Ladees and Gents: Meet Mister Modesty, Tate Donovan

SELLER: Tate Donovan
LOCATION: Crest Way, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $789,000
SIZE: 1,279 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: …This 2bd/2ba Spanish home has everything you want and more. Spacious & inviting living room w/ hdwd flrs and original tiled fireplace. Eat-in galley kitchen has been updated in keeping w/ classic nature of the home. Large formal dining room w/ coved ceiling. Newly-remodeled bathrooms with Master bath featuring Waterworks tile, Carrara marble & steam shower. Master suite features dual walk-in closets & opens to tranquil outdoor living space overlooking spa.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Every now and again Your Mama comes across a famous figure with a certain kind of real estate modesty and we are, well, yes, we are impressed. Even more so when it’s a celebrity like successful, unassuming and likable actor Tate Donovan (Damages, The O.C., Hercules and etc.) who recently listed his Los Angeles house for $789,000.

Mister Donovan may be a low-key, bike riding and marathon running fiddler with almost no real estate pretensions, but he’s also managed to bag and and snag some of Hollywood’s leadingest ladees like Lauren Graham, Sandra Bullock, that poor, high maintenance and unlucky in love Jennifer Aniston not to mention a British born New York based socialite/writer named Plum Sykes.

Records reveal the recently deevorced Mister Donovan picked up his itty bitty Spanish style casa on Crest Way in September of 1999 for just $378,000. Records and listing information also show that the 1,279 square foot house, located on a quiet cul de sac in the Hills of Hollywood in a neighborhood called the Hollywood Dell, has just two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The front of the house is shielded by a tall (and tatty) privet hedge that hides the front façade comprised of a wide see-ment patio with a dozen or more potted plants of various varieties and a carved wood front door flanked by paned cottage style windows and inoperable shutters painted an unfortunate pinkish coral color. It looks like a slightly tidier sort of place Your Mama would have gone to buy weed back when we were at university.

Anyhoo, the front door opens to a living room with thin stripped and golden colored wood floors and listing information indicates the fireplace surround is original and which Your Mama thinks may (or may not) be made of Batchelder tiles. Mister Donovan, or perhaps his ex-wife, has filled the room with a sandy beige linen sofa opposite a wall mounted flat screen boob-toob, a light brown leather chair and hassock, a milk chocolate brown wicker rocker with ecru colored cushions, a taupe colored, vine patterned and circular rug and a wacky but visually enjoyable amoebic shaped wood coffee table. It’s all very beige–and wicker is a forbidden material in Your Mama big book of acceptable decorative materials–but it also looks very cozy and comfortable and like someone not enamoured of their own fame and fortune actually lives here.

Beyond the living room is the dining room with a seriously ill-chosen chandelier (that is hung too high), a bunch of wood furniture that looks like it might have been picked up on travels to the Far East and a set of French doors opening to an intimate and covered patio that overlooks the backyard. The galley style kitchen and sky lit eating nook have a certain sort of cottage charm even if we don’t understand or approve of the choice of checkerboard linoleum floor and the mint green faux-vintage refrigerator.

A guest room / office at the front of the house is well separated from the master at the back of the house with two renovated poopers in between. The master bedroom, according to listing information includes two walk in closets, French doors that open to the covered patio, and a bathroom with Carrara marble, fancy Waterworks fixtures and a steam shower. Your Mama loves us a steam shower. It’s unclear why Mister Donovan would leave those depressing Pottery Barn curtain rods over the windows when there are no curtains hung from them.

The rear patio is tiled and trellised and includes a perplexedly low table at which one would have to squat or sit on the ground to use. A few steps down a stone terrace hosts sun beds for nood sunbathing and all sorts of drought friendly plantings and potted things. A short wall separates the patio from a spa which is surrounded by vegetation.

It’s unclear to Your Mama why Mister Donovan would choose to sell his cozy casita now, after so many years…10 years in one house is a lifetime for most celebrities…but he is. And given that houses not in needs a full scale gut job in the Hollywood Dell rarely come to the market for under $800,000 we suspect this property will be in escrow in just a few weeks, if not a matter days. Trust Your Mama on this one. The market in L.A. may be weak, but this isn’t a bad starting price for this house in this location. We’re sure some of Your Mama’s resident Chicken Little’s are gonna rake us over the coals for saying that, but it’s true.

Now then, it’s back to the over-sized and insanely expensive properties we’ve become accustomed to seeing celebrities buy and sell.

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