SELLER: Esai Morales
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,480 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We received an unexpected and brief communique yesterday from Birdie Chirper who kindly and thoughtfully let Your Mama know that Brooklyn-born and bred Puerto Rican actor Esai Morales pushed his modest (if not exactly cheap) long-time residence in Los Angeles, CA on the market with a $1,097,000 asking price.
Mister Morales’s big Showbiz break—if it can be called that—came in 1987 when he was cast in the Richie Valens biopic La Bamba with Lou Diamond Phillips. He went on to appear in dozens of films and television shows (i.e. Naked Tango, Rapa Nui, L.A. Doctors, American Virgin), most of which Your Mama has never heard of before. Since the turn of the century Mister Morales has made a living and a name for himself primarily (but not solely) on boob-toob police procedurals and sci-fi thrillers like NYPD Blue, Vanished, 24: Day Six-Debrief, Jericho and Caprica. Most recently he was seen on the easily digestible cable program Fairly Legal and appears to have a shy handful of movies coming down the pike.
Property records reveal Mister Morales bought his house house in the Hollywood Hills near the top of Nichols Canyon way back in May 2000 for $749,000. Current listing information shows the single story residence—an architecturally unholy hybrid between a classic, William Mellenthin-esque California ranch and a gawddam barn—was built in 1957, measures 2,480 square feet and includes a total of four bedrooms and three reasonably well maintained but woefully outdated-looking bathrooms.
We really can’t say why after a dozen year Mister Morales has decided to sell his house in the Hollywood Hills but people often sell (and/or buy) homes due to death, divorce and diapers, otherwise (unofficially) known by most professional property purveyors as The Three Ds of Real Estate. As it turns out, salt and pepper-haired Mister Morales and his lady-friend Elvimar Silva made a baby together in late 2010 so, according to the accepted (but entirely unofficial) rules of celebrity real estate, that may (or may not) have something to do with it.
Anyhoo, once a person gets past the mousy front yard and the proto suburban-style front door, things get a teensy bit better in the living and dining rooms, divided by a massive, room-defining double-sided stone fireplace. Both have a vaulted and sky-lit wood beamed ceiling and wide banks of multi-paned sliding glass doors that link to the backyard and swimming pool.
The day-core, if it can be called that, consists of little more than a geometrically arranged capiz shell chandelier, a couple of this and thats hanging on the walls, and slim collection of sad, mostly beige and brown furnishings. Maybe Mister Morales isn’t much for day-core or maybe Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota has been up in there removing any furnishings, artwork and/or other personal items that might actually give the house a little personality but, right now, this is not a house that looks to Your Mama like it would make a very interesting dinner companion. You know what we’re saying? It’s not offensive, it’s just so plain, quotidian.
There are unassuming medium-brown wood floors in the living room that switch to polished paver tiles in the dining room that extend right on into the galley-style eat-in kitchen outfitted with faux-rustic pine paneling on the ceiling, lackluster wood cabinetry, and ecru-grouted cornflower blue tiles on the counter tops. Some of the upper cabinets have glass fronts for dish- and glassware display and the appliances are, at best, a ho-hum, medium-grade mix of black and stainless steel. Again, it’s not an entirely offensive situation, it’s just, well, there. Quite frankly, a little paint and elbow grease would do this kitchen a real damn decorative and design solid without having to go to the extreme expense of gutting it, which is what most of the children will undoubtedly think needs to be done to salvage the situation. We do appreciate the adjacent laundry room but think there’s an awful lot of doors in there for such a small space.
A long, dim and narrow Y-shaped corridor connects the main living areas to the bedroom wing where the master bedroom has a vaulted wood-beamed ceiling, pillow-lined bay window seat with view of the Chinese slate and red brick surrounded swimming pool, and sliding glass doors that lead to a more private part of the yard with a spa. Listing photos indicate—but we can’t confirm—a dressing area/closet-lined hallway joins the master bedroom to a dated and perfectly ordinary master bathroom.
Mister Morales’s house may be hard up on one of the more heavily trafficked streets in the (admittedly not very heavily trafficked) ‘hood but it’s also surrounded by some prime Tinseltown real estate. Some of the nearby homes and estates are owned by beau-hunk actor Jake Gyllenhaal, quintessentially L.A. artist David Hockney, former sitcom star Justine Bateman, bandleader Ricky Minor (who bought his house last year from sitcom star Katey Sagal), and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino who had big ol’ beef last year about obtrusive bird noise that emanates from next door neighbor screenwriter Alan Ball’s aviary.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker