He’s baaaack! On last night’s season finale of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, viewers were finally treated with the return of Malibu Madison Hildebrand. Bravo producers had teased this early on in the season but decided to hold out until the very end. And it’s a good thing. He was just the ray of sunshine needed to wrap things up after last week’s hankyfest. But if you blinked, you may have missed him fraternizing with the Brits!
Speaking of…James Harris and David Parnes, aspiring to expand their business along the California coastline, are enlisted by client, Christine, to sell her home in Laguna Beach. However, they are greeted with a chilly reception from the local agents at their open house. One broker in particular gets all up in their business and asks what they are doing there. Well, this is America and we have a right to free enterprise. Anywhere. Same as you do, lady. The Brits ‘shake it off, shake it off’ like Taylor Swift and joke that the shade they are getting is because of their accents and clothes. Not quite. But I get where the agents are coming from – they live and breathe Laguna Beach. This is their value add to potential buyers in the area. They are just being protective of their tightknit community. It would be no different if either of the Joshes encroached on their territory. But not as much for Madison who, looking quite refreshed, (don’t blink) stops by to take a look around. The Brits would be wise to connect with him, the self-anointed ‘Beach Guy’, as he has done business there before and this type of clientele is his bread and butter.
Josh Flagg has completely gone off the deep end with the passing of his grandmother, having just up and moved into the Four Seasons Hotel! He says that he will be staying there for approximately 3-4 months. After his appearance on WWHL and now this, I hope that there is not trouble in paradise. Colton is present at the hotel, but there is just not enough information to go on at this time. Hopefully, it’s just the old Beverly Hills boy needing some butler service to comfort him.
Still feeling alone, Josh asks himself ‘what would Edith do?’ now. She would work, of course. So Josh gets back to the business of selling her friend Grazyna’s home in Beverly Hills and connects the dots to Ilan the Developer. Boy, this guy sure gets around! As suspected, Ilan knows the area well and is definitely interested in the $5.5m property as a tear down. If he can get the approval to build up to 12,000 sq. ft., he could potentially have a $20m property on his hands.
Josh Altman meets with Steve Levine, aka ‘The Godfather’, and a partner at Hilton & Hyland. A Grand Poobah in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market. So grand, yet laid back at the same time, he can wear whatever he wants – even a puka shell necklace, if he so chooses. Steve presents Josh with the most incredible opportunity to develop three acres of beachfront property in Playa del Rey – a residential and commercial venture with up to $100m potential. A professional opportunity of a lifetime, just at the worst time ever in Josh’s personal life. Steve stresses that Josh would need to be fully committed to the project and on call for clients 24/7. What is poor Josh to do??
While Josh ponders that business proposition, he pays his respects to the other Josh in person. There is no hidden agenda. It is just two guys sitting down for a Patron & Ginger and glass of Sauvignon Blanc. So sweet to see the guys come together in the name of Edith. Josh A. tells him about a time when he ran into his grandmother on the streets all dressed to the nines and wearing tennis shoes, which brings Josh F. to tears. Edith made Josh address him as ‘Mrs. Flagg’ when she learned that he was her grandson’s rival. Classic Edith.
Also classic was the time Edith went to buy a luxury automobile looking like a bag lady. Josh’s mother loves this story when Edith is told by the salesman that she could probably never afford the car and then proceeds to whip out a wad of bills to pay for it – so very Pretty Woman of her and ahead of her time!
The Brits are back in the office and bickering over the strategy of their Laguna property. James feels that this beautiful 5,800 sq. ft. home with spectacular ocean views from the second floor terrace and a 1200 bottle wine cellar commands a $100k international marketing budget. ‘You have to spend money to make money’ he says, while David thinks that a few phone calls will do the trick. As long as their client gets full ask of $13.388m and exposure for her worthy dog rescue cause, then they have done their job. But James jumps the gun and orders the in-house marketing team to move full steam ahead without consulting David. Oops. Things are about to get chillier. Brrrr
But lo and behold, James’ approach is working. He has his own Pretty Woman on the hook in the form of Jason, dressed down in sweats, who has come for a private showing in Laguna. ‘Never judge a book by its’ cover’ he says. Jason is the real deal and knows his stuff, unlike young David in the backwards baseball cap. Jason is interested in the property and will be repping both sides of the deal. The other side being his Chinese business partner. Still a bit miffed with his own partner, David is starting to see the value of the strategy after luring an international buyer. However, negotiations don’t go as smoothly as anticipated. The client will not budge from full asking and the buyer’s last and final offer falls $100k short. They are at a standstill. That is, until David (yes, David) ponies up the difference in order to make the deal happen and get their foot in the Laguna market. I did not see that coming! Crazy! They have now sunk $200k into that property. I’m not sure if that was smart or not. Have they set a precedent for all of their future clients? Will they both be able to dedicate sufficient time to the properties in all of their markets since they are, you know, inseparable?? Hmmm.
Josh Altman has been taking baby steps with Heather and has already made her a nice and romantic dinner at home. Now it is time to show her the Playa del Rey property after consulting with his brother, Matt, who wisely defers to the decision to him. ‘Just make the right one!’ he advises. Way to stay out of it, Matt. Josh tells Heather about the deal and, not surprisingly, she confesses that it will set their relationship backwards. ‘There will always be another deal’ she sighs. Josh confesses that he has already accepted the proposal. Heather is deflated. ‘You got what you wanted. Josh Altman, the $100m dollar man’. I’m sure he secretly loved hearing those words, but he would have been crazy not to take the deal! As someone on twitter posted ‘he should be demoted to host of House Hunters’ if he didn’t!!!
So the Brits have successfully entered the Laguna market, Josh Altman has sealed his fate with ‘The Godfather’, which leaves us left with Josh Flagg’s deal between Grazyna and Ilan the Developer. Naturally, he does his grandmother proud and closes at $5m all cash. A fair price for both sides.
Josh is now left alone with his thoughts in his grandmother’s penthouse apartment. He knew there would come a day when it would be empty and left with only ‘lots of nice, beautiful things’. He looks around for the answers. ‘How can I move forward? How can I be more like her? She was happy when I was happy. I am her only grandson and legacy’. The answers will come in time, Josh. Just don’t be so hard on yourself.
We are left with the Brits finally enjoying the fruits of their labor and frolicking on the beach with their loved ones. No more spray tans for these guys, so they say! James and David have accomplished what they set out to do this past year and next year they are looking to exceed sales of $350m. Good luck, boys – just don’t feed the seagulls at the beach while doing it!
Last but not least stands Josh Altman, alone and overlooking the city of Los Angeles, pondering the questions of life – ‘why can’t I have it all? Be the best in my business AND have Heather as my wife! I will prove them all wrong.’ We have no doubt you will, Josh.
Well folks, we said that it was going to be a bumpy ride this season and it was. The clients were more outrageous – who could forget Lainey, Tyga, and all the tech poobahs??? The incredible properties – Faring, the Chandler Estate, the Redondo Pink Palace, the Bird Streets and all of those modern boxes!! And finally, the drama – the Brits, Josh and Heather, and Josh and our beloved Edith….love them or hate them, here’s hoping for more!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE SEASON? ARE YOU SAD IT’S OVER ALREADY?
Recap Author: Maura K.
Photo Credit: Bravo TV