By Lauren Beale
(MCT)–When Elton John sold his pair of West Hollywood, Calif., condominiums last year, the buyer got more than four walls and the title.
The units came with the singer’s designer furnishings, knickknacks and tableware — even his snake-skin-covered bed frame.
Now, one of the condos is back on the market at $3.995 million, along with all the contents.
“Even though Elton doesn’t own them anymore, they still have cachet,” says Paul Czako, the listing agent.
Once the stuff of vacation rentals or corporate housing, fully appointed homes are the latest fad in the ultra-luxury market. Well-heeled buyers are purchasing places whose sellers have left them in meticulous move-in condition, down to stocked linen closets, full liquor cabinets and tissues on the dresser.
Some buyers are drawn by the dash of stardust that comes from owning a celebrity’s onetime belongings. Others, such as time-stretched executives and those shopping for second homes from afar, want places they can use right away, without having to sweat the small stuff. Some are so smitten with a seller’s taste or custom furnishings that they want the whole package.
Although the trend is popping up in other wealthy pockets nationwide, it’s gaining traction in Los Angeles circles in which style and convenience trump expense.
“You are buying an instant lifestyle,” says Mauricio Umansky, a listing agent with a real estate brokerage in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Luxury-home buyers expect a loaded home’s contents to be in keeping with the asking price. A $36 million home for sale in Beverly Hills features a putting green with stunning city views — as well as a $300 putter for the new owner to get in some practice strokes.
The builder hired designer Michael Palumbo to deck out the 11,000-square-foot contemporary with Italian furniture and high-end appliances. A $70,000 custom-built glass pocket door slides open with a “whoosh” to reveal a glamorous powder room stocked with hand towels, a plush chair and a contemporary end table. The master closet — with its shoe shelves, banks of hanging storage and benches — evokes a Prada store.
LED televisions, Villeroy & Boch dinnerware, exotic indoor plants and $1.3 million in furniture are included. The buyer doesn’t even need to bring a toothbrush. A pair of $170 rechargeable Philips Sonicares are standing by in the master bathroom.
“You don’t have to do anything,” Palumbo says of the state-of-the-art home. “It’s done.”
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