Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles Recap: Venice, Anyone?


Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles spoiler alert – Josh Flagg shows three new properties in Venice Beach! Yessss!

This week we find James Harris at home in his bathrobe, still moping from last weeks’ spat with David Parnes over the marketing of Faring, their $48m listing in Holmby Hills . His pretty South American (?) wife, Valeria, finally speaks and offers some tough love with a bit of ego stroking to get him back on track and earning the bacon. She seems to know how to handle her husband!

Josh Flagg has returned to the Dolce Vita restaurant, where he is carted in by Colton in a golden wheelchair. Yes, a Golden Wheelchair! Who knew those even existed??? Josh tells him that he fell in their yard. Pruning trees. Colton, who apparently was not around at the time of the incident, is not buying it and wants to know what really happened. Josh sheepishly tells him that he was standing on a stool dusting dirty vodka bottles, which upset his sciatic nerve. This makes more sense. He needs a drink now – a dirty martini! Colton gives him the side eye about drinking when he is on painkillers, while Josh asks him for a walking cane to go with his wheelchair.   Colton is so sweet. I often wonder if he ever takes Josh’s’ dry sense of humor at face value?

Josh Altman, real estate God (in his mind), is headed up to Mount Olympus to meet with a developer.   He explains that up here in the Hills it doesn’t matter what the backside of the home looks like, it’s all about the views.  Developer Hal shows him the Electra house – a 5500 sq. ft. home that does not disappoint in the views department. Hal mentions that he has seven other properties in the works and is ready to move on from this one. He is even willing to price it lower than what Josh recommends. Josh convinces him to price just above $5m and it will sell fast. Promise.

Back at the Bond Street office, James and David continue to bicker and only communicate through their assistant, Lindsay. Poor girl. The Brits finally agree to take it outside and hash things out. Neither one of them wants to be in this predicament. James says that he has a rule with his wife to not go to bed arguing and he would like the same arrangement (minus the bed, of course) with David. They both agree to put their heads together and make Faring happen! Awww.

Xander, Josh Flagg’s best friend of ten years, stops by for a visit and asks for a favor.   After selling his condo, he needs a new income property for a 1031 exchange. Apparently, this is when you defer capital gains from one property sale to another within a 45-day period. Interesting! Xander would like to find a duplex for no more than $2.5m, new construction. Even though he has his real estate license, Josh has the connections to help him identify such a property.


Josh Altman meets Heather for lunch at, not coincidentally, the same restaurant as James and David. He did some recon and found out from their assistant where they would be dining. In the words of Whoopie Goldberg’s Annie Mae character in Ghost, ‘Lindsay, you in trouble, girl!!!’   He complains to Heather that they are pompous.   Then he orders a bottle of champagne to celebrate the sale of San Circle that he shares with Heather and – the Brits!  James and David cannot believe the massive balls on this guy. What a pompous arse! It seems they are still sore about losing the listing and knock him for it being overpriced, which they admit in their talking heads was actually a good deal. Josh then takes a dig at their overpriced (by $15m) listing and calls them the Harry Potter twins! Ouch. Funny, they complain about what they all have in common – being pompous with overpriced listings!

Josh Flagg brings Xander to Venice Beach, where he points out you will find a blend of homeless, hippies and techies living. He explains that the investment market is good here because of the latter with Google and You Tube having moved into the neighborhood. Agent Kathleen shows them a $2.585m property bordering on the city of Santa Monica.   While lacking in curb appeal, this newly renovated two house listing has tremendous income potential. Around $3k/mo. for the small 2br/2ba front house and upwards of $9k/mo. for the 4br/4ba back house. Not too shabby. Fortunately, for Venice Beach fans, there is still much more to see!

James and David are now rolling in private showings of Faring. Don’t you just love a home with a name?! I think I’m going to call my rental loft, Crow’s Nest. It suits the edgy neighborhood where I live, but I think my neighbors would call me pompous!   Anyway, Agent Sam shows up with none other than cosmetic dentist to the stars – Dr. Sam! Haven’t we seen this guy before?? Apparently, the veneer business is where it’s at if he is now looking at a $48m property!!! The Brits give Sam & Sam the dog and pony show. James gushes over the ‘grandest chill out room ever’, to which super smiley face Dr. Sam responds that ‘it is not the grandest’. Ouch. To his credit, James remains upbeat and shows him the rest of the grounds, which he tells Dr. Sam ‘we think it’s worth every penny’. ‘Oh course you do’ replies Dr. Super Smiley Face. Ouch. Of course he is correct, but still no need to be so smug.

Josh Flagg is back in Venice Beach showing Xander another property. This one is located in the canals of Venice. It is worth checking out this area if you have never been. The houses are closely situated on an interlocking waterway, but all vary in style and so unique. An oasis in this funky beach city.   Xander wheels Josh, still in the Golden Wheelchair, covered in a Hermes blanket, down an alleyway to get to the property. Josh suggests not wearing your Rolex in these parts, but I think a perfectly coiffed Beverly Hills boy in a Golden Wheelchair and Hermes blanket makes for a good target, no? While he is able to use a cane now, he muses ‘why walk when Xander can push me?’   That boy sure can milk it! They finally meet Agent Tami at the spectacularly renovated 1909 bungalow with a rooftop deck, guest house and views of the Pacific Ocean. This is my kind of home! I could live in the main house MBR alone with its stunning vaulted ceiling. With a list price of $2.38m, Xander has another contender to add to the list.

Josh Altman hosts a brokers open for Electra, bringing new intern Jacob along to fill in for Mikey. The front entry is staged like a nightclub with the requisite red velvet rope. Jacob is acting as bouncer to stagger the showings. Josh wants to have adequate time with each broker. His intentions are good, but things run afoul when Jacob cannot control the restless brokers storming the castle and random neighbors popping by for a looky-loo. The house is a zoo with brokers gone wild! In the midst of all this happening, Jacob doesn’t recognize Matt upon arrival and asks him to wait.   He was actually pretty nice to the kid about it.  Considering the major intern fail and finding his ‘mini-me’ taking selfies in front of a parked Rolls Royce, Josh was happy with the turnout and that is all that matters to him in the end.


James and David next meet with Rick at Faring. According to the Brits, he is ‘a powerful attorney who represents only ‘extremely wealthy international’ clients. Note to Andy for drinking game alert: Please use International Clients when James and David are on WWHL. Rick explains that his client wants privacy and to be ‘surrounded by people of their stature’, i.e. oil sheiks, money launderers, drug lords. James doesn’t seem to care who they are as long as they are buying!

Josh Flagg takes Xander to a third property in Venice Beach. He has now upgraded to a cane and declares that he will not take his legs for granted anymore! This third and final property is a centrally located loft style plan with a roof deck listed at $2.65m. It has side by side identical units each commanding up to $7k/mo. in rental fees. This property seems to have the most upside as an investment. Xander has a tough decision to make.

Josh Altman returns home greeted by his adorable puppies and his fiancé, Heather, who is making him a healthy salad for dinner. Josh whines that he is a jock with a jock’s appetite and needs something more substantial. Heather fires back and asks when was the last time he played football? Well, um, 15 years ago?!   Conversation then turns to the wedding. Heather is concerned that she is being left out of the planning by Josh and his brother, Matt. She elaborates that the wedding should be ‘a celebration of us’. I get what she is saying, but it is kind of nice that he is involved, too. He just needs to keep Groomzilla Josh in check. Matt calls and distracts Josh with news that they have a guaranteed offer to lease Electra for $40k/mo. for two years. It is an unbelievable offer, which developer Hal will not be too pleased about as Josh promised to sell it for him so that he could be done with it. Heather locks Josh out on the patio and proceeds to give him the finger. Oh yes, she did!

Xander stops by Josh Flagg’s office to discuss the three properties in Venice Beach. He is indecisive at first but finally decides to make an offer on the loft style listing at $2.45m with a short closing, which is accepted after smart negotiations by Josh. Nervous Nellie Xander would have gone higher to secure the property. He later visits Josh at home who is sitting back in the Golden Wheelchair with his puppy, Godzilla.  Xander worries that he is not improving, but Josh is just pulling a prank on him. Oh Josh. Within five days of closing, Xander has secured a renter who has signed a 3yr lease on both units. Josh is like a proud papa and has high hopes for his future in real estate.


The Bond Street partners and their significant others meet up with Mauricio and Kyle for dinner. James and his wife are the first to arrive and seem miffed that David and his girlfriend, Adrian, are running late. Once everyone has settled and exchanged pleasantries, Josh Altman’s name is brought up. I’m not sure what happened between Mauricio and Josh, but Mauricio uses this opportunity to take a swipe at him. And just when I was starting to think that the Brits seemed less excitable this week, they jump on board with him and start to bash Josh as well. Yip yap.

Josh Altman meets up with Hal at one of his other properties to tell him about lease offer. As suspected, Hal dramatically tears up the contract, ends the relationship and asks him to leave. Feeling down but not out, Josh thinks quick on his feet and calls asks around to find a buyer who is specifically looking for a rental property. As luck would have it, Agent Ambra has such a client! Josh goes back into the house stunning Hal with his new proposal.   They have a deal. Josh makes a commission on both the rental and selling. Cha-ching! Hal tells Josh that he should yell at him more often! Something tells me that Josh might enjoy that…


Recap Author: Maura

Photo Credit: Bravo TV