We first heard it from real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak, and property records confirm that Emmy-winning television writer/producer Alex Herschlag shelled out not-quite $3.5 million for an unassuming estate in a leafy, decidedly affluent area of Encino in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. The updated and expanded single-story ranch house sold even before it came up for sale on the open market. It was officially priced at $3.3 million, according to marketing materials.

The home measures in at more than 7,000 square feet with a comfortably commodious open-plan living/dining area, a huge family room, and a skylit eat-in kitchen. Five bedrooms and five bathrooms include a roomy master suite with a fireplace, a luxuriously fitted walk-in closet, and a sun-flooded bathroom with a multi-head steam shower and a soaking tub for two, set below a picture window that overlooks the backyard. Wood-trimmed glass doors line the back of the house, and effortlessly link the interior living spaces to a private and tropically landscaped resort-style backyard with extensive decks and terraces bordered by raised planters. Beyond the swimming pool and spa, a detached guesthouse of unknown size and amenities opens to a wrap-around deck elevated just above a sun-dappled patch of lawn and a lighted tennis court. The property was listed by Stephanie Payab of Berkshire Hathaway and Gary Gold of Hilton and Hyland.

Property records show Herschlag, who cut his sitcom teeth on the groundbreaking shows “Ellen” and “Will & Grace” before he went on to write and produce for “Modern Family” and “Mike & Molly,” and his wife Apryl Huntzinger, a writer on “The Drew Carey Show,” continue to own a 1930s traditional on a private promontory above Nichols Canyon. That property was purchased in June 2001 for a smidge less than $1.3 million, and was once owned, according to property records, by veteran film and television director Howard Deutch (“Pretty in Pink”) and “Back to the Future” star Lea Thompson.

The property was represented by Stephanie Payab at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Gary Gold at Hilton & Hyland

listing photos: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices