vermont” from this “sexy jungle.”
Josh loves when his potential buyers get emotional. However, he’s not prepared for Suzanne to have a melt down. Rodney, Drew and Suzanne’s broker, thinks they like it, but they’ve missed out before after a real estate agent never got back to them. Josh simply says, “If you want a quick answer, make me a quick offer.” Sounds simple enough.
Back to Josh Flagg in the antique and artwork-filled home. Josh is having a private viewing of the house. One man looks like he was attacked by a highlighter marker in his bright yellow scarf over a bright green shirt that is only half tucked in.
Next, he meets with a woman whose name is never revealed. Josh tells her that the actual building is contemporary while the artwork and furniture is more historic. He tells her that there is a lot of religious art in the house. She has three kids and wants something more homey. Josh interjects with, “Yeah, you don’t want them putting crayons on Jesus.” I don’t know how bad that would be. I’m sure even Jesus liked to color from time to time. Although this is a really awesome house, it doesn’t seem like a place meant for kids. Then, Josh says the best line that I’ve ever heard in any reality show…EVER!!! “We can take Jesus down. Actually, I think he’s nailed up.” Josh, thank you for doing my job for me for a few minutes. I appreciate it.
Finally, real estate agent Lisa Marie comes in to meet with Josh. She is looking for a client who is very fussy. Lisa Marie used to be a soap opera star on “One Life to Live.” Then she “got smarter” (Josh’s words) and got into the real estate business. Despite no longer being an actress, she displays her emotions in a crazy over-the-top manner. If Josh hadn’t told us she was a former soap star, we would have guessed it in a few minutes. She tells Josh her client is currently in Europe and works in the music industry. This house is a little more than he wanted to spend. Josh just asks Lisa Marie to write up an offer that seems fair and they’ll go from there.
We’re back in Josh’s office a few days later and Lisa Marie arrives. Her client wants to lease the house for $25,000/month for a one year lease and can move in next week. Josh thinks they’ll have to come up, but he agrees to talk to Barbara about the offer. Barbara refuses to go any lower than $28,000/month. Josh will see what he can do and get back to her. He tells Lisa her client will have to come closer to $30,000. He leaves her alone to make a phone call to her client.
While Lisa Marie is on the phone, Josh leaves his office to talk to his intern…JOSHUA?!?! Seriously, did everyone named Josh/Joshua in the Los Angeles area agree to be on this show? Josh points to the hand prints painted on Joshua’s shirt. The only thing Joshua can say to defend his fashion choice is, “It’s Alexander McQueen.” Thankfully, Lisa Marie calls Josh back into his office and we don’t have to hear anything more about that heinous shirt. Her client has offered $29,000/month on a prepaid lease. Josh thinks that’s perfect. He’s getting all the money up front and won’t have to worry about getting paid each month.
Madison and Stella now meeting with Stella’s ex husband about the maintenance that has to be done on the property before it can be sold. The ex Mr. Stella’s name is David. Stella has warned Madison that David is a “hard case.” Madison is a little on edge because he doesn’t know the status of Stella and David’s relationship at the moment. Maybe that would have been a good question to ask BEFORE going into the meeting, Madison. It’s not like you didn’t have a moment to talk to her about this.
Madison is very up front with David. He flat out tells him all the things that are wrong with the property. He interviews that this is the most difficult part of his job. Telling someone what they have to do in order to get the most money for their house doesn’t seem that terrible. He says that if the client gets offended, he could be fired and then not get the listing. OK, I take back what I said about it not being so difficult. I could see someone getting offended in a situation like this. As if on cue, David seems to get offended. He explains that he put a lot of money into getting the law in the Japanese style that he wanted. Madison assures David that he will see a return on his investment.
Finally, we spend a little more time with Josh Altman. He and his assistant Mikey (yay! someone not named Josh!) are on their way to meet up with Steve. The emotional clients made an offer and need an answer in 24 hours. Steve is at his ranch in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception. Mikey and Josh pull up to the ranch and see Steve playing with his flying bike/balloon contraption. Suzanne and Drew (the emotional couple) made an offer of $2.5 million. Josh advises that Steve make a counteroffer. It’s been his experience that the people who offer early int he selling process are the ones who really want the house. Steve comes back with a counteroffer of $2.8 million.
Josh has to drive down the road to get cell phone reception. At first, it seems that he’s really dedicated to his job with all he’s doing to make this sale go through. Then I realized that he stands to make a commission on a house being sold for at least $2.5 million. I’d drive 100 miles down the road to get phone service if it meant I was going to see that kind of paycheck. The potential buyers come back with another offer of $2.7 million “firm and final.” Time to drive back to Steve.
Steve is up in the air on his bike/balloon. When he returns to earth, Josh tells him the new offer. After some hemming and hawing and urging from Josh, Steve agrees to sell. With that, he takes off back into the sky and the episode is over.
So what do you all think? Also, I want to know your opinion on the best way to keep track of the Joshes on this show. Would it be easier for you if I included their last initials each time I mentioned them (Josh A. and Josh F.)? Are you OK with the way I’m doing it now (using the last name at the beginning of the segment and then just referring to each as “Josh”)? Please let me know! I want to make this as easy to read for you all as I can!
Until next time…